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Revival by Commercialization

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"It's always a bit odd when you remember that pop culture does not consist of hermetically sealed elements that don't interact; it's like learning that 'As Time Goes By' was an old song by the time Dooley Wilson played it for Ilsa."
James Lileks, "Hard & Snappy!"

A mostly-forgotten song gets used in a prominent movie, TV show, video game, or commercial. Suddenly, it is everywhere. Other shows, movies, and commercials start to use it. A lot. It is back on the radio, maybe even back on the charts. The original album it came from sells like hotcakes. Somewhere, a songwriter makes a lot of unexpected money.


Also known as the "Guitar Hero effect" — via the phenomenon of old songs finding a new audience by their inclusion in the game. Can be helped along by Watch It for the Meme, at least in the case of Rick Astley.

Particularly successful examples may eventually become Standard Snippets. Might overlap with Breakaway Pop Hit, and often creates a Newbie Boom.

See also The Red Stapler and Song Association, which sometimes involves this as well. Also compare Colbert Bump. Covered Up is when a song is brought back into prominence (well, kind of) because someone else in the music industry referenced it.

Ironically, if this works really well, the song can remain popular after the work that revived it has been forgotten about.


Examples: (Sorted by the medium reviving the song)

    open/close all folders 

  • Israel Kamakawiwoʻole's arrangement of "Somewhere Over the Rainbow/What a Wonderful World" after it was used in a Rice Krispies commercial around 2007. It was also in Glee and IMAX Hubble 3D.
    • In Germany, the recording shot up the singles charts when a medium-sized local series used it to contemplate a Green Aesop week.
    • In 2020, it hit the iTunes charts in the US after Google featured it in a Google Doodle marking what would have been the artist's 61st birthday.
    • The acapella act Straight No Chaser also mashed it up with Jason Mraz's "I'm Yours".
  • The Bellamy Brothers' 1976 debut single "Let Your Love Flow" was repopularized in the UK in 2008 due to the banking company Barclays using it in commercials.
  • Nick Drake's "Pink Moon", as used in a Volkswagen ad. His three albums, especially Pink Moon, experienced their highest sales ever to that point after the advertisement started airing.
  • "Mr. Roboto", and Styx in general, came back with a vengeance after the VW commercial.
  • Yet Another Volkswagen ad: "Mr. Blue Sky" by Electric Light Orchestra. This song was also used for the French telecom company SFR's ads — there is even a version sung by Lily Allen, which appeared in an ad.
  • There was a Honda Accord ad that used "Hold On Tight."
  • used E.L.O.'s cover of "Do Ya." The album it came from was reissued, after being out of print for years, a month or so after the commercials started running. Coincidence?
  • And still yet another VW ad: Clannad, "Theme to 'Harry's Game'." (Although, it disappeared just as quickly, as new-agey songs sung entirely in Irish Gaelic is something of a niche genre.)
    • That was also sampled in "Saltwater" by Chicane, which in turn was used in a Tourism Ireland advert.
  • The Christmas classic song "It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year" got a big boost in downloads after British grocery chain Marks & Spencers used it in an ad campaign.
    • In the U.S., it emerged from the holiday radio ghetto when it was used in a memorable "back to school" commercial for Staples.
  • Prez Prado's "Guaglione" was a big hit after its use in a Guinness ad.
  • Prado's "Patricia" got popular after its use in Royal Mail adverts.
  • Jimi Hendrix's "Crosstown Traffic" enjoyed a revival in the UK after being used in a commercial for... um... something or other...
  • Doris Troy's "Just One Look" (and/or cover versions of it) went through this big time back in The '90s, appearing in many commercials (including a famous one for Pepsi starring Cindy Crawford). (Unfortunately this did not include the version by Klaus Nomi.)
  • After Louis Prima's "Jump, Jive, An' Wail" was featured in a commercial for The Gap, both the 1956 original and Brian Setzer's cover got a fair bit of radio play. Indeed, this may be a case of genre revival-by-commercialization, as the Gap ad is credited with (temporarily) re-mainstreaming swing.
  • A strange Venezuelan case was Henry Stephen and his 1960's song "Limon Limonero", who became relevant (and parodiable) in The '90s after being repurposed for a lemon-scented bleach commercial.
  • If you've heard Trio's "Da Da Da" or a cover of it at any time later then the early 1980s, you almost certainly have Volkswagen to thank for that even if you don't remember the 1997 ad that revived the song. If you live in the UK, you may also have seen it in this mid-to-late 80s ad or a tradidional Bavarian take in a Pepsi ad from 2006.
  • The similar sounding "88 Lines about 44 Women" by the Nails (which was not the same band as Nine Inch Nails, or the grindcore band Nails for that matter, YouTube commentators notwithstanding) was also used in some kind of car commercial in the 90s that nobody remembers now, which started it on the way to several well-known parodies and fan-made videos like this one.
  • Levi's Jeans adverts have resulted in three UK number one singles by this method: Ben E. King's "Stand By Me" in 1987, Steve Miller Band's "The Joker" in 1990, and The Clash's "Should I Stay or Should I Go?" in 1991, though a certain Stephen King movie may have also helped "Stand By Me".
  • A Volkswagen ad featuring "Young at Heart" by The Bluebells got that song to No. 1 in 1993.
  • The Hollies' "He Ain't Heavy, He's My Brother" topped the UK Singles Chart in 1988 (almost 20 years after its original release) after being featured prominently in an advert for Miller Lite beer.
    • It was also used in promotional material for the American Boys Town in the 1980s, which is appropriate because it was inspired by a legend based around an illustration which was used by Boys Town by founder Father Edward Flanigan in the 1940s to promote what Boys Town was doing.
    • It is primarily known in Canada as the backing track for a famous anti-drug commercial produced by Concerned Children's Advertisers, which featured a man going to visit his ailing brother at a hospital and hugging at the end. The commercial played for many years on various Canadian stations and grew very popular as a result.
  • Andy Williams's "Music to Watch Girls By" got a boost after it was used in a British car advert. The funny thing is that it was a Top Ten Jingle to begin with - the music came from a McDonald's ad.
  • The Human League's "(Keep Feeling) Fascination" was revived in a Verizon smartphone commercial, and as a Softer and Slower Cover by Rob Crow in a Kingsford Charcoal commercial.
  • Gorillaz's "Feel Good Inc.", appearing as the cover in an American iPod ad, led to the popularization of the band in the United States outside of Alternative radio. (It remains their only top 40 hit in America.) It's even mentioned in their book Rise of the Ogre as one of the main reasons they became popular to begin with.
    • A similar effect happened to "New Soul" by Yael Naim and "1234" by Feist, two indie folk songs that managed to make the Top 10 in the US after appearing in iPod ads. Brazilian electro-indie band CSS' "Music is My Hot, Hot Sex" only made it to #63 after appearing in an American iPod ad, but this was still the highest charting placement by a Brazilian artist on the Billboard Hot 100 since Sergio Mendes had a top 10 hit in 1983.
