For those of you who don't know or don't care, this Sunday night is the biggest night in film: the 84th Academy Awards show. Personally, I could care less about the show, but for argument's sake, I enjoy tuning in and seeing who is the recipient of the Best Original Song award. There have been some conservative choices and some surprises over the years. Here's a list of some of the better songs and moments in Oscar history.
5. 1971 "Theme from Shaft" -- Shaft • Music and lyrics: Isaac Hayes.
If I were a professional wrestler, I'd come out of the locker room to this song. It epitomizes the film from which it came as one of the most badass songs of all time. The opening instrumental has one of the best builds and the groovy bassline adds to the cool aura of Mr. John Shaft. One of the best and we have the late, great Isaac Hayes to thank.
Yes, it's a bit sappy and yes, Elton has better songs. However, this is the tune that, for better or worse, started his career as a Broadway score composer. If you aren't moved by the scene where this song is placed, then you don't have a heart.
3. 1993 "Streets of Philadelphia" -- Philadelphia • Music and lyrics: Bruce Springsteen.
Another tearjerker, albeit for different reasons. Back when the film and song were first released, AIDS was a major story. Thankfully, through awareness, people have learned how to prevent the spread of and are more accepting of those who have the virus. Back in 1993, this film, which starred Tom Hanks and Denzel Washington, was considered edgy and Springsteen's powerful song added to its intensity and urgency. A much-deserved winner.
2. 2008 "Jai Ho" -- Slumdog Millionaire • Music: A. R. Rahman, Lyrics: Gulzar.
Who could forget this one? This was the Oscars' world music breakthrough and they couldn't have picked a better song. The scene from the film is as memorable for the dance routine as it was for the music.
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1. 2002 (75th) "Lose Yourself" -- 8 Mile • Music: Eminem, Jeff Bass and Luis Resto, Lyrics: Eminem.
To this day, the song sounds fresh and is one of the most transcendent songs not only in Oscar history but hip-hop history. Sports teams use this song as entrance music and whenever it's on the radio, you are guaranteed to hear someone bumpin' it. In an illustrious career filled with hits, controversies and everything in between, this song could possibly have been the high-water mark for the Detroit rapper.