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1999: Best. Movie. Year. Ever. (The Soundtrack)

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Playlist: 1999: Best. Movie. Year. Ever. (The Soundtrack)

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1999 was an extraordinary year for film lovers, one that brought forth a mix of bold visions of the future (The Matrix, Fight Club); unsettlingly funny accounts of the present (Being John Malkovich, Election); and crowd-pleasers that seemed immediately timeless (Notting Hill, The Sixth Sense). It was also a remarkabl...

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1999: Best. Movie. Year. Ever. (The Soundtrack)

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Title Artist Album Duration
1
Damn It Feels Good to Be a Gangsta
Various Artists Rap-A-Lot Records 10th Anniversary 00:05:10

J. Smith, Composer, Writer - B. Jordan, Composer, Writer - J. Bido, Composer, Writer - Geto Boys, MainArtist

Rap-A-Lot Rap-A-Lot/SoSouth Music Distribution

2
Bitter Sweet Symphony
The Verve Urban Hymns 00:05:57

Tony Cousins, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - KEITH RICHARDS, ComposerLyricist - MICK JAGGER, ComposerLyricist - Paul Taylor, Programmer - Richard Ashcroft, Guitar, Vocals, AssociatedPerformer - Chris Potter, Producer, Mastering Engineer, Additional Mixer, Additional Producer, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Simon Jones, Bass Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Mel Wesson, Programmer - Wil Malone, String Arranger, Strings, AssociatedPerformer - Youth, Producer - Simon Tong, Guitar, Keyboards, AssociatedPerformer - Jan Kybert, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Lorraine Francis, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Peter Salisbury, Drums, Percussion, AssociatedPerformer - Nick McCabe, Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - The Verve, Producer, MainArtist - Gareth Ashton, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Sabian Drazen, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2016 Virgin Records Ltd

3
Candy
Cameo Word Up 00:05:39

Larry Blackmon, Producer, ComposerLyricist - Thomas Michael Jenkins, ComposerLyricist - Cameo, MainArtist

℗ 1986 UMG Recordings, Inc.

4
Playground Love
Various Artists Blockbuster Movie Hits 00:03:32

Air, MainArtist - Godin, ComposerLyricist - DUNCKEL, ComposerLyricist - Gordon Tracks, FeaturedArtist, ComposerLyricist

(C) 2010 Capitol Records, LLC ℗ 1999 Aircheology

5
Save Me (Album Version)
Aimee Mann Magnolia (Music from the Motion Picture) 00:04:34

Aimee Mann, Lyricist, Producer, Acoustic Guitar, Bass Guitar, Vocals, Produced by, Performance, MainArtist - BOB CLEARMOUNTAIN, Mixer - Patrick Warren, Accordion, Keyboards - DANNY BRAMSON, Executive Producer - Brian Scheuble, Recorded by - Buddy Judge, Background Vocals - JON BRION, Background Vocals - JoAnne Sellar, Executive Producer - Paul Thomas Anderson, Executive Producer - MICHAEL LOCKWOOD, Electric Guitar, Background Vocals, Melodica - John Sands, Drums, Percussion

1999 Reprise Records; Motion Picture Artwork TM & Copyright (C) New Line Productions Inc. 1999 Reprise Records for the U.S. and WEA International Inc. for the world outside of the U.S.

6
Jennifer Juniper (Album Version)
Donovan The Hurdy Gurdy Man 00:02:40

D. LEITCH, Lyricist - D. LEITCH, Composer - Mickie Most, Producer - Donovan, Performer

Originally released 1968 Sony Music Entertainment Inc.

7
Making Time
Various Interprets Rushmore 00:02:55

Eddie Phillips, Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Jack Jones, Drums, AssociatedPerformer - Shel Talmy, Producer - The Creation, MainArtist - Kenneth George Pickett, ComposerLyricist - Kenny Pickett, Vocals, AssociatedPerformer - Bob Garner, Bass Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Edwin Michael Phillips, ComposerLyricist

℗ 1966 Shel Talmy Productions Ltd.

