Feb 10 2009

Oscar Focus: Best Original Song

Published by at 3:33 pm under Blog,Movies,Music,Music Review

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Audrey HepburnThe 60’s was an epic era for music and the Oscars mirrored the trend. 1961’s Breakfast at Tiffany’s was a culture defining movie and Henry Mancini’s Moon River was given the Oscar along with Audrey Hepburn for Best Actress. Mancini’s Charade missed out in 1963 to his own Days of Wine and Roses both from movies of the same name. Chim Chim Cher-ee from Mary Poppins got the Oscar in ‘64 – presumably they couldn’t fit Supercalafragalisticexpialadoshus onto the statue. 1967 saw nominations for The Bare Necessities (The Jungle Book) and The Look of Love (Casino Royale), but for some bizarre reason both lost out to the painfully simple Talk to the Animals from Doctor Doolittle – I didn’t even like that song as a child. One of the Academy’s many questionable decisions.


— Chim Chim Cher-ee —


Thankfully the Academy did the right thing in 1968 by rewarding Windmills of Your Mind (The Thomas Crown Affair) ahead of the awful Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and Funny Girl from films of the same names. 1969 rounded off the swinging 60’s with the curious but excellent Raindrops Keep Fallin’ On My Head from Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.




1971’s Oscar winner pretty much sums up the 70’s. One of the best choices the Academy has ever made was to award Isaac Hayes an Oscar for The Theme from Shaft, even if Hayes went on to be a Scientologist. How were they to know – Scientology was barely invented back then. Shaft beat off competition from The Age of Not Believing, an odd choice to put forward from the producers of Bedknobs and Broomsticks. Surely there were plenty better songs to choose from.


— Shaft —


Proving the influence of the disaster movie in the 70’s, both The Morning After from The Poseidon Adventure and We May Never Love Like This Again from The Towering Inferno picked up the Oscar in 1972 and 1974 respectively. The Bond song, Live and Let Die, unfortunately missed out to Streisand’s The Way We Were in ‘73. She picked up another one for Evergreen (A Star is Born) in ’76 – a further sign of disaster. You Light Up My Life from the film of the same name beat another Bond tune, Nobody Does it Better (The Spy Who Loved Me) in 1977, but that’s not necessarily a bad decision.


— Live and Let Die —




Much as Shaft summed up the 70’s, 1980’s Best Original Song Oscar winner encapsulated all that was wrong with 80’s fashion. Fame even beat off competition from the other 80’s classic, Nine to Five. Some of the biggest 80’s power ballads were movie themes and this is reflected in the Oscar nominations. 1981 to 1987 saw some of the greatest and cheesiest songs of all time win Academy Awards – Arthur’s Theme (Arthur), Up Where We Belong (An Officer and a Gentleman), Flashdance (Flashdance), I Just Called to Say I Loved You (The Woman in Red), Say You, Say Me (White Nights), Take My Breath Away (Top Gun) and The Time of My Life (Dirty Dancing) but even the losing nominees were epic.


— Against All Odds —


Nominated, we had another Bond tune, For Your Eyes Only; the unforgettable Eye of the Tiger (Rocky III); the song that is now sadly being used to advertise the directory enquiry service 11850, Ghostbusters (Ghostbusters); Back to the Future‘s Power of Love; Somewhere Out There (An American Tail) and one of my all time favourite songs, Phil Collins’ Against All Odds (Against All Odds). Incidentally, at the 57th Academy Awards ceremony in 1984, Phil Collins was the only artist not allowed to sing his own song. The Academy felt he wasn’t well known enough to do it, so had Ann Reinking (???) perform it instead. Idiots! Apparently, the audience shots of Phil Collins are some of the most uncomfortable in the Oscars’ history.


Oh, here’s 1986’s nominee Mean Green Mother From Outer Space (Little Shop of Horrors):


— Mean Green Mother From Outer Space —


The end of the 1980’s marked the beginning of animated features dominating the Best Original Song Category. In 1989 The Little Mermaid‘s Under the Sea won out over it’s own Kiss the Girls and Shirley Valentine‘s The Girl Who Used to Be Me.


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9 responses so far

9 Responses to “Oscar Focus: Best Original Song”

  1. Darraghon 10 Feb 2009 at 3:50 pm

    *officially impressed*

  2. Will Knotton 10 Feb 2009 at 4:51 pm

    So the oscar night party is at your gaff then?

    Or is it a case of you playing an oscar night DJ turn?

  3. Ianon 10 Feb 2009 at 5:03 pm

    For me Wall-E ’s Down to Earth should claim the Oscar.

    I’ve not seen Slumdog Millionaire yet, but on listening to the two songs nominated, there both ‘crap’ to put it bluntly.

    All three are a bit of a let down compared to last years winner obviously.

    Fantastic post Darren btw 😉 fair play to ya ! 🙂 Must have taken a bit of time and research.

  4. Darrenon 10 Feb 2009 at 5:17 pm

    @Darragh Well, thank you very much.

    @Will I’ve just asked for the Monday after the Oscars off from work. It’s straight after the blog awards, so I’m not sure who would be up for another party, I will definitely be watching the show. I’ll give it some thought over the next day or so.

    @Ian I spent ages reading up on it. It’s just so interesting. I know it’s a long post but I enjoyed writing it so much. I’m hoping to do another Oscar Focus on Best Actress next. (If I can find the time) 🙂

  5. Dermoton 10 Feb 2009 at 7:40 pm

    thanks for the history lesson .. i guess? 😛

    but good first half of the post 😀

  6. raptureponieson 10 Feb 2009 at 11:33 pm

    Hudson Hawk!!!!!!!

  7. B'dum B'dum B'dum B'd-on 11 Feb 2009 at 1:50 pm

    How d’you get time for such long posts?

    You can’t do a post this size about best original song and not mention Elliott Smith!

    I tend to quite like the best score a lot more, even though the rightful winner usually doesn’t get it(morricone hasn’t won once!).

    Was delighted when Eminem won with his last great song, odds were meant to be so low that he didn’t bother turning up.

    Finally watched Once, hugely disappointing but I adored Bachelor’s Walk so I probably had silly expectations.
    Falling Slowly shouldn’t have been allowed in either. Jonny Greenwood got disqualified cos they thought his Morricone-esque one may’ve been made for Radiohead’s new album… meanwhile falling slowly WAS a f*cking bonus track on the Frames one(not sure what edition)

  8. Darrenon 11 Feb 2009 at 1:51 pm

    @Dermot Is that because you only made it half way before giving up with boredom? 🙂

    @RP Thought you might like that alright.

  9. Lottieon 11 Feb 2009 at 8:03 pm

    How can there only be three this year?

    I just can’t get over some of the songs that were written for the movie. I mean why Up Where We Belong? What has that got to do with the movie?

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