We've switched servers and will be updating the old code over the next couple months, meaning that several things might break. Please report issues here
A common trope for songs that are part of a movie's soundtrack and (usually) written for that movie. The video consists of many clips from the film. This serves as an additional way of promoting the movie—often becoming its unofficial theme song (unless it's already the official
theme song)—as well as providing another hit for the artist, and the song often finds itself as a bonus track on their next album or an Updated Re-release
of the current.
In more annoying examples, ever since The Nineties
, the song will have no direct relation to the movie at all other than the video, especially if the video is fully coherent without the film clips, since it might have been re-edited to include them note
. The aversion is when the song is featured on a movie soundtrack, and might be directly related to the movie, but won't feature any clips from the movie at all, though thematic elements or even actors from the film may appear.
For copyright reasons, there is often also a version of the video without
the film clips as well for uses where the rights to the film clips are not available such as the artist's own concerts or media releases.
In an inversion of this trope, some Fanvids
produce a similar effect by including band footage from the song's official video.
open/close all folders
- The music video for Adam Lambert's generic love ballad "Time For Miracles" consists of the singer walking through various CGI disasters from 2012. It's exactly as hilarious as it sounds.
- The video for Aerosmith's "I Don't Wanna Miss A Thing" does this with clips from Armageddon.
- Badly Drawn Boy provided two songs (and an entire score) for the movie About a Boy; the video clips for both built a very funny back story for the duck Marcus accidentally kills in one scene. In the clip for "Something to Talk About", we see how the duck has been tormenting the singer relentlessly since childhood, and he is finally freed from its tyranny when it dies; in the clip for "Silent Sigh" a scientist from the future unearths the frozen duck, and reading its memories finds that it was in love, but its partner was run over by a car — which happened to have the young singer in the back seat.
- Cleverly played with in the Beck video "Deadweight" for the film A Life Less Ordinary, in which Beck walks through a series of surreal situations that reflect scenes from the film. For example, he dials a number on a phone on a beach; the video then cuts to Cameron Diaz's character picking up a phone in the movie.
- Billy Idol:
- "Speed" is a pretty standard example - faux live performance footage coupled with footage from the film of the same name, primarily action shots of the bus swerving around. In this case it's something specifically written for the movie though, and the lyrics do at least prominently use driving dangerously fast as a metaphor.
- "Cradle of Love" features scenes from The Adventures of Ford Fairlane - but without featuring in them main star Andrew Dice Clay, who had been banned from MTV.
- Billy Ocean's "When The Going Gets Tough", from Jewel Of The Nile features clips mixed with faux-performance footage where the film's lead actors (Michael Douglas, Kathleen Turner and Danny Devito) all appear and ham it up by pretending to sing.
- Bryan Adams's video for "Everything I Do (I Do It For You)" played over the end credits of Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves was him walking around singing interspersed with clips from the movie.
- Coolio's "Gangster's Paradise" (from Dangerous Minds) intercuts clips with new footage featuring Michelle Pfeiffer and Coolio sitting in a room glaring at each other.
- Cyndi Lauper's "The Goonies 'R' Good Enough" has the odd tactic of devoting an entire chunk of the music video to nothing but clips of the movie set in more or less chronological order. The rest of the seven-minute is filled with Lauper joining the group on an adventure, and features from well-known WWF wrestlers like Captain Lou Albano, "Rowdy" Roddy Piper and The Iron Sheik, and director Steven Spielberg.
- David Bowie videos derived from movie/TV soundtracks run the spectrum from playing this trope straight up ("This Is Not America", which he did with Pat Metheny Group, consists solely of clips from The Falcon and the Snowman) to completely averting it; see Movie Tie-In Music Video at Other Common Music Video Concepts for more on that. One example of this trope, the video for the Title Theme Tune from Absolute Beginners (1986), actually doubled as a theatrical trailer.
- Destinys Child's "Independent Women, Part 1" (from Charlie's Angels) features the group singing at a board meeting as clips from the film play on a screen behind them.