  • "Tainted Love" was an obscure B-Side by Soul singer Gloria Jones until New Wave artists Soft Cell took their cover version to the charts in 1981, but by the early 90s even that had faded from all memory. Enter Levi's Wide Leg jeans.
  • Canadians of a certain age hearing "Bang a Gong" are instantly reminded of a slew of 1980s Labatt's Blue ads.
  • Canadians may also associate "Born to Be Alive," a 1979 hit by Patrick Hernandez, with a mid-2000s ad for Chrysler.
  • In America, the theme from The Magnificent Seven is always linked to Marlboro commercials (at least, back when cigarette commercials were legal in the U.S.).
  • It's hard to listen to the "Hoedown" movement of Aaron Copland's ballet Rodeo and think of anything but "Beef: It's what's for dinner!"
  • Brazilians know "Chopsticks" as "the Danoninho song" (the product being a petit suisse by Danone). Of course many foreigners associate that one with Big...
  • Most Brits above a certain age will automatically think of Cornetto ice creams when they hear the music for "O Sole Mio"
  • "From the New World" (colloquially known as "The New World Symphony"), composed following Dvorak's visit to America, will forever be known as "the Hovis music" to a certain section of the British public, following its use on a 1973 advert for bread baked in Hertfordshire.
  • For Americans, Sarah McLachlan's "Angel" will always be linked to montages of sad, abused animals in cages in commercials for the ASPCA.
  • When Americans hear any part of Rhapsody In Blue by George Gershwin, you immediately recognize it as the music utilized by United Airlines in all of their media advertisements and preflight safety videos.
  • The Youngblood's "Get Together" is now remembered as one of the essential songs of The '60s, but it was just another unsuccessful folk-rock cover when originally released in 1967. Only when the National Conference of Christians and Jews used it in radio ads in 1969 did the song become a hit.
  • Dave Grohl said he tries to avert this - even rallying with John Kerry after George W. Bush used "Times Like These" in commercials - but agreed to license a song for a Japanese beer ad so that the Foo Fighters' dressing room would always be filled with Kirin.
  • Modern English's "I Melt With You" has experienced a resurgence in recent years via inclusion in several commercials, including one for the GMC Acadia Super Bowl clip (which featured a lounge version) and a 2010 Hershey's Chocolate promo (which featured a holiday-themed cover of the chorus).
  • Yellow Magic Orchestra recorded an acoustic version of "Rydeen" for a beer commercial, putting both the new and original versions of the song on the charts nearly three decades after it was first released.
  • Laurie Anderson's "O Superman" became popular again after it was used in a commercial (the skydiving one) for HTC smartphones.
  • Alex Clare's song "Too Close", released in 2011, had little success despite having a top production team, and Clare was eventually dropped from his record label. In 2012, "Too Close" was used in an ad for Internet Explorer 9, and within months of the ad's debut the song reached the top 10 on the Hot 100.
  • New Radicals' "You Get What You Give" was used in a Mitsubishi ad in New Zealand and Australia several years after it reached #1 and #13 in those countries respectively. The song's renewed popularity led to a re-release of the band's only album with a sticker reading "featuring the song from the Mitsubishi ad".
  • A Carlsberg advert with a Vindicated by History message did this with the Ira and George Gershwin song "They All Laughed" in 1999, leading to at least one modern cover in 2000.
  • 1976 Fruit and Nut commercial ("Everyone's A Fruit and Nut Case"), set to the tune of Tchaikovsky's "Dance of the Reed Flutes".
  • "Hall of Fame" by The Script and had gone out of people's heads before it got used in an ad for the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics in Australia and the United States.
  • Tones On Tail's single "Go!" received its greatest exposure in the 2008 commercial by the Ford Motor Company for the Mercury Mariner.
  • Carnival Cruise Line began using Iggy Pop's "Lust For Life" as a theme song for commercials about family cruises, and his career as a singer took an upswing.
  • Felix's '90s house hit "Don't You Want Me" gained resurgence in the UK after being featured in a famous 1997 ad for Blackcurrant Tango.
  • GEICO:
    • Geico brought Europe's "The Final Countdown" back into the limelight when they used it in one of their commercials.
    • Royksopp's "Remind Me" is associated with a 2006 GEICO caveman commercial, despite coming out several years prior.
    • "Round and Round", the 1984 hit by Hair Metal band Ratt, returned to the Billboard rock song chart in 2020 after the band themselves appeared in a GEICO commercial where a couple complains about their new home having a "Ratt problem".
    • "Build Me Up Buttercup" a 1969 hit by The Foundations, has been featured in a recent series of GEICO motorcycle insurance spots.
  • Like all National Anthems, "God Defend New Zealand" suffers from Second Verse Curse. The third English verse, however, is slightly less obscure than the rest thanks to its use in New Zealand Defence Force recruitment ads.
  • The Cars "Just What I Needed" got a nice boost after it was used in a marketing campaign by now-defunct tech store Circuit City.
  • The Calling's "Wherever You Will Go" shot back up the UK charts after it was Covered Up for a Twinings tea ad in 2011.
  • This has happened to several of the songs featured in the ubiquitous John Lewis Christmas adverts: covers of "The Power of Love" and "Somewhere Only We Know" shot to #1 in successive years (in the former case, 28 years to the day after the original version hit #1), and a cover of "One Day I'll Fly Away" in the 2016 ad brought that song back into the public consciousness 36 years after its initial release
  • Free Band's "All Right Now" got a boost in popularity twenty years after its initial release after it was used in an advert for Wrigley's Spearmint Chewing Gum - it was known as "the chewing gum song" for some time after that, and a remixed re-release was a top ten hit in the UK.
  • That catchy "Pumps Your Blood" song used in a 2004 St. Joseph aspirin commercial was originally from the 1979 Happy Days episode "Potsie Quits School".
  • Bachman-Turner Overdrive’s “Takin’ Care of Business” found renewed popularity after being used in an ad campaign for Office Depot/Office Max. Composer Randy Bachman has said that he’s made more money from licensing the song for commercials than he ever did during its run on the charts.
  • "We Might Be Dead By Tomorrow" was originally released in 2012 by French singer Soko. Then, two years later, her recording was featured in a viral commercial for Wren, a womenswear brand based in Los Angeles. The buzz from the commercial caused the song to debut at #9 on the Billboard Hot 100. Unfortunately, it didn't translate to airplay or sales, so it became the first of only a handful of songs to ever drop off the Hot 100 from the top 10note .
  • The Eminem song "'Till I Collapse" was an album track deep cut from The Eminem Show that suddenly broke out after it was used in the commercial for Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 in 2009. Ever since then, it's been considered one of the classics of his body of work, has over 1 billion streams, and is the only one of Eminem's most streamed songs that has never been released as a single.
  • The B-52s' song "Roam" found renewed popularity after being used in Subaru ads in certain markets, including a series of ads for Subaru's New Zealand branch.

