The 1990s are considered the golden age of movie soundtracks with many of the most successful soundtracks of all time originating in that decade. Here’s a list of the top 5 selling soundtracks from the 90s.
1. The Bodyguard (1992)
Certified units: 18 million
The Bodyguard soundtrack is not only the top selling soundtrack of the 90s, it’s also the top selling soundtrack of ALL TIME ! Released on Nov. 17, 1992, The Bodyguard: Original Soundtrack Album spent 20 weeks at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 in 1992-93.
Executive produced by Houston and Clive Davis, the soundtrack was the first album to sell more than 1 million copies in one week. It of course includes Houston’s now signature song “I Will Always Love You” which was written by Dolly Parton.
Fun Factoid: Elvis Presley originally wanted to record “I Will Always Love You” but his people wanted half the publishing rights. Parton refused and later commented that “when Whitney’s came out, I made enough money to buy Graceland.”
2. Forest Gump (1994)
Certified units: 12 million
The chart-topping, 12-times platinum Forest Gump soundtrack features 32 American classics from revolutionary artists from the 50s, 60’s and 70s, including Elvis Presley, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Bob Dylan, Fleetwood Mac, Aretha Franklin, The Doors and Simon and Garfunkel. Each song was selected to pinpoint specific time periods portrayed on screen.
3. TITANIC (1997)
Certified units: 11 million
Director James Cameron originally intended Enya to compose the music but after she politely declined, he hired James Horner for the job. Horner tried 25 or 30 singers and, in the end, he chose Norwegian singer Sissel to perform the wordless vocals on the soundtrack.
But the movie’s signature song, My Heart Will Go On” was of course performed by Celine Dion. Both “My Heart Will Go On” as well as the complete score ended up winning Academy, Golden Globe, Grammy, MTV, Satellite and several more awards.
4. THE LION KING (1994)
Certified units: 10 million
The Lion King is the biggest traditionally animated film in box office history, and it simply wouldn’t have been so successful without the unforgettable songs by Elton John and Tim Rice.
The soundtrack includes a campy performance by Jeremy Irons on “Be Prepared” and the infectious singing of Jason Weaver on “I just Can’t Wait To Be King” and the classic “Hakuna Matata.”
5. WAITING TO EXHALE (1995)
Certified units: 7 million
The main architect behind the Waiting to Exhale soundtrack was songwriter and producer Kenneth “Babyface” Edmonds. The 16 song collection encompassed a who’s who roster of the greatest female R&B voices, uniting legends (Aretha Franklin, Patti LaBelle and Chaka Khan) with divas of the present (Houston, Mary J. Blige, Toni Braxton) and emerging future stars (Brandy.)
The song “Exhale” , which featured Whitney Houston, is famous for its “shoop” chorus. But Babyface explained that it’s a result of every time he wanted to write actual lyrics, they just got in the way.
Can’t remember the move but the soundtrack from Pure Country (1992) sold 6 million copies. The soundtrack from Space Jam (1996) sold 6 million with two major hits, “I Believe I Can Fly” by R. Kelly and Monica’s, “For You I Will.’ City of Angels (1998) soundtrack which featured “Uninvited” by Alanis Morissette sold 5 million copies. And last but not least, Evita (1996) featuring Madonna sold 5 million copies.
For more great stuff about the 90s, check out my podcast “History of the 90s.” It is available on ApplePodcasts, Spotify, Google Play and anywhere else you stream audio. You can also listen at http://www.curiouscast.ca