Music can often define a movie, especially slow movies where the events happen either inside the head of a protagonist, or in a place which does not change too often. Some movies have been immortalized by their soundtracks, just think of The Good The Bad and The Ugly.
But what about the other movies, can a genre attract a specific kind of music or does it develop on its own?
The Spaghetti Westerns
Often called the Spaghetti Westerns, the Sergio Leone trilogy of westerns which star Clint Eastwood have a specific type of music associated with them. Ever since their release, western-style movies are expected to have such a soundtrack, one which will remind people of the said movies. This has to do with the movie’s success at the time, as well as the great soundtracks which were specifically composed for the movies. Ennio Morricone and Sergio Leone defined the genre of Western.
The Lucky Ones
In 1973, the movie Exorcist was released, and to many people’s horror, it was an astounding movie. The one thing that was carved into everyone’s mind is the opening theme of Mike Oldfield’s Tubular Bells, a multi-platinum album. This combination of movie and song choice was perfect and is considered a classic, even today.
Another great hit was created through sheer luck. While thinking of using Another One Bites the Dust for his training montage in Rocky III, Sylvester Stallone was given a record of a band called Survivor. He loved their music and got on the phone with them, asking them to write a song for his training montage. When asked why hadn’t he gone with Queen’s hit, he answered that he had been unable to get the publishing rights. This is a great example of how luck can change both a movie and a band.
Born to be Wild
This song was released in 1968 and is a classic rock anthem. The riff is so easily memorable, as well as the song’s lyrics and emotions. The song was popular on its own, but when chosen for the movie Easy Rider, which is about bikers and highways, just like the song, they matched perfectly. The movie is almost unthinkable without the song. This is a great example of when a movie attracts a song.
It is difficult to say whether songs are attracted to specific genres. A movie and its atmosphere, emotion, all of that can attract songs and have artists write something amazing. Some movies are perfect matches for already existing songs, and plugged in at the right moment, they can become immortalized. People expect a certain style of music to be in a certain genre, yet great movies always bend the rules, as far as they can go, just like great art does.