Published Jun 22, 2015For teenagers, music means everything; that's why selecting the right songs for a teen movie is so important. Few things give shape to our feelings quite like a perfectly placed song in a wordless montage, romantic climax or captivating credit sequence, which is something the makers of movies like The Breakfast Club, Juno and Pump Up the Volume know quite well.
With that in mind, in conjunction with eOne Films' newest teen comedy, The DUFF (out now on Blu-ray, DVD and Digital HD), we've compiled our list of the Top 5 Music Moments in Teen Movie History. Check it out below, and listen to the whole thing on Rdio by clicking here.
5. "Everybody Knows" – Leonard Cohen
Pump Up the Volume (1990)
There's no shortage of good music in the Christian Slater-starring pirate radio dramedy Pump Up the Volume (songs from the likes of Sonic Youth, the Pixies and Cowboy Junkies all make appearances), but it's the film's opening theme, Leonard Cohen's "Everybody Knows," that gained the most attention, partly because it introduced a whole new generation to the Canadian crooner, but more so because it just sounds so badass.
4. "In Your Eyes" – Peter Gabriel
Say Anything (1989)
Although not as popular as it once was, holding a boombox above your head and playing Peter Gabriel's "In Your Eyes" outside a person's window used to be the universal sign for "I love you." Well, not really, but the scene became a defining moment in director Cameron Crowe's first feature-length film, and nearly helped the song renter the Top 40 three years after its release.
3. "Moving in Stereo" – The Cars
Fast Times at Ridgemont High (1982)
For a certain generation, Phoebe Cates emerging from a pool, unclasping her bikini top, and making out with Judge Reinhold was the start of their sexual awakening, and the Cars provided the perfect backing track. Listen to the opening riff of "Moving in Stereo" and try not to hear the words: "Hi Brad. You always knew how cute I thought you were."
2. "Anyone Else But You" – The Moldy Peaches
Before future teen classic Juno started filming, director Jason Reitman asked lead actress Ellen Page what music she thought the title character would listen to. Her response: early aughts anti-folk group the Moldy Peaches. That suggestion would fully shape the feel of the 2007 independent comedy, with Moldy Peaches member Kimya Dawson providing a number of sparse and beautiful acoustic arrangements to the film's indie-laced soundtrack. If you've ever seen an adorable couple crooning "Anyone Else But You" into each other's eyes in a public setting, you have this film, and its final scene featuring Page and co-star Michael Cera playing the two-chord song live, to thank for that.
1. "Don't You (Forget About Me)" — Simple Minds
The Breakfast Club (1985)
Few moments in teen movie history hold a tight, fingerless gloved grasp on people's minds quite like the ending sequence to John Hughes' 1985 classic The Breakfast Club. As high school outcast John Bender (played by Judd Nelson) walks off the football field, fist raised, the music of Simple Minds' "Don't You (Forget About Me)" plays in the background and we realize that each one of us is, deep down inside, a brain, an athlete, a basket case, a princess and a criminal, even if those base stereotypes barely define who we really are. The scene helped catapult the song to number one across the charts, and the soundtrack into every teenager's record collection.
On June 9, eOne's The DUFF, staring Mae Whitman (Arrested Development) and Ken Jeong (Community), joined the great tradition of teen movies on DVD, Blu-ray and Digital HD. Decide for yourself where it stands among the classics, and click here for your chance to win one of five copies on Blu-ray.