Best Original Song – 1972

Official Nominations: The Morning After (The Poseidon Adventure). Ben (Ben). Come Follow, Follow Me (The Little Ark). Marmalade, Molasses, And Honey (The Life And Times Of Judge Roy Bean). Strange Are The Ways Of Love (The Stepmother)

The Morning After picked up the official win, a fine ballad (better than the more famous McGovern effort which would follow the film’s release) which is both sad and hopeful. Armand’s vocals suit the softer, smoother approach, and though it is fairly plain it’s still effective. Ben, chilling and lonesome when viewed within the confines of the film, but beautiful and brilliant outside, is one of Jackson’s finest early ballads with a flawless vocal performance and sweeping Motown backing. I could only find badly recorded versions of Come Follow, Follow Me, a gentle folk style song with soothing melodies but some dodgy accents. Marmalade, Molasses, And Honey is an overly twee song which doesn’t really suit Milius and Huston’s film and isn’t strong enough to stand on its own. Strange Are The Ways Of Love is another downer song making this quite a downbeat year for nominations. Again it’s hard to get a good copy of this one, but it’s a deep-vocal song which features both a fast version and a slower, acoustic guitar led version.

My Winner: Ben

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My Nominations: Ben. Rejoice In The Sun (Silent Running). Speak Softly, Love (The Godfather). You’re The Only Girl (Fritz The Cat). Lila’s Theme (Snoopy, Come Home). Free Four (La Vallee).

Only Ben makes it to my list, and you already know it’ll be the winner. Still, it goes up against some decent tunes, none of which have had the same lasting impact. Rejoice In The Sun sees Joan Baez serenade Bruce Dern as he grows flowers in space. It’s the sort of song you can imagine some bin lid like Adele ruining – it’s lovely, idyllic, sub-hippy stuff but not for anyone who isn’t a fan of Joan’s vocals. Speak Softly, Love is The Godfather’s exquisitely dramatic lead song, basically taking one of the main themes and adding lyrics and vocals. By now you should all know how I feel about jazz, or even brass. And yet, there’s something inherently funny and woozy about You’re The Only Girl For Me from Fritz The Cat. It’s a very simple song, sleepy, slow, and backed by dazed brass and tippy tappy piano. Another song for animation is Lila’s Theme from Snoopy Come Home – again it has a rainy day bittersweet tone and will bring back memories of a poor sick girl for anyone who has seen the movie. Finally is Pink Floyd’s Free Four from back when they were regularly working on movies. It’s a simple, straight song from the band with typically great lyrics and a hand-clapping rhythm with booming distortion and good old Gilmour face-melter.

My Winner: Ben

Let us know in the comments which song you feel deserves the win!

Best Original Song – 1966

Official Nominations: Born Free. Alfie. Georgy Girl. My Wishing Doll – Hawaii. A Time For Love – An American Dream.

There is one obvious winner here, a song which everyone knows, regardless of whether or not you have seen the movie. John Barry and Don Black’s Born Free, sung with gusty by crooner Matt Munro is both timeless, and a symbol of many 60s ideals. It is synonymous with images of sprawling vistas, African grasslands, mothers and cubs, and of course, freedom. Bacharach’s Alfie has performed by every sing of all time, so take your pick between the Cher and Cilla versions. I much prefer the Susannah Hoffs version – What’s It All About, Austin? – Hoffs really transforms it into a monster, but the basis of a great song was built here in the 60s. Tom Springfield and Jim Dale’s Georgy Girl evokes similar images of the decade and is light, cheery nonsense. It’s instantly catchy and perfromed with pinache by the Seekers. However, it’s impossible to hear it now without changing the lyrics to ‘Hey there, blimpy boy’. So this is a rarity – three great songs so far, WTF is going on Oscars? Berstein and David’s Wishing Doll has an odd mixture of Western tones with the Hawaiian feel needed for the movie, another song with strong melodies, but a much more mournful song when compared to the rapture of the previous three. The final entry is Johnny Mandel’s A Time For Love – a misplaced song in an unfairly maligned film. It’s a soppy enough song which tries to fit the dreary, lurid atmosphere of the movie, but comes off as a fairly standard ballad. It’s ok as a standalone, but it doesn’t work for the movie.

My Winner: Born Free.

BornFree

My Nominations: Born Free. Alfie. Georgy Girl. Follow Me Boys.

