Why did the Highlander movie use so many Queen songs?

Just finished rewatching Highlander and almost every song was by Queen. They even included the title of a Queen song as Rachael and the Highlander’s touch phrase.

I know Queen was huge back then, but isn’t it unusual to focus so heavily on a single band for a movie’s soundtrack? Queen did some great stuff, but it gave the entire movie a very melancholy air.

These weren’t just any random Queen songs they found. They were written specifically for the movie, and include lines from it. If they are melancholy - it’s because that’s the mood they were going for.

It’s like asking why Inception is full of Hans Zimmer music. That’s just the creative decision they took.

Might as well ask why flash Gordon only used queen songs.

This. A Kind of Magic is the Highlander soundtrack in all but name.

I think one of them was actually an unused song from Flash Gordon. I will check on that before I post…

Oh, I remember. “Who Wants To Live Forever” was a line of dialogue from Flash Gordon spoken by Brian Blessed.

If we follow the adjacent thread carefully, it may turn out that the Queen can be removed by the government.

If we’re talking the Adam Lambert Queen, I’m all for a preemptive strike.

Which makes it the real question, “Why did Queen write a soundtrack, and give it their own title, instead of the movie title?” David Lynch’s Dune has, in big bold letters, Soundtrack by Toto. Why didn’t Toto put out the whole soundtrack with an offbeat name?

My guess is naming rights (which Queen may not have had). There was also a traditional orchestral score for the film (by noted soundtrack composer Michael Kamen), though it looks like the actual soundtrack was never released as an album.

That is true. Funny to think of it because I always thought of that album as the Highlander soundtrack in name, too. I mean, it is that movie to me.
I’ll ask what I thought the OP was asking.

How did it come to be that Highlander ended up with Queen songs throughout? At what point was this considered by the movie-makers and studio? How did they get them? Why them?

Because Marillion backed out.

It’s a movie about immortals decapitating each other one by one in a kind of compulsive cultural mass suicide, eliminating the only people that can ever truly relate to their lonely lives until only one remains. Sure that guy can now cast lightning bolts or what not - but to what end? Why shouldn’t that downer of a premise be melancholy ;)?

There”s probably a lot of other movies that had soundtracks done a single artist.
Cat Steven’s songs were used in Harold & Maude.
The Graduate had mainly Simon & Garfunkel songs.
Tim Burton’s Batman had an original score by Danny Elfman but also had a soundtrack done by Prince.

I would have loved to have heard that.

Well, that last is true. Vultan did say that in Flash. But it had nothing to do with the song for Highlander. The movie needed a love song and the concept makes sense given the context of the movie.

You should write a screenplay.

Freddie singing ‘This world has only one sweet moment set aside for us’ chokes me up every time.

Why does the sun come up?

Thank you. Yes, that’s very much what I was going for. The music and movie fit together so well, it seems like at some point the movie was adapted to fit the music.

For example the line “it’s a kind of magic” when Connor and Rachael meet during WWII. And the the lyrics of ‘one year of love’ capture the mood of the movie perfectly.

I’ve not encountered any other movies where one band did most of the songs. Usually, a movie will have one, maybe two songs that end up as sort of theme songs for the movie (e.g. Titanic, The Bodyguard), but Highlander ended up with an entire album.

Hampshire actually listed several in post #12, though you may not have seen those films, or remember the heavy use of songs by one artist:
Harold and Maude* lists nine songs by Cat Stevens on its soundtrack.
The Graduate lists fourteen songs by Simon and Garfunkel on its soundtrack.
Batman lists six songs by Prince on its soundtrack.

And, as snfaulkner notes, Queen had already done the Flash Gordon soundtrack, too.

A few others that come to my mind:
Xanadu has five songs by Electric Light Orchestra, including a duet with Olivia Newton-John (who also performed on six songs, though she was the movie’s star; ELO never actually appears in the film).
The Magic Christian has three songs by Badfinger.
Tron: Legacy’s soundtrack was done by Daft Punk.

Well, that sort of is the point of writing music for a movie - that it fits. It’s possible that the movie was modified a bit if someone thought a particular song was apropos, but I’d bet that the movie was mostly written before the music was composed.

At least partially filmed, too, as I understand it. Who Wants to Live Forever was apparently written after watching the scene it ended up playing behind.