    Fan Works 
  • "Heat Waves" by the British pop band Glass Animals was voted most popular song of 2020 in Australia due to being the inspiration for a fanfiction of the same name about Minecraft YouTubers Dream and GeorgeNotFound. The fanfiction became the most-read fic on Archive of Our Own in only four months due to being frequently brought up in Dream's and GeorgeNotFound's livestreams.

  • Nico's "These Days" after it was in The Royal Tenenbaums. The K-Mart commercial didn't hurt either. Jackson Browne, the song's writer and guitarist, had to re-learn it before he could start playing it live again when people started requesting to hear it.
  • WALL•E did this for the musical Hello, Dolly!, which received a 2009 tour (the last tour prior to that was in 1996).
  • Pretty much the entirety of most Quentin Tarantino's soundtracks are well within this trope. Stealers Wheel might have even gotten back together as a band because of the new attention given to "Stuck in the Middle With You" in Reservoir Dogs.
    • Another of Tarantino's films, Pulp Fiction, gave a big shot in the arm to Dick Dale's career by featuring Dale's version of 'Misirlou'. For that matter, Dale's amped-up cover of the song in 1961 is large part of why it is well-known today.
  • If anyone born after about 1970 knows the theme song from Rawhide outside of the show itself, then it would be probably thanks to The Blues Brothers movie. (Unless they remember it from An American Tail: Fievel Goes West...which used the Blues Brothers version).
    • It also brought "Minnie the Moocher" by Cab Calloway back into the public consciousness.
    • The film did this for blues, rhythm & blues, soul, and jazz in general, and Aretha Franklin, Cab Calloway, and James Brown in particular. In fact, most of the musicians who appeared in that film credit it with saving their careers.
  • The song "Mad World" was released by Tears for Fears in 1982. In 2001, Gary Jules and Michael Andrews wrote a cover, a haunting ballad in the Dorian mode. This version appeared at the end of the film Donnie Darko. As the movie became a cult hit, the song became popular enough that it was rereleased successfully as a single in 2003. It reached number 1 in the UK because of this. Since then, it has appeared in dozens of shows and a handful of commercials.
    • And since Adam Lambert sang it on American Idol it's gotten even more publicity on this side of the Atlantic.
    • Also used in a popular Gears of War TV ad.
    • In Australia the piano line features in an ad for beds!
    • On an episode of Never Mind the Buzzcocks Gary Jules was mocked by Chris Moyles for "being responsible for Tears for Fears getting back together." Kind of hypocritical when you consider who he almost single-handedly revived the career of.
    • The Gears of War ad sparked an oddly specific trend of creepy Tears For Fears covers appearing in trailers.
  • Nearly 36 years after its initial release, Tears for Fears' "Everybody Wants to Rule the World" was #1 on Billboard's Alternative Digital Song Sales list after experiencing a surge of 704% for downloads sold in the week ending Mar. 4, 2021. This resurgence is credited to its inclusion in the 2021 Robin Wright film Land.
  • Also sprach Zarathustra from 2001: A Space Odyssey — but only the first minute and a half. To a lesser degree, Johann Strauss II's Blue Danube Waltz, which is now widely known as "that space music".
  • Though it never completely fell into obscurity, Hall & Oates's 1981 hit single "You Make My Dreams" has certainly rose to prominence in film and TV since the late 1990s to the point where it may now be their Signature Song. It may have possibly started with its appearance in the Adam Sandler comedy The Wedding Singer and is now associated with the films Step Brothers and, especially, (500) Days of Summer.
  • Some of the songs on Grey's Anatomy and American Idol weren't obscure but became far more popular after having been used.
  • "As Time Goes By" will forever be known as the song Sam played (and played again) in Casablanca, but it dates back to 1931, when it was introduced in an unremarkable and now-obscure Broadway show called Everybody's Welcome. (Since Casablanca was released in the middle of a long recording strike, radio stations were forced to turn to older recordings of the song.)
  • "When I Fall In Love" was 40 years old when Sleepless in Seattle was released.
  • Many Jukebox Musicals aim for this. Reportedly, "Our Love Is Here To Stay" got a big popularity boost from the movie An American In Paris.
  • Ghost famously revived "Unchained Melody", and with it, The Righteous Brothers' careers. The song went to #1 on the UK charts following the film's release; higher than it had gone there when it was first released. Then in 1995, it charted again in the UK, as performed by Robson Green and Jerome Flynn in the series Soldier, Soldier.
  • To a lesser extent, Top Gun did this to "You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin'".
  • This once happened to the slow movement of Mozart's Piano Concerto #21 in C major after it was used in the now-obscure movie Elvira Madigan.
  • "Singin' in the Rain" had been around for 23 years — and appeared in at least two other movies — before the Gene Kelly film revived it. This means the song is at just the right period for the movie, which was set at the time when silent movies were giving way to talkies—protagonist Don Lockwood could very well have sung the song when caught in a sudden downpour. Mint Royale's remix of "Singin' In The Rain" also deserves mention: the remix itself was made for a 2005 Volkswagen commercial, was released on CD, was largely forgotten about, and then became a #1 UK hit three years later thanks to a Britain's Got Talent routine.
  • "I Like To Move It," thanks to the remixed version in Madagascar.
  • Fight Club re-popularized The Pixies' song "Where Is My Mind?", which was played over the climax.
  • Ravel's "Bolero" in the movie 10.
  • Wayne's World did this for Queen's "Bohemian Rhapsody." It reached number 2 in the US because of this. Freddie Mercury's untimely passing a few months prior also helped.
  • After the Cowboy Junkies version of "Sweet Jane" was used in Natural Born Killers, it started popping up everywhere, even somewhat edging out the original in the public, non-fan consciousness. Which is interesting, because it's actually a cover of Lou Reed's early vision for the song, not the one that Velvets eventually released.
  • The Beatles' version of "Twist and Shout" thanks to Ferris Bueller's Day Off. Apparently, Paul McCartney couldn't have cared less; he is quoted as not being satisfied with the extra instruments used during the famous scene.
  • Dean Martin's "That's Amore" won renewed popularity from being featured in Moonstruck, 24 years after he and Jerry Lewis had introduced it in The Caddy. It's still used quite often (or one of his other songs) in films/TV episodes that take place in Italy.
  • "Magic Carpet Ride" by Steppenwolf is now mainly associated with Star Trek: First Contact, despite having been around for 28 years prior.
  • "Goodbye Horses" by Q. Lazzarus was plucked from obscurity by The Silence of the Lambs, and is now mainly associated with an iconic scene in that film. It was from the soundtrack to Married to the Mob, and had never been released as a single.
  • Seal's "Kiss from a Rose" had an unspectacular chart run when it was released as a single from his 1994 album Seal II. It was re-issued the next year as the first single from the Batman Forever soundtrack and proceeded to top the US and Australian charts and win Record of the Year at the 1996 Grammys. More recently, it's been revitalized by being featured prominently in an episode of Community.
  • Inception and Edith Piaf's "Non, Je Ne Regrette Rien".
  • Doris Day's version of "A Bushel and a Peck" from Guys and Dolls got this when it was featured in Julie & Julia.
