Do Movies Make Music More Memorable

Having amassed a large library of music, I have realized that a lot of it came from watching movies. When I was first introduced to AC/DC, it was through the use of “Back in Back” in the 2008 movie Iron Man.  Having discovered the band through the movie I went on to discover their discography and eventually sought out other bands and artists from the 70’s and 80’s. Through discovering classic rock through movies, it made me wonder whether films really do make music more memorable.

For kids who grew up in the late 90’s and 2000’s, we no longer look to record stores to find our music. For a lot of us, we discover classic rock on social media as well as in movies and TV shows. A lot of people I know have heard the King Harvest song “Dancing in the Moonlight” through its use in movies and TV, rather than their parents album collection.

The reason why so many artists from the “classic rock” era have lasting power is through the shared experience of audiences across decades enjoying these movies  and TV shows with scenes set to their songs. People of my generation know the relatively obscure track, “Brandy You’re a Fine Girl” from shows like Ozark and movies like Guardians of The Galaxy, which help keep the song relevant nearly 40 years after its’ initial release.

As to why we latch onto songs in movies, it is all dependent on how the song effects the mood of the scene. If the song is just delegated to being in the background, the song would become forgettable. For example, in the movie Baby Driver, The song “Hocus Pocus” By Focus is used to convey the chaos of the scene.

This scene is an example of why people would seek out the song used in it. The clip is fast paced, intense, character driven, and well edited to allow for objects in the movie to match beat of the song. The combination of these elements make what would be an otherwise obscure song stand out and allow new audiences to discover it through its use in the film.


For those new to the blog, what is a song that you associate with a particular movie or scene? Leave your examples in the comment section below.

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