The Radio Times logo

11 memorable times TV and film covered pop songs

Note: “memorable” doesn’t necessarily mean “good”…

Published: Friday, 6th November 2015 at 3:35 pm



Forget Saving Private Ryan – this is without doubt the greatest ever opening scene in film. Rocking out to the Queen classic, Mike Myers and friends introduce us to the delights of Aurora. And who can ever forget that head-banging? "Party on!"

Unimpressed by the locals' attempts at emulating the King of Pop, Chris Tucker's Detective James Carter ignores Jackie Chan's warning to "keep a low profile" and takes to the stage. The result? Bemused onlookers, a perplexed Chan, and plenty of hip thrusting.

Her wonderful voice? Her captivating stage presence? Or maybe just her see-through top? Whatever it was, the audience lapped up Monica's rendition of the Helen Reddy classic, quickly turning this karaoke scene into a cult classic.

In a film full of rocking tunes, Maryam Hassan stole the show as shy Tomika. Nervously approaching Jack Black after class, she blew his (and our) mind with this incredible rendition of Aretha Franklin's Chain of Fools. "Nice pipes, Tomika!"

From Eminem to Katie Melua, a whole host of music stars have put their own unique spin on the children's nursery-rhyme classic. But it's fair to say that none of them have pulled it off quite as memorably as Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels' bird-brained duo.

Because nothing says "love" like a load of grown men singing a 70's classic in close-knit harmony...

Disturbing? Creepy? Certainly memorable. No-one who sat-through the Gremlins' rendition of this Broadway classic will ever forget it. No matter how hard they try...

As chat-up techniques go, mobilising your naval officer colleagues to join you in singing this Righteous Brothers classic isn't the worst one we've come across here at Radio Times Towers (although perhaps one of the more impractical). Regardless, it works for Tom Cruise, who gets his gal with the help of wingman Anthony Edwards, and a whole naval brigade.

Marty McFly had us all rocking in our seats as he blared out this classic. No matter how surprised his audience was at this explosion of "new" music, it's nothing compared to modern-day viewers who've had to sit through several years of One Direction. From Chuck Berry to Harry Styles in 50 years – now that's what I call going backwards in time...

Another film with its fair share of memorable musical moments, this song, which closed this 1980 classic starring John Belushi and Dan Akroyd, features cameos from James Brown, Aretha Franklin, Ray Charles, and a whole host of other legends of Motown.

Not many people could get away with interrupting the lyrics of this Christmas charity single with bursts of road rage, but James Corden's one of them. This scene was part of the 2008 Christmas special, and confirmed the sitcom's place in the nation's hearts.


Don't miss Covers Night on BBC4 from 9pm


Sponsored content