Sometime around the peak of the buzz for The Dark Knight (and I promise, I'm not trying to keep buzz alive with all of these posts), I remembered that one of the biggest hit songs of 1995 was Seal's "Kiss From a Rose" from the Batman Forever soundtrack (check out the full track listing). Remember this video? Bizarre in hindsight, isn't it? Especially compared to the last two Batman movies.
Anyway, this morning I came across this BBC News article about the decreasing trend of using pop songs as movie themes. It doesn't necessarily mean that soundtracks are on the downfall and there aren't any more "Music From and Inspired by the Motion Picture" albums, but iconic, Oscar winning theme songs by major artists really aren't that common anymore. Evidence? Compare the 90's nominees and winners (especially the early 90's - Bryan Adams, Whitney Houston, Bruce Springsteen, Elton John) with the nominees and winners from the last few years, and note the rise of musicals since 2000.
Personally, I think it's kind of sad. My memories from a number of older movies are linked to hit singles, and I never viewed them as marketing gimmicks that cheapened the movie, especially if they were just used during the credits or for music videos. (On the other side of the coin, I'm going to be debuting a new video clip feature next week where I regularly highlight some scenes that feature the perfect song at the perfect moment.)
What are your thoughts on the article, or about your favorite movie themes by major artists? What was the last great soundtrack featuring a compilation of stars, and is the declining trend good, bad, or meaningless?