Not every song that you write is destined to be a classic. There’s only so many times that you can be asked to write the greatest hook of your career twice, and some of your best stuff requires the fans to do a bit deeper digging to actually find them. If the fans don’t do their homework though, getting them on the silver screen makes for a great substitute.
Even though all of these songs ended up doing pretty decently in their time either on the charts or as part of the album experience, their popularity went through the roof once they were actually used in movies. These aren’t meant to be just putting together a playlist of the best songs that have ever been in movies though. No, these are the kind of songs that went just below the radar for a lot of people, only to be catapulted back into the limelight virtually overnight, garnering new fans who had never heard of what they were all about.
In this case, the whole song seems to take on a bit of a second life. There are the fans that were diehards that already know these songs like the back of their hand, but film buffs will always associate these with a certain fight, breakup, or any other emotional moment that happened in some of their favorite movies. The goal might have been to paint a picture with music, but you’d be surprised how many songs delve into screenwriting as well.
10. The Hearts Filthy Lesson - David Bowie
David Bowie was never a man who was looking to find one sound and stay with it for too long. From his beginnings all the way to his pop years in the '80s, he had gone through everything from glam rock to soul to krautrock to eventually making bangers like Let's Dance. The '90s saw him getting a little bit darker though, and before the electronic bug really took over, The Hearts Filthy Lesson gave us something pitch black.
Around the same time that acts like Nine Inch Nails were lighting up the charts, Bowie made this for his grand album Outside, which was framed as a concept album record where people kill each other as a form of artistic expression. The entire premise may seem really messed up at the outset, but it's a kind of philosophy that John Doe knew a little too well. Being one the staples of the soundtrack to Seven, there aren't too many pop-leaning songs that delve into this kind of morbid sound, having an industrial tinge to it while Bowie talks about affairs of the heart reaching a tipping point.
Used as basically bookends for the movie, the song really does its job at sinking you into the world of this city, where things are grimy and more than a little bit disturbed when you look further. It might just be a great song, but you walk out of theater a changed person when you hear that song playing over the credits.