A little background music
The big year for soundtracks in Australia was 1998, with six claiming the number one spot,
according to ARIA. My Best Friend"s Wedding was four weeks at the top, Titanic (11
weeks), plus The Wedding Singer, Grease, City of Angels and Chef Aid: The South Park Album
(all one week). The same year also saw the Armageddon, Godzilla and The Wedding Singer 2
soundtracks in the top 10.
Other soundtracks to sell by the truckload here in the '90s include Pretty Woman (1990);
Grease (1991); Jesus Christ Superstar (10 weeks at No 1 in 1992); The Bodyguard (1993);
Priscilla (1994) and Romeo and Juliet (six weeks in 1997).
And in the US, the Recording Industry Association of America says the best selling cinema
soundtracks to date include:
1. The Bodyguard (1992, 16 million). Spawned the monster/monstrous I Will
Always Love You plus four other hits, now all back with a vengeance on Whitney Houston's
current No 1 Greatest Hits set. The US's ninth biggest-selling album to date.
2. Saturday Night Fever (1977, 15 million). This is the album that
brought you disco interpretations of Mussorgsky's Night On Bare Mountain and Beethoven's
3. Purple Rain (1984, 13 million). Memorable songs (Purple Rain, When
Doves Cry, Let's Go Crazy); one eminently forgettable movie.
4. Dirty Dancing (1987, 11 million). Is anybody owning up to buying this?
5. Titanic (1998, 11 million). The biggest-selling score soundtrack to
date, helped by Celine Dion's dirge-like My Heart Will Go On.
6. The Lion King (1994, 10 million). Disney movie in Best Original Song
Oscar win shocker (for Can You Feel The Love Tonight?).
7. Grease (1978, 8 million). The only soundtrack to an actual musical
left in the top 10.
8. Footloose (1984, 8 million). American youth defies small-town
Puritanism by getting on down to ... Kenny Loggins. Oh, and Bonnie Tyler.
9. Top Gun (1986, 7 million). Gave us Berlin's end-of-the-evening power
ballad Take My Breath Away, Kenny Loggins's Danger Zone and the Righteous Brothers' You've
Lost That Lovin' Feeling - all on one album. Are we meant to be grateful?
10. Waiting To Exhale (1995, 7 million). Chick flick, chick soundtrack.
Whitney again, although not hogging the album this time.