The Tender Bar soundtrack includes music by Jackson Browne, Parish Hall and Steely Dan. This info article contains spoilers for George Clooney’s Amazon movie. Check out Vague Visages’ Soundtracks of Cinema section for more music guides.
Set primarily in 1980s Long Island, The Tender Bar stars Tye Sheridan as the writer J.R. Moehringer. American actor/filmmaker Ben Affleck co-stars as the protagonist’s protective uncle, Charlie. The film was scored by Dara Taylor (The Boys), whose compositions complement the 30-plus needle-drop tracks via music supervisor Linda Cohen (Licorice Pizza). Here’s every song in The Tender Bar, an adaptation of Moehringer’s 2005 memoir.
The Tender Bar Soundtrack: Every Song in the Amazon Movie
- “Radar Love” by Golden Earring (00:00:00): The Tender Bar soundtrack song plays during the opening sequence. Young JR (Daniel Ranieri) sits in the passenger seat of a vehicle while his mother, Dorothy (Lily Rabe), drives. A radio DJ (later revealed to be JR’s father) states that Golden Earring will soon open for The Who at Madison Square Garden.
- “Sooner or Later” by The Grass Roots (00:04:00): Young JR enters a room at the home of his grandfather (Christopher Lloyd). A group of children dance. JR walks down a hallway and finds his mother in tears.
- “Love Will Find a Way” by Pablo Cruise (00:06:00): The Tender Bar soundtrack song scores a kitchen sequence. JR’s father, “The Voice” (Max Martini), speaks on the radio.
- “I Love the Nightlife” by Alicia Bridges (00:08:00): JR talks to his absent DJ father while listening to the radio. He explains that his mother needs money. The music fades during a transition sequence as JR — now a young man — rides a bus.
- “Shotgun” by Jr. Walker & The All Stars (00:12:00): Dorothy comforts Young JR when “The Voice” doesn’t show up. The Tender Bar soundtrack song plays during a transition sequence at The Dickens. Charlie explains the “male sciences” to Young JR.
- “Winston Cigarettes” by Malcolm McLaren (00:15:00): Grandpa Moehringer enjoys an adult beverage at home. He hums along to the radio jingle. Grandpa Moehringer passes gas and says “I didn’t do that.”
- “A Long Time Ago” by Jim Croce (00:17:00): Young JR takes a car ride with his father. “The Voice” lights a cigarette and inquires about his son’s living conditions. The Tender Bar soundtrack song continues as the DJ states that women sometimes “don’t think about the cause and effect of things.”
- “Magic” by Pilot (00:20:00): Young JR tells his mother that he doesn’t want to be a “junior.” The music kicks in during an exterior shot of The Dickens. Charlie speaks with patrons about a major league pitcher, Dock Ellis, who threw a no-hitter while on acid.
- “Turn Back the Hands of Time” by Tyrone Davis (00:26:00): A priest asks teenage JR about his last confession. The music scores a transitional sequence at The Dickens in the past. Charlie speaks with JR.
- “Two of a Kind” by Bobby Darin & Johnny Mercer with Billy May and His Orchestra (00:29:00): Grandpa Moehringer decides to takes Young JR to a father and son school breakfast. The Tender Bar soundtrack song plays as Lloyd’s character gets dressed for the occasion.
- “My Opening Farewell” by Jackson Browne (00:32:00): Young JR learns that his mother has a thyroid tumor. A future version of the character (voiced by Ron Livingston) reveals that everything turned out ok. Young JR types at home and welcomes his mother home.
- “How Long” by Ace (00:33:00): Charlie speaks with Young JR at The Dickens. He says that he’s stumped by Wordy Gurdy. Bobo (Michael Braun) states that “life is hard enough without puzzles.”
- “Dancing in the Moonlight” by King Harvest (00:34:00): Young JR impresses Charlie with his Wordy Gurdy skills. The Tender Bar soundtrack song scores the moment. Young JR hangs out with Charlie, Bobo, Chief (Max Casella) and Pat (Shannon Collis).
