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Soundtrack Safari

Written by Music

Rohan Katargamwala selects his top ten picks of the most iconic uses of music from the world of film:

Nancy Sinatra – ‘Bang Bang’ from Kill Bill
Quentin Tarantino is famous for building his films from the music upwards and in Kill Bill this couldn’t be more the case, with the film’s premise seemingly comes directly from Nancy’s track: a shoot up at a wedding that sparks the events of the film. The sparse reverb gives it a poignancy reflected in the film, and Nancy’s vocals reflect the notion and power of the bride in this Tarantino epic.

Simon & Garfunkel – ‘Mrs. Robinson’ from The Graduate
Some songs completely transcend the films they gained popularity from, and this is perhaps the best example. As it featured in the Oscar winning movie, its popularity was immense and has become more recognisable and well known than The Graduate itself.

The Beatles – ‘Twist and Shout’ from Ferris Bueller’s Day Off
Who could forget the parade scene where Ferris, sporting the famous leopard print vest, gives a timeless performance of this song? Neither him nor the audience can sit still for this catchy pop song, whose sentiment perfectly encapsulates this lighthearted romp of a film.

Iggy Pop – ‘Lust For Life’ from Trainspotting
Ewan McGregor’s opening monologue sits in hundreds of university room dorms, plastered across posters, but Iggy Pop’s infectious energy and the bouncy punk sound of this track adds significantly to both the film and this memorable opening.

A Tribe Called Quest – ‘Scenario’ from Dope
Dope’s soundtrack is littered with not only rap classics but some great originals, yet the standout one is undoubtedly Tribe’s appearance. After a shootout in a restaurant and the ensuing car chase, ‘Scenario’ provides a levity, whilst the editing to the beat of the song gives it something extra.

Kavinsky – ‘Nightcall’ from Drive
A film lauded for its soundtrack and famously recored by Zane Lowe, the opening shots of the city and Ryan Gosling set an ominous tone that prepares for the first scene car chase. Kavinsky gives something extra to this London Grammar cover, which changes the identity of the track with its heavy electronic beats.

The Temper Trap – ‘Sweet Disposition’ from (500) Days of Summer
‘Sweet Disposition’ fits this indie-romcom like a glove, both lyrically and thematically with the narrative of the movie; soft vocals and light acoustic guitars build to a fitting and definitive crescendo.

Bobby Darin – ‘Somewhere Beyond the Sea’ from Finding Nemo
A Pixar classic, Bobby Darin’s swinging vocals lead to a beautiful opening which not only fits lyrically, but thematically with the optimism of Nemo and Marlin – an incredible use of music to begin the narrative.

Kimya Dawson – ‘Loose Lips’ from Juno
Much of Dawson’s album ‘Remember That I Love You’ features in the sharp-witted indie flick; this song, which reoccurs throughout the film, provides a beautiful setting with its simplicity and heartwarming lyrics.

Jamiroquai – ‘Canned Heat’ from Napoleon Dynamite
The iconic final dance scene from the end of this cult classic wouldn’t be the same without Jay Kay’s crooning vocals and a dance beat that perfectly fit the film’s quirky edge, cementing its place among the cult classics.

Last modified: 27th February 2018

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