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The Top 10 Best Film Theme Songs of the 90s
1. Everything I Do (I Do It For You) – Robin Hood Prince of Thieves (1991)
The classic tune from the loveable ‘young’ crooner Bryan Adams spent a whopping 16 consecutive weeks in the UK singles chart. The theme tune for Robin Hood Prince of Thieves featuring Kevin Costner, it is one of the best-remembered movie themes of the time. It’s a classic ballad, a true nineties love song. It was the anthem for tonnes of first dances at weddings and millions of women in their thirties, forties (and fifties!) still know the words.
2. I Will Always Love You – The Bodyguard (1992)
A true hit from the dearly departed Whitney Houston at the absolute top of her game. She was the starlet of The Bodyguard, the film the music comes from. Playing a pamper starlet in the film, Costner is her bodyguard and lover. Her character ‘remakes’ the original Dolly Parton hit after Costner’s character explains its meaning in a bar. It’s well-known as a classic nineties hit and a truly great song which you’ll find on just about every Love Song compilation album.
3. Love is All Around – Four Weddings and a Funeral (1994)
The British film Four Weddings and a Funeral starring Hugh Grant was big hit and Wet Wet Wet will forever be remembered for the belter of a hit they produced for it. A cover of the original version by The Troggs, it was incredibly popular in the UK and almost topped our number one in this chart with longevity. Art imitated art with a later Richard Curtis film ‘Love Actually’ where one of the lead characters is a withered singer trying a comeback with ‘Christmas is All Around’, no doubt a reference back to his breakthrough film. Four Weddings and a Funeral was an unexpected hit- if it hadn’t been popular maybe the song wouldn’t have been either…
4. My Heart Will Go On – Titanic (1997)
One of the most decorated movies of all time, Titanic won 11 of the 14 Academy Awards it was nominated for, including Best Original Song. As the majority of Best Original Song Academy Awards in the 90s went to Disney films and musicals (the only other one that wasn’t was Philadelphia) this is some feat. A truly huge film needs a catchy song and they don’t come bigger than this Celine Dion hit which will be one of the most remembered of all time.
5. Men in Black – Men in Black (1997)
Will Smith is notorious for singing the theme tunes to tv shows and films he stars in and Men in Black is no exception. Men in Black came at a very high point in Will Smith’s career and the role has been reprised recently for Men in Black III. A true pop classic the music video varies from most other film tie-ins as instead of just showing clips from the film it also shows the characters and aliens doing a routine. It’s not the Cha Cha slide but it is still memorable.
6. A Whole New World – Aladdin (1993)
An academy award winning Best Original Song, while admittedly hardly a rarity for Disney and animated films this one had to appear here as a blissful duet by the two main characters Aladdin and Princess Jasmine. Actually the actors providing the speaking voices in the film were not those singing this or any other songs in the film; this is sung by Brad Kane and Lea Salonga. It was later performed by Peter Andre and Katie Price taking on the role of Prince and Princess in their music video which received much negative criticism- if it ain’t broke don’t fix it and this is definitely Disney perfection.
7. Gangsta’s Paradise – Dangerous Minds (1995)
Coolio’s ghetto rap from the film Dangerous Minds won critical acclaim for both the music video and his unique singing with a Grammy Award for Best Rap Solo Performance. Even those who are rap-haters can be found top-tapping to this ditty. Despite Michelle Pfeiffer’s true grit performance the film gained only 29% on Rotten Tomatoes, but I’d take that any day for a film grossing $175 million at the box office.
8. The Gael - Last of the Mohicans (1992)
This may not be a super-hit or belting pop song, but it is full of heart and meaning; Dougie MacLean makes instruments sing so you forget this is actually an entirely instrumental piece. That kind of atmospheric music is perfect for this kind of film which needs to evoke strong feelings. In fact it’s often thought that the theme of this film is actually “I Will Find You” by Clannad. Incidentally, if you have never heard Dougie MacLean or Clannad’s music beyond this tune, you really need to get some folk education!
9. Oh Pretty Woman! – Pretty Woman (1990)
Roy Orbison may have died before the film was released but it didn’t put a dampener on this, his brilliant hit, or the absolutely roaring popularity of the film. It is the number 1 romantic comedy for ticket sales ever and has grossed an estimated ½ billion dollars with the help of Julia Roberts and Richard Gere’s partnership. Julia Roberts even won a Golden Globe and an Academy Award nomination. The song was released in the mid 1960’s and has since received a Grammy Hall of Fame Award. It has appeared in multiple films and TV programmes- even games and has been covered an awful lot of times. Now that’s the sign of a fantastic song!
10. Streets of Philadelphia- Philadelphia (1993)
Another Academy Award winner for Best Original Song, Bruce Springsteen’s voice is raw and honest in pure rock style with this classic song. It also won four Grammy Awards which is a testament to the powerhouse voice of Springsteen. The film was the first real Hollywood film to deal with HIV/ AIDS and beyond the obvious words of the song, the emotion and tone added a lot to the feelings of desolation in the film.
Now which do you think is the best?
Vote for your top 90s movie theme song here!
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