The Best Original Song Category Nominees At The 1998 Oscars Are Worth A Revisit Immediately & Here’s Definitive Proof
What I'm about to write is objectively true and I dare anyone to try to challenge me on it: The 70th Academy Awards boasted the strongest Best Original Song category in the history of the Academy Awards. Yes, that was The Titanic Oscars. Before she announced "My Heart Will Go On" as the winner of the Best Original Song category, Madonna leaned into the microphone and deadpanned, "What a shocker." Given what a cultural phenomenon both the movie Titanic and its theme song were, Madonna's reaction echoed the world's reaction. The song was The Frontrunner. It was basically a given that "My Heart Will Go On" would take home the gold statuette on March 23, 1998.
But that isn't to say the other nominees were weak sauce. They were the opposite of weak sauce. They were habanero chili sauce. Though they did not take over the world quite like "My Heart Will Go On" did in 1997, the four tracks competing against the titanic (corny pun totally intended) hit were so very major. Like I said before, it was the strongest Best Original Song category in the history of the movie awards show.
You don't have to take my word for it; The songs speak for themselves. Without further ado, I present you with the five nominees for Best Original Song at the '98 Oscars:
“My Heart Will Go On” from Titanic
I know this song is almost 20 years old, but every time I hear Céline Dion hold out that last big note, I get choked up. SHE IS UNREAL.
“How Do I Live” from Con Air
Originally a LeAnn Rimes ballad, Trisha Yearwood performed the rendition that appeared in the movie. Bet you feel like slow dancing now, eh?
(Um, remember when Yearwood and Rimes's versions of "How Do I Live" were pitted against each other at the Grammys? That was something else.) (Spoiler alert: Yearwood won.)
“Journey to the Past” from Anastasia
Actress Liz Callaway sang the movie version:
And Aaliyah sang the poppier version that ran during the credits:
Welp. I'm getting all sorts of emotional again. <3 Aaliyah <3
“Miss Misery” from Good Will Hunting
It's official: I'm crying. Elliott Smith was too good.
“Go the Distance” from Hercules
Actor Roger Bart sang the version that's in the movie:
Michael Bolton sang the version that played while the credits rolled:
And I sang the a cappella version while cooking dinner just last week.
The only year that gives the '98 Oscars a run for its money is the 65th Academy Awards: Two songs from Aladdin, one song from The Mambo Kings and two songs from The Bodyguard? Woo-WEE. Now THAT'S a lineup. If "I Always Love You" had been eligible (it wasn't written for the movie, so it did not qualify for nomination), it would've been a really tough call. Alas, "I Will Always Love You" wasn't nominated, so this round goes to the 70th AcaAwas.
On that note, here's a music video I haven't watched in a decade: