question of the day: What are the best pop songs FROM movies?

Help me create a new playlist on my iPod:

What are the best pop songs from movies?

I’m thinking about songs that were written specifically for particular films that went on to become at least moderate hits, such as Ray Parker Jr.’s Ghostbusters theme or Celion Dion’s “My Heart Will Go On” from Titanic.
I’ll also take songs that weren’t written specifically for particular movies but were so popularized by those movies that they are inexorably associated with them, like maybe “Don’t You Forget About Me” by Simple Minds (which I’m pretty sure was not written specifically for use in The Breakfast Club but is now inescapably linked to it.) I’m not looking for older hits that show up in movies, like the entire soundtrack of Forrest Gump.

Whaddaya got for me?

FYI: I’m not thinking about songs that mention particular movies or just a love of the movies in general. For that, see yesterday’s QOTD.

(If you have a suggestion for a QOTD, feel free to email me. Responses to this QOTD sent by email will be ignored; please post your responses here.)

share and enjoy
             
If you haven’t commented here before, your first comment will be held for MaryAnn’s approval. This is an anti-spam, anti-troll measure. If you’re not a spammer or a troll, your comment will be approved, and all your future comments will post immediately.
subscribe
notify of
30 Comments
oldest
newest most voted
Inline Feedbacks
view all comments
Rachel Hartman
Rachel Hartman
Fri, Oct 02, 2009 9:36am

“In Your Eyes” by Peter Gabriel, which my Gen-X brain inexorably associates with say anything, even though the song existed quite comfortably before John Cusack lifted that boombox over his head.

Lisa
Lisa
Fri, Oct 02, 2009 10:25am

I always liked all across the universe from the end of pleasantville was that version of the song done for the film?

CoriAnn
CoriAnn
Fri, Oct 02, 2009 10:25am

Accidentally in Love by Counting Crows (from Shrek 2)–got them an Oscar nod and it’s just an irresistibly happy song.

Jim Mann
Jim Mann
Fri, Oct 02, 2009 10:44am

Some of the big songs from Bond movies like Live and Let Die and Goldfinger come to mind.

Jim

Dandnn
Dandnn
Fri, Oct 02, 2009 11:06am

“Dont You Forget About Me” was written for another movie and then used in “The Breakfast Club”, according to Wikipedia.

I’d also go with “Pretty In Pink”, by the Psychdelic Furs, an amazing song, that existed before the movie and eventually became it’s theme song.

Jackie
Jackie
Fri, Oct 02, 2009 11:29am

Hard Day’s Night, Help!, Yellow Submarine, Magical Mystery Tour, and Let it Be.

Why yes, I am a Beatles fan.

Bluejay
Bluejay
Fri, Oct 02, 2009 12:19pm

All the songs from “Once.” If they weren’t hits, they deserved to be.

Also, everything from “Singing in the Rain.”

And “Purple Rain.”

TMS
TMS
Fri, Oct 02, 2009 12:50pm

“Addicted to Love” by Robert Palmer has to be in the list for the cheesiness which is “Cocktail”.

Bill Mason
Fri, Oct 02, 2009 2:19pm

“Let Go” by Frou Frou from Garden State.

J.
J.
Fri, Oct 02, 2009 3:25pm

Also, “New Slang” by the Shins from Garden State — it was a few years old by the time the movie came out, but I almost never hear anyone talking about the song without mentioning its appearance in the film.

Victor Plenty
Victor Plenty
Fri, Oct 02, 2009 3:35pm

These may be more niche hits than pop hits, but here are a few that come to mind:

1. The electronica classic “Halcyon & On & On” by Orbital is very closely linked to the movie Hackers, as is “Voodoo People” by Prodigy.

2. KMFDM’s “Mortal Kombat” is by no means a classic of any kind, but is arguably the most defensible artistic product from the movie made about the video game of the same name.

3. “Spybreak!” by Propellerheads will, for most listeners I’ve encountered, instantly bring to mind the iconic lobby gunfight scene from The Matrix.

