Rock music can be transformative with some cinematic moments, taking both the scene and the song to new heights. Here are seven moments in Hollywood cinema where rock tracks and scenes harmoniously bonded:
7. Iron Man: AC/DC – Back In Black
In the cinematic introduction of Tony Stark, AC/DC’s ‘Back In Black’ not only introduced viewers to Stark’s personality but also brought forward Iron Man’s potential place in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Besides, the sequel, ‘Iron Man 2,’ gave a nod to AC/DC again with ‘Shoot To Thrill‘ in its opening scene.
6. The Matrix: Rage Against The Machine – Wake Up
The Wachowskis’ ‘The Matrix’ is filled with rock influences, from Rob Zombie to Rammstein. But as the film nears the end, Keanu Reeves’ character, Neo, delivers a message to humanity’s digital oppressors. It’s at this moment that ‘Wake Up’ by Rage Against The Machine plays while pointing out the scene’s allegories.
5. Trainspotting: Iggy Pop – Lust For Life
British cinema has several iconic moments, and one of them is the opening sequence of ‘Trainspotting.’ As Ewan McGregor’s character, Mark Renton, dashes away from the police, the backdrop of Iggy Pop’s ‘Lust For Life’ amplifies the scene. The track complements the film’s themes of nihilism and defiant spirit as well.
4. Almost Famous: Elton John – Tiny Dancer
In ‘Almost Famous,’ the group finds solace in Elton John’s ‘Tiny Dancer’ after a tough night. This song conveys the mood of the characters, almost wrapping them — and the audience — in a melancholic atmosphere.
3. Old School: Metallica – Master of Puppets
Comedy and rock music may seem like an unusual pairing, but ‘Old School’ shows us how they can complement each other. The appearance of Metallica’s ‘Master of Puppets’ offers a contrasting backdrop to comedic scenes, especially those involving Will Ferrell’s character.
2. Goodfellas: Derek and the Dominoes – Layla
Martin Scorsese is known for intertwining music with compelling cinematic moments. In ‘Goodfellas,’ the reveal of a character’s fate is paired with ‘Layla’ by Derek and the Dominoes. This enhances the intensity of the scene in which a character’s death is revealed.
1. Wayne’s World: Queen – Bohemian Rhapsody
In ‘Wayne’s World,’ Wayne, Garth, and their friends headbang to Queen’s ‘Bohemian Rhapsody.’ It became not only a defining moment in the film but also had a broader impact as an iconic scene. It also led to the song’s rise on the music charts in 1992.