At the Movies with guitarguitar

Published on 20 May 2020

So, you might be thinking it's time to learn a few new songs, record some music or try something different with your playing. That said, we all need a little downtime too, don't we? If you're anything like us, you've been getting stuck into some of your favourite movies with the family and going on a journey through your own personal Hollywood history. There really is nothing better than movie night, but what would movie night be without the music to go with it? Killer soundtracks are essential to killer films. Facts! For us, there are some tracks that just stand out though. Grab your popcorn and turn the lights down low, we're gonna take you on a rabbit hole of our favourite music in movies...

Iggy Pop - Lust for Life

Let's kick this list off sprinting down Princes Street in Edinburgh... The opening drums of Iggy Pop's classic track set the tone perfectly for the hectic pace of Trainspotting and while Perfect Day would have been an equally awesome choice, this track is such a great start to the film it would be criminal not to choose it. From the endless looping guitar riff, to Iggy's slurring, punchy vocals, this track is pure rock and roll punk spirit wrapped up in about 5 chaotic minutes. You really couldn't find a better-suited companion to Danny Boyle's cult classic. Be careful if you stick this on next time you go for a run though, while you might find yourself picking up the pace, trust us, getting hit by cars isn't a lot of fun... Unless you're Renton that is. 

Guns N' Roses - You Could Be Mine

How can you be any more badass than riding a dirtbike through a drainage ditch while you go to rob an ATM? Listen to Guns N' Roses on a ghetto blaster at the same time, that's how. Terminator 2 is arguably the most epic action movie of all time and this track from Gun's Use Your Illusion album is the injection of hard-rockin', guns blazing rock it needed to kick things off. Also resulting in a truly incredible video (who doesn't want to see a Terminator hunting the band down at their show!?), James Cameron played this one just right. Apparently, Arnie himself even had the band over to his house for a meal to finalise the agreement... What did Arnie and Slash talk about? Did Axl wear cycling shorts? We'll never know... One thing is for sure though, great action movies and great rock go hand in hand!

Survivor - Eye of the Tiger

Bet you're already singing it in your head just from reading the title ain't ya? If there's one thing noone can argue against, it's how epic and iconic Rocky soundtracks are. Seriously, if you're into powerhouse 80's rock, there's nothing on earth quite like the Rocky saga. We picked Survivor's track as a standout cause, c'mon, it's the Rocky tune! Don't lie, we've all had this track on when out a token jog, flying up that final set of steps and shadow boxing at the top... Just me? Eye of the Tiger is the definition of simple but effective, pairing a never-ending arpeggio and pounding drums with a riff that was catchy enough to go down in history. Movie tunes don't come much better than this folks... AAAADRIIIIIIAAAAAN!!!!

Pixies - Where is My Mind

The Pixies may not be the first band you think of when running through a list of movie soundtracks but this track fitted in with David Fincher's Fight Club so perfectly that it went down in history as an all-time classic. The film follows lead actor Edward Norton on a harrowing descent into self-discovery and madness, and the use of this track at a pivotal moment is so simultaneously haunting, delicate and jarring that it couldn't have been anyone else but the Pixies. With wailing vocals and guitar parts that will stick in your head all day, this track has been hailed as one of the most iconic in cinema history with references throughout popular culture. If we said any more we'd be breaking rule number 1, so just get the telly on and get it watched...

Bruce Springsteen - Streets of Philadelphia 

When a track is so good you kind of forget it was written for a movie... Next up is Springsteen's classic Streets of Philadelphia which he penned for the film Philadelphia, a controversial movie dealing with the HIV/AIDS crisis and its impact.  Director Jonathan Demme was set on having the Boss write the track for his film and insisted, despite him claiming "I'm not very good at scores". Sure you're not Bruce... The haunting track is both tragic and uplifting, as is the stunning video that goes with it. This features Springsteen singing a live vocal track as he walks through the streets of the city. Demme must've been impressed, cause not only did he use the song, but he also stated: "my wife and I sat down and listened to it, and we were literally weeping by the end". Good job Bruce, guess you're not bad at scores after all!

Stealer's Wheel - Stuck in the Middle with You 

Ah Tarantino... We could write a whole article about his contribution to film scoring alone but this time we've gone with Mr Blonde's favourite, Stuck in the Middle With You by Stealer's Wheel. This cheery tune from the Scottish chaps takes on a whole new meaning after you've seen Reservoir Dogs and the bloody torture scene it appears in. After tuning into K-Billy's Super Sounds of The 70s on the radio, Michael Madison dances along to the track while he tortures a cop in an equally cool and terrifying fashion. Quentin could picture the scene in his head before the film even came together and actually used this track as an audition piece. Mr Blonde may be a certified psychopath but he certainly had taste and style, this scene and track have rightfully gone down in Hollywood history.

Dropkick Murphy's - Shipping up to Boston

If there's ever been a track that makes you want to throw your drink in the air and start jumping about like a madman it's this one from Celtic punk rockers the Dropkicks. Scorcese, much like Tarantino knows a thing or two about a solid soundtrack but the inclusion of this rowdy tune in the Departed soundtrack is a stroke of genius. To be honest, the soundtrack to this movie in its entirety is utterly astonishing, featuring everyone from Pink Floyd, to the Stones to Nas - but it was Shippin' Up to Boston which became the movie's unofficial anthem. With an all-star cast and a grisly performance from the great Jack Nicholson, this film has it all, the soundtrack is just the cherry on top of a really violent cake!

Huey Lewis & the News - The Power of Love 

Are you chicken, Mcfly...? As guitarists, Back to the Future was an inspiration and journey into our childhood, future or the eras we dreamt of living in. Unashamedly Eighties and rightly so, Huey Lewis & the News cheery track is featured heavily throughout the trilogy, becoming a kind of anthem for lead character Marty Mcfly. The song may have been written specifically for the films but we reckon the guys just penned it so they could get a ride on Doc Brown's Delorian in the video. Huey Lewis himself actually features in the first film, shouting that Marty's band's hard rock cover is "just too darn loud" and it becomes symbolic throughout the full trilogy, also playing after Marty decides against a drag race with Flea (always a good call...). This tune has to make our list for the way it became entwined with the plot of the film and worked so well with it's feel good vibe. You don't need to be an American Psycho to know that Huey Lewis and the News rock folks!

Final Thoughts

Our favourite movies become part of our personalities and can be so important when you think back on different periods in your life, so don't forget about the music that made them sparkle! A great soundtrack is a final brushstroke on a masterpiece and at the very least, checking out the scores from your top films is a great way to take a journey down memory lane. Trust us, this list was by no means exhaustive, we could've kept going pretty much endlessly once we got started. Drop a comment below and let us know your favourites, we can't wait to geek out on them!

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