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Stranger Things to Wednesday: Top 15 songs revived by film and TV

Stranger Things to Wednesday: Top 15 songs revived by film and TV

A plethora of lucky tracks have hit the jackpot decades after their debut thanks to films and TV shows, with TikTok as a powerful catalyst in propelling songs from yesteryear to unprecedented heights.

Inspired, the experts at BonusFinder examined search volumes for a series of coveted soundtracks, both a month before and after the release of the associated movie or series, to unveil the songs that enjoyed the biggest comeback, and the tunes reaping the most benefits by delving into potential royalty earnings on Spotify.

15 oldies making the BIGGEST comeback thanks to film and TV

RankSongArtistMovie/TV showNo. of TikTok videosGlobal Monthly Search Volumes Before Movie/TVGlobal Monthly Search Volumes After Movie/TVSearch increase (%)
1Goo Goo Muck (1981)The CrampsWednesday (2022)243,04274015,1001,940.54%
2Red Right Hand (1994)Nick Cave and the Bad SeedsPeaky Blinders (2013)57,6306702,600288.06%
3Running Up That Hill (1985)Kate BushStranger Things S4 (2022)2,760,70024,40051,600111.48%
4Material Girl (1985)MadonnaBridgerton (2022)1,328,60076,400132,30073.17%
5Bloody Mary (2011)Lady GagaWednesday (2022)74,1001,6002,40050.00%
6Straight Outta Compton (1988)N.W.AStraight Outta Compton (2015)15,3286,6009,40042.42%
7Head Like a Hole (1989)Nine Inch NailsBlack Mirror (2019)4,4464,5005,70026.67%
8Something In The Way (1991)NirvanaThe Batman (2022)253,10030,00037,30024.33%
9Seven Wonders (1987)Fleetwood MacAmerican Horror Story: Coven (2014)11,94454062014.81%
10Immigrant Song (1970)Led ZeppelinThor: Ragnarok (2017)128,37234,30037,80010.20%
11Bad (1984)U2The 100 (2020)8715,6006,1008.93%
12Murder On The Dancefloor (2001)‎Sophie Ellis-BextorSaltburn (2023)411,30011,50012,0004.35%
13Dream On (1973)AerosmithThe Boys (2020)84,40097,20099,3002.16%
14Danger Zone (1986)Kenny LogginsTop Gun: Maverick (2022)387,20049,40050,4002.02%
15Crash into Me (1996)Dave Matthews BandLady Bird (2017)5407,3007,4001.37%

For the complete data, please click here.

Topping the list with a staggering 1,940% increase in searches is The Cramps’ “Goo Goo Muck” (1981), which catapulted to stardom after being used as the backdrop for a spooky dance choreography in Netflix’s 2022 smash-hit Wednesday. The ‘80s tune quickly turned into a huge TikTok sensation, experiencing a meteoric rise from a mere 300 videos to an astonishing 200,000 in a single month.

In second is Nick Cave’s “Red Right Hand” (1994) which found fame 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, the English singer-songwriter Kate Bush has been struck by luck in 2022 when her 1985 track “Running Up That Hill took center stage in an iconic scene where Max frantically fled the Upside Down villain Vecna. 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 a notable 73% after being given a fresh orchestral twist in the second season of Netflix’s royal hit 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.

Despite a modest 4.35% uptick in search volumes, Sophie Ellis-Bextor’s Murder on the Dancefloor” (2001) surging popularity is indisputable. The song’s resurgence is evident on TikTok, with a huge spike in users recreating Barry Keoghan’s dance moves as video count soared to 411,300 on the platform, a significant leap from just 571 the day before the movie release.

Which  songs rake in the most cash from Spotify?

RankSongArtistMovie/TV showNumber of Spotify playsEstimated royalty earnings (£)
1Bohemian Rhapsody (1975)QueenBohemian Rhapsody2,367,978,0068,145,844
2Running Up That Hill (1985)Kate BushStranger Things (S4)1,138,452,3613,916,276
3Dream On (1973)AerosmithThe Boys1,041,547,0903,582,922
4I Was Made For Lovin’ You (1979)KissThe Umbrella Academy890,549,6543,063,491
5Immigrant Song (1970)Led ZeppelinThor: Ragnarok695,752,1112,393,387
6Danger Zone (1986)Kenny LogginsTop Gun: Maverick482,721,7651,660,563
7Bloody Mary (2011)Lady GagaWednesday464,007,6311,596,186
8Something In The Way (1991)NirvanaThe Batman421,551,5741,450,137
9Material Girl (1985)MadonnaBridgerton407,174,9981,400,682
10Straight Outta Compton (1988)N.W.AStraight Outta Compton350,370,2301,205,274

For the complete data, please click here.

Featured in the musical biopic of the same name, the top-grossing old song on Spotify is Bohemian Rhapsody” (1975), potentially bagging the British rock legends Queen a whopping £8,145,844 in royalties.

In second place is Running Up That Hill which has generated £3,916,276 for Kate Bush. Revived by the hit Amazon Prime show The Boys (2020), iconic power ballad Dream On” (1973) comes third amassing over 1 billion streams so far, amounting to an estimated £3,582,922 in royalties for the American rock band Aerosmith.

About The Author

Rebecca Ash

Rebecca is the Editorial Director at Total Licensing Ltd. She can be reached at

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