Oscar’s best song category sometimes feels like the field that gets no respect. Two years ago, only three songs were nominated, and the prior year much of the music recognized by the academy came from one film, Disney’s “Enchanted.” And this year, a long-standing tradition was done away with, as the contenders for best song did not perform on the telecast.
But what feels like a lack of attention from the academy isn’t reflected in the films themselves. The likes of Randy Newman, Christina Aguilera, Cher, Carrie Underwood and John Legend are among the many who have lent their vocals and musical talents to films this year. Below is a small sampling of some of this year’s contenders.
Diane Warren estimates she’s written about 20 songs for Cher. She counts “You Haven’t Seen the Last of Me,” a hearty rock ballad for “Burlesque,” among the strongest. Think of it, Warren says, as a bookend to the 1989 Cher-sung, Warren-penned hit, “If I Could Turn Back Time.”
“That moment in ‘Burlesque,’ when they’re about to take the club away, she’s defiant,” Warren says. “But I wanted to write something that was also Cher. We never see the last of Cher. She does the farewell tour that goes on 10 years, and we wouldn’t want it any other way. Cher is eternal.”
Much has been written about “Burlesque” being a vehicle for pop star Christina Aguilera, but it’s Cher, arguably, who sings the film’s heftiest number. “You Haven’t Seen the Last of Me” starts with just Cher and a piano but follows the vocalist as she reaches heights no one older than 60 has any business hitting.“That’s Cher,” Warren says. “She’ll be 100 years old and in a wheelchair and still be better than all the 20-year-olds.”
The never-lose-hope, never-give-up anthem was written early for “Burlesque” but was almost cut from the film. Lobbying from Cher, says Warren, helped get it back in.
“She’s singing better now than she was when I worked with her back in the day,” Warren says. “This song is her truth. I think I tapped into who she is and where she is in her life. Also, a lot of people are going through really tough times right now. I think this is the kind of song that will resonate.”
Source: LA Times