Music News

The 'Saltburn effect': Top tracks enjoying a comeback due to TV and film use revealed

The success of Saltburn and a subsequent TikTok craze has sparked an unexpected revival of Sophie Ellis Bextor’s 2001 hit, Murder on the Dancefloor, sending the song onto the US charts for the first time in over two decades.

Released in December 2001, the song peaked at number two on the UK Singles Chart and stayed on the chart for 16 weeks. In January 2024, following its use in the popular film, Murder on the Dancefloor reached number two on the UK Singles Chart, becoming Ellis-Bextor's first top-10 appearance since 2007.

After the release of Saltburn, TikTok users recreated Barry Keoghan’s dance moves and the video count soared to 411,300 on the platform, a significant leap from just 571 the day before the film’s release.

Other songs that have been given a new lease of life by modern movies and TV shows have also now been revealed, some decades after their chart debuts:

Topping the list with a 1,940% increase in searches is The Cramps’ Goo Goo Muck (1981), which experienced a resurgence after being used as the backdrop for a much-imitated dance choreography segment in Netflix's 2022 show, Wednesday. The ‘80s tune quickly turned into a TikTok sensation, jumping from 300 videos to 200,000 in a single month.

In second place is Nick Cave’s Red Right Hand (1994), which found a new audience after being used as the theme song of the BBC series Peaky Blinders, receiving a 288% bump in searches a month after the programme’s premiere.

Resurrected by one of Netflix’s biggest hits, Stranger Things, English singer-songwriter Kate Bush’s 1985 track, Running Up That Hill formed a pivotal part in a key scene in the most recent season. The song reclimbed the charts nearly four decades after its release, successfully attracting a new generation of listeners with a 111% jump in searches, ranking third in the study.

Madonna’s Material Girl (1985) comes fourth with searches escalating by 73% after being given a fresh orchestral twist in the second season of Netflix’s Bridgerton (2022).

Meanwhile, Lady Gaga’s Bloody Mary rounds off the top five after a sped-up version went viral on TikTok, with fans adopting Wednesday’s dance to the 2011 pop song, despite not actually being featured in the show.

These results were unearthed by BonusFinder, which sought to discover songs that were given a new lease of life by modern movies and TV shows. Only songs featured in films or shows released from 2012 onward were considered due to limited historical search data available.

The experts then calculated the percentage of search increase for each song to ultimately reveal the songs that were the most successfully revived by their inclusion in films and TV.

All data was collected on January 29th 2024 and is accurate as of then.

Saltburn image via Amazon Studios.