Calling all original song contenders

Posted by · 6:11 pm · July 19th, 2010

As we get closer and closer to the film awards season, I thought maybe it was a good time to round up all the potential original song contenders.  It’s generally a good idea to keep track of these things, so let’s see what we have so far.

One of the best bets is probably Randy Newman’s “We Belong Together” from “Toy Story 3.” As usual for Newman, it’s not the kind of song that dives too far beneath the surface, but it’s a delightful jingle that helped sum up one of the year’s biggest critical and popular hits, so it should be considered formidable.

Speaking of animated films,“How to Train Your Dragon” has an original song, “Sticks & Stones,” from Sigur Rós frontman Jónsi Birgisson.  It’s a fast-paced bit of happiness that probably doesn’t have what it takes to push through to a nomination, but it’s in the field nevertheless.

Remember when Eddie Vedder was utterly shafted for the brilliant work he contributed to Sean Penn’s “Into the Wild?” (Seriously, “Society” might be the best original song from a film in the last decade, but that’s just me.)  Well the Pearl Jam front man is back with “Better Days” from “Eat, Pray, Love,” which is full of soul and spirituality, everything the book was about.  I haven’t seen the film yet so I don’t know how the song is used, but again, it’s another contender.  The song leaked last month, though, so you can find it on the net easily enough.

We know John Legend’s “Shine” closes out Davis Guggenheim’s education system doc “Waiting for ‘Superman,'” and I believe Disney’s “Tangled” will have an entry (or a few).  What else?

We’ll sample all of the contenders separately again this year, once we’re in the thick of the season.  But for now, help me out here.  Anything I’m missing?  (I’ll keep adding here.)


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35 responses so far

  • 1 7-19-2010 at 6:17 pm

    Hans said...

    “Stroke the Furry Walls” from Get Him to the Greek. =)

    Seriously, though, this particular category has had a few oddball nominations and winners in the past, so I would love if that got in. I think a couple of songs from “Forgetting Sarah Marshall” even made a longlist a couple of years ago, no?

    (Sorry I have nothing else substantial to add…I’ll leave to my more esteemed peer-posters.)

  • 2 7-19-2010 at 6:24 pm

    JJ said...

    Right, like Paris 36′ random, random song last year. What WAS that?

  • 3 7-19-2010 at 6:27 pm

    Mr. F said...

    “Alice (Underground)” from Alice in Wonderland, I rather love it but it is the type that gets in people’s nerves.

  • 4 7-19-2010 at 6:29 pm

    Mr. F said...

    And I think Muse did an original song for “Eclipse” but I didn’t notice it during the movie

  • 5 7-19-2010 at 6:40 pm

    Matthew Starr said...

    Justin Bieber – Never Say Never

    from The Karate Kid

  • 6 7-19-2010 at 7:22 pm

    Marshall said...

    “guaranteed” from into the wild was truly great. That whole movie got ROBBED.

    And there was something else I was going to say that I completely forgot. Dangit.

  • 7 7-19-2010 at 7:53 pm

    Brady said...

    LCD Soundtrack did all original songs for Greenberg so there’s them.

    There’s the movie Burlesque, which is a giant question mark in terms of so many things, but that should have some original songs… ja?

    There’s the monstrosity My Own Love Song, which Guy I remember hailing as “what could be the worst movie ever made.”

    Umm Pharrell’s original music for Despicable Me, i.e. the baffling reason the whole movie had and odd hip-hop/disco feel.

    The Expendables has “Diamond Eyes (Boom-Lay Boom-Lay Boom)” by some band called Shinedown

    Prince of Persia supposedly had an Alanis Morrisette song called “I Remain” that was the film’s original theme.

    I tried Kris… I really did, but this is some slim pickin’s.

  • 8 7-19-2010 at 8:21 pm

    Jacob S. said...

    The only thing I know of that hasn’t been mentioned is “Kick Ass” from the film of the same name. It’s gotten some positive critical attention in the music world, but I doubt it’d be considered for the final five.

