I finally got around to watching Shrek 2 this weekend. No, I won’t bore you with a review — I can’t imagine anyone else hasn’t seen it yet who actually wants to.
One thing that I did notice was that the pop culture references seemed to either be very recent (Spiderman, Lord of the Rings) or from an era that speaks to my generation (Funkytown/Changes/Holding Out for a Hero/Flashdance). In particular, as I listened to Jennifer Saunders’ version of Bonnie Tyler’s “Holding Out for a Hero,” I started thinking about the Footloose soundtrack.
When we talk of great soundtracks these days (look at Susan’s post on this subject here), we’re generally talking about collections of songs from other sources put to use in a movie. Sure, you may have two or three original songs, but for the most part, the most popular movie soundtracks are collections of songs written for another purpose.
Footloose was a different beast — all of the music on the soundtrack was written for the movie (to my knowledge, at least). And it was enormously popular, spawning a couple of number 1 hits and some other singles that hit the charts. Which leads me to wonder: since Footloose was released, has there been a movie soundtrack of original music that seen even close to the same kind of popular success? I couldn’t think of any, which is kind of sad. Footloose was a fun movie, but it’s hard to think of it as the greatest in any kind of category, but perhaps it has the most successful soundtrack with original music of the past 20 years. Please prove me wrong.
Most of the music on the soundtrack must have been written for the movie.
Musicals don’t count. Same if the characters in the movie perform the songs.
The songs must have achieved a measure of popular success (critically acclaimed just doesn’t hack it here).