Monday, 18 April 2011

10 Great Songs Used In Movie Trailers

The title pretty much sums it up. Movies are a great way to discover some new music, eager directors often choose their favourite artists and include some of their best tunes in their flicks to not only give the artist more exposure, but reach out to fans of the band and hopefully get them into the theater to see the movie. These days you don't even need to wait until the movies out, trailers for the movie very often include songs that send people into a frenzy to find them. I know i've discovered a few tunes in this method. Here's a list of ten songs that I can think of that were used swimmingly in a movie trailer or that I discovered through said medium.

1. Band Of Horses - "The Funeral"
Movie: 127 Hours

No other way to start such a list. The powerful music of "The Funeral" fit the theme of the movie so well. The film is an adaption of Aron Ralston's book Between A Rock And A Hard Place and its the true story of how he was trapped in a crevasse and faced with the ultimate decision for his survival. "The Funeral" is a song that can get you lost in your own mind, a fitting backdrop for the tale of man with only his mind at his disposal at such a situation. The song starts around the 1:30 mark.

2. The Arcade Fire - "Wake Up"
Movie: Where The Wild Things Are

This trailer got me so horny for this flick I nearly trampled an 8 year old to get the first ticket on opening night. It's a more acoustic version of "Wake Up" used in the trailer but it fits it so well. The childhood innocence and freedom of imagination that Maurice Sendak's book is conveying marries The Arcade Fire's song perfectly. This is how you make a trailer. This.

3. The Caesars - "Jerk It Out"
Movie: Clerks 2

A different style of film from the first two, but it still gets a fun trailer treatment. "Jerk It Out" is a quirky, loose party jam that one would expect to find amongst the shenanigans of the "Askewniverse" (The fictional landscape wherein the majority of Kevin Smith's movies take place). The film was made because of a promise Smith made to Jason "Jay" Mewes: If Mewes could get clean and sober, he would put "Jay" in one more film. As a bonus we get a smidgen of "Goodbye Horses" by Q Lazarus, which Jay does a familiar dance to.

4. The Long Winters - "New Girl"
Movie: In The Land Of Women

I've never seen this movie, nor do I ever intend to, but I remember the first time I saw a trailer for it clearly. In 2007, after I just moved to Toronto and it came on the television....the final moments had an infectious little hook in there. After some online searching I discovered the song to be "New Girl" by The Long Winters. It's a great indie track and includes some wonderful lyrics. I couldn't find the trailer in question, so enjoy a live performance of the song.

5. Smashing Pumpkins - "The Beginning Is The End Is The Beginning"
Movie: The Watchmen

This movie was in development hell for quite some time, but when it was announced the official release date would be 2009 and the first trailers started popping up most agreed it seemed worth the wait. The slow, dreary notes of the song fit the environment of the film.  A society dejected and lost, fed up with it's figures of authority and coming apart at the seems. The editing is impressive too, as key images link up with similar moments in the song. An interesting twist is The Smashing Pumpkins wrote the song for the soundtrack for 1997's woeful Batman & Robin. Thankfully it was given a second chance on the silver screen.

6. M.I.A - Paper Planes
Movie: Pineapple Express

Another song that caught a huge break from being included in a popular movie's trailer. It wasn't in the movie, but was released in late 2007 to a small rumble, by the time it was used in the trailer in late 2008 everyone was requesting "that gun-shot song".

7. Damien Rice - "The Blower's Daughter"/ Suzanne Vega - "Caramel"
Movie: Closer

It was a toss up between the 2 songs that make up 2005's Closer trailer, so I included them both in Void Drop's first tie! Not that this is a list in any order, but I feel they should both be recognized. Damien's "Blower's Daughter"  fits the emptiness and longing the 2 couples experience and 'Caramel' is a sexy tune that drips lust in the eyes of the characters and makes them forget the decency and order they once knew. I only watched Closer because I knew "The Blower's Daughter" was featured heavily in it and now its one of my favourite movies. Also the trailer features a great line not included in the film's final cut. "Why did you swear eternal love when all you wanted was excitement? Love bores you." "No, it disappoints me"
8. Coheed & Cambria - "Welcome Home"
Movie: 9

Again this is a film I never watched, but any movie that recognizes the awesomeness of Coheed and Cambria is good in my books. "Welcome Home" is the definition of an epic song if there ever was one, the chanting over the final minute sounds like an army riding into war. From what I can tell from the animated trailer is that this movie could be just that. Gotta remember to see this one day.

9. The Smiths - "There Is A Light That Never Goes Out"
Movie: (500) Days Of Summer

This trailer also features the over-used 80's movie montage sequence theme "You Make My Dreams Come True" by Hall and Oates, but it's the opening second's little exchange that clinches it for me. When the girl hears The Smiths coming through on Joseph Gordon-Levitt's headphones she can't help but comment, and from then on this is the girl for him. Music can have that effect in bringing 2 people together. Sometimes it just needs that little push to be something great and meaningful. Again, never seen this flick, but i've been told its right up my alley.

10. Dick Dale & His Del-Tones - "Misirlou"
Movie: Pulp Fiction

The history of "Misirlou" is a long tale about a song played on only one string. It was made out to be a good ol' rock and roll surfer song, but in 1994 QT got a hold of it and its had a dark side ever since. That was a time when movie trailers weren't really thought of as being creative or artsy, just show some clips, do a voice over and be done. "Misirlou's" contagious riffs bring an iconic feeling to the trailer, and really encapsulates the kaleidoscope of lifestyles the movie surrounds.

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