The Best Song Podcast

The Best Song Podcast

Learn more about the 470-plus songs nominated in the first 90 years of the Academy Award for Best Original Song, as well as the songwriters and singers who made them popular ... or not so popular. New episodes every Monday!

Episodes

June 17, 2024 72 mins

The Academy increased its number of Best Picture nominees from five to 10 for the 2009 movie year, but the minimum of Best Original Song nominees dropped from three to two. Was this a signal that maybe the music branch was worried about getting at least three quality songs nominated? That wasn't a problem in 2009, when Randy Newman got two nominations for his songs from the musical The Princess and the Frog and a little-known movie...

Mark as Played

Only three songs were nominated for the Academy Award in 2008, the first time that had happened in 20 years. In this episode, we learn about the three songs, including two from prolific Bollywood composer A.R. Rahman that gave us some new sounds that had not been presented in Hollywood films. The other song gave Thomas Newman another chance to end his Oscar losing streak, thanks to his work on his second animated Pixar movie.

Mark as Played

Alan Menken and Stephen Schwartz monopolized the Original Song Oscar nominees for 2007, giving us three songs from their Disney musical Enchanted that paid homage to previous Disney classic songs and paid homage to them at the same time. Also nominated was a poignant song from a movie drawing from the Oliver Twist story, and a love song from a very low-budget Irish movie about two lost souls finding love through music. Learn more a...

Mark as Played

Another film earned three Oscar nominations for original song, and this time it was the film adaptation of the Broadway smash musical Dreamgirls. Henry Krieger, the original composer of the stage show, enlisted new lyricists to work with him on the songs that impressed the Academy enough to get three into the list of five. Melissa Etheridge's history-making nomination as the first song to come from a documentary, and another nomina...

Mark as Played

Only three songs were nominated by the Academy's music branch from 2005, perhaps signaling that the quality of songs was going downward sharply. But, maybe this marked just a blip in the movie music industry. Take a listen to the nominated songs and why the Academy only picked three in 2005.

Mark as Played

Andrew Lloyd Webber finally got the movie version of The Phantom of the Opera into movie theaters, and got an Oscar nomination for putting an original song into the film. The other nominees for the 2004 Original Song Oscar included two songs not performed in English, the first time that had happened. But, more memorable about the year was who performed the majority of the songs at the Oscar ceremony. Learn all about it on this epis...

Mark as Played

The Oscar nominees for 2003 featured a toe-tapping song from a groundbreaking animated movie, a sincere love song from a very funny mockumentary, and a song that closed out one of the most popular trilogies of all time. Two songs from the Civil War drama Cold Mountain were also in the mix, written by Sting and Elvis Costello. A year removed from the Oscar-winning "Lose Yourself," none of these songs were commercial hits, but they s...

Mark as Played

Eminem made history with his hit song "Lose Yourself," writing the first rap song to be nominated for the Oscar. The controversial rapper wasn't the first choice for producer Brian Grazer's film about a wannabe rapper, but Grazer couldn't take his eyes off the superstar, and 8 Mile gave Eminem the opportunity to act and give us one of his signature songs. His competition for the Oscar was stiff, with compositions by Paul Simon and ...

Mark as Played
April 22, 2024 63 mins

Randy Newman was still winless in the Original Song Oscar category after seven losses, and his song "If I Didn't Have You" for the Pixar movie Monsters, Inc. was going to put him in rare company if it didn't nab him the Oscar. The song didn't get much recognition before the Academy Awards, so Newman was looking like song nomination number eight was not going to turn into a win. Check out his competition on this episode, as well as ...

Mark as Played

Randy Newman was looking for his first Oscar win with his seventh songwriting nomination, this time for the comedic song "A Fool In Love." He had some competition from three great singer-songwriters, as Bob Dylan, Bjork, and Sting earned their first nominations for writing movie music. Find out which music superstar took home the 2000 Original Song Oscar on this episode, and learn more about the process of bringing these songs to t...

Mark as Played

The five Oscar-nominated songs from 1999 were all worthy of winning the big award, including the latest song from a Disney animated movie, one from Pixar's sequel to Toy Story, a raunchy song about parental anger, and a song by *NSYNC praising a teacher's love. Host Jeff Commings talks about the songwriters responsible for these songs, and why Madonna missed out on yet another chance to get an Oscar nomination.

