Tossin’ It Out There: What’s YOUR Favorite Song From a Movie?

In conjunction with the (title pending) theme this week, I decided to turn our discussion here to the subject of Music in Movies.

As those of you who listen to our show will hear, there’s a deep connection between the two arts, and sometimes that winds up creating an inseparable bond between the two in the viewer’s mind. For me for example, I can NEVER hear The Simple Mind’s “Don’t You (Forget About Me)” and NOT think of “The Breakfast Club”. Of course, that’s not the ONLY example, either…

I’m definitely leaning towards popular music songs that have been incorporated into a movie (or became hits from a movie), but if you feel the need to mention film scores, the judges will be lenient ;)

In the meantime, let’s hear it! What songs do you associate strongly with the movie it’s from? Can you hear “Stuck in the Middle With You” and not get a little grossed out? Does Bob Seger’s “Old Time Rock and Roll” bring up flashbacks of Tom Cruise sliding across the floor? Do you listen to “Eye of the Tiger” to get yourself psyched up?

What are YOUR Favorite Songs from Movies?!? :D

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122 thoughts on “Tossin’ It Out There: What’s YOUR Favorite Song From a Movie?

  1. I am with you on The Breakfast Club…. First one that came to mind.  Here are some others for me:
    Good Enough (Lauper) –Goonies
    Take My Breath Away (Berlin) — Top Gun
    Favorite all time Soundtrack– Dirty Dancing
    I’m sure I’ll be thinking of more all day long. Haha

    • Here’s a couple more: (not sure if I would call them favorites…. But definitely can’t help but think of the movie when I hear these:
      Unchained Melody (Righteous Brothers) — Ghost
      American Girl (Petty)– Silence of the Lambs
      Dueling Banjos — Deliverance

    • :D Coool. We’ll be here for you!

      I agree with all of those… strong movie associations for me as well.

      Of course, Dirty Dancing’s not my soundtrack of choice (Singles, I think) but it’s definitely a big one.

  2. Quick One, While He’s Away – Rushmore: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=sL-kvgOGmzc

    Always loved the way this song worked in the context of the scene it’s in, and have to respect the fact that Anderson probably dropped a pretty substantial amount of change to use it.

    Cat People (Putting Out The Fire) – Inglorious Basterds: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=VShlld3-OLY

    Say what you want about all of the other characters in this film, from the moment I left the theater after my first screening I was convinced that Melanie Laurent’s Shoshana was undeniably my favourite, and no seen played a bigger part in that decision than this one, set to Bowie’s awesome Cat People (can’t find the actual clip on YouTube, but its the part right before all hell quite literally breaks loose).

    Needle In The Hay – The Royal Tenenbaums: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=9pyBB7y8fDU

    In every Wes Anderson movie there’s always a moment when the character’s relationships begin to unravel, and the whole film dives into an almost humorous and satirical sadness. Luke Wilson shedding his due, and ultimately attempting suicide backed by Elliot Smith’s haunting song is one of the rare cases where this part of Anderson’s film can’t be laughed it: it hits you in the gut, and keeps hitting.

    The Time They Are A Changin – The Watchmen: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fl2spWNoXuA&feature=player_detailpage

    How do you introduce a completely alternate history of an American in which vigilante superheroes exist? Do exactly this.

    Canned Heat – Napolean Dynamite: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=kr7djGY1fhA

    Pretty self explanatory :P.

    • Nicely done, clips and all… That’s a nice contribution right there.

      Love ALL the music from Rusmore. Just watched it recently and wanted the soundtrack so bad…

      That Watchmen intro montage set to Dylan is awesome isn’t it? Sets a great tone for that movie, too.

      Cat People is a great song. Inglorious Basterds is a great movie. Yet the anachronism has always bugged me a little, even as I recognize how fitting it is…

      Nice post, buddy!

      • I agree totally on that last point. Musical anachronisms always bug me, even (or especially when) it’s deliberate. A good example of that is “Moulin Rouge” or “A Knight’s Tale”. I understand the reasons and the intent, but it just takes me out of the movie. Popular music is so specifically a product of it’s time that to embed it into a different period piece is jarring and off-putting for me. Sometimes its just instrumentation. If you have distorted electric guitars and electronic synthesizers over Roman gladiators it probably wont work for me.

  3. That would be the Love Theme from “Jaws”. (Just kidding) My favorite song from a movie is “Love Kills” by the Vinnie Vincent Invasion and is featured in “A Nightmare On Elm Street: Part 4″ (I think). And when I feel depressed, my favorite song is from that X-rated musical you thought wasn’t real. The song is sung by Anthony Newley and it”s “I’m All I Need”.

