My esteemed colleague and founder of Bad Haven Mark The Bad Man McCann previously looked at 25 of his his favourite songs from cult movies. Since I am a highly original writer who comes up with his own ideas I’ve decided to share 25 MORE songs from movies you need to hear.
Whether songs are written especially for a film or not, when placed in a kick-ass scene they can assure their place in pop-culture history as fans forever associate the music with their movie memories.
I’ve tried to include a good mix of musical genres and a few more obscure tracks compared to the obvious choices (every song from every Quentin Tarantino movie). However, expect a bias towards the 1980s and 90s!
25. Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure
Robbie Robb – In Time
The classic time travel caper wins by a landslide in the field of “Film Soundtracks Full of Bands You’ve Never Heard Of.” With the exception of Extreme most of the artists are not remotely well-known names – a shame as they all rock! This cheesy yet epic tune plays when they make their only visit to the future. Robbie Robb (now spelt Robbi) is still making music – find out more here.
Honourable Mentions: This soundtrack is rammed with 80s pop rock goodness, so check out:
- Shark Island’s Dangerous and Father Time
- Two Heads Are Better Than One by Power Tool – the band that would become Nelson.
- Breakaway by Big Pig – the dark pop tune from the opening credits.
- Walk Away by Bricklin – from the class presentation at the end.
- Not So far Away by Glen Burtnik – also from the class presentation.
24. Easy Rider
Steppenwolf – The Pusher
Everyone always remembers Born To Be Wild as the standout track from Easy Rider. It’s with good reason – the song is an absolute classic. It’s ‘the other Steppenwolf song’ in the film that I find myself listening to more however. The Pusher is the perfect companion song to the more upbeat Born to Be Wild. It’s laid back and oozes cool – just like the free spirited motorcyclist heroes.
- Born To Be Wild by Steppenwolf – From the opening credits.
- If 6 Was 9 by Jimi Hendrix.
- I Can See For Miles by The Who – years before CSI tried to taint their legacy.
23. He Got Game
Public Enemy – He Got Game
Spike Lee receives so much attention for getting his dick in a twist over Quentin Tarantino’s use of the n-word it’s easy to forget that he sometimes makes great movies. He Got Game definitely ranks among his best in my eyes and the Public Enemy song of the same name was a sweet return to form after a crap spell. When it comes to PE I much prefer their more up-tempo tirades against the pesky white establishment, however this take on Buffalo Springfield’s For What It’s Worth provides a nice change of pace.
- The soundtrack has two cool PE team-ups – Resurrection and Unstoppable with Masta Killa and KRS-One.
Big Fun – Teenage Suicide (Don’t Do It)
This is the first of several ‘cheats’ on this list as the band and song were created just for the film. Daniel Water’s Heathers is my favourite teen movie. Somehow it manages to make the uncomfortable issue of teenage suicide and murder hilarious and is packed with razor sharp dialogue. The teenage characters are all into this hit song with the bullying victim Martha Dunstock famously wearing a t-shirt of the fake band. Although it’s not the best tune by any means, it’s a cynical parody that never fails to amuse me. I’d be surprised if the creators of South Park aren’t fans of Heathers.
21. Mortal Kombat
Traci Lords – Control (Instrumental)
Let’s clarify one thing right away – Mortal Kombat is pants. It’s one of those films that was incredible when I watched it as a child but now that I’m older and every so slightly wiser I now realize that it’s definitely a bad film. Sometimes things can be so bad they are good though, and along with Street Fighter it’s one of my favourites in the category of “90s video game movies that are turd but I can’t help having a nostalgic appreciation of.”
One part of Mortal Kombat that stood the test of time however is the song that plays when Liu Kang takes on Reptile in the best fight of the movie. The song is Control by former underage porn actress Traci Lords. Thankfully they removed her terrible vocals to reveal Juno Reactor’s absolutely banging techno instrumental track.
Honourable Mentions: The soundtrack album contains lots of cool 90s rock and industrial, some of which isn’t even in the film. Highlights include:
- The well known theme song that has the guy shouting MOOORTAL KOMBAT and sounds suspiciously like 2 Unlimited.
- A remix of Blood and Fire by Type O Negative.
- A remix of Juke-Joint Jezebel by KMFDM – a group who like to say their own band name in the lyrics of their songs.
Tags: bill and ted, easy rider, ghostbusters, judge dredd, south park, the crow