  • Nina Simone's "Sinnerman", which got a big push in 1999 when it was used in the remake of The Thomas Crown Affair, then remixed as a club hit that was played in 2003's Cellular and the 2006 Miami Vice remake, as well as used as the theme song for the XTC cell phone.
    • It was also featured in Person of Interest, which brought up a mini resurgence leading to appearances in The Blacklist and Sherlock. It is used to illustrate a bad man cleverly outwitting the good guys in a way the audience can admire.
  • Ben E. King's "Stand By Me" climbed up to #4 on the Billboard Top 100 charts back in 1961. Then about 25 years later, the movie Stand by Me was released and the song made its way back into the charts topping at #9 in the US Billboard charts.
  • Thanks to The Mask, people nowadays know the "Cuban Pete" song more than the eponymous 1946 film it originally came from.
  • "Mr. Sandman", especially the Four Aces version, may be forever associated with Back to the Future (though at least its usage ensures everyone will remember what decade it's from).
    • The version by The Chordettes regained some exposure via (and is now often associated with) the Halloween film series.
  • The 1963 song "Doo Wah Diddy Diddy" by The Exciters enjoyed renewed popularity after it was featured as a military cadence in the 1981 comedy Stripes.
  • John Parr's "St. Elmo's Fire (Man In Motion)" was originally written for Canadian athlete Rick Hansen, who was raising awareness for spinal cord injuries by touring the world in his wheelchair. It became a hit when it appeared on the St. Elmo's Fire film soundtrack, minimally rewritten to include a Title Drop. The lyrics still make far more sense in the context of Hansen's tour than anything in the movie.
  • "O Children" was originally released in 2004, and was an album-only track on a record that didn't sell a lot (though was critically acclaimed). Six years later, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 decides to use it in one of the film's most heartwrenching / Heartwarming Moments, which was also unique to the film. Cue huge surge in the song's popularity, with many young listeners being introduced to Nick Cave for the first time. Funnily, this wasn't the first time this had happened to Nick Cave - Scream, Dumb and Dumber, and to a lesser extent The X-Files, did the same thing for "Red Right Hand" (which was also a trope namer).
  • "I'm Gonna Be (500 Miles)" by Scottish band The Proclaimers. Originally released in 1988, it was fairly successful in the UK and Australia. When the song was included in the soundtrack of the 1993 film Benny & Joon, it became a worldwide sensation, flying all the way to #3 in the US.
  • It is literally impossible to find a video of ELO's "All Over the World" without a comment which roughly reads "Like if you looked this up because of Paul"!
  • Similarly, while "Bohemian Like You" was already The Dandy Warhols' biggest hit, its popularity surged after it was featured during the chase scene in Flushed Away, to the extent that the comments on any given video of the song will be full of people quoting said scene.
  • "My Sharona" by The Knack was a big hit in 1979 and regained popularity in 1994 when it featured in Reality Bites. It only reached #94 on its second go-around, but the film's soundtrack reached #13 and propelled the song back into the public consciousness in a big way. It was the introduction to the song for many people who were born around the time it was originally released.
    • The 2011 J. J. Abrams sci-fi film Super 8 also may have reintroduced this song to more recent generations.
  • "Kalimando", written by Rene Dupere and originally from Cirque du Soleil's Mystère (1993), was reused in the 1996 film Bogus.
  • Chris Isaak's "Baby Did A Bad Bad Thing" went mostly unnoticed upon release. Then it started being used on the trailers and TV spots for Eyes Wide Shut (as well as one of the movie's scenes) and even warranted a sexy music video.
  • The film of Amadeus caused people to want to hear more of Antonio Salieri's work, and sparked an interest in Salieri's music, the likes of which had not been seen since the man himself was alive.
  • The 1950s song "You Always Hurt The One You Love" (most associated with the Mills Brothers) was used prominently in Blue Valentine. The song was performed by one of the main characters and that version was used in the official trailers.
    • It also did this to an extremely obscure, unreleased demo song called "You and Me" by Penny and the Quarters. Here's the full story.
  • Men in Black got people into Elvis Presley's cover of "Promised Land".
    Agent Jay: You do know Elvis is dead right?
    Agent Kay: No, Elvis is not dead, he just went home.
  • Blue Swede's "Hooked on a Feeling" was used for the trailer of Guardians of the Galaxy, and quickly returned to the iTunes Top 100 after that. Related to the Quentin Tarantino example above, it had been previously used on the soundtrack of Reservoir Dogs. Also see the entry for Ally McBeal below under Television.
  • Gyorgy Ligeti's "Requiem" was put back on the map by its use in trailers and ads for Godzilla (2014), although it was first popularized in the aforementioned 2001.
  • "This Corrosion" by The Sisters of Mercy has been getting more attention since being used in The World's End.
  • The song "Home Sweet Home" by Mötley Crüe received a brief boost in popularity following the release of Hot Tub Time Machine. It may have spurred Coldwell Banker to include the song in one of their ads in The New '10s.
  • The trailers for Suicide Squad (2016) did this to The Bee Gees' "I Started A Joke" and, to a lesser extent, "Bohemian Rhapsody."
  • Pixar did this a lot with the trailers for their earlier works. These included "The Boys Are Back In Town" for Toy Story (and for Toy Story 3), "Baba O'Riley" for A Bug's Life, "Hold On, I'm Coming" for Toy Story 2, "Break On Through (To the Other Side)" for Monsters, Inc., and "Down Under" for Finding Nemo. They still do it occasionally to this day, notably with Inside Out, Onward, and Turning Red, whose trailers respectively used "More Than a Feeling", "Magic" and "Larger Than Life".
    • Speaking of "Baba O'Riley", it got introduced to yet another generation of listeners in 2015 through its use in the trailers for The Peanuts Movie.
    • Back to Pixar, they introduced a lot of people to the band AJR, who had a song of theirs featured in the teaser for Soul.
  • "Rock Around the Clock" by Bill Haley & His Comets received a major bump in 1974 thanks to it being used both as the theme for American Graffiti and the TV series Happy Days. As a result, the 20-year-old recording returned to the Billboard Top 40 in the US and also returned to the charts in the UK. (Not to mention also being featured on the top-selling American Graffiti soundtrack album.)
  • For better or worse, the trailer for Sonic the Hedgehog (2020) did this for Coolio's "Gangsta's Paradise". In fact, it caused an AMV of the song posted in 2007 to skyrocket in views and prompted the user who made it to edit a comment he'd made at that point to say "12 years from now...there will be a live-action Sonic movie based on my video."
    • The film itself would bring a lot of attention to The Poppy Family's "Where Evil Grows" thanks to a scene where Dr. Robotnik dances to it.
  • Joker did this with Gary Glitter's original version of "Rock and Roll (Part 2)", long after Glitter and his music vanished from the public eye following a series of pedophilia scandals.
  • Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle revived Big Mountain's cover of "Baby, I Love Your Way" (which coincidentally, had also been made for a movie back in 1994).
  • Free Guy did this to Mariah Carey's "Fantasy".
  • Smash Mouth's "All Star" got a major boost from Shrek, and is now associated mainly with that movie despite being on the Mystery Men soundtrack several years earlier.