- Dorothee's "Les Petits Ewoks" (from The Ewok Adventure) is a straight usage of this trope - the singer is filmed in front of a green-screen forest, singing over clips from the movie.
- En Vogue's "Don't Let Go" had two versions produced. The first features the group performing in a condo for a group of people (including a man - played by Mekhi Phifer - who cheated on every member of the group), while the second reused the performance footage and featured clips from the Jada Pinkett Smith heist film Set It Off.
- Faith Hill's video for "Where Are You Christmas?" from the live-action How the Grinch Stole Christmas! had the singer walking through situations that reflect the film.
- The Foo Fighters have two, but both have storylines as well. "Breakout" is inspired by Me, Myself, and Irene, and is probably better than that movie (Dave Grohl and Traylor Howard - who starred in that movie - go to to a drive-in to see Me, Myself and Irene, and Dave eventually suffers a Split Personality Takeover like Jim Carrey does in the movie).
- "The One" was more inspired by Fame than Orange County, but still opens with Dave reenacting a scene of said movie.
- The first video for Garbage's "Breaking Up The Girl" contained only bits and pieces of the completed video, as well as behind the scenes footage of the band, and clips from the Daria movie Is It College Yet?. The second did not.
- A version of "When I Grow Up" has clips from Big Daddy.
- Girls Aloud's video for their cover of Jump (For My Love) is intercut with film clips from Love Actually, creating the illusion that the band snuck into Downing Street and spotted Hugh Grant's character dancing.
- "I Stand Alone" by Godsmack does this intermixed with The Scorpion King.
- "Iris" from The Goo Goo Dolls was featured on the City of Angels soundtrack, and features lead singer Johnny Rzenick sitting up in a watchtower using a telescope to look at various things, including scenes from the movie (such as Meg Ryan's character riding a bike).
- Guns N' Roses's "You Could Be Mine" uses clips from Terminator 2: Judgment Day to make it look like the Terminator is trying to kill them.
- The Harvey Danger cover of "Save It For Later" from the 200 Cigarettes soundtrack featured the band interacting with characters from the film via edited footage and body doubles. For instance at one point the singer drops his glasses in a mostly empty bowl with leftover frosting in it while performing - cut to a shot of Martha Plimpton's character licking frosting off one lens of a similar pair of glasses, then another shot of the singer picking the glasses back up, licking the other lens, and putting them back on. It's just well-integrated enough that if you aren't familiar with the film it might just seem like an exceptionally cameo-filled 80's-themed music video at first.
- Iggy Pop's "Lust for Life" video contains clips from Trainspotting. Notable for the fact that the song is about 20 years older than the film.
- The music video for Jon Bon Jovi's "Blaze of Glory" (from the Young Guns soundtrack) features clips from the film being played on an outdoor movie screen.
- The music video for Kelly Clarkson's "Breakaway", intersped with not just clips but the poster for The Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement.
- Lääz Rockit's video for "Leatherface" shows the band rocking in badlands with clips of Leatherface: The Texas Chainsaw Massacre III in between. Musical instruments also get destroyed by a chainsaw.
- Limahl's "Never Ending Story" uses clips from the titular movie.
- Ludacris' "Act A Fool" (from 2 Fast 2 Furious) has the singer rapping beside a selection of street racing vehicles, coupled with clips from the film.
- The video for M2M's "Don't Say You Love Me" contained footage from Pokémon: The First Movie playing on a screen at a drive-in where the video was shot - although the song has absolutely nothing to do with the movie's plot.
- Madonna, in addition to the Austin Powers example listed above, had other tie-in videos:
- The "Crazy for You" and "The Gambler" videos show clips from Vision Quest with Madonna performing at the bar that was shown at the movie.
- "Don't Cry For Me, Argentina" (from Evita) is filled with nothing but clips from the movie.
- "Into The Groove" from Desperately Seeking Susan is made entirely of clips from the movie, which starred Madonna and Rosanna Arquette.
- M.C. Hammer:
- "Addams Family Rap" from The Addams Family included random clips from the film as well as new footage of the cast interacting with Hammer.