  4. Hmmm… so many…

    In Your Eyes – Peter Gabriel – Say Anything has become the cliched track, but it’s been one of my favorite songs for many years.

    Candle in the Wind – Elton John – Almost Famous – One of the best uses of music ever. I cant now hear that song and NOT think of that bus scene.

    Bad to Te Bone – George T. and the Delaware Destroyers – Terminator – such a great music cue

    The End – The Doors – Apocalypse Now – The perfect merging of film and music

    Louie Louie – The Deltas – Animal House – Before Animal House this was a nice little island song about life on plantation or something. lol

    Eye of The Tiger – Survivor – Rocky III – Yeah, if this doesn’t get your training montage going, nothing will.

    Good stuff. There’s plenty more, but I’ll leave it there for now.

  5. If you’re like me, you find yourself wading through the closing credits for the title and artist of that great song you just heard for the first time! One such was in the flik “Driving Lessons”. Where Rupert Grint is dancing in a Scottish bar. The tune was “La Aqua DeLa Vida” a salsa number and it rocked, done by a band of scotsmen called “Salsa Celtica”. Salsa music with strong celtic influence. The Cd is in my car and it’s the best pick-me-up to any dull commute!

  6. I really like the Radiohead song used in Romeo and Juliette (the Leo DiCaprio version) – think it’s called Talk Show Host (hmm, I should’ve remembered that without having to check; I used to be a hardcore Radiohead fan – standards are slipping!).

    Also, loved the little nod to Starwars in the bar scene of Paul, where they did a country version of the Cantina band music. A small moment of genius, in my opinion.

    • I haven’t seen “Paul” yet, Ells.

      Is it any good? I guess I presume you’ll say yes if you’re giving it a shout out here.

      But I’m sure that’s about to hit pay cable if it hasn’t already…

      • I did really like Paul – if you enjoy the Pegg/Frost combination, then you’ll definitely enjoy Paul too.

        It’s well paced, well acted and has enough well done little nods and references to other sci-fi films that I’m pretty sure a film geek will love picking them out (talking of which, apologies for the spoiler!). It’s a good fun film.

      • Well, we’ll see soon. I just saw on tv last night it premieres on Cinemax not this weekend but the next. So it’ll definitely be a part of that week’s “Now Showing on Cable”.

        Looking forward to it. :D

  7. Oh crap, I don’t have a ready answer for this one.

    Wes Anderson’s films have some great soundtracks as do Scorsese’s. I will go with Laya – Derick and the Domino’s from Goodfellas. I can’t think of a better song to use for a montage of dead bodies.

    I am going to keep thinking on this one for a while.

    • Ohhhh yeah. He ruined that beautiful song for me too. LOL. whenever I hear that coda now, I see the pink caddy and Carbone in the meat freezer. LOL!!

      THAT’S a good one, phil.

      I also think of Pesci assembling his crime crew in Casino whenever I hear “Can’t you hear me knocking” :D

  8. Everything from This is Spinal Tap, “Little Green Bag” from Resrvoir Dogs, “Freebird” from The Devil’s Rejects, “Intermezzo” from Raging Bull, “Hotel California” from The Big Lebowski, “Kothbiro” from The Constant Gardener, “Sunshine of Your Love” from Goodfellas.

    These are the standouts.

    • Livin’ in a HELL HOLE!!

      You know where you stand in a HELL HOLE!!

      LOL

      I love that flamenco Hotel California, too. Great tune. A lot of the songs in that flick are great. My fave is probably Dylan’s “The Man In Me” :D

  9. Time Out New York did a list of the “50 best uses of songs in movies” just a few days ago. Interesting read, although there’s a lot of room for disagreement (as there always is with such lists.)

    Some of my choices: Harold Faltermeyer’s theme songs for Beverly Hills Cop and Fletch. Love both of those songs, they just perfectly fit the moods of those films, and they’re very listenable on their own as well.

    “She Caught the Katy” from The Blues Brothers. Sure, I could pick just about anything (and “Stand By Your Man” put up a good fight), but I think “Katy” does a lot to set the tone of the film.

    I may have thought Easy Rider was dull as dry toast, but “Born to be Wild” is still one of the best soundtrack choices ever.

    I really like the Sting/Eric Clapton song “It’s Probably Me” from Lethal Weapon 3, but I don’t think it actually fits too well for the opening credits. “Runaway Train” actually fits better, but it was used for the closing credits, if I remember right.

    • Well my baby caught the Katy, left me a mule to ride… The tr–

      Sorry.