  • The somewhat obscure ZZ Top song "Velcro Fly" has been given a popularity boost thanks to a prominent mention in The Dark Tower books.

    Live-Action TV 
  • "Bad Things" was originally a non-charting single for a very little-known Country Music singer named Jace Everett. Then it got used as the Real Song Theme Tune to True Blood, and it suddenly hit the charts in several countries.
  • Brazilian artist Supla was mostly forgotten around 2001. Then a MTV Accentuate the Negative show, Piores Clipes do Mundo ("The worst music videos in the world") decided to showcase one his videos, "Green Hair". Even though Supla initially complained about it ("they never show my videos, and when they do it's on Piores!"), the exposition was enough to revive his career - it helped the show was so fond of "Green Hair" it appeared nearly Once an Episode.
  • Frank Sinatra's cover of "Love and Marriage" was a hit in 1955, then forgotten until it became the theme to Married... with Children in 1987.
  • "Rock Around The Clock" as the original theme of Happy Days. Before that, it was in the movie American Graffiti. And before that, it was a B-side that found fame after being used in Blackboard Jungle.
  • "In The Street" introduced the mainstream late 90s audience of That '70s Show to the music of cult musician Alex Chilton and Big Star.
  • Somewhat related: Elvis Presley's "A Little Less Conversation" was mostly forgotten, and didn't even make the top 40 when originally released (it only peaked at #69). Then in 2002, it was remixed by Junkie XL for a TV commercial, got featured in other commercials and soundtracks, and became a #1 hit in many countries. It's now a standard number in Elvis impersonator acts in Las Vegas. It is also used as the theme song to the TV show Las Vegas. And then the remix itself was probably caused by the song having been featured in Ocean's Eleven - itself a remake of 1960 eponymous film - in 2001.
  • The song "Skinnamarink" ("Skinnamarink-a-dinky-dink, skinnamarink-a-doo") dates back to 1910, but is best remembered now as the theme of the Canadian children's show Sharon, Lois, and Bram's Elephant Show — so much, in fact, that its follow-up series adopted the name Skinnamarink TV.
  • Glee did this to most of the songs it featured, to the point that artists started offering licensing at a reduced rate.
  • While it's never exactly been obscure per se, Journey's "Don't Stop Believin'" is back in the forefront of pop culture's noggin thanks to The Sopranos series finale and its appearance in an episode of Family Guy involving a karaoke bar.
  • American Idol will do this for a song, especially after a very good performance. Heart's "Alone" was performed by Carrie Underwood in the fourth season to great acclaim, and then surfaced on albums by Celine Dion and (previous Idol contestant) Clay Aiken not long after, on Glee a few years later, and several times on later seasons of Idol by luckless female contestants trying to outdo her.
  • Soul classic "Reet Petite" by Jackie Wilson reached number one in the UK in 1986 (almost thirty years after original release) after a BBC Two arts show called Arena played a claymation video of it.
  • Billy Vera's "At This Moment" went from being a little known song released in 1981 to the #1 song for 15 weeks in 1987 after it was played on Family Ties.
  • Saturday Night Live did a sketch about this: a fake commercial for a compilation album of songs that both parents and teens could enjoy together because of their re-emergence in commercials. For example, "Good Vibrations", which Mom remembers from listening to Beach Boys records as a kid, and daughter recognizes as the theme from a Sunkist ad.
  • Speaking of Saturday Night Live, Loverboy's "Working for the Weekend" will forever be associated with the 1990 sketch featuring Patrick Swayze and Chris Farley auditioning to be Chippendale's dancers.
  • The NBC Sunday Night Football song — originally sung by P!nk, currently sung by Faith Hill — is a rewrite of the 1988 Joan Jett song "I Hate Myself For Loving You".
  • Tracey Chapman's "Fast Car" got to number 4 in the UK music chart after it was covered by a contestant on Britain's Got Talent.
  • "Harder Than You Think" by Public Enemy, released in 2007, saw a re-emergence five years due to its use as the theme tune to 2012 Paralympic coverage on Channel 4, including its adverts prior to the event. Reaching #4 in the UK singles charts, it became Public Enemy's highest-charting single in the country to date.
  • The fairly recent spike in popularity of the Proclaimers' "I'm Gonna Be (500 Miles)" in certain circles has been linked with a video of David Tennant and the cast of Doctor Who dancing to it.
  • Ant and Dec performed their old song "Let's get ready to rhumble" on Saturday Night Takeaway in 2013. A week later it was Number 1. It only managed Number 9 the first time round in 1994.
  • The 2000 rap song "Danger (Been So Long)" by Mystikal found new popularity when it was used by John Oliver to ridicule NYC mayoral candidate Anthony Weiner's online alias "Carlos Danger" on The Daily Show in the summer of 2013.
  • Badfinger's "Baby Blue" re-entered the iTunes top charts after its use at the very end of the series finale of Breaking Bad.
  • Scissor Sisters' "I Can't Decide" was hardly popular when it was first released. Its inclusion on an episode of Doctor Who caused its popularity to explode!
  • Bryan White's obscure 1999 single "God Gave Me You" was popularized after appearing in the Philippine TV show Eat Bulaga, to the point that it is his most-downloaded song on iTunes.
  • "Don't You Forget About Me" is in the same boat as its fellow 80's anthem "Don't Stop Believin'" thanks to its usage in countless TV shows and movies, such as The Handmaid's Tale and a Breakfast Club-themed episode of The Goldbergs. It was also memorably parodied by How It Should Have Ended (see Web Original below).
  • The Blacklist has boosted a number of songs:
    • Johnny Cash's "When the Man Comes Around" got a boost after it was used for the scene where Red carries out a Roaring Rampage of Revenge.
    • The Other Lives song "Great Sky", which is only available on an EP, owes the bulk of its popularity to the fact it was used in the second-season finale.
    • Little Scream's "The Lamb" enjoyed a bump after "The Director" in which it plays during a climatic shootout.
  • Russian Doll repeatedly uses Harry Nilsson's "Gotta Get Up" due to its "Groundhog Day" Loop structure, and the song saw its online plays rise by 2466%!
  • A memorable performance of Odyssey's "Native New Yorker" on The Masked Singer by Lips a.k.a. Wendy Williams boosted the mostly-forgotten song's popularity, and it's now mostly associated with that performance (if not its usage in Spider-Man: No Way Home... which came out well after that season of The Masked Singer).
  • Stranger Things has revived a number of '80s hits:
    • The titular theme song of The NeverEnding Story saw an 825% increase in Spotify streams after it was featured in the season 3 finale.
    • Kate Bush's "Running Up that Hill" charted in the top 10 in several countries after it was featured multiple times in season 4. In the United States, the song only reached #30 during its first go-around in 1985, only for it to reach a far higher peak in 2022.
    • Around the same time, the 1983 ditty "Pass the Dutchie" by Musical Youth also got a big boost from its appearance in season 4, landing a slot on multiple Spotify viral charts.

