The actors and storyline of a film are often what makes a movie memorable. However, there are many other aspects of a film that keep it in people’s minds long after the release of the film. In many cases, the soundtrack is one of the things that people will remember most about a film. For this reason, film directors and producers will often deliberately link their film with an artist who is high-profile in the music industry. The music and its accompanying music video are often linked to the film in such a way that it is a fantastic way of promoting a movie and is also of commercial benefit for the artist. There are some amazing examples of singles and music videos that are linked to blockbuster films and here are 20 of the best.
20. Black Suits Comin’ (Nod Ya Head)- Will Smith- Men in Black II
‘Men in Black II’ is the second film in the ‘Men in Black’ franchise and was released in 2002. It is based on the comic book series of the same name by Lowell Cunningham. The movie was directed by Barry Sonnenfeld and written by Robert Gordon and Barry Fanaro. It starred Will Smith, Tommy Lee Jones, Lara Flynn Boyle, Rosario Dawson, Johnny Knoxville, Tony Shalhoub, Patrick Warburton, and Rip Torn. The movie was a commercial success as it grossed $441.8 million at the worldwide box office from a budget of $140 million. However, the critical response was poor as both critics and the public felt it compared poorly to the first movie. The main theme tune for this movie was ‘Black Suits Comin’ (Nod Ya Head’, which was performed by Will Smith and featured Tra-Knox. This had a tie-in music video that showed scenes and characters from the film. There is one scene in the music video that was cut from the final version of the film. This song was not as successful as the song that Will Smith performed for the first movie.
19. Keep Their Heads Ringing- Dr. Dre- Friday
‘Friday’ is the directorial debut of F. Gary Gray. This 1995 stoner buddy comedy was written by Ice Cube and DJ Pooh. The former also starred in the movie alongside Chris Tucker, Nia Long, Tom Lister Jr., Regina King, Anna Maria Horsford, Bernie Mac, and John Witherspoon. This was a low-budget movie made with only $3.5 million, but it did reasonably well at the box office as it grossed $27.5 million worldwide. Although the main theme tune for this film was ‘Friday’ which was performed by the star form the film, Ice Cube; there was another successful track from the film which had a music video tie-in. This was ‘Keep Their Heads Ringing’, which was performed by Dr. Dre and featured Nancy Fletcher. This reached number 10 on the Billboard Hot 100 and hit the top spot on the Hot Rap Tracks chart.
18. Nobody’s Fool- Kenny Loggins- Caddyshack 2
‘Caddyshack II’ was released in 1988. This sports comedy is the sequel to ‘Caddyshack’. It was directed by Allan Arkush and starred Jackie Mason, Robert Stack, Dyan Cannon, Dina Merrill, and Jonathan Silverman. Although it was written by several outside writers, this film was credited to Harold Ramis and Peter Torokvei. In the first film, Kenny Loggins’ song ‘I’m Alright’ was featured. In the sequel, it was taken a step further as Loggins performed the theme tune ‘Nobody’s Fool’ which had a music video tie-in with the movie. The track was written by Loggins and Michael Towers. It made the Top Ten of the US Billboard 100 singles chart.
17. Come with Me- Puff Daddy ft. Jimmy Page- Godzilla
The 1998 monster film ‘Godzilla’ was the 23rd movie in the Godzilla franchise. It is based on the character created by Toho. The movie was directed by Roland Emmerich who also co-wrote the screenplay with Dean Devlin who acted as producer. The film starred Matthew Broderick, Jean Reno, Hank Azaria, Arabella Field, Maria Pitillo, Michael Lerner, Harry Shearer, and Kevin Dunn. One of the best songs on the soundtrack was ‘Come with Me’ which was performed by Puff Daddy and featured Jimmy Page. This was the song that tied in with the movie, but it was also released as both a single and as part of the soundtrack album.
16. Addam’s Groove- MC Hammer- The Addams Family
‘The Addams Family’ is a supernatural black comedy that was released in 1991. It is based on the cartoon of the same name with characters who are members of the Addams family who were created by cartoonist Charles Addams. The film was directed by Barry Sonnenfeld and written by Caroline Thompson and Larry Wilson. It starred Anjelica Huston, Raul Julia, Christopher Lloyd, Chistina Ricci. The film spawned a sequel in 1993 called ‘Addams Family Values’. The score for this film was written by Marc Shaiman. The main theme tune was ‘Addam’s Groove’ and this was performed by MC Hammer. The music video featured members of the Addams family dancing along to the track.
15. Howard the Duck- Cherry Bomb- Howard the Duck
‘Howard the Duck’ is a science fiction comedy that was released in 1986. It was directed by Willard Huyck who co-wrote the film with Gloria Katz. This live action movie is based on the comic of the same name by Steve Gerber. This was the first theatrically released feature film with a Marvel character. The film starred Lea Thompson, Jeffrey Jones, and Tim Robbins. Although it was a commercial failure, this film developed a cult following. The film’s score was written by John Barry and the girl rock group Cherry Bomb performed several of the songs. The theme tune had the same name as the film and the music video for this showed Cherry Bomb performing live on stage alongside Howard the Duck.
