What songs do we associate with movie soundtracks?

Our writers discuss the most iconic movie soundtracks

multiple writers
28th November 2021

The Matrix

There are a great many songs that have gained fame from film soundtracks. A simple search brings up songs like "Eye of the Tiger" and "I'm A Believer". However, for me, there's one song I'll never disconnect from the film: "Wake Up" by Rage Against the Machine. It's used in the credits of The Matrix.

I'm not a huge fan of this song or even the band, but I'll always think of it as "the Matrix credits song". Regardless of its strengths or weaknesses as a piece of music, I always thought it was a suitable choice. Given the film's themes and the vague anti-establishment leanings of the song, a piece by the name of "Wake Up" by a band called Rage Against the Machine is oddly appropriate, isn't it?

Elizabeth Meade

When Harry Met Sally

When Harry Met Sally is my favourite film of all time. I’ve watched it so many times that now, I sometimes forget that the theme song ‘It had to be you’ was around way before the movie hit cinema screens in 1989.

In fact, the song was written way back in 1924 by Isham Jones and Gus Kahn, with a slow melody that differs greatly from the big band version created specifically for the movie’s soundtrack by Harry Connick, Jr.

 So, why has this song become so inescapably entwined with When Harry Met Sally? Well, it’s easy to believe that the song was in fact written for the film. The moment when it plays is so perfectly encapsulated by the lyrics that it’s almost shocking that the song wasn’t written about Nora Ephron’s incredible creations that are ‘Harry’ and ‘Sally’.

The song crescendos as we follow Harry through the streets of New York to the New Year’s Eve party where he finally tells Sally – after a long 12 years of friendship- “I’ve been doing a lot of thinking, and the thing is, I love you”. What I believe is the best romantic comedy ending of all time would be far less perfect if it wasn’t against the backdrop of Jones and Kahn’s timeless creation.

The years of yearning come to ahead in this scene as the lyrics “nobody else gave me a thrill, with all of your faults, I love you still” perfectly encapsulate the moment that Harry realises, it did indeed, have to be her.

Annabel Hogg

Baby Driver

Since its highly anticipated release in 2017, I have rewatched Baby Driver countless times, mostly because of its soundtrack.

It’s no surprise, the film’s director, Edgar Wright, is well known for his films’ consistently brilliant soundtracks. A film created not merely to music but with it, the critically acclaimed picture’s nominations for both Academy Awards and BAFTAs in sound speak to its masterful use of classic music as an integral part of the story. Within the film itself, music is presented as one of the driving forces in Baby’s narrative. It is his one constant accompaniment through each stage of his life. Perhaps it is this emphasis on the power of music running throughout the film that solidifies its soundtrack as one of the best.

There are several tracks featured in the film that are now, in my mind, forever intrinsically bound to it – the most significant of which, is Easy by Commodores. Whilst not a particularly out-of-the-box pick, the emotional impact of this track used in tandem with one of the only carefree montage scenes in the entire film is unparalleled. Brighton Rock by Queen is another song I can no longer separate from the film. Accompanying one of the most iconic scenes, the final confrontation between Baby and Buddy, this 1974 track perfectly encapsulates the chaos of that fateful night. My final pick is the film’s namesake: Baby Driver by Simon and Garfunkel. As its name suggests, this track is integral to the film. An iconic hit by its own volition, the classic 70s song acts as the perfect conclusion to a pretty perfect film.

Rachael McCreanor

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