When “Footloose” hit theaters in 1984, its soundtrack sat atop the Billboard 200 Pop Album chart for more than two months. Kenny Loggins‘ “Footloose” and Deniece Williams‘ “Let’s Hear It for the Boy” not only went to #1 on the Hot 100, they were also nominated for Oscars. They both lost to the Stevie Wonder hit “I Just Called to Say I Love You” from “The Woman in Red.”
This Friday, the “Footloose” remake will waltz into theaters. It includes several new tunes that could feature in the Best Original Song race at the Oscars. As songs must be written especially for the film they are featured in to compete, this excludes new versions of the original’s classic hits such as Blake Shelton‘s cover of the title track. However, the soundtrack’s first single by country duo Big & Rich titled “Fake I.D.” may qualify. The same could be true of Zac Brown‘s (of Zac Brown Band) “Where the River Goes.” The composers branch of the Academy will watch clips from the film to see how these songs are used.
These new country ditties in “Footloose” are reminiscent of last year’s nominated “Coming Home” from “Country Strong,” which was performed by star Gwyneth Paltrow. Academy voters had shown their allegiance to country music when “The Weary Kind” from “Crazy Heart” won the year before.
“Footloose,” a film about teenagers who rebel against a dancing ban in their small town, may be too hokey for older voters. Teen movies almost never make a showing at the Oscars. Of the 49 eligible songs in 2008, 11 came from “High School Musical 3: Senior Year,” but not a one was nominated. That year, only three songs contended: eventual winner “Jai Ho” and “O … Saya” from “Slumdog Millionaire” and “Down to Earth” from “Wall-E.”
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