Songs That Have Been Ruined By Movie Montages

Wednesday, October 12th, 2011

Whether you love or hate seeing montages in movies, there’s no denying that they are an effective story telling tool – even if they were way overused throughout the ’80s. Regardless of how you feel about montages though, it’s hard to deny that they can easily ruin an otherwise good song by creating a scene so memorable that you can’t think of anything else but the movie whenever you listen to the track. Here are a few songs that are impossible to listen to without getting montages stuck in your head.

“Eye of the Tiger” from Rocky III

While the first Rocky had what was arguably the most famous montage in all of cinema history, at least that scene used “Gonna Fly Now,” a song written specifically for the movie that was hardly suited for anything but a movie montage. On the other hand, “Eye of the Tiger” was penned by Survivor, and proved popular enough to become the #1 hit that year

“Scarface (Push It To The Limit)” from Scarface

Like Eye of the Tiger, this song was written specifically for a movie montage (hence the name), but it definitely could have been a single regardless. Funny enough, while many people don’t recall the Scarface montage when listening to the song, it has inspired so many other movie and television montages that it is hard to hear the song and not picture some movie or film scene, usually one involving training for a sports event.

“Let’s Hear It for the Boy” from Footloose

For fans of this ’80s classic, it’s impossible to think of anything but a young Kevin Bacon while listening to this Deniece Williams track. Although, really, is that such a bad thing? Let’s see if the remake can give us something this memorable -I doubt it.

“Ain’t Nobody” from Breakin’

If listening to “Ain’t Nobody” long enough could make anyone into a great breakdancer, it might just be the best-selling single of all time. Unfortunately, that’s not the case.


“Lust for Life” from Trainspotting

Some might argue that the first few lengthy clips in this scene would mean it no longer qualifies as a montage, but it does compact the introduction of the characters and their feelings about drug use into a short scene, so technically, it still fits. More importantly, even fans of the song have a hard time not thinking of Trainspotting whenever the tune comes on. Of course, after “Lust for Life” was used in this movie, advertisers realized how catchy it was and soon, Royal Caribbean started using tit to advertise their cruises, which is just so, so wrong.

“Layla” from Goodfellas

To be fair, the piano exit outro of Eric Clapton’s “Layla” isn’t as poppy or well-known as the other songs on this list, but it’s just as much of an earworm. Unfortunately, fans of the movie don’t think about the music when they hear those first few memorable notes, but instead remember dead gangsters being spotted throughout the city.

“Like to Get to Know You Well” from Better Off Dead

I couldn’t find a video of this scene, but it is certainly memorable to those familiar with the film. Indeed, just a few lines of the chorus is enough to infect my mind with images of a charming, young John Cusack and an adorable, French foreign exchange student turning a bucket of rust into a sleek, mint-condition Camaro.

“That’s Called a Montage” from South Park

This song was definitely not ruined by a montage, as that’s its only reason for existing. In fact, it only belongs on this list as a parody of just how ridiculous movie montages can be — that, and the fact that it makes me giggle.

You might disagree with this list, but I’m sure all of you have some song that you just can’t listen to thanks to a movie or TV montage you watched. Feel free to share yours in the comments.