Eight iconic movie soundtrack songs

For some movies, the soundtrack is more iconic than the film itself! Here are some songs that are permanently associated with their feature film. 

“Moon River” – Breakfast at Tiffany’s, 1961 

Henry Mancini and Johnny Mercer composed this song for Audrey Hepburn to sing in “Breakfast at Tiffany’s”. A Paramount producer suggested cutting the song – and Hepburn famously said they could cut it “over my dead body”. The song cleaned up during awards season, winning a 1961 Academy Award for Best Original song and the 1962 GRAMMY award for Record of the Year and Song of the Year. 


“Mrs Robinson” – The Graduate, 1967

Simon & Garfunkel wrote “Mrs. Robinson” specifically for The Graduate. It became the first rock song to win “Record of the Year” at the 1969 GRAMMYs. 


“Live and Let Die” – Live and Let Die, 1973 

The film producers of this 1973 James Bond flick tapped Paul McCartney to write the movie’s theme song. McCartney worked with his wife, Linda, and former Beatles producer George Martin on the song, recording it with his band Wings. It has been famously covered by Guns ‘n Roses. 

“Stayin’ Alive” –
Saturday Night Fever, 1977 

The Bee Gees were asked to record some songs for the Saturday Night Fever soundtrack before the film had a name, or even a script. The band penned the track over a couple of days at a French recording studio. Though the song is a disco bop, the lyrics are pretty dark and deal with the subject of surviving on the streets of New York. 

“Don’t You (Forget About Me) –
The Breakfast Club, 1985

“Don’t You (Forget About Me)” was a huge hit for The Breakfast Club’s soundtrack and for the band that recorded it, Scotland’s Simple Minds. Simple Minds didn’t write the track however – it was written by Breakfast Club producer Keith Forsey and guitarist Steve Schiff. The band originally turned the song down – along with Billy Idol, Corey Hart, and The Fixx. The band recorded it following persuasion by the label and Chrissy Hynde, who was married to the band’s lead singer at the time. 

“La Bamba” –
La Bamba, 1987

Most bands put their own spin on cover songs. However, for this 1987 biography of Chicano rock and roll star Ritchie Valens (who was tragically killed at only 17 in the plane crash that also killed Buddy Holly and The Big Bopper) Los Lobos kept their version faithful to Valens’ 1958 version. Valens had adapted a Mexican folk song from the state of Veracruz in his version of “La Bamba”. 


“My Heart Will Go On” – Titanic, 1997

Composer James Horner came up with the melody of “My Heart Will Go On” for the film’s score, and had the idea of developing it into a song. Director James Cameron initially resisted the idea of having a pop song in the film’s soundtrack, but changed his mind after hearing the song’s demo. It was recorded by Canadian singer Celine Dion and became her signature song – it’s the second best-selling physical single by a woman of all time. 

“Shallow” – A Star is Born, 2018 

“Star is Born” star Lady Gaga wrote the film’s signature song along with Andrew Wyatt, Anthony Rossomando and Mark Ronson. The track is one of the world’s best-selling singles of all time, and it won numerous awards, including the Academy Award for Best Original Song. 


What do you think is the most iconic soundtrack song of all time? Let us know in the comments! 


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