Music in the movies: the 10 best movie songs of the year

With 2010 almost over, Glen rounds up his favourite movie songs of the year…

With the year drawing to a close I thought I’d draw my first year of Music In The Movies to a close in the same way it started – with a look back at the best movie songs of the year…

Sonny Terry – Old Lost JohnBad Lieutenant: Port Of Call – New Orleans

This accompanies one of the crazier scenes in Werner Herzog’s exploration of excess, and that’s saying something. The film is wonderfully entertaining, as Herzog unleashes his unique creative sensibilities to tackle many aspects of the film in unconventional ways. This particular scene, the “His soul is still dancing” scene, really is quite remarkable, and this crazy song from Sonny Terry provides a great accompaniment.

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The Used – The Bird And The WormClash Of The Titans

Okay, so this was only used in the trailer, and really only gets a place in this best-of for a certain segment where the giant scorpion’s tail comes down in time with the drum beat. One of the best things to feature in a trailer this year, and infinitely better than anything in the actual film itself. Although the “Ease you storm” line was pretty special.

Scala & Kolacny Brothers – CreepThe Social Network

Another song that features in a trailer is this haunting cover of Radiohead’s Creep by Belgian women’s choir Scala & Kolacny Brothers. It featured in my favourite of all the trailers released in the run up to this excellent film. The promo in question used the song to accompany a montage of the usual Facebook activities.

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Richard Hawley – Tonight The Streets Are OursExit Through the Gift Shop

Exit Through The Gift Shop is one of my favourite films of the year. Whether it’s a documentary, or a mockumentary, or even a bit of both, it doesn’t affect the film in any way – in fact, the ambiguity probably strengthens it. This song, which plays at the start of the film, sets the scene brilliantly, with the sentiment and the title of the song marrying themselves to the images magnificently.

Foo Fighters – My HeroThe Other Guys

Remember a time when the Foo Fighters were good? Once a promising offshoot from a great band, there was a time when they produced some interesting and rather excellent material before churning out uninspired middle-of-the-road nonsense.

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This gem, from their second album, The Colour And The Shape, was put to great use in the fairly average but reasonably entertaining McKay, Ferrell, Wahlberg comedy vehicle The Other Guys. The use is inspired, as super cops Highsmith and Danson, played by Samuel L. Jackson and Dwayne Johnson respectively, engage in some OTT heroics/stupidity, leaving the rest of the force to pick up the pieces.

Gipsy Kings – You’ve Got A Friend in Me (para Buzz Español)Toy Story 3

The Randy Newman-penned You’ve Got a Friend In Me has featured in all three of the Toy Story films. It’s a song that perfectly and rather beautifully encapsulates the central theme of loyalty and friendship at the core of the trilogy, and has become a theme of sorts for the series. The Gipsy Kings’ Spanish language take on the song that played out over the closing credits was a nice upbeat closer to the film after the rather emotional final third (yes, I cried – twice!) that called back to Buzz’s change in native tongue and personality earlier in the film.

Snork/Slade – Cum on Feel The NoiseCemetery Junction

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Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant’s coming of age tale is full of fantastic music from the time in which the film is set, creating a brilliant sense of time and place whilst heightening the required emotions of the scenes that they feature in. Such was the quality if the music choices, I struggled to narrow it down to one, and I almost settled for All The Young Dudes, but re-watching the film it’s this song, that plays out over a great set piece in the middle, that I enjoyed the most.

It’s impossible not to break out in a smile as Snork (brilliantly played by Jack Doolan) delivers a rather fantastic version of this Slade classic. A brilliant moment in a brilliant film.

Sparks – This Town Ain’t Big Enough For The Both Of UsKick-Ass

I love this song, and its inclusion in the film put a huge smile on my face. A perfect choice of song for when Kick-Ass experiences insecurity and cape envy following the emergence of a new superhero to rival his popularity, Christopher Mintz-Plasse’s Red Mist.

Taken from the Mael brothers’ 1974 album, Kimono My House, I remember being amazed the first time I heard this, at a fairly young age, having not heard anything quite like it at that point in my life.

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Sex Bob-Omb / Beck – ThresholdScott Pilgrim Vs The World

One of the more overtly musically geeky films of the year, and perhaps of all time, Edgar Wright’s adaptation of Bryan Lee O’Malley’s series of graphic novels featured an astonishing soundtrack that featured original material from Toronto natives Metric and Broken Social scene, as well as some fantastic material from Beck. It’s this song that’s my favourite. As mentioned in my piece on the film earlier this year, I feel that the song acted as a theme for Scott getting his act together, and getting shit done.

Édith Piaf – Non, Je Ne Regrette RienInception

I don’t think a song has played a more integral part to a film than this Édith Piaf classic did in Christopher Nolan’s masterpiece Inception. The kicker to awake those in the dream state is used at various points throughout the film, Hans Zimmer has stated that the song acted as a source of inspiration to him whilst composing the score, with some sections being built around this iconic piece of music.

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A round-up of my favourite scores of the year will follow next week. In the meantime, why not provide your favourite film songs of 2010 in the comments below?

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