You are currently viewing Push Rewind: Looking Back at the Movie Music of 1993, Part 1

Push Rewind: Looking Back at the Movie Music of 1993, Part 1

1993 was not only a banner year for movies, it was also a banner year for movie music – more than the Academy Award category for Best Song could adequately capture with only five nominations. They were:

“Again” from Poetic Justice – Music and Lyrics by Janet Jackson and Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis

“The Day I Fall in Love” from Beethoven’s 2nd – Music and Lyrics by Carole Bayer Sager, James Ingram, and Clif Magness

“Philadelphia” from Philadelphia – Music and Lyrics by Neil Young

“Streets of Philadelphia” from Philadelphia – Music and Lyrics by Bruce Springsteen

“A Wink and a Smile” from Sleepless in Seattle – Music by Marc Shaiman; Lyrics by Ramsey McLean

That’s all – five songs covering three movies from the year. What else could have been nominated? Below is one idea:

Bono actually had two songs in major films that were in the conversation that year: “You Made Me the Thief of Your Heart,” a duet between the U2 frontman and Sinead O’Connor from the Best Picture-nominated In the Name of the Father, and “Stay (Faraway, So Close!).” The latter is the title track from Wim Wenders film of the same name.

Lore has it that as U2 was working on the Zooropa album, Wenders approached the band and asked them for a song for his upcoming film. Bono saw a rough cut, and wrote a song inspired by the film’s ethereal plot. Two versions of the song were crafted; the first was released on Zooropa, and the second, almost two minutes longer and featuring an edgier guitar and drum performance, was included on the Faraway, So Close! soundtrack. (Suppposedly, it has its roots in an earlier version that was written for and inspired by Frank Sinatra during the Achtung, Baby! sessions.)

“Stay (Faraway, So Close!)” was well received by critics and nominated for a Golden Globe for Best Original Song. While it didn’t make the final cut at the Oscars that year, three decades on, members of U2 consider it to be one of their favorite songs; guitarist The Edge named it the best track on the album, while lead singer Bono stated that it was one of their best creations, naming it as one of his band’s two best songs, along with “Please.”

“It has the most extraordinary contour of a melody,” he has said. “It’s really quite sophisticated. The lyric never misses.” Bono added that U2 “never turned ‘Stay’ into the single it deserved to be.” 

This is part of an ongoing series in which I look back at some of the forgotten movie music of 1993.