Movie Songs

10 Movies That Made Older Songs Popular Again

February 27, 20249 Mins Read


  • Certain modern films have breathed new life into old pop songs, reaching a new generation with remixed versions in soundtracks.
  • For example, Natasha Bedingfield’s tracks in Easy A and Anyone But You add a fun twist, creating iconic moments for characters and audiences alike.
  • Great films like Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 bring back classic hits like “Mr. Blue Sky,” using music to enhance the storytelling experience.

With the release of a new movie often comes a soundtrack, many of which have resulted in old pop songs becoming beloved again by a new generation. In recent years, several films and TV shows have incorporated pop music from different periods, remixed to fit the story. A notable example of this is the Netflix hit Bridgerton, which has had scenes with instrumental scores of songs from the likes of Madonna and Harry Styles.

While it’s normal for pop songs to be covered for a new movie, it’s always interesting to see how the original version of a song can be used. Whether a song is used for a transition scene or is directly acknowledged and enjoyed by a film’s characters, if a film is popular, it can send a song straight back into the charts. Although there are plenty of brilliant films with amazing soundtracks, some stand out more than others, not the least of which because they brought new life to old songs.


10 Overused Movie Songs That Hollywood Has To Retire

Some songs feature over and over again in movies, to the point where they become overplayed. Here are the most egregious offenders.

10 Saltburn

Murder on the Dancefloor By Sophie Ellis-Bextor


Emerald Fennell

Release Date
November 17, 2023

The Saltburn soundtrack stands out for its use of music from the early 2000s. Of course, its most memorable track is “Murder on the Dancefloor” by Sophie Ellis-Bextor, a staple in noughties music in the UK, which beautifully reflected the film’s setting and location.Saltburn also included the likes of “Perfect (Exceeder)” by Mason vs Princess Superstar from 2006 and “Have a Cheeky Christmas” by The Cheeky Girls from 2001, both of which had positive and high-energy undertones that made the film’s eerie atmosphere even more impactful upon rewatching it.

9 Anyone But You

Unwritten By Natasha Bedingfield

Anyone But You

Will Gluck

Release Date
December 22, 2023

Sydney Sweeney , Glen Powell , Alexandra Shipp , GaTa , Hadley Robinson , Michelle Hurd , Dermot Mulroney , Darren Barnet , Rachel Griffiths

Throughout the film, Ben refers to it as his ”
serenity song.

Anyone But You had plenty of Shakespearean references throughout, but one non-literature reference in the film that stands out is the use of the song “Unwritten” by Natasha Bedingfield, which was originally released in 2004. The song is first introduced during Ben (Glen Powell) and Bea’s (Sydney Sweeney) flight to Australia, with Ben using the feel-good track to help control his nerves. Throughout the film, Ben refers to it as his “serenity song.” While it appears more than once, its most notable incorporation was in the credits scene, with each cast member performing the song during various scenes.

8 Easy A

Pocket Full Of Sunshine By Natasha Bedingfield

Olive (Emma Stone) singing Pocket Full of Sunshine in the shower in Easy A

Easy A

Will Gluck

Release Date
September 17, 2010

Patricia Clarkson , Malcolm McDowell , Penn Badgley , Stanley Tucci , Lisa Kudrow , aly michalka , Dan Byrd , Emma Stone , Thomas Haden Church , Amanda Bynes

Yet another hit of Bedingfield’s was popularized in film, with “Pocket Full of Sunshine,” originally released in 2007, once again making the rounds in people’s eardrums with the 2010 hit Easy A. The track is best remembered from one montage scene, with Olive (Emma Stone) singing along to the catchy song in the shower through a novelty card her grandmother had sent her. Interestingly, both Easy A and Anyone But You were directed by Will Gluck, who has started a theme of including Bedingfield tracks in his films.

7 The Great Gatsby

Crazy In Love By Beyoncé And Jay-Z

Nick, Jay, Daisy, and Tom at a party in The Great Gatsby

The hit adaptation of
The Great Gatsby
had a brilliant soundtrack, all of which was produced by Jay-Z.

The hit adaptation of The Great Gatsby, which included the likes of Leonardo DiCaprio and Carey Mulligan as Jay Gatsby and Daisy, had a brilliant soundtrack, all of which was produced by Jay-Z. The Great Gatsby is filled with several beautiful remixes and instrumental covers of various songs, but the one that stands out is the cover of Beyonce’s 2003 “Crazy in Love.” Recreated with the beautiful vocal stylings of Emelie Sande and the Bryan Ferry Orchestra, the slowed-down version of the beat added even more to the already tense atmosphere of the film.

6 Wayne’s World

Bohemian Rhapsody By Queen

The driving singalong scene from Wayne's World

Wayne’s World

Penelope Spheeris

Release Date
February 14, 1992

Mike Myers , Dana Carvey , Brian Doyle-Murray , Tia Carrere , Rob Lowe

Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody” is such a popular song that it’s hard to imagine a time when it wasn’t known to everyone, regardless of their age. Upon its original release in 1975, the song wasn’t as well respected or popular as it would eventually become. However, 20 years later, it soared back into the charts after featuring in Wayne’s World. The song is best remembered for the film’s iconic car singalong scene, which, technically, was what made the song properly popular for the first time.

