Chicago: Music From the Miramax Motion Picture is a soundtrack album featuring all of the original songs of the 2002 Best Picture Academy Award-winning musical film Chicago starring Renée Zellweger, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Richard Gere, Queen Latifah, John C. Reilly, Mýa Harrison and Christine Baranski.
As the film industry became more mainstream and commercialized, the use of popular songs and music generally increased. Now, soundtracks and scores are an integral part of the moviegoing experience. Sometimes, filmmakers and producers are hoping to capture a zeitgeist by tying a film's release to a popular hit. Older songs might be chosen to invoke a certain period of time.
Some filmmakers view the curated soundtrack as important as the film itself; for example, writer-director Quentin Tarantino often incorporates favorite songs from his vast music collection into scenes in his movies. Other examples include James Gunn's "Guardians of the Galaxy," which had an "Awesome Mix Vol. 1" that carried important meaning for the main character in the plot of the film, while also hitting the top of the charts in real life.
Originally featured in the 1975 stage musical "Chicago," the opening number "All That Jazz" stuck in the minds of viewers from the Oscar-sweeping 2002 film adaptation. In the film, the number is performed by Catherine Zeta-Jones as Velma Kelly in a Chicago club, with the performance intercut with scenes of protagonist Roxie Hart (Renee Zellweger) initiating an affair. The song showcased the overall flashy vibe of the film, and Zeta-Jones, 10 years after winning an Oscar for Best Supporting Actress for "Chicago," returned to the awards ceremony to perform the song.
The romantic film "An Officer and a Gentleman" had a soulful theme song in "Up Where We Belong," a collaboration between the film's composer Jack Nitzsche, singer-songwriter Jennifer Warnes, and singer Joe Cocker. Warnes was already known for her work on previous soundtracks and had always desired to sing a duet with Cocker. The song reflected the happy ending of the film, and it quickly shot up in the charts, not only in the United States but in many other countries as well.
The venerable soundtrack of "The Sound of Music" is supported by a number of memorable songs, including "My Favorite Things." The film version of the song has Maria (Julie Andrews) sing to the von Trapp children during a thunderstorm, calming them down by listing her most favorite menial things. John Coltrane would later record a 14-minute jazz version of "My Favorite Things," and the song still remains beloved today.
The song "Wind Beneath My Wings" had an extended lifespan lasting throughout the 1980s, recorded by a number of artists from 1982 into the early '90s. It took until 1988 for the song to really chart, with a version by Bette Midler gracing the soundtrack of the film "Beaches." Thanks to the emotional context of the film, the song became a #1 single. The song plays near the end of the film when a key character passes away from a terminal illness.
As famous as John Travolta's star turn in "Saturday Night Fever" was one of the main singles from the soundtrack, the Bee Gees classic "Stayin' Alive." Featuring the brothers' usual falsetto tones, the song matches the film's theme of surviving on the streets, with the song opening the film and showing Travolta's character going on his usual rounds about the city. The film received a sequel titled "Staying Alive," but it was critically lambasted.
Simon & Garfunkel and their music had a large presence in the Dustin Hoffman film "The Graduate," with "Mrs. Robinson" probably being the most important song on the film's soundtrack. In the context of the film, Hoffman's character is seduced by an older woman named Mrs. Robinson, and the upbeat folk-rock song plays during the scene, creating an uncomfortable context that mirrors Hoffman's discomfort. The song is intertwined with the movie, along with another Simon & Garfunkel song, "The Sound of Silence." 2b1af7f3a8