Mike’s Favorite Original Songs of the Decade (120-111)
This was probably the list I was most excited to create when I came up with the idea of all these ‘Decade’ lists. It’s the most immediately gratifying. The songs are all right there to listen to and appreciate.
One of my favorite things to do each year (before they tried to take it away from us with that shortlist bullshit) was go through the list of all the eligible songs for Best Original Song at the Oscars and then figure out which ones I liked best. So I already had a giant pool of songs to work from, and then all I had to do was go in and look for any others that may have not been submitted or eligible, etc. And after that it was just making a playlist and figuring out what order they were going in. Which, I’ve gotta tell you, if you’ve never tried it… do it. It’s great. This is now a playlist on my phone that I listen to occasionally because it’s just great songs from movies.
Anyway, this is a list of my 200 favorite original songs from the decade in film. I was pleased that I could get to 200 here because there actually were that many (and more) that I liked enough to deem worthy of one of these lists. We’re gonna post it in chunks of ten, the way we’ve posted all the other lists. Only this one has been slowly been rolled out over the past couple of months, one each day. So really this is just cleaning all that up and putting it all in one place.
So here are my favorite original songs from the films of 2010-2019:
120. “The Promise,” from The Promise
I love that Chris Cornell became a soundtrack guy. He’s got the perfect voice, and hearing him come up during the credits of a movie was always one of the great feelings. This is a movie that almost no one knows about, because it’s a $100 million, independently financed (I’m pretty sure like one guy put up all the money too, because it was important to him) movie about the Armenian Genocide, directed by Terry George and starring Oscar Isaac and Christian Bale. They went all out to class up the place, but unfortunately the movie wasn’t great and no one wanted to see it. But they got Chris Cornell to do the song, which was always gonna turn out well, no matter how the movie itself turned out. This is just a fantastic tune.
119. “Nowhere to Go But Up,” from Mary Poppins Returns
Angela Lansbury, baby. She’s the reason this song goes as high as it does. I mean, it’s also a lovely little tune, but anything with Angela Lansbury is automatically something I’m into.
118. “Coeur Volant,” from Hugo
The entire score for Hugo is magical, and at the end, we’re treated to this song, which incorporates a lot of Howard Shore’s beautiful score and has French singer ZAZ singing this lovely tune. It’s in French, and even at my best, my French was never that great, so it could be the most simplistic lyrics in the world. But honestly — sounds great.
117. “Patti $ea$on,” from Patti Cake$
One of the goals I have in this list is to hopefully make people realize that certain films they don’t know about should be seen. And this the, what, fourth or fifth song from this movie that’s appeared thus far? I think, if you tallied up all the songs from all the different movies that are on this list, this would be either second or third overall in terms of number of songs that made it on. Because all you really need to have good original film music is to just try and want to do it. And so few people do anymore. It’s like scores. No one puts any effort because it’s all underscoring or generic ‘mood’ music. Here, the director wrote all the songs. And it was clearly something that was personal for him to do. And they’re all great. Plus the cast performs them all themselves, which is also really great. You don’t see that a lot in movies.
116. “(Underneath the) Lovely London Sky,” from Mary Poppins Returns
This is the opener, introducing us to the Lin-Manuel Miranda/Dick Van Dyke character and reintroducing us to the world and all that. It’s a nice tune. Though every time I hear the orchestrations on these songs, something sounds a bit… off, with them. I can’t figure out what it is. But in terms of all the songs in this new Poppins movie, this is one of the better ones.
115. “Waiting for My Moment,” from Creed
They had to do something to fit the ‘Gonna Fly Now’ sequence to the Creed character. This isn’t the main one, but it’s an offshoot of that. They sound remarkably similar, because they’re based off the same core song. But this one’s more of a ‘remix’ kind of song, that goes more beat heavy, and has Donald Glover on it. Not my preferred of the two, but also pretty solid.
114. “Everything Must Go,” from Hearts Beat Loud
Our second Hearts Beat Loud song. This film has three songs in it, and they’re all great. This is the final song the ‘band’ performs, at the end of the movie. Sort of the cathartic moment where Offerman comes to terms with his record shop coming to an end as well as his daughter being his ‘little girl’ coming to an end as she goes off to live her own life. It’s a beautiful moment and a beautiful song.
113. “Turnaround,” from The Little Prince
Our second Little Prince song. This is just a lovely little ditty that really just gives you the warmth and good feeling the rest of the movie gives you. I like that songs like this are on the list, just because I think that people really don’t know much about this movie, let alone consider that actual good songs were written for it. So it’s nice to be able to shout stuff like this out amidst the obvious stuff that everyone knew was always gonna make this list.
112. “Killa P,” from Patti Cake$
There’s Patti Cake$ again. This song is part of a fantasy sequence where Patti pictures O-Z actually becoming her mentor and giving her a break, so this is the song she performs that introduces her to the world in that fantasy. It’s awesome. The beat on this is spectacular (and has shades of ‘Godfather’) and it’s just tightly produced. This is the kind of song you could hear on the radio, I’d wager (not that I’ve listened to a radio station playing current music in like a decade).
111. “Brown Shoes,” from Sing Street
It’s been a while since we’ve had one of these. I think because pretty much all the songs from this movie are in the top 100. This is just a fun ‘fuck you’ song to the priest at the school and basically to all authority in general. It’s definitely the least memorable song from the film, I’ll give it that. But that does not mean it’s not a very good song. This is just as catchy and just as pleasant to listen to as all the other ones.
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