Bullz-eye lists what they consider to be the top 40 music moments in film history. My list of favorites is far less comprehensive and much more eclectic. Here are my favorite ten.
1. Into the West, by Annie Lennox. The Lord of the Rings. 2003. In the films the song plays over the end credits of the final installment, The Return of the King. I must be a sap after all; listening to this brings such tears to my eyes.
2. Llorando (Crying), by Rebekah Del Rio. Mulholland Drive. 2001. A close second on my list, and with as much emotional resonance. This scene — straight from the film — is the dividing point between Diane’s Hollywood dream and the cruel reality she wakes up to. It’s a very haunting scene and the Spanish singer’s voice is perfect.
3. The Order of Death, by Public Image Limited. “Little Miss Dangerous”, Miami Vice. 1986. The video clip covers the final 8 minutes of this classic episode, and the song starts at 3:49. But it’s worth watching the entire thing. This was the TV episode, back in mid-80s, which taught me the harrowing power of minimalism. “This is what you want, this is what you get; this is what you want, this is what you get…”
4. Your Arms Around Me, by Jens Lekman. Whip It! 2009. This is fabulous: Ellen Page and a lanky-looking dude diving into a swimming pool and having fun with each other, all to the tune of a Swedish indie singer, as they hold their breath for amazingly long periods, somersault, kiss and grope each other… you get the idea.
5. Girl, You’ll Be a Woman Soon, by Urge Overkill. Pulp Fiction. 1994. Tarantino always has a good ear for music in film, but this one stands for me as quintessential Quentin. The video isn’t from the film, but has shots from it, with Uma Thurman “getting down” to a groovy tune, while getting equally high on a supply of heroine which she thinks is cocaine. Oops.
6. Nobody Jesus, But You, by “The Sunshine Singers”. Palindromes. 2005. I’m going to take flak for this one, and yes it’s pretty sick, but I never fail to be perversely delighted by the sight of these mentally and physically challenged kids shucking and jiving to a ridiculous Jesus song. Raised in a fundamentalist home, these kiddies have the love of Jesus on their side 24/7, and this tune is so disturbingly catchy it makes part of me want to join in dancing. The video is straight from the film. Enjoy, or throw up — whatever your pleasure.
7. Air on the G-String, by Johann Sebastian Bach. Seven. 1995. A list from me wouldn’t be complete without a library scene, and this one is perfect: Air on the G-String playing over images of Morgan Freeman leafing through pages of Dante’s Inferno. The list from Bullz-eye includes a different song from this film — the Nine Inch Nails’ Closer playing over the opening credits — but I think my choice is more powerful. The video clip is straight from the film.
8. I’m Shipping Up to Boston, by Dropkick Murphys. The Departed. 2006. This clip doesn’t show anything from Scorsese’s film, so you just have to picture mean gangsters burning rubber on the highway, evading Massachusetts State Troopers, to the tune of a raw, awesome song.
9. Anyone Else But You, by Michael Cera and Ellen Page. Juno. 2007. From the tail end of my favorite feel-good comedy of all time, and possibly the only feel-good comedy I’ve ever really liked. It’s a bit sappy out of context, but very touching.
10. Song for Ten, by Murray Gold. “The Christmas Invasion”, Doctor Who. 2005. The version released on the official soundtrack is horrible, but I managed to locate a clip of the original performance, and the original singer, in David Tennant’s first outing as the 10th incarnation of Doctor Who. Music wasn’t often Murray Gold’s strongpoint, but he did strike gold with this one.