Five Favorite Music Videos Tied to Big Movies

Will Smith, Dru Hill et al for “Wild, Wild West”

With the advent of music videos going completely out of style with introduction of music streaming, a long time element of music fandom died. While there are still plenty of music videos, they no longer make or break the popularity of a single or music album. One of the best things about being a movie and music fan is that there was almost always a music video attached to the movie itself. Whether it was the movie’s theme song, or a music video directly reflecting the movie content, there was always a guarantee of a music video for a movie.

Whether it was Chad Kroeger’s “Hero,” Dokken’s “Dream Warriors,” Space Jam’s “I Believe I Can Fly,” Ray Parker’s “Ghostbusters,” or 45 Grave’s “Party Time,” there was a massive plethora of movie related music videos.

Here are five of my absolute favorites.

5. Gangsta’s Paradise Coolio (with L.V.), Dangerous Minds (1995)
Yes “Dangerous Minds” was inherently racist, but back in 1995 it was also a humongous hit. The movie was a box office sensation, it helped continue Michelle Pfeiffer’s gargantuan career, and the single (sampling Steven Wonder’s “Pastime Paradise”) “Gangsta’s Paradise” from Coolio was a monster hit single. You couldn’t escape it, it so won many awards, and MTV played it almost around the clock. Today I hate both the movie and the song, but you can’t deny “Gangsta’s Paradise” was huge.

4. Weird Science – Oingo Boingo, Weird Science (1985)
While many pivot over to “Don’t You Forget About Me” as the definitive movie theme song, I’ve always been quite partial to Oingo Boingo’s “Weird Science.” I said what I said. Not only it is better than the song from Simple Minds, but it’s a raucous, much catchier, easier to listen bop of a pop rock song, and so perfectly reflective of the movie’s manic, bizarre energy. There was a weird fascination with mad scientists and crazy madmen in the eighties, from Doc Brown, to Herbert West, to Wayne Szalinski, and yes, even Wyatt and Gary from “Weird Science.”

3. You Could Be Mine – Guns N’ Roses, Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1992)
This video was filmed before the big twist in “Terminator 2” where Sarah finds out the T-800 is actually there to help, and is there to save the future. Otherwise, this Guns N’ Rosese video is a simple concept but a wonderful tie in video with the band singing in concert as the T-800 donning a shotgun (pre-9/11, you see) walks through the concert audience looking for them. It’s a well made video spotlighting the best parts of the movie with a funny final scene of Arnie confronting the band face to face outside the concert hall. The only thing missing is Robert Patrick’s villain cameoing.

2. Kiss From a Rose – Seal, Batman Forever (1995)
The “Batman Forever” soundtrack is, was, and continues to be a masterpiece of movie soundtracks up there with “Dazed and Confused” and “The Crow.” The record has everything from U2, Method Man, The Offspring, and of course, Seal. Seal was a soul and pop artist who was very marketable and often appeared on these huge soundtracks in the 1990’s. One of his most famed singles is “Kiss From a Rose” a very delightful soul song with a memorable music video. The video channels the essence of both elements splashing scenes of Seal, while constantly cutting to big scenes of “Batman Forever.” If you were a kid in this age, the video was a treasure trove of amazing sequences, and the song continues to be remembered as a high for Seal’s short career.

1. Men in Black – Will Smith, Men in Black (1997)
Whether or not you like “Men in Black,” it did well for Will Smith and he took it upon himself to create what many would argue is the quintessential movie tie in music video. Maybe I have nostalgia goggles on, but this song hit hard back in the day. Using heavy sampling of 1982’s “Send Me Forget Me Nots” from Patrice Rushen, Smith turned it in to a literal theme song for the Men in Black. He took the seventies pop song and turned it in to a song that tells the story of the MIB, and has a good time celebrating the film’s sheer silliness. Smith drapes the music video in Men in Black ephemera for the audience and mid-way while being attacked by a vicious alien, it’s so compelled by Smith’s coolness that it gets in to a synchronized dancer number with him a la “Thriller.” Despite the somewhat aged CGI, the “Men in Black” video is a charmer that actually enhances the movie, when all is said and done. Smith’s penchant for theatrics and showmanship often made his movies a delight to support.

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