      Love that tune too.

      I had forgotten Faltermeyer did both of those flicks. They are VERY similar.

      Wish I knew about that song list article prior to this last podcast. LOL

    • Yup. You’re right, lol, lots of room for disagreement. I thought the beginning (lower rankings) were better than the end (highest) although some of the top ten are pretty inarguable.

      Did I miss Saturday Night fever on there? WTF, lol

      • There was a list a year or so back by Spinner magazine that included Saturday Night Fever… and went with a song other than Stayin’ Alive. Weird decisions abound in this sort of thing, I guess.

      • Yeah, even though that’s not my favorite song from the album, it’s totally the most tied to the movie in the pop culture consciousness.

        WTF, man… you know? WE oughta be writing those lists! (LOL… I actually avoid doing top ten lists just because of this ;) )

      • Yup. You wrack your brain coming up with the best stuff, then you wrack it even harder trying to sort them when the truth is you really like A B and C equally… and then somebody on the internet throws an epic snit fit because you did or didn’t include or highly rank something.

  10. Gotta show some love for ONE of my favorites, the City of Angels soundtrack. Such a great variety of music. U2, Alanis Morrisette, Peter Gabriel, John Lee Hooker, Jimi Hendrix, Goo Goo Dolls, Sarah MacLaclan… all great tracks. One of those that IMO the movie sucked and the soundtrack was WAY better.

    I introduced my oldest son to numerous cd albums when he was about 4. For some reason this one and Hendrix’s “Red House” in particular was one he latched on to.. My wife and I woke up to those first few chords of the song for about a week straight.

  11. Well, director Martin Scorsese has used The Stones’ ‘Gimme Shelter’ in three of his films to memorable end: ‘Goodfellas’, ‘Casino’ and ‘The Departed’. And if I include them, I have to include a couple from The Lads:
    • ‘A Hard Day’s Night’ is unforgettable for the song and use in their ’64 movie by the same name
    • the Twist and Shout lip-sync from ‘Ferris Bueller’s Day Off’

    Yep, I’m the old guy here ;-).

  12. So many songs worth mentioning that I feel I’ll bore all if I mention everything. But I don’t mind being boring. :P

    I cannot think of anything but Back to the Future when I hear, “The Power of Love,” or, “Johnny B. Goode.” I cannot think of anything by Wayne’s World when I hear, “Bohemian Rhapsody.” I cannot think of anything by Pretty Woman when I hear (no, not the title song), “It Must Have Been Love.”

    Whole movies worth mentioning: Office Space. I mean, come on, how can any of us think about anything but beating up a copy machine to “Still”? Love Actually. So many iconic song-to-scene moments for me in that one — Dido’s “Here with Me” and all I can see is a man zipping up his sweater and pacing back in forth in misery, Joni Mitchell’s “Both Sides Now” and all I see is Emma Thompson crying, “Jump (for my Love)” and all I see is Hugh Grant dancing.

    Strangely enough, I can’t hear, “..two riders were approaching…and the wind began to howl” in “All Along the Watchtower” without seeing Nite Owl and Rorschach walking in the snow of Antarctica either. It was just a perfect fit to me.

    And, for years, whenever I heard, “Dreams,” by The Cranberries, it made me feel like a morning in autumn. It was just this past year that I realized that was entirely because of You’ve Got Mail.

    Final Favorites:

    When I was a kid, this was definitely my favorite movie song moment: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mVN-5-I5iBo (Jump in the Line, Beetlejuice)

    Still heart-wrenching:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vJ40uig4yFU (Philadelphia, Philadelphia … “city of brotherly love, place I call home, don’t turn your back on me — I don’t want to be alone”)

    I admit that Notting Hill is not a great movie. But this may be my favorite song montage, at least top five. A man walking through the seasons of his life. It’s beautiful to me. Don’t know if it’s just because I feel like that myself a lot, but this scene always stands out to me whenever I think of song montages:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tlP89pMc3UM (Ain’t No Sunshine, Notting Hill)

    • Ooops. I forgot that I can’t think of anything but Groundhog Day when I hear, “I Got You Babe” now. That’s the power of repetition for you. ;)

    • Heh. Had a feeling you’d fit right in here. :D

      I’m not the hugest Back to the Future fan (it’s pretty on the record around here) but I’m in total agreement on “Bohemian Rhapsody.” How can you not bang your head in tribute to that film when the song “kicks”? LOL

      Snyder actually uses music pretty well… one that I haven’t heard mentioned yet that I love is the Johnny Cash song at the beginning of the “Dawn of the Dead” remake “The Man Comes Around”

      I want that song playing when the Apocalypse comes for real. LOL

      Yes. That moment in Watchmen is excellent, though.

