The Best Songs in Movies

pulp-fiction-dance-200Good music to a film is kind of like tomato sauce on a meat pie… it’s not essential but definitely makes it better.

There are so many awesome soundtracks out there, some better than others. Blues Brothers, Pulp Fiction, Forrest Gump, Dazed & Confused, Lock, Stock & Two Smoking Barrels and High Fidelity, just to name a few.

And when it comes to individual scenes and songs, does the perfect song make a particular scene better, or does the film make a song more memorable?

I guess it’s just like the chicken and the egg because in the end, who really gives a shit? They’re both good individually, and BBQ chicken in scrambled eggs makes a pretty damn good breakfast.

So to celebrate good music in good films, here’s my list of the best of the best. This playlist is based on a post I did back in 2008, with a few new songs added in the mix. There are literally millions of good songs in film, so I’ve narrowed my list with the only criteria: it has to be a great song AND feature in a great movie (and I’ve tried to only include good bands).

Anyway, it makes for a pretty good mix-tape. Enjoy!

And for those people playing at home, here’s the list again but with the film reference included:

  1. You Never Can Tell – Chuck Berry (Pulp Fiction)
  2. Hip To Be Square – Huey Lewis and The News (American Psycho)
  3. Dropkick Murphys – I’m Shipping Up To Boston (The Departed)
  4. Kenny Rogers – Just Dropped In (The Big Lebowski)
  5. Nightcall – Kavinsky (Drive)
  6. Born Slippy – Underworld (Trainspotting)
  7. Bohemian Rhapsody – Queen (Wayne’s World)
  8. Where Is My Mind – The Pixies (Fight Club)
  9. All Along The Watchtower – Jimi Hendrix (Withnail & I)
  10. Little Green Bag – George Baker Selection (Reservoir Dogs)
  11. Twist & Shout – The Beatles (Ferris Bueller’s Day Off)
  12. Porcelain – Moby (The Beach)
  13. Wake Up – Rage Against The Machine (The Matrix)
  14. Red Right Hand – Nick Cave (Scream)
  15. Long Tall Sally – Little Richard (Predator)
  16. Tiny Dancer – Elton John (Almost Famous)
  17. Romeo & Juliet – Dire Straits (Empire Records)
  18. I Wanna Be Your Dog – The Stooges (Lock, Stock & Two Smoking Barrels)
  19. New Slang – The Shins (Garden State)
  20. She’s A Lady – Tom Jones (Fear & Loathing In Las Vegas)
  21. It’s Your Thing – The Isley Brothers (Out Of Sight)
  22. You’re Gonna Miss Me – 13th Floor Elevators (High Fidelity)
  23. Fortunate Son – Creedence Clearwater Revival (Forrest Gump)
  24. The Tracks Of My Tears – Smokey Robinson & The Miracles (Platoon)
  25. We’re Going To Be Friends – The White Stripes (Napoleon Dynamite)
  26. Hold Tight – Dave, Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mitch and Tich (Death Proof)
  27. The Weight – The Band (Easy Rider)
  28. You Can’t Always Get What You Want – The Rolling Stones (The Big Chill)
  29. Get Up (Feel Like Being A) Sex Machine – James Brown (City Of God)
  30. Fuckin’ In The Bushes – Oasis (Snatch)
  31. Slow Ride – Foghat (Dazed & Confused)
  32. Mrs. Robinson – Simon & Garfunkel (The Graduate)
  33. These Days – Powderfinger (Two Hands)
  34. Gimme Some Lovin’ – Spencer Davis Group (Days of Thunder)
  35. Paper Planes – M.I.A. (Slumdog Millionaire)
  36. The Times They Are A-Changin’ – Bob Dylan (Watchmen)
  37. The Seeker – The Who (American Beauty)
  38. Johnny B. Goode – Chuck Berry (Back to the Future)
  39. Mad World – Gary Jules (Donnie Darko)
  40. What A Wonderful World – Louis Armstrong (Good Morning Vietnam)

Any missing?

If there’s any you think I’ve missed or perhaps intentionally forgotten any good songs, leave a comment below.