The X Files
The first X-Files movie was pretty good, and the same can be said of the soundtrack. It includes songs Filter, Tonic, Foo Fighters, Bjork, Noel Gallagher, X, Sarah McLachlan, and The Cure. The Foo Fighters “Walking After You” was a modest hit and remains memorable. Bjork’s “Hunter” and Ween’s “Beacon Light” are the best tracks. It hit 26 on the US pop charts.
Why is He Here? Sting. Nothing about Sting screams X-Files. In fact, Sting’s insipid pop couldn’t be a worse match for the once-quirky Fox TV show. Sting was added to the album to spur record sales.
The sci-fi movie The Faculty never becomes more than the product of its influences, but the Robert Rodriguez film has something of a cult following. The teen horror flick starred Elijah Wood, Josh Hartnett, Clea DuVall, Usher, Salma Hayek, and Jon Stewart. How’s that for random? The soundtrack is comprised of 1990’s stars covering 1970’s hits and as a concept that’s not too bad. Garbage, Oasis, Soul Asylum, The Offspring, and Sheryl Crow all appear on the album.
Why Are They Here? Creed is super cringeworthy, but they were huge in 1998.
Godzilla the album sticks to the alt-rock that prevailed on the charts at the time. It became a big hit, getting to No. 2 on the Billboard 200 charts and certifying as platinum. The Wallflowers had a big hit by covering “Heroes,” but Ben Folds Five’s “Air” is a beautiful song. Rage Against the Machine’s “No Shelter” had a line criticizing the movie as a distraction from the real terrible issues in life (you can always count on Rage to bring you down). Green Day, Foo Fighters, and Michael Penn were also along for the ride.
There was a comedy in 1998 called Woo that you probably haven’t seen. It wasn’t very good, unlike this great R&B and rap soundtrack. It peaked at NO. 8 on the R&B/Hip-Hop chart, with three charting singles: three charting singles Charli Baltimore’s “Money”, Nate Dogg and Warren G’s “Nobody Does It Better” and Cam’ron’s “357”. DMX, 50 Cent, Jamie Foxx, Allure and Heavy D make appearances.
Don’t Sleep On: Charli Baltimore. The rapper really anticipated breakthrough female rappers like Nicki Minaj.
Small Soldiers by Joe Dante was supposed to be a big comedy/sci-fi hit. Dreamworks even had video games and toys at the ready. Unfortunately, it was a big bomb. You can tune in to the soundtrack, though. Like other soundtracks, this one chose to have current artists covering songs from yesteryear. Most of the songs are 80’s rockers covered by hip-hop artists, like Queen and Wyclef Jean on “Another One BItes the Dust.”
Bone Thugs & Harmony teams with Henry Rollins and Tom Morello to cover the song “WAR,” QUeen Latifah sings “Love is a Battlefield,” and Kool Keith and The Butchers take on the Pretenders’ “My City Was Gone.”
Don’t Sleep On: The film’s OTHER soundtrack. (Can you believe how much merchandising this flop got??) Jerry Goldsmith composed a parody of an orchestral sci-fi score, complete with epic synth. The critically acclaimed score is out of print.
The scenes of Ben Affleck in a helmet may make you laugh now, but back in 1998, the whole thing was pretty triumphant. Of course it spawned a mega-hit for Aerosmith, “I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing.” The rest of the album is a weird mish-mash of Aerosmith songs, Jon Bon Jovi and Sean Colvin. Chantal Kreviazuk had A Moment in the 1990’s, and her cover of John Denver’s “Leaving on a Jet Plane” is lovely.
Just No: Journey singing the song “Remember Me” is notable only because it’s a reminder that there is no Journey without Steve Perry. The song sucks and it happened during the eight year period when Steve Augeri filled in for Perry.
Why Do Fools Fall in Love
Why Do Fools Fall in Love is best described as an ok movie starring Halle Berry, Vivica A. Fox and Lela Rochon as the three wives of Frankie Lymon, the singer of 1950’s group Frankie Lymon and the Teenagers. The soundtrack is great – it was produced by rapper Missy Elliott and it was a hit, peaking the Billboard Top 200 at No. 55 and landing at No. 15 on the Top R&B/Hip-Hop chart. The soundtrack is a compilation of the best R&B artists of the era, including En Vogue, Destiny’s Child (with Timbaland), and Mint Condition. Elliott’s contributions, with Busta Rhymes, Lil’ Mo, Melanie B, and Total, are the standouts.
Why is He Here? Little Richard. He’s in the movie (playing himself) and on the record, as himself. Strangely, Frankie Lymon does not appear on the record for the movie about Frankie Lymon.
Can’t Hardly Wait
Another movie that seems to age better and better (because of the nostalgia of the teens and young adults who are now aging hipsters). This soundtrack is a combination of all the styles that were mixing for the first time on the charts: alt-rock, old rock, funk, pop-punk, hip-hop, and rap.
Blink 182’s “Dammit” was a big hit. Again Missy Elliott pops up to liven up a 1998 soundtrack, this time with Lil’Kim and Mocha (“Hit Em Wit Da Hee”). Boyz II Men, Third Eye Blind, Parliament, Dire Straits, Matthew Sweet, Guns N Roses, Run D.M.C., The Replacements and Busta Rhymes round out a very well rounded soundtrack.
Just No: Smash Mouth is here with their headache-inducing “Can’t Get Enough of You Baby.”
Bullworth is still underrated and is more culturally relevant than ever. Its amazing soundtrack is also underrated and hilarious. With Dr. Dre, LL Cool J, Eve, Method Man, KRS One, Nutta Butta, Rza, Mack 10, Ice Cube, B Real, and Public Enemy, the album sold 1 million records and went platinum.
You Probably Remember: “Ghetto Supastar,” featuring Pras, Ol’ Dirty Bastard, and Mya.
Todd Haynes amazing movie obviously wanted to pay a certain kind of homage to David Bowie, but it wasn’t the kind of portrayal he was interested in. Haynes decided to ask a bunch of bands to come up with new glam-rock era songs. It worked. Sonic Youth, Suede, Radiohead, Roxy Music, The Stooges and other greats showed up in the 1990’s to create work that was plausibly from the 1970’s. Grant Lee Buffalo’s “The Whole Shebang,” for instance, feels as if it had to have been written in 1973.