    Professional Wrestling 
  • Since the 1980s, the World Wrestling Federation has been at the forefront of combining sports-entertainment with popular music (rock and rap, especially). While it would be an exaggeration to say they "discover" new bands, they are often the first entertainers outside of pop music to promote these bands. Two examples of songs that went mainstream thanks to WWE's use of them are Saliva's "Click Click Boom" and Kevin Rudolf's "Let It Rock"; both songs were later on the soundtracks of major Hollywood films. (It doesn't hurt that a number of pro wrestlers, including Chris Jericho and John Cena, are themselves musicians in their spare time.)
  • The song "Cult of Personality" was successful back in 1989, winning a Grammy for Best Hard Rock Performance for the band Living Colour. It (and the band) toiled in relative obscurity after the early 1990s. When CM Punk began to use this under his new "voice of the voiceless" gimmick (he had used the song previously in Ring of Honor), it created a new audience for the song, which jumped into the iTunes Top 100 downloads list, and also reached the top 10 of the rock charts. The band confirmed on their Facebook page that they will be performing it for CM Punk's entrance at WrestleMania 29. A true CMoA in the making.
  • "Monster" by Imagine Dragons surged back into the iTunes top 100 once it was used in a Daniel Bryan promo.

  • Most people probably would be surprised to learn that the "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy theme" is actually "Journey of the Sorcerer" by The Eagles.
  • Louis Armstrong's "What a Wonderful World" saw an uptick in listenership from 1978 on, thanks to The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy.
  • UB40's "Red Red Wine" had been a #1 hit in the UK in 1983 and got to a respectable #34 on the Billboard Hot 100 in America the next year. In June of 1988, a DJ named Guy Zapoleon at KZZP in Phoenix, Arizona played it on his show as part of a recurring feature called "Would've Been, Should've Been", where he spotlighted songs from the past that he thought deserved to be bigger hits than they were. After getting a huge response, Zapoleon convinced A&M Records to re-release it, and it reached #1 on the Hot 100. Then a game of Follow the Leader ensued in 1989, where DJs started picking obscure songs from earlier in The '80s and started pushing them. While the results were mixed, this rush produced another #1 hit ("When I'm With You" by Sheriff, from 1983), and a couple of other fairly big hits of recharted songs ("Where Are You Now?" by Jimmy Harnen and Synch from 1986, and "Into the Night" by Benny Mardones from 1980, which KZZP once again played a big role in reviving).

  • Older Than Television: Reginald De Koven's song "O Promise Me" was originally published years before it became a popular interpolation in his 1890 comic opera Robin Hood.
  • "After the Ball" dates back to 1892, but is now most commonly associated with revivals of Show Boat.

    Video Games 
  • On their Greatest Hits Album, the band Goldfinger happily acknowledge that they had no fans in the UK until they had a song of theirs put on the first Tony Hawk game.
    • Rage Against The Machine's "Guerilla Radio" and Anthrax's "Bring The Noise" are fondly associated with Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 2, as well.
    • Tony Hawk's Underground 2 is considered to have the best soundtrack of the entire series, and increased the popularity of "Los Angeles" by X and "Break On Through (To The Other Side)" by The Doors.
  • The Grand Theft Auto games have re-popularized the songs featured on their soundtracks. It was even the (former) Trope Namer for Song Association.
    • This is especially true for a lot of the great, classic New Wave tracks selected for the games. As an example, Vice City alone introduced a brand new generation to Romeo Void's "Never Say Never", "Two Tribes" by Frankie Goes to Hollywood, Tears for Fears's "Pale Shelter", "(I Just) Died in Your Arms" by Cutting Crew, INXS's "Kiss the Dirt (Falling Down the Mountain)", and "Life's What You Make It" by Talk Talk, amongst other musical gems.
    • The songs Vice City is most remembered for by UK fans are The Pointer Sisters' "Automatic" and Aneka's "Japanese Boy" due to their obscurity but the fact they are always playing when you go into the Malibu bar.
    • Corona's "Rhythm of the Night" got a boost when it was featured in Grand Theft Auto V.
  • As with any proper GTA imitator, Saints Row is no exception. Each subsequent game brings back a good ten or eleven songs through the classic rock station: the biggest ones include "Take On Me", mostly because of the sing-alongs; "Everybody Wants to Rule the World", thanks in no small part to the game's hammed up antagonist; and "The Boys Are Back In Town". The last one didn't even have to be on the in-game radio. It was, plus an entire level practically devoted to the song.
  • Robot Unicorn Attack did this for Erasure's "Always".
  • So many songs have found new life after being used in Rock Band and Guitar Hero that it's easier to just say that rock as an entire genre has been revived by these games. In their live shows, however, DragonForce refer to "Through the Fire and Flames" as "The song that made Guitar Hero famous".
  • Guilty Gear Isuka brings us "Might is Right but Tight." You may know it better as I Wanna Be the Guy's Game Over (Press 'R' to try again) theme. The Menu Theme for IWBTG is the character select screen for Isuka, and the first gameplay music is "Home Sweet Grave".
  • BioShock:
    • From the original game: How many people born after, say, 1980 would know Bobby Darin's "Beyond the Sea" and other such songs? Some would know "Beyond the Sea" from Finding Nemo — but this also qualifies for the trope (and Covered Up, since it's sung by Robbie Williams). It's also popularized a number of Billie Holiday's minor singles, among other songs on its soundtrack.
    • Happened again with BioShock Infinite. How much are you willing to bet that not a whole lot of people knew about "Beast" by Nico Vega before the Beast of America trailer came out?
  • Same for the Fallout series for even earlier tunes (The Ink Spots' repertoire, Cole Porter's "Anything Goes"...), usually thanks to the fact that the tunes chosen can either set up Soundtrack Dissonance or Suspiciously Apropos Music, depending on what you're doing at the time.
    • A number of Ink Spots songs also appeared in the BioShock series.
    • Another Ink Spots song, "It's a Sin to Tell A Lie", appears in Fallout: New Vegas, but it's Bill Kenny's solo version rather than the original. In addition, FNV's Radio New Vegas features Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Peggy Lee, Marty Robbins, Nat King Cole, etc.
    • Fallout 4 promotional materials have included another Ink Spots song, "It's All Over But the Crying", and one action demo reel featured "Atomic Bomb Baby" by The Five Stars.
    • The trailer for Fallout 76 catapulted John Denver's "Take Me Home, Country Roads" to meme status overnight.
  • The Dark Souls III trailer included the song "In The Woods Somewhere" by Hozier, which promptly boosted the song's popularity in YouTube.
  • Several classic rock songs used in Call of Duty: Black Ops, plus The Rolling Stones' "Gimme Shelter", which was used in the commercial for the game, experienced a rise in popularity and iTunes sales.
  • "Someone Else's Song" (by Wilco) AKA More Gun.
    • "Do You Believe in Magic?" by Lovin Spoonful is by no means an obscure song. But then it was used in The Pyro's happy dream sequence...
  • "Fly Me To The Moon" was revived in Bayonetta (sort of, it's known as "That Evangelion song" in Japan).
  • Spy Hunter revived Henry Mancini's theme music from the by-then forgotten series Peter Gunn; to the point where it was more commonly known as "The Spy Hunter Theme".
  • "Carbon Kid" was a relatively obscure (but epic) song by the even more obscure electronic rock band Alpinestars. It got then featured in three games, which are all (or have elements of) racing games: Project Gotham Racing 3, Test Drive Unlimited and All Points Bulletin (the free-to-play GTA-ish game known today as APB Reloaded).
  • Like they did with BioShock, 2K Marin has made people looking for "Don't Lie To Me" by Stompy Jones, when it was used in The Bureau: XCOM Declassified trailer.
  • Tetris:
  • The Canadian band Faunts was relatively unknown until a Canadian-made game by the name of Mass Effect used their song "M4 (Part II)" as the credits theme. They got another bump when Mass Effect 3 used another of their songs, "Das Malefitz", for that game's credits theme.
  • While not a big example like the above, both Borderlands 2 and Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel! were responsible for a popularity spike on jazz band The Heavy overseas, thanks to the featured songs "Short Change Hero", "How Do You Like Me Now" and "What Makes A Good Man".
  • Prior to 2016, the band Low Roar didn't so much as register as a blip on anyone's radar. Then Hideo Kojima showed up at E3 with Death Stranding, and suddenly their song "I'll Keep Coming" went from around 5000 views on YouTube to over 1.2 million.
  • In 2011, the song "conflict" by siromaru and cranky won the music game simfile contest THE BMS OF FIGHTERS 2011 -Intersection of conflict-. While obviously the most popular song of the contest, it wasn't terribly well-known until it was added to Cytus in 2014 that the song started to gain attention outside of Japan. By 2019, "conflict" had been officially (as in, not in a simfile-based game as an unofficial song) added to over twenty different rhythm games including big-name games such as Sound Voltex, CHUNITHM, and Pump It Up, making it one of the most well-known songs in the pan-Asian rhythm game community.
  • Not exactly "commercialization" since it came from a Game Mod, but the Hearts of Iron IV mod The New Order: Last Days of Europe features Warren Zevon's "Jungle Work" in a brief but memorable moment, specifically as the song that plays if you reunify Russia as Mitchell WerBell III, the leader of a team of mercenaries hired by the Free State of Magadan who launch a coup against the warlord who brought them into Russia. Within days of the update to The New Order that added that path, more than half the comments on the YouTube video for "Jungle Work" were by fans of the mod referencing the game.
  • The short-lived Eurodance group Uniq were all but unheard of outside Japan and their native Finland until their 1999 single "Amore" was featured in In the Groove 2 in 2005.

