We all remember the songs of our childhood. “Hakuna Matata” from “The Lion King,“ “I’ll Make a Man Out of You” from “Mulan” and how could you forget the simple “Bare Necessities” from “The Jungle Book?” These songs were not only crucial to the plots, but to this day we can still remember the lyrics to all of them.
What makes these songs so special? What lets them transcend the silver screen and fill up the occasional vacuum that is our mind? The answer is simple: these songs are some of the best songs featured or written for movies, ever. They balance both novelty and pure genius in a way that rivals the composition of major film composers such as Hans Zimmer and John Williams.
Those Disney soundtracks are great, but there are other movies that are use songs not specifically written for the movie that are as good, if not better. This list is not about which song is the best; it is all about context. “Hakuna Matata” would not be the same if it was Nathan Lane and Ernie Sabella singing to you, rather than Timon and Pumbaa. The setting of the song in a film makes all the difference. These are the greatest soundtrack songs of all time.
“Damn It Feels Good To Be A Gangsta” by Geto Boys, featured in “Office Space”
There is nothing better than seeing a group of white-collar guys listening to rap on their way to their way to work. “Damn It Feels Good To Be A Gangsta” embodies the frustrations of every main character in the ‘90s cult classic, “Office Space.” The opening scene is genius, as three characters struggle with bumper-to-bumper traffic during their morning commute, with Geto Boys supplying the entertainment. No song could better illustrate the frustration of working a dead-end job.
“Twist and Shout” by The Beatles, featured in “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off”
No movie moment embodies innocent, youthful rebellion more than “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.” In the movie, Ferris and his friends skip school and get themselves into plenty of trouble. Who hasn’t dreamed of a day when you risk life and limb to avoid the hell that is high school? When the kids find a parade in downtown Chicago, Ferris jumps aboard a parade float and sings the song that The Beatles made famous.
“Bohemian Rhapsody” by Queen, featured in “Wayne’s World”
Any time Wayne Campbell and Garth Algar get into their junker and drive around with friends, hilarity is bound to ensue. Because of the “No Stairway” rule, Wayne and Garth must find another classic song to rock out to. What else is there to say about this classic scene besides who hasn’t driven around singing Queen’s classic song with friends?
“Walking on Sunshine” by Katrina and the Waves, featured in “High Fidelity”
Rob Gordon owns a record store, and as you would expect, he knows music. He is quite picky about the music played in his shop, and when his employee chooses to play something a bit too lively on a Monday morning, Rob voices his displeasure. Although it is only one of many great songs featured in this movie, “Walking on Sunshine” is a highlight, considering the context in which it is played.
“Shout” performed by Otis Day and the Knights, featured in “Animal House”
There is no song that embodies the true spirit of a party, even for a party-hardy school like CU. Originally performed by the Isley Brothers, Otis Day and the Knights provide the music for the best toga party ever. When you imagine a college party, this is what you see.
Contact CU Independent Staff Writer Patrick Fort at Patrick.firstname.lastname@example.org.