10 Best Songs In Rushmore | ScreenRant

The late ‘90s coming-of-age gem Rushmore was Wes Anderson’s second film after his commercially disappointing but critically adored debut feature, Bottle Rocket. Rushmore featured an original score by Mark Mothersbaugh, who previously composed music for Bottle Rocket (and later worked with Anderson a couple more times).

RELATED: 10 Wes Anderson Trademarks In Rushmore

Like Bottle Rocket, despite its use of original music, Rushmore still has plenty of Anderson’s signature needle-drops peppered in between pieces from Mothersbaugh’s score. These needle-drops are mostly taken from the “British Invasion” rock bands of the ‘60s and ‘70s.

10 “Making Time” By The Creation

The first needle-drop in Rushmore kicks off the montage introducing all of Max’s extracurricular activities. The school’s headmaster, Nelson Guggenheim, tells Herman Blume that Max Fischer is “one of the worst students we’ve got.”

The Creation’s opening guitar riff blares onto the soundtrack as Anderson lists all the reasons Max’s studies are falling behind: he’s too distracted with his many extracurricular positions.

9 “Nothin’ In The World Can Stop Me Worryin’ ‘Bout That Girl” By The Kinks

At his sons’ birthday party, Herman sits drearily on one side of the pool, mindlessly throwing golf balls into the water, while his wife and her lover and all their guests are socializing and having fun on the other side.

The melancholic melody and jealousy-themed lyrics of the Kinks’ “Nothin’ in the World Can Stop Me Worryin’ ‘Bout That Girl” pair perfectly with Herman realizing his wife is cheating on him. In a hilarious homage to The Graduate, Herman jumps in the pool, sinks into the water, and sits at the bottom to have some “me time” in a crowded party setting.

8 “A Summer Song” By Chad & Jeremy

When Max meets industrialist Herman Blume, he spies an opportunity for a potential investor. He pitches the aquarium project that he hopes will win Miss Cross’ heart and receives a check to start work.

Chad & Jeremy’s wonderful melody “A Summer Song” sets up Max’s joy when he can start construction on the aquarium, just ahead of the tragedy when he’s expelled from Rushmore for even attempting to start construction.

7 “Here Comes My Baby” By Cat Stevens

After Max is kicked out of Rushmore and tries to make a go of it at a public school, he quickly returns to Rushmore to hire Miss Cross as his tutor. Cat Stevens’ “Here Comes My Baby” plays over a montage of Max, Miss Cross, and Herman all hanging out together.

RELATED: 10 Funniest Quotes From Rushmore

Stevens composed the beautiful original score from Harold and Maude, one of the biggest influences on this movie’s tale of a young boy falling for an older woman.

6 “Jersey Thursday” By Donovan

Donovan’s sad, melancholic track “Jersey Thursday” plays over the lowest point in Max’s arc, in which he learns that Miss Cross has been dating Herman and he feels betrayed.

The song carries over Max going to Miss Cross’ class, angrily telling her she ruined his life, and then starting a fire outside the headmaster’s office.

5 “A Quick One, While He’s Away” By The Who

The second half of The Who’s ironically titled, very long song “A Quick One, While He’s Away” plays over the revenge montage that starts with Max funneling bees in Herman’s hotel room.

After that, the two engage in a series of malicious practical jokes. The pranks hysterically escalate the level of danger. Herman finally involves the cops when Max cuts his brakes and he finds himself unable to stop his car as he pulls up at a campus full of schoolchildren.

4 “I Am Waiting” By The Rolling Stones

Anderson often licenses the works of the Rolling Stones for his films. “2000 Man” plays over the climax of Bottle Rocket, “Ruby Tuesday” plays over the semi-incestuous love story of The Royal Tenenbaums, and “Play with Fire” plays over the brothers’ reunion with their estranged mother in The Darjeeling Limited.

RELATED: 5 Times Martin Scorsese Used The Rolling Stones' Songs (& 5 Times Wes Anderson Did)

In Rushmore, the Stones’ uncharacteristically slow and quiet track “I Am Waiting” plays over the montage of Max starting work at his dad’s barbershop and shunning both his schoolwork and his age-appropriate love interest, Margaret Yang.

3 “The Wind” By Cat Stevens

To really hammer home the Harold and Maude influence, Anderson plays another Cat Stevens track later on in Rushmore. Right before Max makes amends with Herman, “The Wind” starts playing.

The sappy melody of this song pairs perfectly with the sentimentality of Max making up with his friend by offering him one of the pins he earned as a student at Rushmore.

2 “Oh Yoko” By John Lennon

When Max and Herman team up to build the aquarium for Miss Cross, “Oh Yoko” – John Lennon’s ode to the love of his life – plays over a montage of the two exercising with pipes around Herman’s factory and riding bicycles through the park.

There’s an oddball quality to two potential suitors teaming up to win back the woman whose affections they’re competing for. Anderson found the ideal musical accompaniment in a love song about one of the most famous romances in music history.

1 “Ooh La La” By Faces

The final scene of Rushmore features a literal needle-drop on the soundtrack. When Miss Cross takes Max over to the dancefloor for a dance, he signals to the DJ to drop the needle on Faces’ timeless classic “Ooh La La.”

This beautifully lighthearted folk-rock gem carries the audience into the end credits, providing them with a soft musical cushion to settle on as they leave the theater.

NEXT: 10 Best Songs In Pulp Fiction

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