From 2001: A Space Odyssey to pretty much every Edgar Wright film, some of the best films of all time have effectively used needle drops to take their films to the next level. This list runs through the best movie songs of all time, and as you go through the scenes, you will find they all have one thing in common. They all enhance what’s happening in the scene. 


What makes for a great song moment?

The songs on this list all range in genre and style. Some are classical pieces while others were modern pop songs at the time of the movie’s release.

It is important to recognize that a memorable song moment is more than just plopping some music over a scene. It requires the filmmaker to understand both the song and the scene and know how he or she wants the audience to feel in that moment.

Some of the best movie songs provide catharsis and allow the audience a moment to breathe while the protagonist is bolting a hit song. Other needle drops are present simply to let the audience know what time period they are in. 

Let’s look at the definition of a needle drop to understand it inside and out.

What is a needle drop?

A “needle drop” is slang used in the film industry to describe when a pre-existing song is used in a movie. In the best cases, the audio and video become intertwined to the point where people can’t disassociate the song from the film.

Simon and Garfunkel

1. “The Sound of Silence,” The Graduate

“The Sound of Silence” is a moody, atmospheric song that perfectly summarizes the ending of The Graduate. It appears as though Ben has won as he runs off with Mrs. Robinson, but the song choice emphasizes that neither one knows where this relationship will go. 

Hello darkness, my old friend


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