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Every Needle Drop in ‘Fear Street Part 1: 1994’ Ranked

There are 19 total needle drops in the first Fear Street movie. How do they stack up against one another?
Fear Street music opening
By  · Published on July 9th, 2021

10. “Fear of the Dark” by Iron Maiden

Iron Maiden may not have been a ’90s alt-rock staple, but their music still speaks to outcasts like Josh who spend their free time researching serial killers and rumors of witches in their basements. It plays like Josh’s anthem as he searches for something in the dark that is watching the town of Shadyside. It’s his battle music, subconsciously preparing himself for the horrifying events that are about to unfold. Plus, it’s just Iron Maiden, and nothing rocks more than hearing a few bars of their music play in a horror movie.

9. “Your Woman” by White Town

When the squad pays a visit to the Shadyside hospital, they request to speak to nurse Beddy, which kicks off this needle drop. The irony of using “Your Woman” here is that this nurse Beddy is actually a male nurse named Eddy. Placed in stark contrast with the beautiful melodies of Roberta Flack’s “Killing Me Softly” are the pop-rock vibes of the opening notes of the White Town tune. Moving from the juxtaposition of Flack’s song against the dingy hospital, Fear Street Part 1 again utilizes the soundtrack for laughs, this time using music to emphasize the comedy of who nurse Beddy actually is.

8. “Machinehead” by Bush

This is the perfect choice for the mandatory introduction to the high school’s vibe scene. As Josh and Deena walk into school — but not before having to walk through a metal detector — the lyrics “breathe in, breathe out” play, imitating their own anxieties as they start yet another day in a place where they feel like outcasts. More surface level, the grunge and punk vibes of the song match the grimy representation of Shadyside High School and its students’ tough exteriors.

7. “Damn I Wish I Was Your Lover” by Sophie B. Hawkins

“Machinehead” fades right into Sophie Hawkins’ “Damn I Wish I Was Your Lover,” which is a complete one-eighty from alt-rock to slow synth-pop. But this is because Josh sees his crush Kate and time slows down. He suddenly exists outside of the halls of the school, but in his own place where he’s pining after the girl of his dreams. 

6. “Sour Times” by Portishead

And then “Damn I Wish I Was Your Lover” transitions right into “Sour Times,” which is the antithesis to Josh’s feelings of love. Instead, this song matches Deena’s anger as she sulks through the school hallways, watching happy couples kiss without shame. The trio of needle drops may seem excessive, but they each are so different and yet still unified as they portray the absolute rollercoaster of emotions that come with being a teenager. 

5. “Gz and Hustlas” by Snoop Dogg

Valedictorian Kate and funny guy Simon will do anything to make money to get them out of this dead-end town, including selling pills. While Kate babysits her twin neighbors, she has them stuff baggies full of Xanax to help her own hustle. There isn’t much ’90s hip hop on the soundtrack, so this moment is particularly exciting. It is quite on-the-nose as the legendary stoner and rapper Snoop Dogg plays over Black kids helping with a drug operation. However, the lyrics speak to Kate’s own ambition as Snoop raps about his own desire to climb to the top. So while it seems too perfect for such a scene, it cuts much deeper than that.

4. “Firestarter” by The Prodigy

The theme of very literal song choices on the Fear Street Part 1 soundtrack continues as the Prodigy’s “Firestarter” plays over the group as they set up to start an actual fire. Specifically, they’re setting up a massive explosion to try and stop the supernatural serial killers stalking them through their high school. However, in this case, the literal interpretation is pitch-perfect as its fast-paced techno beats race over Deena and company sprinting to collect what they need and set their trap. It energizes the moment and adds a bit of levity to a heavy scene where they are trying to save Sam from a horrible death.

3. “More Human Than Human” by White Zombie

There is nothing more fitting for the era than a nerd sitting in his basement playing Castlevania and muttering along to White Zombie’s “More Human Than Human.” The scene may be short, but its vibes are so incredibly immaculate; it doesn’t get more ’90s than that — at least in my own personal experience.

2. “Only Happy When It Rains” by Garbage

What better song for an angsty moment in which Deena writes an angry note to her ex-girlfriend Sam that’ll accompany a mixtape just for Sam? She writes variations of “I hate you” and “fuck you,” but keeps scratching them out as she can’t find the right words to convey her hurt. “Only Happy When It Rains” as the soundtrack to this romantic rage is, unfortunately, so reminiscent of my own high school break-ups and the songs I played to achieve some sort of catharsis. 

1. “Closer” by Nine Inch Nails

What an absolutely incredible way to start off Fear Street Part 1, with “Closer” on the soundtrack. Just minutes after the movie begins with a salty Maya Hawke selling books at the Shadyside Mall, the opening beats to the Nine Inch Nails banger set the tone of the slasher: fun, nostalgic, and maybe just a little bit sexy. It gets you excited for what’s to come and sets the bar high for all needle drops that follow.

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Mary Beth McAndrews thinks found footage is good and will fight you if you say otherwise. When she's not writing, she's searching for Mothman with her two cats. Follow her on Twitter @mbmcandrews. (She/Her)