Anyone who has watched a sad movie knows the saddest scene is always amplified by the music because it makes people feel things in films that can not be handled with just words. Often, the music plays its character, adding something that could not be filled with people or dialogue. It sets the mood and emotion and tells the viewer how they should feel from scene to scene.
Sometimes that music is so powerful that it becomes even more popular than the movie, as seen with “Endless Love” by Lionel Ritchie and Diana Ross. Or, an instrumental was used so well that it became one of the longest-running No. 1 instrumentals of all time, like with Percy Faith and His Orchestra for “Theme from ‘A Summer Place.'”
“Call Me” – ‘American Gigolo’
“Call Me,” produced by Giorgio Moroder and written and performed by Debbie Harry of Blondie, is the central theme song in American Gigolo starring Richard Gerebest known for his role in Pretty Woman. The song was allegedly written by Harry in just a few hours, basing it on a male prostitute’s perspective.
The song was released in the US in February 1980 and spent six weeks on the charts at No. 1. It sold one million copies, making it a gold record, and took the top spot on Billboard’stop songs of 1980 chart, and is No. 64 on the Greatest of All Time Hot 100 Songs.
“End of the Road” – ‘Boomerang’
Released as a track on the Boomerang soundtrack in 1992, “End of the Road” by Boyz II Men debuted at No. 53 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in July of that same year. The song went to No. 1 in four weeks and stayed there for another 13 weeks. It also claimed the top spot in Billboard’s Hot 100 in 1992 and was made platinum after selling over one million copies.
The song wasn’t released initially on Boyz II Men’s debut album, Cooleyhighharmony, but was added to the album on a re-issue in 1992 and 1993 because it was so successful. Overall, the song found its place as the sixth most popular song of the ’90s.
“I Will Always Love You” – ‘The Bodyguard’
Originally written and performed by Dolly Parton, Whitney Houston breathed new life into what would become one of the most famous movie songs of all time. The song appeared in The Bodyguard, starring Whitney Houston and Kevin Costnerand was based on Linda Ronstadt‘s version, but Dolly Parton provided the final verse, feeling it was an important addition.
It spent 14 weeks at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, presenting the first time Billboard couldn’t rank a new No. 1 song until three months into the new year. It has since received online diamond status, equivalent to 10-times platinum for physical sales, and still holds the top spot for the most popular song from a soundtrack album.
“Night Fever” – ‘Saturday Night Fever’
Written and performed by the ’70s disco group the Bee Gees, “Night Fever” was featured in Saturday Night Fever, starring John Travolta. Initially, producer Robert Stigwood wanted the Bee Gees to write a song called “Saturday Night,” but they had already registered a song called “Night Fever” that they thought would be a better fit. They convinced Stigwood to change the movie’s name from Saturday Night to Saturday Night Fever and use that song instead.
“Night Fever” debuted on the Billboard Hot 100 chart at No. 76 and, after hitting No. 1, remained in that top spot for eight weeks. It has since secured a spot on Billboard’s All Time Top 100 at No. 38, and is still a much-loved song today.
“Flashdance … What A Feeling” – ‘Flashdance’
Written for the 1983 movie Flashdance, this song performed by Irene Cara was released a month before the movie’s release as a marketing strategy. The song was so popular that record stores sold out of both the single and the soundtrack just days after the film premiered.
While the song did not hit No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 charts, it spent 14 weeks in the Top 10, naming it the longest-running top-10 single of that year. “Flashdance … What a Feeling” went Platinum in many countries worldwide and was eventually awarded Double Platinum in 1984.
“Eye of the Tiger” – ‘Rocky III’
“Eye of the Tiger” by Survivor originally appeared on the band’s self-titled album. It was chosen by Sylvester Stallone as the theme for Rocky III after Queen refused permission to use “Another One Bites the Dust.” The song became so popular that it topped international charts throughout 1982.
It stayed at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart for six weeks and spent 15 weeks in the top 10. Coincidentally, the song’s top-ten streak was tied with “Another One Bites the Dust” for the longest-running top 10 hits of the 1980s. The album went Platinum in 1982 and has held its popularity, selling over four million digital downloads to date.
“How Deep Is Your Love” – ’Saturday Night Fever’
Written and recorded by the Bee Gees for the film Saturday Night Fever, “How Deep is Your Love” was one of three songs from the soundtrack to be on the charts at the same time, the other two being “Night Fever” and “Stayin ‘Alive.” “How Deep Is Your Love” topped Billboard’s Hot 100 on Christmas Day in 1977. It remained there for 17 weeks and topped at No. 22 on Billboard’s All Time Top 100.
The Bee Gees were sued by Chicago songwriter Ronald Selle, who stated that the group used part of a melody from a song he wrote called “Let it End” in the movie ballad. The lawsuit essentially went nowhere since Selle was unable to prove this.
“Theme From ‘A Summer Place'” – ‘A Summer Place’
“Theme From ‘A Summer Place'” has been recorded by many artists and featured in many movies over the years, but the most popular version remains that of Percy Faith & His Orchestra, who composed a beautiful instrumental version that nearly everyone still recognizes today. .
The single was released in September 1959, ahead of the November 1959 premiere of A Summer Place, and ended up somewhat of a sleeper hit. Debuting at No. 96 in January 1960, two months after the movie’s release, the song climbed for another six weeks and landed at the top spot in February 1960, where it spent nine weeks. According to Billboard’s Hot 100, “Theme from ‘A Summer Place'” still holds the longest No. 1 run than any other instrumental in history.
“(Everything I Do) I Do It For You” – ‘Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves’
Bryan Adams wrote the song for the 1991 movie Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves; The song was such a massive success that it topped the charts in almost 20 countries. It spent seven weeks at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in the US. It holds the No. 21 spot on Billboard’s Hot 100 of All Time, and the single sold over 15 million copies around the world.
Adams allegedly wrote the song in 45 minutes, and it’s still considered his most popular song to date. In 1992, the song received a Grammy Award for Best Song Written Specifically for a Motion Picture or Television. It also received a Grammy Award nomination for Record of the Year.
“Endless Love” – ’Endless Love’
Written by Lionel Ritchie and performed by Ritchie and Diana Ross, “Endless Love” was named the greatest song duet of all time by Billboard. It remained on the Billboard Top 100 for nine weeks and became a bigger success than its namesake movie, Endless Lovewhich starred Brooke Shields and Martin Hewitt.
The single was released from the soundtrack in 1981 and became one of the music duo’s most successful hits, with Ross obtaining the 18th and final No. 1 hit of her career and Ritchie receiving his most popular charting single to date. The song received an Academy Award nomination for Best Original Song and was nominated for an Academy Award.
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