Team RFC’s Top 20 Film Songs
Turns out that the public reckon Whitney’s I Will Always Love is the best song from a film ever, but in this post-Brexit, Donald Trump-electing society, who knows who you can trust to make significant decisions anymore. So we’ve rounded up 20 of our favourite notorious film tunes, in no particular order, for your consideration.
My Heart Will Go On, Celine Dion from Titanic
Considering that Celine didn’t even want to sing this, she’s done alright out of it, winning an Oscar, four Grammys, the best selling single of ‘98 and the 10th best selling single of all time. It’s as impossible to listen to without singing along as it is to not let go of someone when you’ve just told them you never will, KATE. *eye rolls for days*
(I’ve Had) The Time of My Life from Dirty Dancing
No one in the history of time has heard this song and not done a sweep of the room to see whose arms they can jump into to recreate that lift. This is the theme tune for probably the most iconic dance moment ever and won a Grammy, an Oscar and a Golden Globe for basically being the best.
Lose Yourself, Eminem from 8 Mile
What? Nobody can rhyme anything with “arms are heavy”? Have you tried “mom’s spaghetti”? Eminem wrote this smasher of a song about his determination to escape the rap battles, baby mama drama and hoes (alright, mate) to find success in music. This signature track from 8 Mile was hugely loved and became an anthem as well as a massive theme song.
Don’t You (Forget About Me), Simple Minds from The Breakfast Club
Nobody even wanted to record this song but Simple Minds eventually accepted it after both Bryan Ferry and Billy Idol had refused. This track is huge, opening one the 80’s most quintessential films and providing Simple Minds with their only number one single ever. Fist pump to that.
Ghostbusters, Ray Parker Jr from Ghostbusters
If you can’t find someone to answer you when you ask “who you gonna call?” then there’s something very strange in your neighbourhood because this theme is a total classic. Supposedly, Ray Parker Jr was inspired by cheap commercials and wrote this iconic film track as a result.
Any Spice Girls Song, Spice Girls from Spice World
They’re all fantastic. The end.
End of the Road, Boyz II Men from Boomerang
Nobody really remembers that this came from a film, largely because the film itself was terrible. The song, however, spent a massive 13 weeks at number one and was only kicked off the top spot when Whitney came out with ‘I Will Always Love You’.
Footloose, Kenny Loggins from Footloose
This wicked film track won the 1985 Grammy for Song of the Year, spent three weeks at number one and was voted the 96th best song in the last 100 years by the American Film Institute which is all especially impressive considering Loggins and songwriter Dean Pitchford wrote the song whilst they were pumped up full of painkillers. Sadly, Kevin Bacon is said to actually pay DJs not to play it.
When Doves Cry, Prince from Purple Rain
The Purple Rain soundtrack is fantastic so it’s pretty hard to pick just one of the tracks as a stand out but When Doves Cry just makes it as it was Prince’s first number one and was the highest selling single of ‘84. Prince wrote it overnight and plays every single instrument on the recording. Such a badass.
Independent Women, Destiny’s Child from Charlie’s Angels
Question. Tell me what you think about this song? Brilliant. And the film? Meh. This track has long outlasted the movie it came from with its empowering, girl power message. ‘Yonce, Kelly and Michelle will forever be remembered for this track.
Gangsta’s Paradise, Coolio from Dangerous Minds
Another song that has outlived the film in which it came from; Dangerous Minds got pretty terrible reviews but everyone loves this Coolio track, partly because he’s the kinda G that little homies wanna be, partly because it’s a really great song.
Live and Let Die, Paul McCartney & Wings from Live and Let Die
This is a total powerhouse of a film track. Seriously badass, McCartney threw everything at this song from crazy piano to big key changes to raging guitars making it a great change of pace from the ballads that had previously been paired with the most recent Bond films prior.
Eye of the Tiger, Survivor from Rocky
Stallone actually wanted Queen’s ‘Another One Bites the Dust’ for the famous Rocky training montage but Mercury et al wouldn’t give them the license to use it for the film. Enter Survivor and their now infamous, specially-penned track which reportedly uses Rocky’s punches as the timing for the drum and guitar.