    Web Original 
  • Rick Astley's "Never Gonna Give You Up" thanks to the Rickrolling gag. Rickrolling made Astley so popular he came out of retirement and started making new music again.
  • Caramell (now the Caramella Girls), after the Caramelldansen Vid.
  • Loituma’s version of the Finnish folk song “Ievan polkka” surged in popularity after a snippet was featured in Leekspin.
  • Pretty much any song featured on "The Weather" from Welcome To Nightvale
  • World Of War Craft Machinima "Dude Where's My Mount?" renewed interest in the Butthole Surfers' "Dracula from Houston" when they used it as their intro.
  • Darude's "Sandstorm" skyrocketed in popularity after being subjected to Memetic Mutation starting with its popularity on Twitch. There, people constantly asked what song was playing, and the meme took off from there. While the meme was soon Condemned by History due to how annoying it was, especially among YouTube commentors who wanted to know the actual title of a song, it led to renewed interest in Darude's career, and eventually led to Darude (with vocalist Sebastian Rejman as well) representing Finland in the Eurovision Song Contest 2019.
  • "Africa" by Toto also surged in popularity around 2017 after being the subject of various memes.
  • "September" by Earth, Wind & Fire got a similar surge in popularity to "Africa" around the same time; expect memes relating to the song to pop up every year around September 21note .
  • While it was by no means obscure (it's one of the most iconic songs of the 80's and a staple of oldies stations), Simple Minds' "Don't You (Forget About Me)" gained popularity again among younger viewers after a Suspiciously Similar Song parody of it closed How It Should Have Ended's take on Inside Out. Unfortunately, this had a negative side-effect: said younger viewers ended up permanently linking the song with the movie, more specifically the supporting character Bing Bong (thanks to the parody lyrics: Don't you forget about Bing Bong).
  • Dead or Alive's "You Spin Me Round (Like a Record)" received newfound attention in 2005 after being used in a certain notorious shock video.
  • Rooster Teeth's Mecha web series gen:LOCK, thanks to its use of "Belgrade" as an opening theme song, may well be the best thing ever to happen to techno group Battle Tapes.