8
Cruel To Be Kind
Various Artists 10 Things I Hate About You 00:03:01

Nick Lowe, ComposerLyricist - Ralph Sall, Producer, Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Letters To Cleo, MainArtist - EDDIE MILLER, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Ian Gomm, ComposerLyricist

℗ 1999 Hollywood Records, Inc.

9
If You Leave Me Now (Remastered LP Version)
Chicago Chicago X 00:03:54

Jimmie Haskell, Brass Arranger, String Arranger - James William Guercio, Producer, Additional Guitar - Chicago, MainArtist - JAMES PANKOW, Trombone - LEE LOUGHNANE, Trumpet, Backing Vocals - PETER CETERA, Bass Guitar, Backing Vocals, Lead Vocals, Writer - ROBERT LAMM, Keyboards, Backing Vocals - Walter Parazaider, Woodwinds - Terry Kath, Guitar, Backing Vocals - Doug Sax, Mastering Engineer - Armin Steiner, Engineer - Laudir De Oliveira, Percussion - DANNY SERAPHINE, Drums - Wayne Tarnowski, Engineer - Tom Like, Assistant Engineer

2004 Warner Strategic Marketing. 1976 Rhino Entertainment Company, a Warner Music Group Company.

10
The Bluest Eyes In Texas
Restless Heart Greatest Hits 00:04:45

Tim DuBois, Composer - Tim DuBois, Lyricist - Tim DuBois, Producer - Scott Hendricks, Producer - Dave Robbins, Composer - Dave Robbins, Lyricist - Restless Heart, Producer - Restless Heart, Performer - Van Stephenson, Composer - Van Stephenson, Lyricist

(P) 1989 Sony Music Entertainment

11
One Week
Barenaked Ladies Stunt (20th Anniversary Edition) 00:02:49

David Leonard, Producer, Engineer, Remix - Ed Robertson, Writer - Barenaked Ladies, Producer, MainArtist - SUSAN ROGERS, Producer, Engineer

2018 Rhino Entertainment Company, a Warner Music Group Company 1998 Reprise Records

12
The Seeker (Edit)
The Who Meaty, Beaty, Big And Bouncy 00:03:10

John Entwistle, Bass Guitar, Additional Vocals, AssociatedPerformer - Keith Moon, Drums, Percussion, AssociatedPerformer - The Who, MainArtist - Pete Townshend, Electric Guitar, Additional Vocals, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Roger Daltrey, Vocals, AssociatedPerformer - Kit Lambert, Producer - Shel Talmy, Producer

℗ 1970 Polydor Ltd. (UK)

About Playlist

1999 was an extraordinary year for film lovers, one that brought forth a mix of bold visions of the future (The Matrix, Fight Club); unsettlingly funny accounts of the present (Being John Malkovich, Election); and crowd-pleasers that seemed immediately timeless (Notting Hill, The Sixth Sense). It was also a remarkable period for movie soundtracks, which were at the height of their powers both commercially—this, after all, was the decade that had brought us the multi-platinum releases of Titanic and The Bodyguard—and creatively, as filmmakers tried to ensure their movies would work both on the big screen and on your Discman. Here are a dozen choice cuts from a cinematic and musical year that closed out the century—and opened up possibilities for the one about to begin:

Office Space Geto Boyz, "Damn it Feels Good to be a Gangsta" Though it was rejected by audiences in theaters, Mike Judge's workplace comedy slowly became a cult hit, thanks in part to its deep-bench hip-hop soundtrack. "Damn" accompanies one of the film's most memorable montages, as a put-upon white-collar drone decides to take a power drill to his cubicle. Feel free to play it especially loud whenever you have a case of the Mondays.