14. Queen of the Night- Whitney Houston- The Bodyguard
‘The Bodyguard’ was one of the biggest hit movies of the 1990s. This romantic thriller was released in 1992 and starred Kevin Costner and Whitney Houston. The movie was written by Lawrence Kasdan and directed by Mick Jackson. This movie was Houston’s acting debut as she had previously concentrated on her music career. However, the film was a huge success and grossed $411 million worldwide making it the second highest grossing film of the year. The soundtrack for the movie was equally as successful and predominantly featured tracks performed by Whitney Houston. One of the tracks was ‘Queen of the Night’ and this tied in with the movie as it was performed in the film and the music video showed this performance. The soundtrack sold more than 45 million copies worldwide and became the best-selling movie soundtrack album of all-time.
13. On Our Own- Bobby Brown- Ghostbusters 2
‘Ghostbusters II’ is the sequel to ‘Ghostbusters’. This supernatural comedy film was released in 1989. It was written by Bill Murray and Harold Ramis who both starred in the movie alongside Dan Aykroyd, Sigourney Weaver, Rick Moranis, Ernie Hudson, and Annie Potts. It was directed by Ivan Reitman and grossed $215.4 million at the worldwide box office. The music for the film was organised by Randy Eldman. ‘On Our Own’ was the main theme track for the movie and this was written by L.A. Reid, Babyface, and Daryl Simmons. It was performed by Bobby Brown and scenes from the movie appeared in the music video. This track was also released as a single and as a song on the soundtrack album, both of which were released in 1989.
12. Batdance (The Bat Mix)- Prince- Batman
‘Batman’ is a 1989 superhero film that is one of many films that is based on the comic book character. It was directed by Tim Burton and written by Sam Hamm and Warren Skaaren. The movie starred Jack Nicholson, Michael Keaton, Kim Basinger, Robert Wuhl, Pat Hingle, Billy Dee Williams, Michael Gough, and Jack Palance. It was one of the biggest commercial successes of the late 1980s as it grossed $411.3 million at the worldwide box office from a budget of $35 million. The music score was predominantly written by Danny Elfman. He wanted to use Prince to write songs about the Joker and Michael Jackson to write the love songs. He would then combine their styles for the score. Burton disagreed with this as he said his films were not commercial. One of the main songs for the movie was ‘Batdance (The Bat Mix)’ which was written and performed by Prince.
11. All for Love- Bryan Adams, Sting, Rod Stewart- The Three Musketeers
‘The Three Musketeers’ is a film based on the novel of the same name by Alexandre Dumas. It is an action-adventure comedy that was released in 1993. The movie was written by David Loughery and directed by Stephen Herek. It starred Charlie Sheen, Chris O’Donnell, Kiefer Sutherland, Oliver Platt, Tim Curry, and Rebeccas De Mornay. This movie enjoyed reasonable commercial success as it was made on a budget of $30 million and grossed $53.9 million at the box office. The score was predominantly written by Michael Kamen who co-wrote the film’s main theme tune ‘All for Love’ with Robert John ‘Mutt’ Lange and Bryan Adams. The latter performed the track alongside Rod Stewart and Sting. The single was a hit and reached number one in the United States and several other countries. The single was the first track on the film’s soundtrack album.
10. Lose Yourself- Eminem- 8 Mile
Written by Scott Silver, ‘8 Mile’ is a hip hop drama that was released in 2002. It was directed by Curtis Hanson and starred Eminem, Brittany Murphy, Mekhi Phifer, Kim Basinger, and Michael Shannon. The storyline is predominantly based on Eminem’s upbringing. This rapper was also responsible for the theme tune of the film, ‘Lose Yourself’, and scenes from the movie were included in the music video. Eminem also performed four other songs in the movie and all five songs featured on the film’s soundtrack album, ‘Music from and Inspired by the Motion Picture 8 Mile. ‘Lose Yourself’ was also Eminem’s first number one single.
9. Wild Wild West- Will Smith and Dru Hill
‘Wild Wild West’ was directed by Barry Sonnenfield and released in 1999. This western action comedy was co-written by S.S. Wilson, Brent Maddock, Jeffrey Price, and Peter S. Seaman. It is based on the novel ‘The Wild Wild West’ by Michael Garrison and starred Will Smith, Kevin Kline, Kenneth Branagh, and Salma Hayek. The film was made on a budget of $170 million. Although it made a profit and took $222.1 million at the box office, it was considered a commercial failure. However, the theme tune of the same name was a big hit. The track was performed by Will West and Dru Hill.
8. You Could Be Mine- Guns N’ Roses- Terminator 2: Judgement Day
‘Terminator 2: Judgement Day’ is the second film in the Terminator series of films. This movie was directed by James Cameron who co-wrote the movie with William Wisher. It starred Arnold Schwarzenegger, Linda Hamilton, and Robert Patrick. The film was a commercial success as it grossed $523.7 million at the worldwide box office. It also won multiple awards and was nominated for a MTV Award for Best Song from a Movie for ‘You Could Be Mine’. This was the theme song for the movie and was performed by rock band Guns ‘N’ Roses. Although this song was originally released as the theme tune for the film, it was also released as the band’s seventh single and as a track on their album ‘Use Your Illusion’.