- "Straight To My Feet" from Street Fighter The Movie has Hammer performing with Deion Sanders in costumes similar to Guile's (and in one of the filming locations from the film) as clips are played throughout.
- The UK release of Night at the Museum used Mcfly's "Friday Night" in the end credits. As expected, the official music video included clips from the movie alongside footage of the band fooling around in London.
- Metallica's first video, "One", was clips of them playing interspersed with scenes from Johnny Got His Gun. Originally, it was just going to be a Performance Video, until the band bought the film rights to use it in the video (as it is a Filk Song and they would complement it well).
- Mika's "Kickass" was written specificly for the movie by the same name. It makes sense that the majority of the video is clips of the movie. With the rest being Mika running around singing, and laying on his back singing.
- Ministry's "What About Us?" - the band had a cameo playing the song in A.I.: Artificial Intelligence during the Flesh Fair scene, so the video is mainly an extended version of said cameo, coupling clips of that sequence with footage of the band miming on the set. Oddly, the song wasn't even included on the A.I. soundtrack album, and the video was made to promote Ministry's Greatest Fits instead.
- The music video for Myra's cover of "Dancing in the Street" contains clips of Recess: School's Out throughout the video.
- The video for Paramore's "Decode" is filled with clips from Twilight, and looks like it was shot in the same forest.
- Pat Benatar's "Invincible" video does this for The Legend of Billie Jean.
- Paul McCartney did this with:
- "No More Lonely Nights," from his film Give My Regards to Broad Street.
- "Spies Like Us," from the film of the same title. John Landis, the film's director, directed the music video as well, and starring actors Chevy Chase and Dan Aykroyd were also featured in footage shot exclusively for the video.
- A Perfect Circle's "Passive" is a mix of clips from Constantine and band-playing clips- except the latter are stylized with a false-color camera to fit in with the visual style used in that scene from the movie. The song was used in the movie.
- Phil Collins:
- "Two Hearts", released as a tie-in with the comparatively lesser-known Collins film Buster, features a performance by a band featuring multiple versions of himself (all with different disguises) mixed with clips from the film.
- "You'll Be In My Heart", from the Tarzan animated movie, is a standard clips-mixed-with-performance video.
- Plain White T's "Pet Sematary" for Frankenweenie. Might also be a case of Music Videos Always Spoil.
- The Proclaimers' second video for "I'm Gonna Be (500 Miles)," which included clips from Benny & Joon.
- The Psychedelic Furs' "Pretty In Pink": While the original video consisted of Richard Butler lip syncing inside an Alice In Wonderland-inspired house, once it became associated with the film of the same name, a second video was made featuring movie clips alternating with shots of the band miming with painted-over stills green-screened behind them, which was the director's way of putting a more artistic spin on things.
- "Flash", the theme song of the 1980 Flash Gordon movie, which features the band performing in front a screen showing clips from the film.
- The video for "Radio Ga-Ga" contains numerous clips of Fritz Lang's silent film Metropolis, as well as brief shots from almost every clip for earlier Queen songs.
- The video for "Princes of the Universe" interspersed clips of the film Highlander with scenes of the band (on the film set), culminating in a sword fight between Freddie Mercury and a guest-starring Christopher Lambert.
- A particularly egregious Queen example is "One Year of Love", also from Highlander, which originally had no video. The song later appeared on Queen's second compilation album (Classic Queen or Greatest Hits II, depending on your locale), and a video was needed to make the album match its corresponding VHS video compilation. One was cobbled together from Highlander clips and clips from other Queen videos.
- And the video for the song "The Show Must Go On" was entirely composed of clips from previous Queen videos. This was because Freddie Mercury's health was rapidly declining by this point, and he could not appear in a new video.
- One more Queen example: Their video for the song "Bohemian Rhapsody", one of the earliest music videos, was re-cut to include clips from the movie Waynes World, after said movie featured it prominently on its soundtrack and became a hit.
- The video for Rascal Flatts' "Life Is a Highway" features several clips from Cars, on whose soundtrack it was included.
