Music is a universal language that has the power to transport you back to a fond moment in your life, elevate your mood, or take a visual from good to great. In Stranger Things season 4, Vol. 1, Kate’s Bush’s “Running Up That Hill (A Deal with God)” relaunched Bush’s single into mainstream rotation thanks to the “Dear Billy” episode with Max’s big moment. It got me thinking about other music moments and how they impacted a scene sequence in television in film.
Here are 10 times music made a scene so much better (SPOILERS AHEAD).
“Master of Puppets” by Metallica in Stranger Things Season 4, Episode 9 (2022)
Let’s kick things off with Stranger Things and Eddie Munson’s big moment. When you need to distract a villian, you hop on top of trailer home and perform an epic guitar solo. Mashed up with the threatening demobats closing in, Max running rapid in her Vecna trance, and Jason’s bully friend tackling Erica, the pulsating riffs of the guitar truly made this moment the most metal ever!
“All For Us” by Labrinth and Zendaya in Euphoria Season 1, Epsiode 8 (2019)
When HBO premiered Euphoria back in 2019, there was an intimate viewership that raved about the cinematography and music selection each week. By the time the show reached it’s finale episode of season one, the main character Rue, played brillantly by the incredibly talented Zendaya, relapsed. While transcending into her comfort high, a memorizing music number thumped through the screen proving Labrinth and Zendaya are the music duo we didn’t know we needed.
“The Rains of Castamere” by The National in Game of Thrones Season 3, Episode 9 (2013)
Stick with me on this one. The infamous Lannister song is definielty a sound of doom and gloom, but the impact it has is everlasting. You know when you hear that errie melody that something bad is about to happen. Case in point the dreaded Red Wedding moment in Game of Thrones. “The Rains of Castamere” made that moment even more heartbreaking, and whenever it plays throughout the series it brings viewers back to that fateful event.
“Supermassive Black Hole” by Muse in Twilight (2008)
I’m a Twihard through and through and it’s a shame that the Twilight franchise has gotten trashed over the years for it’s cheesy plot and lackluster take of vampires on screen, but one thing that can’t be denied is how complelty amazing the soundtracks are. In the first installment, The Cullen family, with some help from Bella Swan, took America’s favorite pastime to new heights when they played baseball during a thunderstorm. With Muse’s “Supermassive Black Hole” as background music, it made for one of the most stand out moments in the saga.
“Mr. Blue Sky” by Electric Light Orchestra in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (2017)
One thing the Guardians of the Galaxy is going to do is defeat a potential threat while jamming out to some awesome music. The opening credit scene in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 features the adorable Baby Groot dancing around while his felllow Guardians are litereally fighting for their lives. It’s the chaotic energy that makes you smile and dance along whenever you watch this scene.
“Hide and Seek” by Imogen Heap in The O.C. Season 2, Episode 24 (2005)
In the climatic finale episode of season 2, Ryan learns the truth about what went down between Trey and Marissa leading to an unforgetable music moment. You know a music moment has cultural impact when SNL makes a joke out of it. “Mmm what cha say.”
“Young and Beautiful” by Lana Del Rey in The Great Gatsby (2013)
Baz Luhrmann has an unparalled way of combining modern music with period pieces. There are a number of scenes that are elevated by the soundtrack in The Great Gatsby, but the use of Lana Del Rey’s “Young and Beautiful” is not only magical, but it hits you right in the feels making you yearn too for the loss of time between Jay and Daisy.
“Holding Out For A Hero” by Jennifer Saunders in Shrek 2 (2004)
Shrek is one of those animated franchises that’s not just for kids. Riddled with adult humor, Shrek 2 finds Shrek trying to get his happily ever after by taking a potion to turn him “handsome” for Princess Fiona. Unbeknowst to Fiona, Prince Charming and his mother, The Fairy Godmother, have a deep plot in the works to get rid of Shrek for good. During an epic showdown to break into the castle, Jennifer Saunders, who voices The Fairy Godmother, performs a showstopping rendition of “Holding Out For A Hero.”
“Day-O (The Banana Boat Song)” by Harry Belafonte in Beetlejuice (1988)
It’s the dinner party to end all dinner parties.
“I Got 5 On It (Tethered Mix)” by Luniz in Us (2019)
Nobody else but Jordan Peele could have the idea to take an iconic Hip-Hop record and put a horror spin on it. Lupita Nyong’o gets into a dance to the death with herself as the shrill notes of Luniz’s “I Got 5 On It” are undercut with a mesmerizing ballet routine that will be imprinted in your mind.
What do you think about these music moments? Share some of your favorites in the comments below.
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