Certain songs are so intertwined with movies they’ve appeared in that they sort of become extensions of the film. The films of Martin Scorsese, Quentin Tarantino and Andersons Wes and Paul Thomas come immediately to mind.
I don’t think I can ever hear ‘Stuck in the Middle with You’ or Urge Overkill’s cover of ‘Girl, You’ll Be a Woman Soon’ without being thrown back into Reservoir Dogs and Pulp Fiction. Nor can I hear the piano coda of ‘Layla’ without picturing the parade of corpses toward the end of Goodfellas. Nico’s version of Jackson Browne’s ‘These Days’ is married to the image of Margot Tenenbaum stepping off the green line bus and Aimee Mann’s ‘Wise Up’ and ‘Save Me’ conjure up the heart and soul of Magnolia.
But, for me, the most powerful example of a song and film intertwining has got to be Simple Minds’ ‘Don’t You Forget About Me’ and John Hughes’ The Breakfast Club. I vividly remember sitting in the movie theater — a 13-year-old boy at an R-rated movie — and being blown away by that film. And of course it all starts with this song playing over the credits, leading up to the David Bowie quote from ‘Changes’ that gets shattered to reveal the opening scene.
At the time I figured this song was by David Bowie, because I’d never heard it before and the quote seemed like a connection. Perhaps if I had known the song it wouldn’t have such a powerful connection to the film for me to this day. But I’m glad it does… the film and the song are both far more powerful thanks to their marriage.
So, gentle readers, which songs do you associate entirely with a film they’ve appeared in?