- “Lonely Girl” by The Expressions (00:36:00): The music scores a sequence at Wakefield Bowladrome. Pat asks JR about his mother’s cancer. Charlie gets angry and gives Young JR a baseball autographed by Tom Seaver.
- “It’s Your Thing” by The Isley Brothers (00:37:00): Charlie tells Young JR that he’s about to break up with Pat. The music plays during a bowling sequence. Young JR celebrates a spare.
- “Modern Life” by Devo (00:42:00): JR arrives at his Yale dorm. He looks out the window. The music fades as JR meets his roommate Jimmy (Ivan Leung).
- “Dynaflow” by Parish Hall (00:46:00): The Tender Bar soundtrack song accompanies a scenes at The Dickens. JR introduces Charlie to Wesley (Rhenzy Feliz) and Jimmy. Various bar patrons “back up” the students.
- “How Can You Win” by Parish Hall (00:48:00): Chief chats with JR and company. He explains his service in the Vietnam War (“Quang Tri, ’67 to ’69”). JR states that his father is “in a radio.”
- “Stealin'” by Clover (00:49:00): Charlie asks JR what he is reading. They discuss the Italian philosopher Thomas Aquinas. Charlie urges JR to “bet it all” and suggests that he read George Orwell’s thoughts on the “lower-upper-middle class.”
- “Good Times” by Chic (00:49:00): Wesley tells JR about his European experiences. He describes Venice as the “most illogical” city that he’s ever seen. The Tender Bar soundtrack song scores the sequence.
- “Twelve” by Urban Fall (00:56:00): JR and Sidney (Briana Middleton) leave for Connecticut. The music accompanies a conversation sequence. Sidney inquires if JR has ever had sex in a Volvo; a line that’s repeated at 01:01:00.
- “Rock Your Baby” by George McRae (00:56:00): Future JR narrates about Sidney. He recalls learning about love and spending time with her over Christmas at Westport. The music scores a sex sequence.
- “50 Ways to Leave Your Lover” by Paul Simon (01:02:00): JR leaves Sidney’s home after a confrontational conversation with her parents. He narrates about being dumped in Connecticut and spending the following two years focusing on himself. The song scores a montage sequence.
- “Polnischer Tanz, Deutscher Tanz” by Aram Mandossian (01:08:00): JR graduates from Yale in 1986. Charlie and Dorothy attend the event. The Tender Bar soundtrack song plays briefly
- “We’re Gonna Burn Together” by Parish Hall (01:10:00): JR discusses his parents with Wesley at The Dickens. Chief backs up the graduates and questions them about the foundations of English law.
- “Cherry” by J.J. Cale (01:13:00): Charlie speaks with JR at The Dickens. He suggests that Sidney just wants to see if he has his shit together. The characters discuss the “male sciences.”
- “Take Me Now I’m Ready” by Slyder (01:15:00): The Tender Bar soundtrack song scores a scene at The Dickens. Charlie offers more advice to JR about Sidney. He informs patrons that his nephew earned a job at The New York Times.
- “Good Time Charlie’s Got the Blues” by Danny O’Keefe (01:19:00): Wesley tells JR about Sidney’s upcoming marriage. The music scores a montage sequence. The tune drops as JR envisions his younger self offering life advice.
- “I Thought I Was a Child” by Jackson Browne (01:33:00): JR leaves his father’s home after a confrontation. The music continues as the police arrest “The Voice.” JR receives a ride from an officer.
- “Different Drum” by Stone Poneys (01:35:00): JR speaks with Charlie at The Dickens. They discuss an upcoming move to Manhattan. Charlie reveals that be bought a car for JR.
- “Do It Again” by Steely Dan (01:38:00): JR starts the engine of his new car. Charlie grins and tells him to leave. The Tender Bar soundtrack song scores the end of the film as JR narrates about the moment he knew he was a writer.
Q.V. Hough (@QVHough) is Vague Visages’ founding editor.