The only addition to my list is the title song from the Disney Scout movie, a jolly little ditty which was almost adopted by the USA Scouts as their signature tune. It does feel like a song which should be sung while marching and although it’s very simple it has a pleasant innocence.

My Winner: Born Free

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Which movie song of 1966 do you think deserves the Best Song crown? Let us know in the comments!

Best Song:1965

Official Nominations:

The Shadow Of Your Smile (The Sandpiper): Johnny Mendel and Paul Francis Webster’s oft covered hit won the award this year, a gentle, dreary song – the original choral version isn’t the best, with several crooners and a wide range of performers putting stronger spins to it over the year. The melancholy shines through on the original though, and thankfully the choral isn’t all that bad to render it unlistenable.

The Ballad Of Cat Ballou (Cat Ballou): Johnny Livingstone and Mack David provided the central tune to Cat Ballou, a rip-roaring feisty track with humorous lyrics, veering between a typical cowboy tune and sea shanty. The melodies aren’t that strong, but the energy and fun spirit keep your interest.

I Will Wait For You (The Umbrellas Of Cherbourg): Michael Legrand and Jacques Remy is a tear-jerker which again has been covered by all the crooners, and of course, in Futurama. The lyrics, vocals, and great composition come together to give a uniquely tragic song which instantly recalls moments from the film. And from Futurama.

The Sweetheart Tree (The Great Race): A calming moment in an otherwise frantic and silly movie, the song opens gently, accompanied by sweet vocals and easy lyrics. The choral version isn’t great, but the crazy piano solo in the middle is brilliant.

What’s New Pussycat? (What’s New Pussycat?): Not a lot to say on this one, other than Jones belts it out like a man posessed. It’s a nonsense song, but damn catchy.

My Winner: What’s New Pussycat?

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My Nominations

What’s New Pussycat? (What’s New Pussycat?).

The Sweetheart Tree (The Great Race).

I Will Wait For You (The Umbrellas Of Cherbourg).

Do-re-mi (The Sound Of Music): It seems bizarre that for such a popular film which yielded so many popular songs, and won so many awards, did not receive any nominations for Best Song. Of course the songs were taken from the stage musical, but who cares about that? Although I can’t stand the film, I can’t deny the power of some of its tunes, and this jingly childrens favourite is the best of a good/bad bunch.

Help! (Help!): One of my favourite Beatles tracks, and one of the greatest songs of all time, so not much else to say.

Ticket To Ride (Help!): A more unusual song than much of the rest of the soundtrack, but another one of my favourite Beatles tracks.

My Winner: Help! (Help!)

Beatles-Help-competition-770

What do you think is the best movie song of 1965? Let us know in the comments!

Best Original Song – 1974

Official Nominations: We May Never Love Like This Again (The Towering Inferno). Benji’s Theme (Benji). Blazing Saddles (Blazing Saddles). Wherever Love Takes Me (Gold). Little Prince (The Little Prince).

Even though rock music was at a peak and edging deeper into realms of success, the genre never really translated to movie songs, at least from The Academy’s perspective. And so we have, still to this day, ballads and pop and the occasional slice of ‘foreign tinted’ stuff. We May Never Love Like This Again feels like a watered down Motown ballad – it has some of that style of arrangement but while also evoking the style of an older era. The song is performed with gusto, my only problem with the vocals are when they double up on the harmonies unnecessarily. It’s a pretty plain song, and if you heard it on the radio you’d forget it instantly. It’s a weird one for a disaster movie too, but then I’m not sure what sort of song would work.

Benji’s Theme from Benji is suitably happy, but is quite a weird song – it has country vocals and a light and breezy pop tone with some nice bass and organ work. It’s perfectly fine but again it’s hardly what you would consider a smash hit or amazing song. Blazing Saddles of course has plenty of whips and typical Western sounds – Frankie Laine apparently wasn’t aware it was a spoof. The song works on its own, the lyrics aren’t overtly funny or anything. Maureen McGovern is back again for Gold with Wherever Loves Takes Me. Again it’s well sung and you’d be forgiven for thinking it’s the same song as the one from The Towering Inferno. The Little Prince is one of those too smooth songs that I won’t like. It’s nice, gentle, inoffensive, but instantly forgettable.