  • 9 7-19-2010 at 8:24 pm

    Ed said...

    Surely we can we pretend there’s a song in ‘Inception’, otherwise we’ll have to go two posts in a row where it’s not mentioned.

  • 10 7-19-2010 at 9:01 pm

    Hans said...

    …and yet you bring it up when there was no indication of having to bring that ugliness into the conversation, congratulations.

  • 11 7-19-2010 at 9:09 pm

    Danimal said...

    Daft Punk for TRON: Legacy? I’m dreaming, I know…

  • 12 7-19-2010 at 9:20 pm

    Danny King said...

    “Society” is a really great tune. My personal favorite from “Into the Wild.” I’d have to do a lot of revisiting to determine whether it tops the past decade for me or not, but it’s definitely up there.

  • 13 7-19-2010 at 9:36 pm

    Robert Hamer said...

    @ Danimal: Well, that’s more of a discussion for the inevitable Best Original Score piece, but if it makes you feel better, I think the possibility is awesome, too.

  • 14 7-19-2010 at 9:48 pm

    jlu said...

    i noticed the trend the last years that led up to this past year: last year’s nominees ALL played a “SIGNIFICANT” ROLE in the film, rather than just being a “background” song or ending credits filler like we’ve seen in the past.

  • 15 7-19-2010 at 10:15 pm

    Leocdc said...

    The Song Kick-Ass is seriously great (in the context of the movie). And what about the movie? I absolutely love it. Everything about it was great for me. The sad thing is I know it won’t be considered by the Academy, but every year I realized more and more that the AMPAS is just a award more, and nothing more than that, and great personal movies will always stays with me, instead the long list of “winners” according to them.

  • 16 7-19-2010 at 10:23 pm

    Danimal said...

    @Robert Hamer
    Yes, I definitely hope Daft Punk is in the Score conversation, but wasn’t sure if they had written any songs that would be deemed eligible. Thought I’d throw the name out anyway. Any serious awards consideration for them would be terrific.

    Watch the music branch disqualify them for Score on a rule violation. I hate to say that, but I can almost see it happening now…

  • 17 7-19-2010 at 11:31 pm

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    jlu: It’s a trend for a reason, given the way the branch votes on the category as of two years ago.

  • 18 7-20-2010 at 12:04 am

    Jeremy said...

    I’d push for “Let’s Get Lost” — the Bat for Lashes and Beck collaboration from “Eclipse” — but I suppose any “Twilight” nomination faces an uphill climb. Great song though — Natasha Khan can fucking sing.

  • 19 7-20-2010 at 12:16 am

    Guy Lodge said...

    Depending on how faithful “Never Let Me Go” remains to the novel, it should have one original song that is absolutely crucial to the narrative.

  • 20 7-20-2010 at 12:18 am

    Hans said...

    Heh, Jeremy, it would be hilarious if there was some secret pact among Oscar voters to, at all costs, make sure that Twilight can never, ever be called an Oscar-nominated franchise, only for Breaking Dawn: Part II to get a random sound nomination or something!

    (That said, I actually really liked the cinematography of the first one. They did a good job of making Forks look like a dreary kind of place where vampires would live. Don’t stone me…)

  • 21 7-20-2010 at 12:37 am

    Guy Lodge said...

    Oh, and “The Illusionist” has a couple of nifty original songs — 1950s rock ‘n roll pastiche jobs. They’re pretty slight, but they are performed live (so to speak) in the film. Chomet’s last film got a surprise nod in the category, after all.

  • 22 7-20-2010 at 3:19 am

    Jonathan Spuij said...

    “Get Him to the Greek” is one that immediately comes to mind. Could be “Stroke the Furry Wall” or “African Child”.

  • 23 7-20-2010 at 5:22 am

    Michael said...

    WOAH WOAH WOAH! Hold the phone. Jonsi from Sigur Ros wrote a song for “How to train a Dragon”????????? What. The. Fuck. I guess that isn’t as soul crushing as Thom Yorke writing a song for New Moon but still that seems kinda, I don’t know, random? What’s next, Bjork writing a song for Thor? I shudder at that thought.

