Top 22 Rock Songs in Movies
Several years ago our movie critic Ryan Revolver and I discussed the top rock songs to be associated with a movie. These are the perfect songs to go along with classic pieces of cinema. They embody the visual art in an aurally pleasing way.
Turn up the volume, press play and re-live your favorite rocking movie moments.
23) Movie: The Departed Song: Rolling Stones - Gimmie Shelter
22) Movie: Apocalypse Now Song: Doors – The End
21) Movie: Jerry Maguire Song: Tom Petty - Free Fallin’
20) Movie: The Warriors Song: Joe Walsh – In The City
19) Movie: Fight Club Song: Pixies – Where is My Mind
18) Movie: Young Guns II Song: Bon Jovi – Blaze of Glory
17) Movie: Blow Song: Ram Jam – Black Betty
16) Movie: Silence of the Lambs Song: Tom Petty - American Girl
15) Movie: The Big Lebowski Song: Kenny Rogers – Just Dropped In
14) Movie: Risky Business Song: Bob Seger & the Silver Bullet Band - Old Time Rock and Roll
13) Movie: Pee Wee’s Big Adventure Song: The Champs – Tequila
12) Movie: Maximum Overdrive Song: AC/DC – Who Made Who
As you can see from the YouTube clip provided, the rogue comet causes an ATM machine to refer to director Stephen King as an A-Hole, right as AC/DC starts delivering Who Made Who. The madness does not start there as various other machines start doing whatever the hell they want to do. Want more AC/DC tracks? Well you’re in luck-they are the only band in King’s only directorial credit.
11) Movie: Caddy Shack Song: Journey – Anyway you Want it
“Music is a violation of our personal freedom!” shouts Judge Smails . This song and Rodney Dangerfield’s never ending party mentality always stuck with me. Plus they did a pretty cool homage to it at the end of a Simpson’s episode.
10) Movie: Forrest Gum Song: Lynyrd Skynyrd – Free Bird
From Elvis to Creedence Clearwater, Jimi Hendrix to The Doors; this film offers many iconic rock songs for your palate. Out of all the songs on the soundtrack, one that stands out is Lynyrd Skynyrd’s Free Bird while Jenny gets all experimental while standing on a hotel balcony ledge. You should never wear high heels while standing on a ledge high off the ground…
9) Movie: Heavy Metal Song: Sammy Hagar – Heavy Metal
To put it simply, the song and the movie would not be the same without each other. They are symbiotic.
8) Movie: Forrest Gump Song: Creedence Clearwater Revival – Fortunate Son
When I think of the Vietnam War and scenes of troops arriving via helicopter in the jungles, one song comes to mind. Fortunate Son is the stereotypical Vietnam Song and the ‘Nam scene in Forest Gump represents it best.
7) Movie: Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas Song: Rolling Stones - Jumping Jack Flash
They could only afford one Rolling Stones song and Jumping Jack Flash sums up the wild ride we’ve been on, the relief that we survived and wraps things up nicely.
6) Movie: Goodfellas Song: Derek and the Dominoes – Layla
Such a touching, sweet way to show the bodies of the associates Jimmy murdered rather than pay.
5) Movie: Reservoir Dogs Song: Stealers Wheel – Stuck in the Middle With You
The most important thing to take away from this scene is that Mr. Blonde (Michael Madsen) listens to local radio (and so should you). After a sinister little jig, Madsen mutilates Marvin the cop. Adding fuel to the fire, he asks Marvin’s ear “Hey, what’s goin’ on?” What a mad man! The song’s chorus only heightens the irony of the scene, that and Michael Madsen is good at playing scary bad guys. Straight razors and cowboy boots are cool. -Ryan
4) Movie: Top Gun Song: Kenny Loggins – Danger Zone
The opening to the manliest movie of the 80’s (and at the time Kenny Loggins was actually considered manly/rock).
3) Movie: Dazed and Confused Song: Aerosmith – Sweet Emotion
If you have never seen Dazed and Confused, please go away. It is the quintessential movie chronicling the 70’s high school scene. There are many great rock songs in the movie; from Alice Cooper’s School’s Out For Summer, to Foghat’s Slow Ride at the end of the film. The intro is truly a work of magic. As Steven Tyler and company belt out Sweet Emotion-Pickford pulls into the parking lot with girlfriend Michelle, Randall Floyd is parked (with a tarp covering the contents of his truck bed), Benny playing some craps, and some of the Senior girls preparing for the afternoon hazing. How do you condense the entire movie, with a multitude of memorable lines and scenes, into one paragraph? You don’t. You put Richard Linklater’s cult classic in... It'd be a lot cooler if you did. -Ryan
2) Movie: Fast Times at Ridgemont High Song: Cars – Moving In Stereo
This scene is so damn sexy I almost got caught jacking to it in a movie theatre.
1) Movie: Wayne’s World Song: Queen - Bohemian Rhapsody
Has there ever been a more perfect scene and rock song in a movie??? I don’t think so. My father took me to see this movie when I was a boy and ever since I’ve been hooked on Queen and Wayne’s World. –CJ
“Good call” Garth says. More like great call on Wayne’s choice of driving music for another Friday night in Aurora, Illinois. After picking up a wasted friend, everyone in Garth’s Pacer precede to headbang their little public access hearts out. Wayne’s World helped shoot Bohemian Rhapsody to #2 on Billboard’s chart 20 years after its initial release. Sadly, Freddie Mercury passed before this film was released. -Ryan