Music is a core part of a film, whether it be an original score or licensed songs. Sometimes a song will be written for the film and help with promotion outside of the usual trailers and posters. This practice was none more popular in the 80s and 90s and seems to have faded away these days. However, on the odd occasion the film itself wouldn’t fair so well with audiences and critics, but its associated song would skyrocket in the charts. So, here are seven movie songs better than the film.
1. Wild Wild West – Will Smith feat. Kool Moe Dee & Dru Hill (Wild Wild West, 1999)
Will Smith is no stranger to recording songs for films and so it was no surprise when he released this single to coincide with the comedy western, Wild Wild West. Unfortunately, Smith and director Barry Sonnenfeld couldn’t recreate the magic they sparked with Men in Black (1997) and so the film was a box office bomb, disappointing both audiences and critics. This song however, found itself at No. 1 in the US and No. 2 in the UK.
2. (Everything I do) I do it for you – Bryan Adams (Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves, 1991)
Robin Hood with an American accent was only the tip of the iceberg of problems for 1991’s Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves. A film that hasn’t aged well over the years, Kevin Costner’s Golden Raspberry win for Worst actor seems more and more understandable after each viewing. However, a power ballad by Bryan Adams helped the film become a box office success and the song became one of the best-selling singles of all time.
3. Gangsta’s Paradise – Coolio (Dangerous Minds, 1995)
A true story about an ex-US Marine who took up a teaching position in a poverty stricken racially segregated city, starring Michelle Pfieffer, seemed like it would be a sure fire hit back in 1995. Unfortunately, it failed to impress the critics upon release and was at risk of fading away into obscurity, but a No. 1 single by Coolio sampling Stevie Wonder’s Pastime Paradise ensured it wasn’t completely forgotten.
4. End of the Road – Boyz II Men (Boomerang, 1992)
During the late 80s and early 90s Eddie Murphy was a comedy genius, with his motor mouth and toothy grin. Written by Murphy, Boomerang saw a change of pace for him in this romantic comedy. Despite a mediocre reception, the film’s accompanying song from R&B vocal group Boyz II Men stayed at No. 1 in the US for thirteen weeks, breaking the record previously held by Elvis Presley. It has gone on to become the groups most popular song.
5. Kiss From A Rose – Seal (Batman Forever, 1995)
Despite Tim Burton’s successful reboot of the character with his more gothic interpretation, Warner Bros. opted for a more family-friendly tone for the next Batman outing. This decision, harking back to the camp TV series, did not sit well with fans and critics. Seal re-released a single from 1994 to help with the film’s marketing and it faired significantly better, climbing the charts to reach No. 1 in the US and No. 4 in the UK.
6. A View To A Kill – Duran Duran (A View To A Kill, 1985)
Every Bond film to date has been supported by a theme song, so it’s no surprise to find one in this list. By the time he made his seventh Bond in 1985, Roger Moore was 57, something that was all too clear on screen. The theme song however, provided by popular band at the time Duran Duran, reached No. 1 in 6 countries, including the US where it remains the only Bond theme to reach No.1. It was also nominated for a Golden Globe.
7. I don’t want to miss a thing – Aerosmith (Armageddon, 1998)
Released only two and half months after the similar disaster flick Deep Impact, Armageddon was an international box-office success despite negative reviews from critics. The film was criticised for it’s lack of scientific accuracy and it’s overall reliance on style and action over substance. Rock band Aerosmith recorded a power ballad to coincide with the film’s release and it debuted at number one in the US, making it the first for the band after 28 years together.