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Songs That Are Perfect for the Scene - My Top Five

Posted on Thursday, October 12, 2017 8:38 AM

Movies would be incomplete without music, and while most scores are primarily instrumental, there are some unforgettable hits that leave an indelible mark for their perfect pairing between song and scene.

Here are the top five picks for best Scene-Music pairings, plus some honorable mentions thrown in there for some fun:

Movie Poster5. Life is a Highway, Rascal Flatts -- Cars

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Cars was the first movie I remember seeing in theaters, and I’ve loved it ever since. The iconic montage of driving shots that shows during this song is gorgeous animation, with incredible landscapes and sunsets, and the music tops it off to make it perfect.

This is the perfect road trip song, good for keeping you awake in the long stretches of highway between you and your destination.

Movie Poster4. There She Goes Again, The La’s -- The Parent Trap

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This may seem unconventional and maybe a little bit forgotten, but I absolutely adore the song, and the drive through London in The Parent Trap paired with an amazing song makes this scene so memorable.

It’s a short clip, but a cute one, and if you’ve forgotten what this movie is, or never seen it, definitely dust it off and rewatch it!

Movie Poster3. The Imperial March, John Williams -- Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back.

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You would have to duct tape my mouth shut to keep me from freaking out when I hear this song, which made its debut in Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back. Is there anyone that hasn’t at least heard the song, nevermind can recall the exact scene and characters it evokes?

This, like so many of John Williams’ iconic tracks, is forever cemented in history as one of the best. And despite its instrumental nature, you can still sing along.

Movie Poster2. Don’t You Forget About Me, Simple Minds -- The Breakfast Club

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For my second-place pick, how could I possibly ignore this choice? While I didn’t love the movie (though I’m sure it will grow on me), this song couldn’t have been a better choice for the ending credits of The Breakfast Club.

It effortlessly combines everything the movie is about with everything the movie has become for so many.

Movie Poster1. Hooked On a Feeling, Blue Swede -- The Guardians of the Galaxy

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The only reason I know this song is because of its appearance in Guardians of the Galaxy (I know, that’s a little sad). Of course, for my top pick, it couldn’t be anything but the song that immediately brings to mind a dancing Quill goofing off on his spaceship. The entire soundtrack of both movies is amazing, but this song is by far my favorite. That’s the ultimate success as both a writer and a composer: seamlessly intertwine a song and a scene until the two are inseparable and unforgettable.

Honorable Mentions

Songs that still deserve recognition for being some of the most memorable songs on film soundtracks:

What Do You Think?

Do you agree with the top five? Did I miss any? Let me know in the comments below!

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Reader VoiceReader Comments

Please Note: These comments are submitted by the readers of The BigScreen Cinema Guide and represent their own personal opinions, and do not represent the views of The BigScreen Cinema Guide, or any of its associated entities.

Oct 12, 2017 - Scott Jentsch VIP Member

Some of my favorites:

"Ain't No Sunshine" from Notting Hill -- it's the perfect song for the scene as we watch Hugh Grant's character process a breakup and the seasons change as he's walking.

"Duel of the Fates" from Star Wars 1: The Phantom Menace -- the combination of the song and the on-screen action is excellent. Think what you will about the movie, but there are scenes like this that really stand out.

In The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, when the fellowship crests the hill after leaving Rivendell, "The Ring Goes South" builds at just the right time. It remains one of my favorite scenes in the entire movie trilogy!

I agree with the choice of "Life is a Highway" from Cars. That song encapsulates the entire spirit of the movie. 

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