My Winner: Benji’s Theme

My Nominations: The Man With The Golden Gun. Dark Star. Buster And Billie. Foxy Brown. Thunderbolt and Lightfoot.

The Man With The Golden Gun is generally seen by Bond fans as one of the worst Bond songs. I’m on the opposing side and feel it is one of the best. Carpenter’s Dark Star isn’t the best movie but it does have a pretty funny song which works well alongside the antics. On its own and feels like a badly sung country song, yet it works. Also annoyingly sung is the theme song for Buster And Billie – yet again it works within the confines of the film. Willie Hutch’s soundtrack to Foxy Brown is great, but hardly expands upon what had been done in Shaft and the like. I do like the idea of having a song where women are sighing ‘coochie coochie’ in the background getting nominated, so I’ll go for Give Me Some Of That Good Old Love. Finally Where Do I Go From Here although from 1974, is well used in Thunderbolt And Lightfoot. Weirdly it’s yet another one which is annoyingly sung. What’s going on??

My Winner: The Man With The Golden Gun

Let us know in the comments which song gets your vote as winner!

Best Original Song – 1973

Official Nominations: The Way We Were (The Way We Were). Nice To Be Around (Cinderella Liberty). Live And Let Die (Live And Let Die). Love (Robin Hood). All That Love Went To Waste (A Touch Of Class).

The Way We Were was the winner this year, of course they would pick that, and it has gone down in history as one of the most popular movie ballads. It’s saccharine muck, and I’ve never been a fan of Streisand’s wailing. You can’t deny its tearjerking power – with a different singer and a less 70s production I’d like it more. Cinderella Liberty deserves a better song – the lyrics are strong but the lazy jazz and drawling melodies do little for me. Things pick up in the chorus, but barely. Love is such a lazy title and it’s a song which harks back to the Disney ballads of the past, the dreary string sections are there but updated, there’s an experimental feel to some of the backing guitar and flute stuff, and while it’s all designed to be dreamy, the melodies fall flat. Maddie Bell does her best with Love Went To Waste, but alas it’s too sleepy and melodically dry to affect me. Live And Let Die is the clear winner here, packed with impact, force, speed, and the melodies scream out of the speakers – I still prefer the Guns ‘n’ Roses version though.

My Winner: Live And Let Die

My Nominations: Live And Let Die. The Love Doctor (Cleopatra Jones). Whistle Stop (Robin Hood). Willow’s Song (The Wicker Man). The Way We Were.

Only the official winner and my winner survive to my list of nominations, although Robin Hood returns with a different song selection. Whistle Stop is by far the most memorable song from Robin Hood and while it’s barely even a song it is the one I have the most fondness for and frequently find myself whistling. In fact, any time the movie is mentioned it’s the first thing to enter my head. As the theme for the songs this year seems to be ‘love’, I add The Love Doctor from Cleopatra Jones. Millie Jackson records another Motown Hit – it’s pretty generic as far as the genre goes, but that doesn’t stop it being catchy and apparently the inspiration for the Manics’ It’s Not War Just The End Of Love. Finally, one of the most haunting and memorable moments from a movie known for several, is Willow’s Song – coming as Britt Ekland’s character cavorts naked in her room to the repressed distress of Edward Woodward. It’s one of horror’s finest songs, and much stronger than most of the official nominees.

My Winner: Live And Let Die

Let us know in the comments which song you pick as winner!

Best Music (Song): 1964

Actual Nominations: Chim Chim Cheree (Mary Poppins), Dear Heart (Dear Heart), Hush Hush Sweet Charlotte (Hush Hush Sweet Charlotte), My Kind Of Town (Robin And The 7 Hoods), Where Love Has Gone (Where Love Has Gone)

Jeepers, I can’t wait to get out of the 60s so that some decent movie songs can be discussed. Henry Mancini’s Dear Heart almost strangles his excellent work from The Pink Panther and is yet another whiney, choral-voiced, meandering and dreary love song. There’s nothing offensively bad about it, and I’m sure my opinion is in the vast minority, but any time I hear songs of this style I am instantly sent into a momentary depression. Hush Hush Sweet Charlotte is better though, gentle, bland, but goes absurdly against the plot, tone, and style of the film. By this point you can probably guess what I’m going to say about Where Love Has Gone– I do enjoy the overblown strings of the intro, but it’s just another whiney love song about nothing with music which doesn’t merge well with the (bland) vocals. Luckily, My Kind Of Town is better, but unluckily it’s another swing song which is a type of music which I cannot listen to for more than 2 minutes before wanting to pull out my eyes and insert them in my ears so I can watch myself going deaf. So, it is with no delight that my winner matches the official one- Chim Chim Cher-ee. Again it goes against everything I like in movies and music, but it certainly isn’t bland or whiney. It’s fun, funny, clever, the lyrics fit the plot, the music fits the vocals, the performance fits blah blah. The children vocals however are awful, but luckily they don’t last long.

