This song appeared on the soundtrack to Cameron Crowe’s movie ‘Fast Times at Ridgemont High’, and became the highest-charting single of this singer songwriter’s career to date, which is unfortunate for this guy because it didn't initially appear on one of his actual albums.
He disagreed with his label boss, David Geffen and his recommendation that he should add the track to his next album, which turned out to be 1983’s Lawyers in Love. “I [told Geffen], ‘No.’ I wasn’t gonna,” he said, adding that his argument was that today’s song didn’t "... have anything to do with the stuff I’m singing. ... But of course, he was right – I should have. That album would have been a lot better had I.”
This is one of those times where the movie is inseparable from that certain song which appears in it. Think “Don’t You (Forget About Me)” by Simple Minds from The Breakfast Club.
In the same way, it’s hard to separate this song and the essential role it plays in Fast Times at Ridgemont High, which follows the trials and tribulations of a set of early 1980s high schoolers at Ridgemont High in Ridgemont, California, with arguably the most memorable stoner role of all-time as Sean Penn shines as surfer Jeff Spicoli.
With an all-star cast that has some of the first appearances in film by people like Nicolas Cage, Eric Stoltz, and Anthony Edwards, this film, and this song, are both hard to forget.
This song immediately becomes the cue for us to know that Stacy, one of the Fast Times’ central characters, is going to experience a certain right of passage in her life. And this scene, with a much older Ron, basically plays out over the course of the song.
At the first appearance of the chorus, Browne tells us: “She’s probably somebody’s only light. Gonna shine tonight/Yeah, she’s probably somebody’s baby, all right.” Of course, she will never see Ron again, but he DID send some roses to Stacy the next day, so there is THAT.
But the song pivots to a deeper, sweeter meaning when Stacy starts giving signs to her exceedingly shy biology classmate, Mark, that she is interested in him. However, Mark is timid and doesn’t want to be the guy only out for one thing. He wants a relationship and the two seem to connect when Ratner finally gets the courage up to ask her out.
This song embodies the trio of “relationships” Stacy has in the film. It is a perfect accompaniment and skillfully tells us her basic story in about 4 minutes.