4. “Battle Without Honor or Humanity” by Tomoyasu Hotei is inextricably linked with Kill Bill Vol. 1, despite being used to promote numerous other things after that movie came out.

5. I have it on good authority that young folks of a certain age group will think you’re playing the soundtrack from the live action Scooby Doo if they overhear you listening to “Man With the Hex” by The Atomic Fireballs, a band which really deserves a far better fate than being linked to that unfortunate movie.

6. To my ear, the theme music and especially the music over the end credits of The Incredibles was essentially stolen from a track called “The Planet Plan” by the Japanese acid jazz band United Future Organization. (This may be getting a bit more obscure than what you’re looking for, but it’s such a fun track I had to include it.)

Chuck
Chuck
Sat, Oct 03, 2009 1:17am

Sometimes music that falls off the radar when standing on it’s own becomes brilliant when attached to video. These are not all hits, but are powerful when combined with the images.

1. Opening of Pulp fiction, (Pumpkin and Honey bunny) “…or I’ll execute every last %^&*&^%%$&$ one of you…” Miserlou (played by Dick Dale)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DB-k5r1XjWI

2. End of “LA Story” w/ Steve Martin Enya Exile. Powerful mood maker when taken along with the video.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GOGGmhmp5ds
(starting at about 2:20 in this clip)

3. Risky Buisness, toward end, “Love on a real train”, Tangerine Dream again should be taken with the video in mind.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1KuNH3C36QE

4. “All along the Watch Tower” and “Kara Remembers” Bear McCreary.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ka_sHy9cVH0
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gfknoVuHzDI&annotation_id=annotation_622348&feature=iv

5. The Doctors Theme
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5k4rwCi-eB4

Lisa
Lisa
Sat, Oct 03, 2009 4:43pm

loving your work, Chuck

and yeah fallin softly is beautiful too

Will
Will
Sat, Oct 03, 2009 9:30pm

I second everything from Once and Across the Universe by Fiona Apple.

I submit the song from Snakes On A Plane as well as the rest of the album which is one of my favorite all time albums. The funny thing is, most of the songs are remixes and I like neither the originals or most of the bands, but the album as a whole is awesome…

iakobos
iakobos
Sun, Oct 04, 2009 9:53pm

We Don’t Need Another Hero – Tina Turner (Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome)

Power Of Love – Huey Lewis (Back to The Future)

Jean
Jean
Sun, Oct 04, 2009 10:41pm

“Super Freak” will be forever associated with “Little Miss Sunshine” in my mind and makes me smile every time I hear it.

Tonio Kruger
Tonio Kruger
Sun, Oct 04, 2009 11:31pm

And Joe Cocker’s version of “You Can Keep Your Hat On” will forever be associated with Nine 1/2 Weeks, and thanks to the female friend who introduced me to that song, I’ll smile every time I hear that tune as well.

And thanks to the Coen Brothers’ The Big Lebowski, it’s almost impossible to hear Kenny Rogers and the First Edition’s “Just Dropped in (To See What Condition My Condition Is In” without thinking of Busby Berkeley. And Julianne Moore…

Chuck
Chuck
Mon, Oct 05, 2009 1:43am

The Commitments

Jester
Jester
Mon, Oct 05, 2009 2:47pm

“Stuck in the Middle With You” by Stealers Wheel, which I now can’t even think about, much less listen to, without thinking about my ear.

David
David
Mon, Oct 05, 2009 3:02pm

“Where is My Mind” by the Pixies, at the tail end of Fight Club, falls right in with “Spybreak!” (as mentioned previously). I must have something for songs featured in skyscraper scenes in violent movies.

KLW
KLW
Mon, Oct 05, 2009 3:51pm

It Might Be You (Theme From Tootsie)
(Written by Alan Bergman, Marilyn Bergman, Dave Grusin)
Performed by Stephen Bishop

Just searched the title online. Didn’t realize the Bergman’s wrote the lyrics, but they’re flawless, so it makes sense.