Cruel Intentions The Verve, "Bittersweet Symphony" In this teensploitation delight, Sarah Michelle Gellar plays a spoiled mean girl who rules over her private school, screwing over a million different people, from one day to the next. When she's finally exposed at the film's end, it's the Verve's 1997 hit that soundtracks her walk of shame, making for an exceptionally catchy comeuppance.

The Best Man Cameo, "Candy" The hit romantic drama featured plenty of contemporary hitmakers, including Lauryn Hill and Beyoncé. But it was this appropriately sticky 1986 rock-funk jam that scored the film's ensemble-dance finale, and left moviegoers singing in the aisles.

The Virgin Suicides Air, "Playground Love" Sofia Coppola's woozy suburban drama is anchored by a mix of classic-rock tracks—including Heart's epic "Magic Man"—and a sublime future-retro score by French pop-savants Air. The chilling, chiming "Playground Love" is the film's standout track, capturing years' worth of adolescent ache in just a few minutes.

Rushmore The Creation, "Making Time" Granted, Wes Anderson's timeless prep-school fable was technically released in late 1998, in order to qualify for awards season. But when it went wide in early 1999, the blunt guitar-attack of "Making Time" helped introduce moviegoers to the film's unlikely hero: A cocksure, over-achieving angry young man named Max Fischer.

Magnolia Aimee Mann, "Save Me" Paul Thomas Anderson's oversized LA story, which follows more than a dozen lost-soul Angelenos over the course of a few days, closes with Mann's gorgeous, Oscar-nominated pop-hymn, which sounds like it came straight from The White Album—both the classic Beatles album, and the classic Joan Didion book.

Election Donovan, "Jennifer Juniper" Alexander Payne's gently corrosive tale of high-school politics—which was named the best movie of 1999 in Premiere magazine's year-end critics' poll—is not just savagely funny; it's also an examination of classism and sexism that feels all the more timely with each viewing. But it's big-hearted enough to include this gentle, moon-eyed ballad, which is just as earnest, and as desperate, as some of the film's teen-aged protagonists.

10 Things I Hate About You Letters to Cleo, "Cruel to Be Kind" Nick Lowe's Top 40 gem was rediscovered and reimagined for the beloved high school romance by Letters to Cleo, who contributed four tunes to the film's soundtrack-—and whose members can be spotted playing live during the film's end credits, as they take on another late-seventies FM staple: Cheap Trick's "I Want You to Want Me."

Three Kings Chicago, "If You Leave Me Now" It's nearly impossible to characterize director David O. Russell's Iraqi War-set hit: Is it a bleak comedy? A chaos-strewn action film? A reprimand on the failed foreign policy of the past? All we know for sure is that it's a movie that almost never slows down—except for a brief moment in which this Peter Cetera-era slow-dancer plays peacefully on a car stereo as the world implodes outside.

Boys Don't Cry Restless Heart, "Bluest Eyes in Texas" The heartbreaking true story of Brandon Teena, a transgender man who was murdered in 1993, is also one of 1999's most affecting romances: In a rural small-town bar in the middle of nowhere, Brandon falls for a local woman, Lana Tisdel, after watching her sing this aching country ballad at karaoke.

American Pie Barenaked Ladies, "One Week" Though it first hit radio in late 1998, Barenaked Ladies' wordy smash was unavoidable for weeks and months afterward—if not years. It would appear in at least two 1999 teen-epics, including 10 Things I Hate About You, and the mega-hit American Pie, which concludes with Jason Biggs gleefully (and shirtlessly) boogieing in his bedroom.

The Limey The Who, "The Seeker" Steven Soderbergh's pulpy thriller stars Terence Stamp—an icon of late-sixties English counterculture—as a life-long criminal who heads to the U.S. to learn who murdered his daughter. And what better song to introduce him than the Who's riff-roaring tale of a man on a desperate mission? © Brian Raftery / Qobuz

Brian Raftery is the author of Best. Movie. Year. Ever.: How 1999 Blew Up the Big Screen and a senior writer for Wired Magazine.

Cover image courtesy of the author.

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