My Winner: Chim Chim Cher-ee (Mary Poppins)

dick-van-dyke-in-mary-poppins

My Nominations: Viva Las Vegas (Viva Las Vegas). Supercalifragilisticexpialadocious (Mary Poppins). Goldfinger (Goldfinger). Can’t Buy Me Love (A Hard Day’s Night). Wouldn’t It Be Loverly (My Fair Lady).

So, I’ve managed to pick entirely different songs from the official nominations-some of which could be said to have been a huge oversight. I still managed to select 2 songs from the two winning films- Superblabladoshus, a fine nonsensical song which retains the ability to charm kids of any generation, and Wouldn’t It Be Loverly which is a loverly song. Aside from those, my choices see Elvis on fine form with Viva Las Vegas – a hurried verse followed by blasting chorus which is now synonymous with the city, and Shirley Bassey’s epic first entry in the Bond series- the sensual classic, Goldfinger. Either of those tracks are deserving winners in any year. However, my win has to go to The Beatles; it’s a case of ‘take your pick’ from A Hard Day’s Night as every song is a winner. My favourite though is Can’t Buy Me Love, one of the best pop/rock songs ever.

My Winner: Can’t Buy Me Love (A Hard Day’s Night)

 Let us know in the comments what your favourite song from a 1964 movie was!

Best Original Song: 1963

Official Nominations: Call Me Irresponsible from Papa’s Delicate Condition – Music by Jimmy Van Heusen; Lyric by Sammy Cahn.  So Little Time from 55 Days at Peking – Music by Dimitri Tiomkin; Lyric by Paul Francis Webster.  Charade from Charade – Music by Henry Mancini; Lyric by Johnny Mercer.  It’s a Mad Mad Mad Mad World from It’s a Mad Mad Mad Mad World – Music by Ernest Gold; Lyric by Mack DavidMore from Mondo cane – Music by Riz Ortolani and Nino Oliviero; Lyric by Norman Newell

My Winner: It’s A Mad Mad Mad Mad World.

Call Me Irresponsible has the usual blood-smooth vocals and whining violins that I cannot abide, the lyrics are fine but hardly impressive, and the song idles along like a dead rat in a sewer. For So Little Time see my previous comment, although imagine the rat spinning a few times. For Charade see previous comment again, but imagine the rat weraing a beret, for More imagine the rat suddenly jerking awake inspirationally and making the other sewer creatures smile, whilst for Mad Mad World imagine the rat doing summersaults and racially stereotypical impressions of non-Americans. Aaah, the 60s.

My Nominations: The Sword In The Stone. Summer Holiday

For Sword In The Stone we have the bizzare Mad Madame Mim, while for Summer Holiday we have Summer Holiday, a cheery song which evokes images of childhood trips to the beach, swimming in the sea, throwing jellyfish and younger kids, and running away from dancing, racist rats.

My Winner: Summer Holiday

Feel free to share your picks for best song of 1963 in the comments section below, and employ your democratic right in the poll.

Best Original Song -1962

Actual Nominations:

Days Of Wine And Roses – This starts off promisingly but quickly descends into the dreary sort of violin strewn noise that made you run from the TV when you were younger. For such a striking and important film, the song sounds like it is a couple of decades out of date, yet the slow, winding tone does fit with the boozed up nature of the story.

Mutiny On The Bounty Follow Me: This on the other hand does not sound dated at all, possibly given the use of the Tahitian choir. It is, however, very repetitive and could really have been 40 seconds long.

Two For The SeesawSecond Chance: A bar hopping number belted out by a weary, smoke ridden mistress to the lonely midnight patrons of the cities most dank dive. Unfortunately the song doesn’t really go anywhere and the melodies aren’t remembered a few minutes later.

