Every Song on The Perks of Being a Wallflower's Soundtrack – Screen Rant

The Perks of Being a Wallflower features a feel-good soundtrack and a storyline about hope in a time of uncertainty. Here’s a list of every main song.
2012's The Perks of Being a Wallflower features a feel-good soundtrack and a storyline about hope in a time of uncertainty. The 2012 coming-of-age drama was a critical and commercial success upon its release, and the collective music continues to introduce viewers to playlist-worthy artists. In fact, even a key sequence in The Perks of Being a Wallflower involves the protagonists discovering a '70s classic by David Bowie.
The Perks of Being a Wallflower stars Logan Lerman as Charlie Kelmeckis, a shy 9th grader who struggles to make new friends while dealing with clinical depression. At school, two "wallflowers" named Sam (Harry Potter star Emma Watson) and Patrick (Ezra Miller) befriend Charlie, resulting in numerous shared experiences throughout the year. As Charlie sorts through his feelings for Sam, he learns to better cope with the death of his best friend. However, a final act revelation shows that the young wallflower still has much to process about his childhood years. Based on Stephen Chbosky's eponymous 1999 novel, The Perks of Being a Wallflower co-stars Paul Rudd, Nina Dobrev, and Nicholas Braun, along with numerous familiar faces from film and television.
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Full of uplifting party hits and even a few moody tracks from the '80s, The Perks of Being a Wallflower soundtrack is indeed time specific. Since the film is set in 1992, the music is inherently nostalgic and retro. Here's every featured song in The Perks of Being a Wallflower:
"Could It Be Another Change" – The Samples
"Asleep" – The Smiths
"Teen Age Riot" – Sonic Youth
"Love Him" – Perfect
"Come On Eileen" – Dexys Midnight Runners
"What You've Got" – Valentine's Revenge
"Low" – Cracker
"Falling Elevators" – MC 900 feat. Jesus
"Tugboat" – Galaxy 500
"No New Tale to Tell" – Love and Rockets
"Here" – Pavement
"Heroes" – David Bowie
"All Out of Love" – Air Supply
"Dear God" – XTC
"Don't Dream It" – Tim Curry
"Temptation" – New Order
"Seasick, Yet Still Docked" – Morrissey
"Bust a Move" – Young MC
"Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)" – Joey Ramone
"Hot Wax" – Alex Silverman
"Ye Olde Backlack" – Bongwater
"Toucha Toucha Touch Me" – Susan Sarandon from The Rocky Horror Picture Show
"Don't Dream It's Over" – Crowded House
"Eternity with You" – Robert and Johnny
"Evensong" – The Innocence Mission
"Counting Backwards" – Throwing Muses
"Pretend We're Dead" – L7
"Araby" – The Reivers
"Perly Dew Drops Drop" – Cocteau Twins
The coming-of-age movie adaptation kicks off with the tone-setters "Could It Be Another Change," "Asleep," and "Teen Age Riot." As Charlie figuratively awakens and becomes more social, "Come On Eileen" plays over a school dance sequence in which he grooves with Sam and Patrick. And when Charlie eats a brownie laced with marijuana, "Low" scores the moment.
Later, the '80s hip-hop jam "Bust a Move" is used to get a party going, and the punk song "Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)" sets in when Charlie plans his Secret Santa gift for Sam. At school, Charlie and Sam perform to "Toucha Toucha Touch Me" from the iconic Tim Curry musical, The Rocky Horror Picture Show. Once Charlie begins to regret a relationship with Mary Elizabeth (Mae Whitman), "Pretend We're Dead" underscores his inner monologue. Near the film's conclusion, Charlie writes to the sounds of "Perly Dew Drops Drop" – a track that's previously revealed to be one of Sam's favorites during the opening act.
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Of all the songs in The Perks of Being a Wallflower’s soundtrack, “Heroes” by David Bowie is probably the most significant, as it accompanies the iconic tunnel scene. As Charlie, Sam, and Patrick drive home from a party, “Heroes” comes on the car radio, prompting Sam to have Patrick drive through the Fort Pitt tunnel so she can stand up in the truck bed. Watching her from below, Charlie confesses to Patrick that he feels “infinite,” one of The Perks of Being a Wallflower’s most profound moments, and one which ranks highly among some of the best young adult movie lines. The lyrics to “Heroes” are especially fitting here, as the lines “I, I will be king/ And you, you will be queen,” seem to pertain to Charlie and Sam at that moment. Later, The Perks of Being a Wallflower ends with the return of "Heroes," as Charlie once again feels "infinite."
While The Perks of Being a Wallflower movie features an iconic soundtrack, many would be surprised to know that some featured songs play an important role in the book — and there are some that were left out. For example, "Landslide" by Fleetwood Mac was playing during the tunnel scene in the novel. However, writer/director Stephen Chbosky chose the David Bowie song "Heroes" to play instead. His reasoning behind the switch was that he wanted something more bombastic to play, and he felt that "Heroes" fit better. The Smiths' song "Asleep" was featured in the book and the movie, as was some choice music from The Rocky Horror Picture Show. The dance song "Come on Eileen" by Dexys Midnight Runners made it into the movie during the dance itself, as Chbosky claims it's one of the best songs to dance to.
The music for The Perks of Being a Wallflower received critical acclaim, and that's mostly thanks to novel and screenwriter Stephen Chbosky, who selected most of the soundtrack. The soundtrack itself is intimately tied to the film's characters and their experiences, making it a perfect teenage mixtape. The power of music drives most people's teenage years, as evidenced by movie soundtracks like Booksmart's, so it's important that The Perks of Being a Wallflower soundtrack should reflect that, especially given music's prominence in the source material. Various music critics have stated that the movie's song list is arguably one of the best of the decade, as it perfectly melds with the longing, insecurity, and joy of the teenage experience depicted in the movie. The songs help spark audience emotion (and nostalgia), which in turn, creates a deeper bond with the characters seen on the big screen. Connecting watchers with a film's characters is critical to a movie's success, and The Perks of Being a Wallflower does so through its soundtrack.
Q.V. Hough is a senior writer at Screen Rant. He’s also the founding editor at Vague Visages, and has contributed to RogerEbert.com and Fandor.


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