      Philadelphia is still haunting, yes….

      Couple in there I haven’t seen or cant recall… I’m trying to strengthen my chick flick inadequacies though, LOL. If January would let up a little, I’d get back to it!!

      It was a genuine treat to have you post up here, Q, it’s been way too long!! :D

      • Well, if Love Actually is one of those you’re unaware of, I strongly encourage you to watch it. It’s not typical romantic-comedy-chick-flick base. It’s really just a reflection on love, all kinds, not just romantic — and it’s well done. And if you can remember way back to the days we did a Movies Battle at the Halls, and you were surprised by the quality of my nominations — I was a film studies student, so I don’t just throw around seals of approval lightly. ;) So. Watch it.

      • Ohhhhh shit. Film studies Damnnnnnn… :D

        You’ll have to forgive a lot around here then. I’m just a moron who watches too many movies! :D

        And my podcasting partner in crime has gotten on me about that too. Apparently there’s some sort of Christmas connection? It’s a safe bet that before XMas I have it checked off the list.

  13. Yeah, very much a Christmas theme to the movie. Another “chick flick” that comes to mind in relation to this topic that you might strongly consider is My Best Friend’s Wedding.

    Amazingly enough, my screenwriting professor made us watch the entirety of My Best Friend’s Wedding in class as a demonstration of a musical. (really awesome guy, btw, wrote a couple of Batman: The Animated Series eps…you can imagine how stoked I was to be in that class) But, yeah, he basically just said, “This is a modern-day musical, whether realized as such or not,” and we watched it. And it definitely plays with music a lot — most of its songs are sung, and yet don’t break from the reality of the characters like musicals generally do. It’s an interesting movie to watch in the context of “musicals,” so I encourage it too.

    • I know you probably haven’t come across it yet, but I’ve been running a “Chick Flick City” series, where I put up a poll of chick flicks, let people pick, and then I review the winner via a running blog. Category is in the upper right of the homepage if youre interested.

      So far I’ve done Steel Magnolias, the Notebook and Bridget Jones Diary :D Three movies I’ve never seen before, but they were all good to varying degrees.

      My Best Friend’s Wedding sounds like a great nominee for the next poll when I resume the series (Oscar stuff coming, methinks)

  14. Mine has to be ‘Ghostbusters’ by Ray Parker Jnr, ‘We have all the time in the world’ from On Her Majesty’s Secret service and Venus as a Boy from Leon.

    • I’m down with the Ghostbusters, but as a Bond fan, I just dont get behind the love montage that that song is set to. I appreciate that that’s a different era of Bond that was trying a little more closely to adapt the books… but to me, it’s one of the things I dislike about OHMSS. ::shrugs:: Great tune though.

  15. This will obviously show my age, but I saw Walter Matthau walking to “Stayin’ Alive” before John Travolta. So, while I still picture John Travolta when I hear that song, I do love this scene and, sometimes, it comes to mind right along with Travolta. (so, I know I know, I’m not only young but also pretty screwy ;) )

  16. My favorite has to be “You Know My Name” by Chris Cornell from Casino Royale. Songs have been such a staple of the Bond series and this one was not only awesome, but set the stage for a Bond film unlike anything we’ve seen before with a song that was a huge step away from your normal Bond song.

    • Definitely. He has that screaming voice, you know? LOL.

      I knew right away we had a new Bond classic. That and the great title card sequence with the playing card symbols and stuff? Awesome. Very nice choice….

      • Is it completely blasphemous to claim this as the best Bond film? I enjoyed it so much more than any other I have seen. Song definitely helped too; it feels like a Bond song. Was it specifically written as such?

      • Nope absolutely not blasphemous. I may agree with you depending on the day of the week. Glodfinger/Casino Royale/Goldfinger/Casino Royale/Goldfinger.

        LOL

        And yes, to the best of my knowledge it was written for the movie.

      • That song was going to be my pick also. I strolled through all the comments anticipating my post being the first, just to see it as the last post I came to. I loved this song outlined the movie and it’s powerful delivery.

        But I could add another recent pick, the “Immigrant Song” in “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo”. I coincides with the awesome visual at the beginning of the film. Loved it!

      • That’s an awesome one too.

        I think if it were best use of a song in a trailer, that would win hands down for me. They had that trailer for GWTDT with nothing but that song and the flashing words “The feel bad movie of the year”. LOL. Still one of my favorite trailers ever.

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