Tender Is The Night –  An eerie into set to piano gives away to pleasant lyrics and decent melodies. If it wasn’t sung by Tony Bennett it might be worth recalling more often (I’m not a fan of any of those old school male swing singers).

Walk On The Wild Side – A good song for stripping too, if the mood takes you, but it sounds even more like it should be used for a game show with SUPER PRIZES! A nice big sound but once again, there is nothing special here.

My Winner: Tender Is The Night

My Nominations: Dr. No: Underneath The Mango Tree. Tender Is The Night.

My Winner: Dr No

Any excuse to show this pic really

 

Best Original Song- 1961

Actual NominationsMoon River from Breakfast at Tiffany’s – Music by Henry Mancini; Lyric by Johnny Mercer. Bachelor in Paradise from Bachelor in Paradise – Music by Henry Mancini; Lyric by Mack David. Love Theme from El Cid (The Falcon and the Dove) from El Cid – Music by Miklos Rozsa; Lyric by Paul Francis Webster. Pocketful of Miracles from Pocketful of Miracles – Music by Jimmy Van Heusen; Lyric by Sammy Cahn. Town Without Pity from Town Without Pity – Music by Dimitri Tiomkin; Lyric by Ned Washington

Batchelor In Paradise:  Another annoying Mancini, dated, rambling song with lyrics about nothing and a sound straight out of a shopping mall glory hole. It is twee, but surprisingly has some sort of memorable tune.

El Cid: The Falcon And The Dove: This is a different beast entirely, sounding huge with the full orchestra backing, especially when merged with the introduction piece. It does show some aging but it has more of a timeless feel and at least the melody is memorable. It does feel like a bunch of lyrics were thrown in to the epic scoring last minute, but the song still pays off.

Pocketful Of Miracles: The intro may sound like Jingle Bells, and the singing may sound like a group of girl scouts dancing around your garden but it is jolly and has a catchy, advertisement like tune.  After hearing it I feel like I’m being forced into buying a pair of trousers. Or a gun.

Town Without Pity: This is a decent enough song, sung with that late 50s rock drawl with the likes of Elvis and Holly loved to use. There’s a jazzy drunkeness to it and an underlying current of sadness.

My pick from the actual nominations matches the real winner, with Moon River. It’s one of those few movie songs which both transcends the movie and becomes something special in its own right, and also evokes images of the film when its opening notes are heard.

Moon River

My Nominations: Breakfast At Tiffany’s (Moon River). Love Theme (El Cid). The Young Ones (The Young Ones). 101 Dalmations (Cruella De Vil)

My Winner: The Young Ones

My win goes to The Young Ones, mostly due to memories of the TV show. It’s still a great song without these memories and much faster than Moon River.

The Young Ones

Let me know if my ears need a re-tuning, or if I have missed one of your favourites, and have a go at the super-exciting poll!

Best Song- 1960

Never On Sunday

Official Nominations:

Never on Sunday – Never on Sunday • Music and lyrics: Manos Hadjidakis- A typical belter starting with a bunch of La la las. It’s all very twee apart from the innapropriate blasting of the vocals. They should have let a Greek singer perform. Nevertheless, this was the official winner.

The Facts of Life – The Facts of Life • Music and lyrics: Johnny Mercer. A terrible duet, complete with silly sound effects, theatrical performances, and just about everything that is wrong with music.

Faraway Part of Town – Pepe • Music: Andre Previn • Lyrics: Dory Langdon. Judt Garland sings this one, and at least it is a song in comparison to the Ad Jingles which make up the rest of the nominations. Still, it has that Jazz vibratto I can’t abide.

The Green Leaves of Summer – The Alamo • Music: Dimitri Tiomkin • Lyrics: Paul Francis Webster. Finally, a song we can listen to without our ears melting into a toxic disaster on the floor. A haunting melody with an eerie cathedral feel.

The Second Time Around – High Time • Music: James Van Heusen • Lyrics: Sammy Cahn. A rather typical love song which, in 1960 already sounded 2 decades out of date. Plus it reminds me of Tom and Jerry. Which should be a good sign. But Isn’t.

My Winner: A typically poor year for songs with mostly annoying, jangly jingles making up the bulk. My win goes to The Alamo.

My Nominations:  Unfortunately I can’t find anything of worth this year so my single nominee and winner is The Alamo.

The Alamo