Music on many occasions truly makes a movie memorable. There are hundreds that immediately come to mind when thinking of the best music moments in cinematic history. Movie Fanatic has a slew of these top 10s for you, so if your movie song moment is not here, simply wait a few weeks and perhaps it will be on our next one!
Here are our first Top 10 Great Music Moments from Movies:
10. Dazed and Confused: Aerosmith, Sweet Emotion
Aerosmith’s Sweet Emotion truly set the tone for Dazed and Confused in its first moments. Could there be any more of a 1970s song to introduce a movie about the last day of school in 1976? Hardly!
9. Pulp Fiction: Dusty Springfield, Son of a Preacher Man
Few filmmakers capture the use of music in movies as Quentin Tarantino does. One of his best uses of song is in Pulp Fiction with Dusty Springfield’s classic in a scene where John Travolta arrives a wee bit early to take his boss’ wife out (Uma Thurman) for dinner. As Son of a Preacher Man plays, the audience gets a true feeling of how this evening will turn out.
8. Sid and Nancy: Sid Vicious, My Way & Something Else
One powerful and honestly quite hilarious moment in the biopic of Sex Pistols member Sid Vicious and his partner Nancy’s tragic relationship is when Vicious takes to the stage to sing Frank Sinatra’s My Way. The arrangement may have made Sinatra angry, but the scene perfectly establishes the Vicious characterization by Gary Oldman. Sid Vicious definitely did it his way. We also include Vicious' version of Eddie Cochran's She's Something Else as an almost "part two" of the musical mastery of Oldman as Vicious.
7. Better off Dead: Van Halen, Everybody Wants Some
This is the first two mentions for John Cusack, whose musical moments in the 1980s were the stuff of legend. In Better Off Dead, his suicidal teen finds some self entertainment in his boring job at the local burger joint when he brings the ingredients “alive” to rock out to a Van Halen classic.
6. Ferris Bueller’s Day Off: The Beatles, Twist and Shout and Danke Schoen
No one will ever forget the segment in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off when Matthew Broderick takes to the stage on a Chicago float and belts out Danke Schoen and then the Beatles’ Twist and Shout. For the man who is supposed to be lying low because he skipped school, it is his most public adventure of the entire glorious day off. The fact that it sent the Beatles back into the Top 10 in the mid-1980s is all the better.
5. The Sound of Music: Julie Andrews and the Von Trapp family, Do-Re-Mi
The quintessential movie musical has its defining moment when Julie Andrews and her Von Trapp clan delve into Do-Re-Mi. Sure, that Hills Are Alive moment is big, but as Do-Re-Mi builds and builds until the Von Trapps are dancing in the streets, it is one of movies’ most iconic moments, not simply a movie music moment. Pardon the grainy vid, the movie is almost 50 years old!
4. Goodfellas: Derek and the Dominos, Layla
As the grandiose film Goodfellas hits its end-of-act-two climax, Robert De Niro’s character does a little house cleaning. The result is an avalanche of dead bodies, all meeting their doom to the sweet sounds of Eric Clapton and his guitar on Layla.
3. The Matrix: The Propellerheads, Spybreak
Talk about a magical merger of music and movies. When The Matrix needed a techno-driven, catchy tune to accompany Neo and Trinity’s assault on a building lobby, they found heaven with the Propellerheads. Their Spybreak track has even been used in parodies over the years taking that scene and turning it on its head. It is an inseparable convergence of music and film that will be often replicated but never reproduced.
2. Say Anything: Peter Gabriel, In Your Eyes
An iconic moment in film history was when John Cusack held a boom box over his head on the front lawn of Ione Skye’s house wooing her with Peter Gabriel’s In Your Eyes. The scene is often called one of film’s most romantic moments as well, and that is largely due to director Cameron Crowe having his finger on the pulse of music and using Gabriel to craft a scene for the ages.
1. Rocky: Bill Conti, Gonna Fly Now
One of the most motivational musical moments from a movie is our favorite music moment from film’s history… part one! Bill Conti composed Gonna Fly Now to get his audience primed and ready for Rocky Balboa’s inspirational charge towards the heavyweight bout with Apollo Creed. In the process he crafted a marriage of movies and music that causes chills every time it’s seen and heard in Rocky.