    Western Animation 
  • Styx's "Come Sail Away" experienced a surge of new popularity after Eric Cartman sang it on South Park.
  • Family Guy:
    • Have you heard the word? The bird is the word! "Rock Lobster" by The B-52s ("Screams of Silence") and "Shipoopi" from the broadway musical The Music Man ("Patriot Games") also got a revival from this show.
    • And amusingly enough, Rick Astley's "Never Gonna Give You Up" also appeared in the show on the episode "Meet the Quagmires". A week after the episode aired, some random anon decided to play a little prank on /v/...
  • "Life in a Northern Town" by The Dream Academy got this treatment in the popular King of the Hill episode "Wings of the Dope" since it plays while Luanne and Buckley's Angel play on the trampoline and again at the end when Luanne says goodbye to him and he leaves. Now almost any YouTube videos of the song will have comments along the lines of "R.I.P. Buckley," "Hey," "Chicken thigh" and "Buckley's Angel brought me here!", especially on nights when the episode reruns on Adult Swim.
  • "First of the Year (Equinox)" by Skrillex got a boost in popularity when it showed up on the premiere of the Beavis And Butthead revival.
    • The original show popularized songs such as White Zombie's "Thunderkiss '65", and both gave attention to and unfortunately stereotyped Winger as a straightfoward Hair Metal band (they're more of a Progressive Metal band with some hair band elements) when a Butt-Monkey character constantly appeared wearing a Winger t-shirt (after Mike Judge was misinformed that Kip Winger had asked the network not to make jokes about the band on the series, but, after subjecting the band to mockery, Judge eventually learned from Winger himself that he had never made any such stipulation).
  • The usage of licensed music on Regular Show has made several songs popular again, such as "Hangin' Tough" by New Kids on the Block and "Lies" by the Thompson Twins.
  • The song "Rubber Bullets" by 10cc was released in 1973, but has since become more well-known after it was used in the Superjail! pilot.
  • Bojack Horseman did this to a few songs, notably The Rolling Stones' "Wild Horses", Nina Simone's cover of Janis Ian's "Stars", and a number of semi-obscure indie tunes.
  • Rick and Morty briefly renewed interest in Nine Inch Nails' original recording of "Hurt" upon its usage in the season 2 finale "The Wedding Squanchers". At that point the song had been mostly Covered Up by Johnny Cash.
  • Many millennials will know the Tiny Tim cover of "Living in the Sunlight, Loving in The Moonlight" from the very first episode of SpongeBob SquarePants.
  • For a lot of fans, "Say That We're Sweethearts Again" is now pretty much synonymous with Harley Quinn after she performed it in the Batman: The Animated Series episode "Harlequinade". The 1944 film Meet The People that the song is originally from is largely forgotten today, and many don't realise at first that the song was not created for the show.
  • Batman and Harley Quinn has introduced a number of people to the song "Don't Pull Your Love" by Hamilton, Joe Frank & Reynolds.

  • Number 14 of The Thirty-Six Stratagems is "Borrow a Corpse to Resurrect the Soul", meaning to revive something from the past by giving it a new purpose, or reinterpret it to your advantage.
  • "Mississippi Queen" by Mountain went through this twice. The first time was when it was featured in Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock, and the second time was when it was featured in the Regular Show episode "Weekend at Benson's" a few years later.
  • The anime adaptation of JoJo's Bizarre Adventure used Real Song Theme Tunes for its ending themes, with the songs used getting a major boost in popularity. These songs include "Roundabout" by Yes (which got easily the biggest boost of all thanks to its use in the "To Be Continued..." meme), "Walk Like an Egyptian" by The Bangles, "Last Train Home" by Pat Metheny, "I Want You" by Savage Garden, "Freek'n You" by Jodeci, and "Modern Crusaders" by Enigma. The latter four even saw re-releases in Greatest Hits Albums featuring artwork from the anime on the covers.
  • Ravel's Bolero became very popular in the UK after Jane Torvill and Christopher Dean ice-danced a medal-winning duet to it at the 1984 Winter Olympics. In 1994 the couple did the same favour for Let's Face The Music And Dance.
  • Similarly, "Parisienne Walkways" by Gary Moore shot up the download charts in Japan to take the #1 spot after figure skater Yuzuru Hanyu used the song for his record-breaking short program in the 2014 Winter Olympics.
  • The Fleetwood Mac song "Don't Stop" found new popularity when Bill Clinton made it the theme song of his 1992 presidential campaign. After being elected, he asked the then-disbanded group to perform it at his Inaugural ball in January 1993. It has since become Clinton's Leitmotif, played at his Democratic National Convention appearances in 2004, 2008, and 2012.
  • Neutral Milk Hotel's 1998 album In the Aeroplane Over the Sea was generally unknown before the Internet came, primarily the /mu/ board on 4chan. It is now regarded as one of the greatest and most celebrated albums in the indie rock genre.
  • This happened In-Universe in ''Satou Kashino Danganwa Uchinukenai'. One of the old songs sung by Mokuzu's father is popular with commercials.
  • Tom Jones' "What's New Pussycat" got a popularity boost after John Mulaney ran it into the ground. The other Jones song namedropped in the video, "It's Not Unusual" would count as well, but it was already revived thanks to the Carlton Dance.
  • Laura Branigan's rendition of Umberto Tozzi's "Gloria" found new popularity when it became the victory theme of the 2018-19 St. Louis Blues, going on an 11-game winning streak which lifted them from the league's lowest record, soon making the Stanley Cup playoffs and eventually the Stanley Cup finals for the first time since 1970, where they won their first title in franchise history.
  • One of the Blues' rivals, the Chicago Blackhawks, did it for The Fratellis' "Chelsea Dagger", which they adopted as their goal song the season prior to their 2010 Cup that broke a drought of nearly 50 years.
  • Gala's 1996 Eurodance hit "Freed From Desire" enjoyed a revival in the UK in 2016 after a Wigan Athletic fan wrote a viral parody version paying tribute to striker Will Grigg ("Will Grigg's on fire, your defence is terrified!"). It then spread across Europe thanks to fans chanting it (or variations about their own players) throughout Euro 2016.
  • Pinkfong's version of the classic campfire song "Baby Shark" became a hit around the world in 2017 after it became the basis for various exercise challenges, and again in 2019, when it was used as the walk-up song of the Washington Nationals, who would win their first title at the 2019 World Series.
  • While not enjoying the same level of commercial success, Moby's 2000 B-Side "Flower" also became a lot better-known in 2018-19 when it was used for the widespread "Bring Sally Up" squat / push-up challenge.
  • Any song featured prominently on TikTok would qualify, with the crowning examples being ILOVEFRIDAY's "Mia Khalifa" (Hit or miss, I guess they never miss, huh), Lil Nas X's "Old Town Road", Matthew Wilder's "Break My Stride" and several Billie Eilish songs.
  • Come to think of it, any songs (especially older ones) featured in a popular meme fit.
    • Rick Astley's "Never Gonna Give You Up" grew to epitomic levels when Rickrolling became big in the late 2000's, with a performance at the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade solidifying its status in popular culture.
    • SiIvaGunner in particular is great for this - The Flintstones theme, "Snow Halation" and "We Are Number One" have all entered the pantheon of meme songs thanks to them.
    • *NSYNC's "It's Gonna Be Me" resurfaces close to the end of every April thanks to the Memetic Mutation "It's gonna be May".
    • In The New '20s, "Out of Touch" by Daryl Hall & John Oates became associated with a Twitter account called "Out of Touch Thursday" that, every Thursday, posts a clip from the Lucky Star opening synced to part of that song. Multiple variations and parodies ensued.
    • Eurobeat received a significant revival following memes relating them to the Initial D anime that popularized it, prompting many eurobeat labels to release their music worldwide on digital platforms, and several artists returned to the genre full-time.
  • "Step to the Rear" from 1967 flop Broadway musical How Now, Dow Jones (music by Elmer Bernstein) managed to get a strange second life outside of it. It was used in Hubert Humphrey's 1968 presidential campaign, in car commercials for Lincoln-Mercury, and was adapted into the Football Fight Song for the University of South Carolina Gamecocks.

Alternative Title(s): Guitar Hero Effect