- The Red Hot Chili Peppers cover of "Love Roller Coaster" alternates between clips of Beavis And Butthead Do America and an animated version of the band themselves meeting Beavis and Butthead on a literal "love rollercoaster" (or at least, one shaped like a heart).
- Lampshaded in the clip for REM's "The Great Beyond" - the clips from Man on the Moon are presented as commercial breaks during a live taping of their performance for TV. At one point, the band members waiting out their break throw darts at a screen the clips are being projected upon. Moreover, the band actually discovers the Fourth Wall and escapes by smashing it, emerging from a TV set somewhere else; this is a subtle reference to Andy Kaufman's experimentation with various television tropes.
- Roxette had two hits featured as tie-in music videos:
- "It Must Have Been Love", the lead single from Pretty Woman, was chosen despite the film's producers asking the group to produce a different song. It became the group's most successful single release, and turned into a Breakaway Pop Hit three months after the film's release. The video features the band performing in a warehouse, mixed with footage from the film.
- "Almost Unreal" is an interesting example, as it was originally intended for the 1993 Bette Midler film Hocus Pocus before being shuffled to act as the lead single for Super Mario Bros., and featuring the standard mix of film clips and performance footage.
- Semisonic's FNT had two versions, one with clips from 10 Things I Hate About You and another from The Long Kiss Goodnight starring Samuel L. Jackson and Geena Davis.
- Smash Mouth's "All Star" video originally contained clips from Mystery Men and sported cameos from the cast of the film, but when the song became much more popular than the movie, the clips and the scene featuring the cast were taken out.
- As it was released as a single to promote Dangerously Close, The Smithereens' "Blood and Roses" originally mixed clips of the movie with footage of the band playing in an empty school, as one of the film's characters lurked in the background. While not technically a Breakaway Pop Hit, since the song was already released on their debut album, the song became more popular than the movie, so it later was re-edited into a straight performance video. They couldn't cut the character out of background shots though, leading people who'd never even heard of the movie to wonder why this mysterious man in sunglasses was in the video just standing around doing nothing.
- Tenacious D's "POD" from Tenacious D in The Pick of Destiny takes it in a very meta direction: the song is specifically about how awesome the movie is, and the video has them singing it in the middle of a crowded theater showing the movie itself (and eventually getting thrown out by security after annoying one too many people).
- The video for Warrant's cover of "We Will Rock You" is full of clips from the 1992 boxing movie Gladiator.
- "Weird Al" Yankovic had this with bits of Johnny Dangerously cut into 'This Is the Life'; the video itself is not a Performance Video itself.
- Will Smith is a major proponent of this - almost every film he's starred in has an accompanying music video, in which he appears in-character (often with other members of the cast) and directly interacts with the singer (along with clips from the film).
- In Diana King's "Shy Guy" video from 1995's Bad Boys, Smith and Martin Lawrence appear as the two titular cops of the film, reacting to the singer's presence and trying (miserably) to dance to the music.
- Wild Wild West from the 1997 remake of the same name. In the video, Jim West (Smith) pursues a Back from the Dead Dr. Loveless, who has once again kidnapped Rita Escobar (Salma Hayek). Although the music video premiered months before the film came out, it is a semi-sequel to the film, and ignores most of the movie's ending (namely, Rita has apparently left her doctor husband, and Loveless has appeared alive and well without explanation).
- His videos for the Men In Black franchise (the self-titled track from the original film and "Nod Ya Head (Black Suits Comin')" from the sequel) features him as J, doing a stage performance together with aliens.
- Breaking Benjamin music video of "I Will Not Bow" promoted the film Film/Surrogates. At the end of it, The band collapse revealing they are also surrogates.
Live Action TV
- "How Do You Talk To An Angel?" by The Heights, from the TV show of the same name, mixes a handful of shots from the show with new performance footage. Interestingly, the song (and video) became a hit just as the show was cancelled by FOX.
- Lisa Lougheed's "Run with Us", the credits theme for The Raccoons, uses clips from the show's pre-series Lost Star special, which predates the writing of the song (let alone Lougheed's version of it) by nearly two years!