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Listen Up! Soundtrack Edition

This week, Listen Up!, our music column, takes a look at some of the best songs used in films. Got some suggestions? Let us know in the comments and we’ll add them to our playlist.

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In case you haven’t been following Oscar news, this weekend musician Peter Gabriel announced he would not be performing “Down to Earth,” the theme song from Wall-E, at the Oscars after producers of the ceremony decided to combine all nominees for best song into a single, short medley.

This, coupled with the Academy’s wacky decision not to nominate Bruce Springsteen’s song for The Wrestler, pretty much convinced us to skip this weekend’s ceremony. It also got us thinking about some of the best movie theme songs—you know, the ones that really strike a chord, heighten the feeling of a pivotal scene, and linger with you long after the credits have rolled.

Would the showdown between O-Ren-Ishii and the Bride in Kill Bill, Vol. 1 be as memorable without the Spanish guitars and clapping of Santa Esmeralda’s “Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood”? What about Leo and Kate in Titanic sans Celine? That song was the movie. More recently, the Real Tuesday Weld’s “Last Words” really sold us on the tender adolescent love between Kat Dennings and Michael Cera in Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist.

Sometimes, the soundtrack of a film transcends the film itself, which is not very good to begin with. Think of Paul McCartney’s theme for Vanilla Sky, the Shins in Garden State, the Postal Service’s cover of “Against All Odds” by Phil Collins for Wicker Park, or even the late Elliot Smith’s “Miss Misery” in Good Will Hunting.

What do you think? What are some of your favorite songs from a movie? Let us know in the comments and we’ll add your suggestions to our playlist.

This playlist is no longer available. Sorry, folks! 

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