Music and movies are two very separate and wonderful things, and as is often the case when two wonderful things collide, adding the right music to the right moment in the right movie can be explosively great. Disney is a master of this, but I've covered that. Here are a few of my favourite examples (of the non-animated kind):
This is really the perfect example of what I'm talking about. Beethoven's music deeply permeates this film, which I just adore. Beethoven is one of the only classical composers I listen to and it's because his work is so deliciously dramatic. Alex really says it best (in my favourite quote from a book ever): "Oh, bliss, bliss and heaven - oh, it was gorgeousness and gorgeousity made flesh. It was like a bird of rarest-spun heaven metal or like silvery wine flowing in a spaceship, gravity all nonsense now."
It's easy to associate the piece with A Clockwork Orange, but the movie doesn't own it. The song is so rich and complex that it cannot be "stolen" that easily.
Harold and Maude and Cat Steven's "If You Want to Sing Out, Sing Out"
A gorgeously simplistic song that sums up the theme of the film, and gives it an inspiring finish.
Once you've seen the movie, have you ever heard "Slow Ride", "Lowrider" or "Free Ride" without instantly flashing back to the oh-so-joyous memories of watching Dazed and Confused? Yes? Then you just haven't seen it enough times.
It also has the distinguishing feature of making KISS almost enjoyable.
The Big Lebowski and First Edition's "Just Dropped In (To See What Condition My Condition Was In)"
First of all, it's weird that Kenny Rogers was in a pseudo-psychedelic band to begin with. But this song is awesome and conveys such vivid images of the Dude's badass dance skills that it's almost impossible to listen to without enjoying.
Almost Famous and Elton John's "Tiny Dancer"
There is no song that's transformed by a movie quite like "Tiny Dancer". I'll admit that I'm not a huge Elton John fan, but after watching the absolutely fantastic tourbus sing-along, it sends chills down my spine.
As well, Led Zeppelin's "Misty Mountain Hop" gives immediate images of plane-boarding and rock-star life.
Like Dazed and Confused, every song on the soundtrack becomes amazing because it reminds you of what a great movie you saw it with.