The importance of music in film can’t be overstated. A well-chosen song not only heightens our senses but can also evoke a wide range of emotions. Not surprisingly, some movies will spend big bucks to secure the rights for certain songs deemed integral to the finished product. Note that the photo above is from Almost Famous, a top-notch film with one of the most expensive and revered soundtracks in movie history.
Over time, though, many directors, both in film and on TV, have seemingly gotten lazy and now reflexively revert back to well-known musical pieces. In a sense, musical choices these days have almost become formulaic: Have a scene depicting the Vietnam War? Go with Gimme Shelter. A woman goes on a drug binge? Jimi Hendrix’s Hey Joe should fit the bill.