5 Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 2

Mr. Blue Sky By Electric Light Orchestra

Baby Groot dancing to Mr Blue Sky at the start of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2

Release Date
April 19, 2017

Dave Bautista , ​Chris Pratt2 , Chris Sullivan , Vin Diesel , Kurt Russell , Zoe Saldana , Karen Gillan , Elizabeth Debicki , Sylvester Stallone , Glenn Close , Sean Gunn , Nathan Fillion , Tommy Flanagan , Michael Rooker , Pom Klementieff , Bradley Cooper

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 is another film with a brilliant soundtrack, with many of the songs coming from the 1970s to replicate the backstory of Peter Quill (Chris Pratt). Despite each film having a 1970s-focused soundtrack, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 stands out for featuring a collection of brilliant pop hits. While already a big success in its own right, the inclusion of “Mr. Blue Sky” by Electric Light Orchestra boosted the song’s popularity even more so, reminding the world of the feel-good and uplifting beat.

Originally released in 1977, the song has also been covered by many artists over the years, varying from the likes of Weezer and Lily Allen, but the original ELO version is still the one listeners often revert to. Of course, the song is also well remembered because Baby Groot dances along with it during the film’s opening scene. This opening scene not only introduced a new generation to ELO but also, rather cleverly, used such a beloved character to entrance audiences.

4 Love Actually

Jump (For My Love) By The Pointer Sisters

Prime Minister David (Hugh Grant) dancing in 10 Downing Street in Love Actually

Love Actually

Richard Curtis

Release Date
November 14, 2003

“Jump (For My Love)” by The Pointer Sisters was first released in 1984 but saw a burst of success once again 19 years later upon the release of the Christmas classic Love Actually. While the British girl band Girls Aloud covered a version of the song as promotion for the film, the original was included in the iconic dance scene of the Prime Minister, David (Hugh Grant). The memorable scene saw Grant break out some brilliant, while terrible, dance moves throughout his residence in Downing Street.

This moment was such a staple in the film that the scene was again replicated in the anniversary special for Comic Relief, Red Nose Day Actually, in 2017. Love Actually saw other big hits in its soundtrack, including “All I Want For Christmas Is You” by Mariah Carey and “Wherever You Will Go” by The Calling. However, “Jump (For My Love)” is most memorable not just because of Grant’s dancing but also because it marks a pivotal moment for his character, facing the pressures of running the country while falling in love.

3 Lady Bird

Crash Into Me By Dave Matthew’s Band

Timothee Chalamet and Saoirse Ronan as Kyle and Christine in Lady Bird

Upon the original release of Dave Matthew’s Band’s “Crash Into Me” in 1996, the song didn’t see much success, especially because of its uncomfortable meaning and the unusual source of its lyrics. While it was covered by Stevie Nicks in 2009, the song wasn’t truly appreciated until it was featured in the 2017 film Lady Bird. The film’s director, Greta Gerwig, use of the song in Lady Bird flipped its meaning on its head, however, instead marking a staple moment in Christine’s (Saoirse Ronan) life, which resonated with both her as a character and audiences as a whole.

2 The Holdovers

Silver Joy By Damien Jurado

Dominic Sessa as Angus Tully and Paul Giamatti as Paul Hunham in the snow in The Holdovers

The Holdovers

Alexander Payne

Release Date
November 10, 2023

Paul Giamatti , Da’Vine Joy Randolph , Dominic Sessa , Carrie Preston

The melancholy tones of “Silver Joy” by Damien Jurado were picked up by a brand new generation in 2017, following being featured in The Holdovers. The track is used over the opening credits of the film, and despite “Silver Joy” being released in 2014, it beautifully adds to the tone of the 1970s setting throughout The Holdovers. While there are plenty of great songs in The Holdovers soundtrack, “Silver Joy” stands out for how it sets up the entire film, blurring together a fascinating vibe of both the modern world and the 1970s.

1 The Mamma Mia Franchise

ABBA’s Discography

Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again

Ol Parker

Release Date
July 20, 2018

Meryl Streep , Andy Garcia , Pierce Brosnan , Christine Baranski , Dominic Cooper , Amanda Seyfried , Julie Walters , Colin Firth , Stellan Skarsgård , Lily James , Cher

Of course, there’s no doubt that throughout the peak of their career, ABBA’s music became a staple in the pop genre. However, upon the creation of the Broadway musical and its film adaptations, the Mamma Mia franchise introduced, as well as reintroduced, ABBA’s discography to several generations of audiences. Including the titular track, the soundtracks of the two Mamma Mia films also saw covers of “Dancing Queen” and “The Name of the Game” by huge stars including Meryl Streep, Amanda Seyfried, and Pierce Brosnan.

While the first film is based on the musical, Mamma Mia was so popular that its sequel, Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again, was then released in 2018. Although the sequel did repeat some of the band’s biggest tracks, it also incorporated other ABBA tracks that didn’t feature in the first installment, most notably “Fernando,” performed by the iconic Cher. ABBA’s long list of hits kicked off after winning the Eurovision Song Contest in 1974, and the fact that their many chart toppers have continued to be successful over the years consistently, proves just how timeless the band’s music is.

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