TV shows and movies are always influential in the music industry. Over time, many songs from previous decades are featured in a new show or movie, sending it flying up the charts or seeing streaming numbers soar. This is the case with the recent movie Saltburn, which featured Sophie Ellis-Bextor's "Murder On The Dancefloor" in the final scene. The song received 1.5 million streams on Spotify on New Year's Eve, and it ranked on the charts in the UK and US for the first time in two decades. This led to a deeper look into songs from the '80s and '90s, which have seen the same type of resurgence.
"Goo Goo Muck" - The Cramps
The Netflix original series Wednesday breathed new life into the Addams Family, who first became popular from the 1930s comic and then expanded to TV, film, video games, and more. The new series, released in 2022, focused on Wednesday (Jenna Ortega), the daughter of the family who performed a fantastic dance sequence to a song originally released in 1981.
The song "Goo Goo Muck" by the Cramps (originally performed by Ronnie Cook and the Gaylads inspired over 200,000 TikTok videos and saw the song regain popularity. Other songs received cello renditions, including "Paint It Black" by the Rolling Stones, "Nothing Else Matters" by Metallica, and "Physical" by Dua Lipa.
"Running Up That Hill" - Kate Bush
In season 4 of Stranger Things, Kate Bush's only US top 40 Hit, "Running Up That Hill" was featured. This would see the single exceed her original success of No. 30 on Billboard Hot 100 in 1985 by reaching No. 3 in 2022. The scene was quite emotional as Max (Sadie Sink) was being attacked by Vecna (Jamie Campbell Bower) and began running for her life. Watch the entire scene below.
"Material Girl" - Madonna
The Netflix Original Bridgerton is based on popular romance novels written by Julia Quinn. The series is considered a period drama as it is set in Regency Era London's ton in the early 1800s. The series has done a remarkable job featuring popular songs played in the period's instrumental style. Watching the series and hearing the familiar songs is unexpected and quite comforting. In the second season, Madonna's 1985 hit "Material Girl" was used at a ball as Queen Charlotte enters the ball.
"Something In The Way" - Nirvana
Director Matt Reeves based his Batman, played by Robert Pattinson, on Nirvana frontman Kurt Cobain and Michael Corleone from The Godfather. Instead of making Bruce Wayne a playboy socialite, he became a broken man who was more relatable. This led to using Nirvana's "Something In The Way," which was originally released in 1991 and which Reeves listened to while writing the first act of the film. Actor Paul Dano, who portrayed the Riddler in the movie, also used the song as inspiration. After the film's release, Spotify reported a 1,200% increase in song streams.
"Danger Zone" - Kenny Loggins
Composer Harold Faltermeyer is responsible for the "Top Gun Anthem," featured in the original film, and he would return to compose for the sequel Top Gun: Maverick. Elements of the original anthem were used in the new film, as well as Kenny Loggins's hit "Danger Zone" from 1986, which was also in the first movie. According to Variety, Loggins re-recorded the song for the sequel, but Tom Cruise and the creators preferred to use the previously recorded version to give it the "original vibe." The iconic song was a welcome addition to Maverick, and the song would see a spike in streams with the movie's release.
"Head Like A Hole" - Nine Inch Nails
In 1990, industrial rock band Nine Inch Nails released "Head Like A Hole," a song that would reach No. 9 on Billboard's Bubbling Under Hot 100. The song has been covered by Devo, AFI, Buckcherry, and Korn. In 2019, Miley Cyrus starred in an episode of the series Black Mirror, "Rachel, Jack and Ashley Too," where her character Ashley O performed a reworked pop version of the song, which was retitled "On A Roll." The project had approval from NIN frontman Trent Reznor who released Black Mirror merch to align with the release of the episode. Billboard ranked the song at No. 28 on the 100 Best Songs of 2019.
"Red Right Hand" - Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds
Nick Cave's signature song, "Red Right Hand," performed by Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, was originally released in 1994. It would become a staple in the Scream film franchise, and in 2014, the song would become the theme song for the crime drama Peaky Blinders, which spawned a re-released of the single. While the original serves as the theme song, it has been covered by many others for the series, including Anna Calvi, PJ Harvey, Laura Marling, Iggy Pop, Jarvis Cocker, Arctic Monkeys, Fidlar, Laura Marling, and Snoop Dogg.
"Bad" - U2
U2's single "Bad" is a song that has become a fan favorite, one of the band's most frequently played concert songs. Originally released in 1984, the song would see a resurgence in 2020 when it was featured in the series finale, "The Last War," of the CW original series The 100. In 1984, U2 performed a powerful 12-minute rendition of the song at Live Aid in Wembley Stadium.
"Crash Into Me" - Dave Matthews Band
The award-winning single by Dave Matthews Band, "Crash Into Me," is written from the perspective of a Peeping Tom. It would be featured in Greta Gerwig's coming-of-age film Lady Bird in 2017. Gerwig has this to say of the song: "I love Dave Matthews, and I feel like it's an incredibly romantic song, and I always wanted to make out to that song, and I never did." The song has also been covered by Stevie Nicks and Darren Criss with Steve Aoki and has also been featured in The Office, Joe Dirt, Parks & Rec, and School Spirits.
"Seven Wonders" - Fleetwood Mac
Released in 1987, Fleetwood Mac's "Seven Wonders" became the second of four top 20 songs from the band's fourteenth studio album Tango in the Night. The song tells of a woman remembering a past love affair, comparing it to seeing the Seven Wonders of the World, which couldn't compare to the beauty of the romance. In 2013, the song was featured in the season 3 finale of American Horror Story, subtitled Coven. The song would see a surge in streaming, ranking at No. 18 Billboard Rock Digital Songs.