I Will Always Love You, Whitney Houston from The Bodyguard
Alright, obviously this has to be in the list. Originally a 1973 Dolly Parton track, only big country fans really knew this song before Whitney came along. Word on the street is that Whitney’s Bodyguard co-star, Kevin Costner played the Parton version to her before she’d even considered recording it, so we’ve got Kev to thank for that powerhouse vocal that we’ll forever try to emulate.
Crazy in Love, Beyonce from 50 Shades of Grey
Alright, so 50 Shades is one of those films that is so bad it’s almost good (we said ‘almost’) but you can’t deny the strength of that banging soundtrack. The original mix of this track is instantly recognisable with its infamous beat and ‘uh oh’s’ a-plenty, but Christian Grey has taken that cheery dance break and basically made it drip with slow, oozing sexiness.
(Everything I Do) I Do It For You, Bryan Adams from Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves
One of the gushiest, corniest songs to ever hit the 90s – and that’s really some mean feat – you’re probably in total denial about completely loving it but someone must’ve thought it was alright because this bad boy spent a whopping 16 weeks at number one when it was released. There’s no use in pretending, we all know that we’ll be singing (warbling) along once Bry starts telling us to look into our heart.
Happy, Pharrell Williams from Despicable Me 2
Number one in 24 countries, Pharrell found huge success with this feel-good song that made everyone wonder why happiness would actually make you feel like a room without a roof. Weird metaphors aside, this bouncy track quickly made its way to becoming 2014’s best selling single and gave Despicable Me 2’s Minions something jolly to bop around to.
Flashdance… What A Feeling, Irene Cara from Flashdance
An Oscar and Golden Globe-winning song, this catchy tune is responsible for at least 90% of all legwarmers sales through the 80s (probably) and is the song that Jennifer Beals’ character Alex wins her audition to. Because even an uptight, stuffy dance judges can’t resist that toe-tapping tempo.
Circle of Life, Carmen Twille and Lebo M. from The Lion King
With one of the most easily recognisable intros to any song probably ever (points if you know the actual words and don’t just shout “HAAAAAAAAAA SAVENYA, DOOBIE DEE, DOOBIE DAA”), the chant-filled song that birthed lion cubs and parodies aplenty took just an hour and a half to compose by track wizard Elton John. He only got to number 11 in the charts and didn’t win a single award for his troubles so we’re giving the more critically-acclaimed Can You Feel the Love tonight a metaphorical shove off a cliff and letting Circle of Life reign supreme.
The Power of Love, Huey Lewis & The News from Back to the Future
This song is featured in the film LOADS so it’s a good job that it’s an absolute banger of a tune. It even makes it into the BTTF 2 when the 2015 Marty McFly strums it on his guitar and briefly in BTTF 3 through a car radio. Marty LOVES this song. Huey Lewis & the News probably do too; it was their first number one.
Moon River, Audrey Hepburn from Breakfast at Tiffany’s
This double Grammy-winning track features in the 1961 film twice, first as an instrumental and again when Hepburn sings along with her guitar. After inital previews, a Paramount exec wanted to remove the song all together which was met with outrage from Hepburn who reportedly got all up in their grill ‘til they agreed to keep it. Forty years later, American Film Institute named it number four in their 100 best film songs in the last century.
Let It Go, Idina Menzel from Frozen
One hell of a catchy tune, Idina Menzel – or Adele Dazeem, as John Travolta affectionately calls her – took this huge power ballad and smashed it into the charts like an icy blast. Love it, hate it, or just plain can’t get it out your head, this is one hell of a memorable film track.
Stayin’ Alive, Bee Gees from Saturday Night Fever
Whether you’re a brother or whether you’re a mother, this song reps disco hard, conjuring up images of Travolta in a white leisure suit giving it some on the dancefloor. It went to number one, got listed as the 189th best song of all time by Rolling Stone, is now used in medical training for counting beats when doing CPR and just makes everyone want to dance and generally stay alive.
Over the Rainbow, Judy Garland from Wizard of Oz
I’mma let you finish but Judy sang the greatest movie song of all time (according the American Film Institute). Almost right at the beginning of the film, before Dorothy lands in the technicolour land of Oz, she sings this tune about her and her dog getting away from the trouble she’s causing in Kansas. An impressive eleven different versions of this Oscar-winning song have made their way into the Top 100 across the world – though the Garland original isn’t actually among them. Awks.