THAT'S WHAT YOU NEED TO PUT TOGETHER A HIT SOUNDTRACK.
Question: Was the new Bryan Adams/Sting/Rod Stewart hit ”All for Love”-The Three Musketeers’ closing song — an attempt to replicate the success of ”(Everything I Do) I Do It For You,” Adams’ smash single from Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves? Answer: Duh. Here’s another no-brainer: Are soundtrack albums, once the purview of small, cultish audiences, becoming really big business for record labels? The recent runaway successes of soundtracks from The Bodyguard (8.8 million copies sold in the U.S.), Sleepless in Seattle (2 million), Wayne’s World (1.5 million), and Singles (1.3 million) speak for themselves. In addition, there’s also the potential for ancillary sales of past work by resuscitated artists-Queen’s album sales soared after Wayne’s World lifted ”Bohemian Rhapsody” out of mothballs. But assembling the perfect talent can be tricky. Here were the challenges faced on three new films, and some speculation as to who the next Queen will be:
WAYNE’S WORLD 2 (Paramount/Reprise Records) * The Challenge: Finding a last- minute closing credits replacement for Neil Young’s ”Rockin’ in the Free World,” performed live by Young and Pearl Jam. Young records for Warner Bros., which shares the rights to the track, but Warner couldn’t acquire the other portion, owned by Pearl Jam’s label, Epic. ”Pearl Jam are red-hot right now and they didn’t want anything to interfere with that,” explains Warner’s Michael Ostin, co-executive producer of the album. Another Warner source, however, suggests that Young squashed the deal, not wanting to dilute the impact of his track for Philadelphia, which comes out right after Wayne’s World 2. Instead, the 1982 hit ”I Love Rock & Roll,” from Warner artist Joan Jett, now plays over the closing credits. * The Next Queen: Ostin is betting ) on Jett’s anthem, the first single, because ”it has the ’70s rockfest feel of ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’.” But the second single, the Village People’s ”Y.M.C.A.,” gets more on-screen attention from Wayne and Garth and could therefore fare better.
PHILADELPHIA (TriStar/Epic Soundtrax) * The Challenge: Because of the film’s daunting subject matter, AIDS, ”it was important to do a pretty mainstream soundtrack that middle America would consider,” says the film’s executive producer Gary Goetzman. And who better than Bruce Springsteen and Neil Young? Springsteen wrote the song for the opening credits (”Streets of Philadelphia”) and Young wrote the closing tune (”Philadelphia”)-equally honored positions. Who convinced these two artists, both notoriously cagey about lending music to movies? Director Jonathan Demme, who has used music innovatively throughout his career. ”Everybody wants to do his projects,” says Goetzman. ”We didn’t need to beg.” * The Next Queen: The fact that Demme has directed a video for Springsteen’s song should heavily influence which track radio programmers play. Many feel Young’s song is stronger, but Springsteen’s label is Columbia (owned, like Epic and TriStar, by Sony), clearly giving him an edge.