Music is an essential part of the movie experience.
While cinematic scores and orchestral cues emotionally guide us through a screening, sometimes it's those special songs tied to a movie that make that experience even more memorable and leave us humming the tune long after the credits have rolled.
Today we're taking a look back at 10 of the most memorable songs that are spliced into the DNA of films from across Hollywood history. These are songs we couldn't picture the film without, yet they still stand on their own.
Without further preamble, let’s dive in!
At number 10 we have...
10. Dean Martin - "My Rifle, My Pony And Me"
- Movie: Rio Bravo
- Composed By: Dimitri Tiomkin, Paul Francis Webster
- Label: Capitol Records
The song appeared in the 1959 Western movie, Rio Bravo, which starred the iconic John Wayne. It is considered one of the genre’s all-time best songs. In the movie, the song was performed by Dean Martin, Ricky Nelson and Walter Brennan.
9. Audrey Hepburn - "Moon River"
- Movie: Breakfast at Tiffany's
- Composed By: Henry Mancini, Johnny Mercer
- Label: RCA Victor
Winner of an Academy Award for Best Original Song, "Moon River" became an instant classic. Originally performed by Audrey Hepburn in the melodrama film Breakfast at Tiffany’s, the song has been covered by many artists including Andy Williams.
8. Paul Engemann - "Push It To The Limit"
- Movie: Scarface
- Composed By: Giorgio Moroder, Pete Bellotte
- Label: MCA
The soundtrack for 1983’s Scarface is a pop/rock masterpiece in its own right, debuting several unforgettable tracks including the film's signature song "Push It To The Limit." Since its debut, the song has been featured in many TV shows and video games and was even sampled by rap artist, Rick Ross.
7. Kenny Loggins - "Danger Zone"
- Movie: Top Gun
- Composed By: Giorgio Moroder, Tom Whitlock
- Label: Columbia Records
Produced by Scarface’s legendary composer, Giorgio Moroder, "Danger Zone" is the main song from 1986’s Top Gun. The Tom Cruise movie became a box office blockbuster and there's no doubut Kenny Loggins’ catchy "Danger Zone" helped drive the film to higher heights.
6. Survivor - "Eye Of The Tiger"
- Movie: Rocky III
- Composed By: Frankie Sullivan, Jim Peterik
- Label: Scotti Bros. Records
This timeless song was created at the request of Rocky himself -- Sylvester Stallone! The song first appeared in Stallone’s Rocky III and became a commercial radio hit. "Eye of the Tiger" has become nearly every athlete’s go-to song before a tournament and dominates workout playlist. Obviously, Stallone and Survivor are a dangerous one-two combo.
5. Chad Kroeger Ft. Josey Scott - "Hero"
- Movie: Spider-Man
- Composed By: Chad Kroeger, Josey Scott, Tyler Conolly
- Label: Roadrunner Records
Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man not only gave us one of the best comic book movies of all time, but also one of alternative rock’s greatest songs. A collaboration between Nickelback’s Chad Kroeger and Josey Scott, "Hero" was nominated for a Best Song Written for Visual Media Grammy in 2003.
4. Karen O - "The Moon Song"
- Movie: Her
- Composed By: Karen O, Spike Jonze
- Label: WaterTower Music
This hauntingly beautiful track from director Spike Jonze's film Her captured the ears of audiences around the world and was nominated for an Oscar for Best Original Song as well as a Grammy for Best Song Written for Visual Media. Jonze wrote the track together with Karen O, who originally performed it. However, in the movie, both Scarlett Johansson and Joaquin Phoenix lend their voices to the Karen O and Spike Jonze lyrics.
3. Keira Knightley - "Lost Stars"
- Movie: Begin Again
- Composed By: Danielle Brisebois, Gregg Alexander, Nick Lashley, Nick Southwood
- Label: Interscope Records
Begin Again explored the unquestionable link between love and music. The song is a great combination of two outstanding performances by Mark Ruffalo and Keira Knightley and it was the latter’s beautiful voice that brought the movie to the next level. "Lost Stars" is also performed by Maroon 5’s Adam Levine.
2. Wiz Khalifa Ft. Charlie Puth - "See You Again"
- Movie: Furious 7
- Composed By: Andrew Cedar, Justin Franks, Charlie Puth, Cameron Thomaz
- Label: Atlantic Records
The creative minds behind Furious 7 included a moving tribute to the late Paul Walker at the end of the film, looking back at the actor's legacy as one of the people at the heart of the Fast And The Furious Franchise. The moment was made even more memorable as the song "See You Again" by Wiz Khalifa and Charlie Puth played over the emotional scene on screen. The track on YouTube has racked up more than two billion views and counting.
1. Prince - "Batdance"
- Movie: Batman (1989)
- Composed By: Prince
- Label: Warner Bros.
Prince's groundbreaking "Batdance" was a last-minute addition to the 1989 Batman movie soundtrack. The song was a unique mash-up of lines from the film, original music, and elements from at least seven other tracks -- some of which still remain unreleased.
"200 Balloons", "We Got the Power", "House in Order", "Rave Unto the Joy Fantastic" (later released on the album Rave Un2 the Joy Fantastic), "The Future", and "Electric Chair", as well as the 1966 "Batman Theme" by Neal Hefti were all used in the track or one of its many official remixes (as in the above video).
"Batdance" also spent several weeks on the Billboard Hot 100 music chart, peaking at no. 1.
What are some other great movie songs? Let me know in the comments!