I mean, it went up against Lady Gaga's "Shallow", so did it ever really have a chance of winning? Probably not. But that doesn't mean the song didn't deserve it. It even lost at the Grammys competing with Childish Gambino's "This is America" for Record and Song of the Year.
Before Survivor sued the GOP campaigns for Newt Gingrich, Mitt Romney and Mike Huckabee, "Eye of the Tiger" was the theme song to Rocky III. After Sylvester Stalone was denied by Queen to use "Another One Bites the Dust" he tapped the rock band to record the song he intended to use as the third Rocky installment theme. The song was nominated for the 1982 Academy Award, but lost to "Up Where We Belong" from the Richard Gere film, "An Officer and a Gentleman."
Who you gonna call?! Need I say more? Parker was sued by Huwey Lewis for copyright infringement noting that the song sounded too similar to Lewis's song, "I Want a New Drug." It came out from that lawsuit that Ghostbusters producers gave the track to Parker as a building off point to create the theme song. Parker says he was inspired by late night infomercials to create a jingle like song that the real Ghostbusters would have used as advertisement. The song lost at the 1985 Academy Awards to Stevie Wonders' "I Just Called to Say I Love You," from Gene Wilder's "The Woman in Red." Literally had no idea that Wonders' song was even a theme song.
You've heard countless of covers of this song from Willie Nelson, to Kacey Musgraves, to Gwen Stefani, to Weezer and Hayley Williams, but have you heard the song that it lost to? The 1980 Academy Award winner for Sally Fields "Norma Rae" theme, "It Goes like it Goes," sung by Jennifer Warnes. Paul Williams and Kenneth Ascher wrote the song with inspiration from "When You Wish Upon a Star" from Pinnochio, and had Kermit's particular speech patterns in mind.
Before there was "Up," Toy Story 2 had the most heartbreaking, tear-jerking moment in Pixar history. The backstory of cowgirl Jessie was originally just going to be explained verbally by the character, but Pixar creators wanted Randy Newman to write a song. Throughout the process, Newman doubted that children would be able to pay attention to a slower ballad, but was proven wrong. The song was nominated for the 2000 Academy award, but lost to Phil Collins "You'll Be in my Heart." Tough year, because both songs are so good.
I mean, this song defined not only the entire film, but became the definition for the entire era of disco. Written by the Gibb brothers as an ode to the turmoil occurring in Harlem and NYC at the time (1977 Blackout, extreme poverty and lack of government assistance, Son of Sam serial killer on the loose, NYC on the brink of bankruptcy), and of their ability to just "stay alive." The song became the opening track and featured over Travolta iconically walking the streets of NYC. The song wasn't even nominated for an Oscar, but the soundtrack did go on to win Best Album of the year at the Grammys, becoming the first film soundtrack to do so.
The song was written by Keith Forsey and Steve Schiff with the hope that Simple Minds would agree to record it, both being fans of their work. The band initally turned down the offer. It was then shopped to Billy Idol, who also turned it down. Eventually, the band agreed to record it, and did so in 3 hours and according to accounts, "promptly forgot about it, believing that it would be a throwaway song on the soundtrack to a forgettable movie." The film would have been eligible for the 1986 Academy Awards, but wasn't even nominated.
Now, this is a tricky year. The most popular song from "The Bodyguard" soundtrack is definitely Whitney's cover of Dolly Parton's "I Will Always Love You," but since that was a cover song, and not original music, it was ineligible for the award. Thus, all the power was put behind this David Foster song. Ultimately, it lost to "A Whole New World" from Aladdin, but went on to be the best selling movie soundtrack of all time, and the Grammy winner for Album of the Year (the second film to do so).
Dolly wrote the theme song to the movie after being inspired for the beat with her acrylic nails rubbing together. The sound reminded her of a typewriter, and the rest followed. The song lost to the theme song to "Fame," another tough year, but 9 to 5 remains one of Dolly's most iconic hits. The song earned her a Grammy for Best Country Song.
The title song from the movie about a fictional 1960s boyband from Eerie, Pennsylvania was written by Fountains of Wayne bassist, Adam Schlesinger (of Stacy's Mom fame). To me, this song is powerful because you spend a good portion of the movie wondering if this is a biopic or a work of fiction. The song is that much of a ear worm. The song lost to "You Must Love Me" from Evita. Idk who would be more upset by the loss, Tom Hanks or Maxwell Scheffield.
The song was written by Diane Warren and was inspired by a Barbara Walters interview with James Brolin and Barbara Streisand where Brolin said he missed Streisand when they were asleep. Diane noted down "I don't want to miss a thing," and the song was born. The song became the only number one single for the band Aerosmith. The song lost to "When You Believe" from "The Prince of Egypt" sung by Whitney and Mariah. The inclusion of this song on the list does not mean "When You Believe" was an undeserving winner.
Naturally, this is not a song that would have been nominated for an Oscar. But that doesn't mean it isn't an iconic movie theme song. Afterall, it was nominated for a Grammy for best original movie song! Allegedly, Matthew Knowles submitted this song to producers for consideration for inclusion without Beyonce's knowledge. If it had been nominated, it would have lost to Bob Dylan's "Things Have Changed," from Wonder Boys.
Grease, America's favorite movie about 30 year-old teenagers, knew they had to feature an original song to be considered for the Academy Awards. So, John Farrar penned this song. Of it he said, "I spent the longest period writing the lyrics of any song I've ever written. Every thesaurus and every rhyming dictionary I had, just trying to really make it work properly." The song was Grease's only oscar nom and eventually lost to "Last Dance," from "Thank God it's Friday."
ONTD, what are you favorite movie theme songs that didn't win Oscars?
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