10 Best Hard Rock Songs Used In Movies

Bringing Hard Riffs To the Big Screen.

Thor Ragnarok
Marvel

The difference between a good film and a bad film can often come down to its score. Though some films like No Country For Old Men benefit from the bare minimum of sound design, it's always nice to hear some grand orchestral swell to accompany the lofty tale that's being presented. On the other hand, sometimes the perfect musical accompaniment to your movie has already been written.

Instead of putting together some sweeping epic orchestral music behind these films, the choice to use pulse-pounding hard rock music ended up kicking each one of these scenes into high gear. Instead of the usual grandiose strings coming in, hearing an epic rock guitar solo or a double bass drum groove really sets the tone a lot more effectively. While most of these examples are non-diagetic, the most interesting versions of these are when they actually are relevant to the movie's plot line, either in the lyrics or the actual in-universe placement of the tune.

In that respect, the song becomes less like an adornment for the listener and more rooted in the world of the film. As opposed to the usual score, these songs actually feel interconnected to these characters after you've heard them in their true context.

10. Bad To The Bone - Terminator 2: Judgment Day

Using Bad to the Bone by George Thorogood in a movie seems like a really tired cliché at this point. Whereas the original might have reeked of rebellion at the start, the though of using it in kids' movies nowadays oftentimes feels cheap and ruins any dangerous attitude the original once had. However, James Cameron managed to get it right at least once in Terminator 2.

Compared to other blockbuster sequels, Arnold's second turn as the cyborg is one of the greatest sequels there is, upping the ante of the first instalment by a wide margin. Though many people tend to remember something like the T-1000 regenerating in the film, there's actually one shot of Arnold getting on his motorcycle containing the single greatest use of this badass blues tune. As he dons his leather jacket and peels out of the parking lot, those opening guitar chords work surprisingly well, almost like it's preparing you for some more serious stuff coming just on the horizon.

Granted, this was also a time before this became as overexposed as it did, with every other director getting the same idea and using Thorogood's classic to accompany scenes that have no business being described as dangerous. However, that doesn't stop the original version from being one kickass moment in action movie history. Even though Arnold had promised to come back, this song proved he was arriving with a vengeance.

Contributor
Contributor

I'm just a junkie for all things media. Whether it's music, movies, TV, or just other reviews, I absolutely adore this stuff. But music was my first love, and I love having the opportunity to share it with you good people. Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/timcoffman97