  • 24 7-20-2010 at 5:42 am

    Zack Budryk said...

    I know”Scott Pilgrim vs. The World” has some original songs.

  • 25 7-20-2010 at 6:12 am

    Mike Smolinski said...

    Let’s not forget that the Academy favors songs that are actually performed within the film — not rolled over the credits — as evidenced by last year’s nominations. With that in mind, my money’s on seeing the category filled with songs from “Tangled,” “Burlesque,” “The Illusionist” and “Toy Story 3.”

  • 26 7-20-2010 at 7:32 am

    BurmaShave said...

    Michael, songwriters are in the music BUSINESS. Music. BUSINESS. Business.

  • 27 7-20-2010 at 8:49 am

    Michael said...

    yeah I know haha I just overreacted a little bit. It was kinda shell shock to find out that a band that used to sing in a made up language and only play songs that lasted over 8min long had gotten to the point where they sang songs in english for animated movies. It was just a lot to take in all at one time. I am good now. And I can recognize that Money is Money and that is ultimately the goal at the end of the day no matter who the artist is. Good for Jonsi! I am gonna have to download the song to hear it for myself.

  • 28 7-20-2010 at 1:09 pm

    Jacob S. said...

    Michael: One of the movies that Dean DeBois, director of HTTYD, directed was “Heima,” Sigur Ros’ excellent and fascinating documentary/concert movie. I highly recommend it. So anyway, there’s the connection. If you watch “Heima” then you’ll probably notice how a lot of the Icelandic imagery inspired the imagery in HTTYD.

  • 29 7-20-2010 at 4:48 pm

    Simone said...

    I’m a huge Eddie Vedder fan and it still boggles my mind how the Academy overlooked his work for ‘Into The Wild’… just don’t make sense! So, we’ll just see how it goes this time. If I weren’t so blah about Julia Roberts, I’d see ‘Eat, Pray, Love’, but she bugs me.

  • 30 7-21-2010 at 12:09 am

    Glenn said...

    Isn’t there a new Black Eyed Peas song at the end of “Knight and Day”. Yes, I think there is.

    What about the songs from “Winter’s Bone”. My knowledge of American folk music isn’t very big so I wasn’t aware if they were originals or covers.

    I think Janet Jackson has an original in “Why Did I Get Married Too?”

  • 31 7-21-2010 at 7:49 am

    Michael said...

    thanks Jacob S. for the info – I actually downloaded Heima when it came out and didn’t know the connection but that totally makes sense now. I listened to the song from HTTYD and it was okay, definitely not on par with some of Sigur Ros’s best work though. I don’t see how there would be even a remote possibility that it would be nominated for Best Original Song.

  • 32 7-21-2010 at 2:44 pm

    ScottC said...

    Any new Phoenix songs that might be eligible from Somewhere?

  • 33 7-26-2010 at 7:37 pm

    Checko said...

    “little house” by amanda seyfried (Dear John)
    “alice” by avril lavigne (Alice in Wonderland)
    “despicable me” by pharrell (Despicable Me)
    anything from Get Him to the Greek
    “kick-ass” by mika (Kick-Ass)
    “darling i do” by landon pigg & lucy schwartz (Shrek Forever After)
    “neutron star collision love is forever” by muse (Eclipse) and other indie songs (last year some new moon songs made the shortlist)
    “secrets” by onerepublic (the sorcerer’s apprentice)

  • 34 10-10-2010 at 9:55 am

    stan said...

    End Credits by Chase & Status feat. Plan B aka Ben Drew (Harry Brown)
    We Dance On by N-Dubz feat. Bodyrox (StreetDance 3D)
    Club Can’t Handle Me by Flo Rida feat. David Guetta (Step Up 3D)

  • 35 12-07-2010 at 1:44 pm

    stan said...

    How about this

    Rock my Body by Kristen Wiig feat. Will Forte (MacGruber)