7. Princes of the Universe- Queen- Highlander
‘Highlander is a 1986 adventure action fantasy film that was based on a story by Gregory Widen. It was directed by Russell Mulcahy and written by Gregory Widen, Peter Bellwood, and Larry Ferguson. The movie starred Christopher Lambert, Roxanne Hart, Clancy Brown, and Sean Connery. Many British stars contributed to this soundtrack, which included several songs by Queen. However, the main theme tune was Queen’s ‘Princes of the Universe’. Not only was this track the main theme tune of the film, it was also used as the theme tune for the television series which followed. The music video was directed by the same director as the movie and included scenes from the film.
6. Kiss from a Rose- Seal- Batman Forever
‘Batman Forever’ is the third instalment of the Batman series of films. It was released in 1995 and was written by Lee Batchler, Janet Scott Batchler, and Akiva Goldman. It was directed by Joel Schumacher and starred Val Kilmer, Tommy Lee Jones, Nicole Kidman, Chris O’Donnell, Michael Gough, and Pat Hingle. The movie was a huge success commercially as it grossed $336.5 million at the box office from a budget of $100 million. Most of the music in this film was written bt Elliot Goldenhall. However, the main theme tune was ‘Kiss from a Rose’ and this was performed by Seal. The music video included actual scenes from the movie. In 1996, this track won Grammy Awards for Song of the Year, Record of the Year, and Best Male Vocal Performance.
5. The Goonies ‘R Good Enough- Cyndi Lauper- The Goonies
‘The Goonies’ was one of the top family films of the 1990s and continues to be popular to this day. Released in 1985, this adventure comedy film was written by Chris Columbus and directed by Richard Donner. It starred Sean Astin, Josh Brolin, Jeff Cohen, Corey Feldman, Kerri Green, Martha Plimpton, and Ke Huy Quan. It is about a group of teenagers who find treasure on a pirate ship and turn their families’ fortunes around. The movie was made on a budget of $19 million and grossed $61.5 million at the worldwide box office. The theme tune for this film was ‘The Goonies R Good Enough’ which was performed by Cyndi Lauper.
4. Gangsta’s Paradise- Coolio- Dangerous Minds
‘Dangerous Minds’ was released in 1995. It is a drama film that was written by Ronald Bass and directed by John N. Smith. The story is based on the novel ‘My Posse Don’t Do Housework’ by LouAnne Johnson. The film starred Michelle Pfeiffer, Wade Dominguez, George Dzundza, and Renoly Santiago. Made on a budget of $23 million, this film grossed $179.52 million at the worldwide box office. The soundtrack from ‘Dangerous Minds’ was released as an album in the same year as the film and sold over three million copies, leading to it being certified triple platinum. The lead single on the album was Coolio’s ‘Gangsta’s Paradise’. Coolio both wrote and performed the single, which featured L.V. It reached number one in 19 countries around the world.
3. Men in Black- Will Smith
‘Men in Black’ is a media franchise that is based on a comic book series. The first film in the series is the 1997 movie ‘Men in Black’ which is a science fiction action comedy film that was written by Ed Solomon. It was directed by Barry Sonnenfield and starred Will Smith, Tommy Lee Jones, Linda Fiorentino, and Vincent D’Onofrio. It grossed $589.4 milion from a budget of $90 million. The music for the film was written by Danny Elman and the main theme tune was performed by Will Smith. This was Smith’s first solo single and featured Coko singing alto and soprano in the background. The track reached number one in eleven countries, including the US and the UK.
2. Ninja Rap- Vanilla Ice- Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II
‘Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Secret of the Ooze’ is a superhero action science fiction comedy film that was released in 1991. It was written by Todd W. Langen based on the adventures fo the comic book characters of the same name that were created by Kevin Eastmen and Peter Laird. The film was directed by Michael Pressman and starred Paige Turco and David Warner. The main theme tune of this movie was ‘Ninja Rap’ which was performed by Vanilla Ice. This was actually performed in the movie as well as being released on the soundtrack album, which was released on March 26, 1991, by SBK Records.
1. Ghostbusters- Ray Parker Jr.
‘Ghostbusters’ is a supernatural comedy film that was released in 1984. It was directed by Ivan Reitman and written by Dan Aykroyd and Harold Ramis, both of whom starred in the movie. The film also starred Bill Murray, Rick Moranis, and Sigourney Weaver. It grossed $295.2 million from a $30 budget. The storyline of this film was about a group of men who form a business to eradicate ghosts from New York City. The theme song for this film was written and performed by Ray Parker Jr. It was also the lead track on the soundtrack album which was released in the same year as the film. Its music video was directed by Ivan Reitman, who also directed the movie. In the video, Parker plays a ghost who is haunting a young woman played by Cindy Harrell.