Bluejay
Bluejay
Mon, Oct 05, 2009 4:34pm

I think the soundtrack to “Cowboy Bebop” (both the TV series and the film) is uniformly outstanding: jazz, blues, pop, spaghetti-western music, and a dozen other styles in a crazy eclectic mix. The composer, Yoko Kanno, is a musical genius and sort of the A.R. Rahman of the anime world.

Here’s the movie’s opening song:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J_jDfy2Q6sk

And the closer:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m3ZLXQK1Hr8

MARYANN
MARYANN
Sat, Aug 28, 2010 3:04am

Best music, lately in soundtracks: got to be LAURAL
CANYON, THAT ROCKSTAR GUY, JUST MELTS THE ICE AROUND
MY MUSIC CRITIC’S HEART.TOO BAD BATEMAN KEPT SHOWING UP TO PUT ME ASLEEP,BORRRINNNNGGG( HE WAS A GREAT CHILD ACTOR,WASNT HE????WHAT HAPPENED
BUT I’D SEE THE STUDIOS SESSIONS OVER AND OVER ANYWAY. DIDN’T THAT ACTOR PLAY,… “BOY”??IN COCO CHANEL (THE GOOD ONE) ALLESANDRO,COMES
TO MIND, BUT I THINK I HAVE IT SPELT X. I MIGHT JUST
SE SOME MORE OF HIS MOVIES, HIS SONGS WERE GREAT BUT
ALL THE TRACKS WERE FINE,I’VE LOOKED IN A COUPLE SHOPS
BUT ITS BEEN SOLD OUT.CHECK IT OUT, I’D LIKE TO KNOW WHAT YOU THINK. YOUR BLOG MAKES THE TOP OF MY LIST AS
WELL.GREAT STUFF,MARYANN
A LITTLE CANADIAN FAN

Boingo
Boingo
Sat, Aug 28, 2010 9:19am

I never thought Will Ferrell could sing (still don’t).
But in”Stranger Than Fiction,” the scene set up his
singing (cutting to original) of “Whole Wide World,”
by Wreckless Eric,beautifully. It was an early Punk
anthem that I had to go back and re-listen to (missed the Punk Era).

Boingo
Boingo
Sat, Aug 28, 2010 9:27am

Romantic/sexy scene with Will Ferrel & Maggie what’s-her-name: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8jS7AD-lqwA

amanohyo
amanohyo
Sat, Aug 28, 2010 1:09pm

I have a weakness for 80’s cheese, so I’ll add:

Queen – Who Wants to Live Forever – best movie ever made
Limahl –Neverending Story
Sheena Easton – For Your Eyes Only
Cyndi Lauper – Goonies R Good Enough

Not made for the movie, but I still like em’:

Modern English – Melt With You – Valley Girl
Weird Al – Dare to be Stupid – Transformers: The Movie

Mmmm, delicious aged cheese.

sm
sm
Sat, Aug 28, 2010 10:16pm

PoP! Goes My Heart from Music and Lyrics — also probably the best music video made for a movie :)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qGLXpIojJkg

amanohyo
amanohyo
Sat, Aug 28, 2010 11:34pm

Keeping with the 80’s theme, it seemed like every girl I knew back then talked fondly (and with due reverence) of the bulge . I actually like the movie (and song) now more than I did as a kid.

JoshDM
JoshDM
Sun, Aug 29, 2010 12:59am

I’m winning this one.

THE TOUCH by Stan Bush

Featured in Transformers : The Movie annd later sung by Dirk Diggler / Markey Mark in Boogie Nights.

LaSargenta
LaSargenta
Mon, Aug 30, 2010 9:22am

My two pop favorites, one written for its movie, the other not:

“Call Me” by Blondie from American Gigilo
“Wicked Love” by Chris Issak from Leaving Las Vegas (I think)