Mark as Played

The year after the juggernaut Oscar-winning song "My Heart Will Go On," songwriters had a high standard to reach for the songs featured in films released in 1998. From Stephen Schwartz and Randy Newman to Diane Warren and Carole Bayer Sager, the nominated tunesmiths offered the Academy five nominees that gave us no frontrunner status for the big award.

Mark as Played

The juggernaut song "My Heart Will Go On" was crowned an Oscar winner the second that Titanic made its theatrical debut, but the other four songs nominated with it for the 1997 Original Song Oscar were no duds. Host Jeff Commings brings you the stories behind these songs, and the songwriters who created them.

Mark as Played
March 18, 2024 102 mins

Host Jeff Commings talks with songwriters Jud Friedman and Allan Rich about almost not having their song "For the First Time" appear in the movie One Fine Day (thanks to Rod Stewart), and learns from Tim Rice the process behind putting a new song into the iconic Evita score and getting an Oscar nomination for it. Space Jam featured many songs that made for a popular soundtrack, including the R. Kelly tune "I Believe I Can Fly," whi...

Mark as Played
March 11, 2024 72 mins

The members of the music branch of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences split the original score category in two in 1995, but the rules for original song stayed the same. Pop songs and traditional movie songs were still in the running for the biggest movie award, including a chance for Alan Menken to earn a record-tying fourth Original Song Oscar. His competition included Oscar winners John Williams, Alan and Marilyn Ber...

Mark as Played

Tim Rice returns to the show to offer a masterclass in songwriting as he talks about writing the lyrics for the three Oscar-nominated songs from the animated movie The Lion King. He details how the song "Can You Feel the Love Tonight" changed and why writing a song for a warthog shouldn't feel much different from writing for "the wife of an Argentinian dictator."

Mark as Played

The pop music world invaded the Academy Awards honoring films from 1993, with Janet Jackson, Bruce Springsteen, Neil Young, and James Ingram among the nominees for the Best Original Song Oscar. Host Jeff Commings has many stories to share about the creation of the five Oscar-nominated songs, and why Danny Elfman couldn't join the roster for his songs from The Nightmare Before Christmas.

Mark as Played

Host Jeff Commings invited not one, not two, but THREE Oscar-nominated songwriters to this episode to share their behind-the-scenes tales of creating two of the five Oscar nominees for original song of 1992. Jud Friedman and Allan Rich talk about writing "Run to You" for Whitney Houston and creating a guerilla campaign for an Oscar nomination. Tim Rice discusses his detour into writing songs for Aladdin and how Alan Menken's melody...

Mark as Played

History was made with the Original Song Oscar nominees from 1991, as three songs from one movie made the list. Those songs came from the Disney animated film Beauty and the Beast, which was a landmark film in more ways than its song nominations. Host Jeff Commings guides you through this major year for movie songs, highlighting a worldwide hit by Bryan Adams and one of the two songs to survive a major retooling of Steven Spielberg'...

Mark as Played

Broadway legend Stephen Sondheim earned his first Oscar nomination for writing a song for the action film Dick Tracy, pitting himself for the industry's highest award against a number-one song by Jon Bon Jovi, and a rare song composition by John Williams. Host Jeff Commings also details the hit songs that missed out on a nomination, including others that Sondheim wrote for Dick Tracy, and an Alan Menken song performed by Elton John...

Mark as Played

Popular Podcasts

    Current and classic episodes, featuring compelling true-crime mysteries, powerful documentaries and in-depth investigations.

    Stuff You Should Know

    If you've ever wanted to know about champagne, satanism, the Stonewall Uprising, chaos theory, LSD, El Nino, true crime and Rosa Parks, then look no further. Josh and Chuck have you covered.

    The Nikki Glaser Podcast

    Every week comedian and infamous roaster Nikki Glaser provides a fun, fast-paced, and brutally honest look into current pop-culture and her own personal life.

    White Devil

    Shootings are not unusual in Belize. Shootings of cops are. When a wealthy woman – part of one of the most powerful families in Belize – is found on a pier late at night, next to a body, it becomes the country’s biggest news story in a generation. New episodes every Monday!

    Start Here

    A straightforward look at the day's top news in 20 minutes. Powered by ABC News. Hosted by Brad Mielke.

Advertise With Us
Music, radio and podcasts, all free. Listen online or download the iHeart App.

Connect

© 2024 iHeartMedia, Inc.