We all know the 90s were considered to be the "Golden Age" of R&B Music, because so many artists released smash hit singles. During this era, it was hit after hit because music was so inventive and ingenious. But, we also must take the time to appreciate the rhythm and blues soundtracks that made us feel good, excited, made us dance, or helped us cope with heartbreak. Music is supposed to tell a story that will captivate the world from the melody, tone, rhythm, lyrics, and the vocalist, and this is what many took from these excellent bodies of works.
Let us refresh your memory by spotlighting ten hot soundtracks from the 90s.
The Bodyguard (1992)
This was a soundtrack that Whitney Houston co-produced with Clive Davis and it's considered to be the best-selling soundtrack of all time. It won a Grammy award for "Album of the Year" and released seven top-selling singles including "Run to You," "I Have Nothing," and Houston's sample of Dolly Parton’s song, "I Will Always Love You." Whitney also received two statues for Record of the Year and Best Female Pop Vocal Performance for her signature song. The Bodyguard was also certified 17x platinum and has sold 45 million copies worldwide.
Waiting to Exhale (1995)
The Waiting to Exhale soundtrack became a huge hit when it was released in November 1995. R&B prodigy, Kenneth "Babyface" Edmonds wrote and produced the entire soundtrack which included artists, Whitney Houston, SWV, Brandy, Aretha Franklin, Sonja Marie, Faith Evans, For Real, Shanna, Toni Braxton, Mary J. Blige, CeCe Winans, Chaka Khan, Patti Labelle, Chante Moore, and TLC. And what made this album so special is because only African American female artists were singing on this soundtrack. It was also certified 7x platinum and earned 11 Grammy nominations. Out of those 11 nominations, the soundtrack received a Grammy for Best R&B Song for "Exhale (Shoop Shoop)". It was also known for other popular ballads including "Not Gon’ Cry," "Count on Me," "Sittin’ Up In My Room," "It Hurts Like Hell," "Why Does it Hurt so Bad," and "Let it Flow."
New Jack City (1991)
Everyone remember this soundtrack because of the chart-topping R&B and hip-hop songs from Christopher Williams, Keith Sweat, Guy, Color Me Badd, and Troop as well as Levert’s collaboration with Queen Latifah on the song, "For the Love of the Money/Living in the City." The movie started off with Troop, Levert, and Queen Latifah’s song, which gave you an idea of about the overall concept for the film. New Jack City was number one on the Billboard Charts for 8 weeks.
Soul Food (1997)
Soul Food was released in 1997 on Laface Records and included music from both the rhythm and blues and hip-hop genre. The album became an instant hit and was certified double platinum. Four smash hitters were released from this soundtrack: "I Care About You," "What About Us?", "We’re Not Makin’ Love No More," and Boyz II Men’s ballad, "A Song for Mama."
"A Song for Mama" is a special dedication to all mothers and it’s played constantly on Mother’s Day.
The Best Man (1999)
The Best Man was considered to be the best contemporary R&B soundtrack of the 90’s. It included 14 tracks that focused on the ups and downs of falling in love. Also, the songs correlated with each scene in the movie, especially the song "The Best Man I Can Be," with Ginuwine, Case, Tyrese, and R.L. Kenny Lattimore, Eric Benet, ?uestLove, and Lauryn Hill made a special appearance on this album.
Dead Presidents (1995)
Dead Presidents was a "one of a kind" soundtrack because music lovers can listen to their funk, soul, and R&B classics from the 1970’s. The music blended with the concept for the film because it highlighted some of the events that took place during that time: Vietnam War, unemployment, heroin addiction, and hustling. This was a perfect album when you wanted to go back in time and listen to songs from The O’ Jays, Sly and the Family Stone, Aretha Franklin, Harold Melvin and the Bluenotes, The Dramatics, The Spinners, Isaac Hayes, and James Brown.
Released in the summer of ’92, the Boomerang soundtrack became a huge smash. It was also a way for Babyface and LA Reid to introduce Toni Braxton to the industry as the "first lady" of LaFace Records. It was certified triple platinum and Babyface wrote and produced a number of hits on this project including, "Love Shoulda Brought You Home," "At the End of the Road," "Don’t Wanna Love You," and "There You Go," by Johnny Gill. And last but not least, you can’t forget P.M Dawn’s song "I’d Die Without You" when Marcus was begging for Angela to give him another chance.
Love Jones (1997)
This soundtrack set a neo-soul trend when it was released because so many top-rated and independent artists released excellent love songs. Artists such as Maxwell, Kenny Lattimore, Maxwell, and Dionne Farris' voices were soothing and filled with so much debonair. When people hear the term "Love Jones," it exemplifies grace and wholesomeness, so songs such as "The Sweetest Things," and "Hopeless," expressed Nia and Darius fascination with love, music, and poetry.
Spike Lee was the executive producer for the Crooklyn soundtrack. Based on a true story, (Spike Lee's upbringing), he wanted to release certain "oldies" he was familiar with from his childhood. He released songs that were popular from the 1970’s based on the movie’s theme: family. Listeners heard songs from the Staple Singers, The Jackson 5, JBs, The Stylistics, Stevie Wonder, Johnny Nash, and Smokey Robinson and the Miracles. Lee released two volumes for the soundtrack
The Wood (1999)
Another R&B and hip-hop soundtrack that was released in the summer of 1999. It received a fair amount of success. It was number two on the Top R&B/Hip-Hop albums chart and it was certified Gold. Also, fans heard one of the Joe’s biggest hit, “I Wanna Know,” and Luther Vandross classic with Cheryl Lynn, “If This World Were Mine,” on the soundtrack.