15 Songs made popular by films


The film industry and music industry tend to mesh at times being in the entertainment business. While they are both independent entities, their collaboration is sometimes needed in order to increase marketing exposure and appeal to a certain demographic. Working together, film and music have both done their parts to promote their respective work. While a popular song may create buzz for a film, a popular film can do even more for a song…sometimes making it a hit. Here is a list of songs in chronological order that were launched by film.


Over The Rainbow – Judy Garland
“The Wizard of Oz” 1939

The Wizard of Oz is such an iconic film and the same goes for this iconic song performed by Judy Garland. Whether you’re a die hard fan or just someone who knows of the film, it’s hard not to associate the film with this song.


The Sound of Music – Julie Andrews
“The Sound of Music” 1965

As said for The Wizard of Oz, the same goes for this song from The Sound of Music. How can you not associate this song with the film when the chorus consistently references the title of the film?


Mrs. Robinson – Simon and Garfunkel
“The Graduate” 1967

Simon and Garfunkel wrote the anthem for Hollywood’s actual first MILF. The Graduate has been emulated and parodied many times and most always includes this memorable song that has also been used in a variety of other film and TV spots.


Stayin’ Alive – The Bee Gees
“Saturday Night Fever” 1977

Saturday Night Fever is a film that is almost known better for its music than its plot. While The Bee Gees contributed heavily to the soundtrack, it is this song that is most associated with the film.


Eye of The Tiger – Survivor
“Rocky III” 1982

Eye of the Tiger is the most memorable song of the Rocky franchise even though it was not introduced until the third film. It is a song that is regularly associated with the classic workout montage.


Ghost Busters – Ray Parker Jr.
“Ghost Busters” 1984

This song, titled the same as the film, established the Ghost Busters catch phrase, “Who You Gonna Call,” and is one of the most memorable film anthems of all time. Unfortunately this was the highlight of Ray Parker Jr.’s career.


I Will Always Love You – Whitney Houston
“The Bodyguard” 1992

The Bodyguard was a popular film but not nearly as popular as the song, “I Will Always Love You.” This song is the most well known song performed by Whitney Houston and probably helped boost the film’s ticket sales by its popularity alone.


Will You Be There – Michael Jackson
“Free Willy” 1993

Michael Jackson has had hit after hit, but of all his songs, this song is the first one that can be associated with a film. Free Willy was a popular family film and having “The King of Pop” on the soundtrack just supplemented its popularity.


I Believe I Can Fly – R. Kelly
“Space Jam” 1996

Before R. Kelly was “trapped in the closet,” he believed he could fly. Space Jam invited a variety of artists to its soundtrack but “I Believe I Can Fly” was the most popular.


My Heart Will Go On – Celine Dion
“Titanic” 1997

When Titanic released, everyone was on a Titanic frenzy. It did beyond well at the box office and so did its soundtrack. Celine Dion rose to the top with this song that essentially told the story of this film.


Lose Yourself – Eminem
“8 Mile” 2002

8 Mile was essentially a visual soundtrack so it’s no surprise that this song was a big hit. Eminem was on the rise already and his acting debut (essentially playing himself) could not happen without an accompanied song. “Lose Yourself” ranked in the top hits along with many of other Eminem’s songs.


It’s Hard Out Here For A Pimp – Three Six Mafia
“Hustle & Flow” 2005

Hustle & Flow was my favorite role of Terrence Howard’s. Even though the film received little recognition from the Academy Awards, Three Six Mafia took home an Oscar for their performance of this song.


Falling Slowly – Glen Hansard & Markéta Irglová
“Once” 2006

The film “Once” was a small film that may have been overlooked but the soundtrack could not go unnoticed. The absolutely beautiful song “Falling Slowly” was written and performed by the film’s stars and took home an Oscar.


Society – Eddie Vedder
“Into the Wild” 2007

Into The Wild told the true story of a man looking to escape society and live by his own rules. That story was conveyed even better with the music and score written by Eddie Vedder of Pearl Jam. The song Society completely describes the film and invokes an emotional response to the main character’s outlook on life.


Young & Beautiful – Lana Del Rey
“The Great Gatsby” 2013

While I may have loved The Great Gatsby, it was not well received by critics. One thing that is undeniably great about the film is the unique soundtrack and in particular the song “Young & Beautiful” performed by Lana Del Rey. You can buy a few posters of Ms. Del Ray and particularly appealing attire here

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About Ryan

First and foremost, Ryan Brown is a fan. He has been an avid fan of both the theater and cinema since an early age and his passion for both has been continually growing ever since. When dissecting a film, he focuses on all elements of film-making including some fan/cult factors. He believes that character development is the foundation of a good film and usually starts his analysis of a film from there moving forward. His writing style may be influenced by his background of narrative and argumentative studies in the subject, but he tends to enjoy a more conversational style to better interact with the readers, unlike some other pretentious and pompous writers.

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