1992 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:
“Beautiful Maria of My Soul” from The Mambo Kings – Music by Robert Kraft; Lyrics by Arne Glimcher
“Friend Like Me” from Aladdin – Music by Alan Menken; Lyrics by Howard Ashman (posthumous nomination)
“I Have Nothing” from The Bodyguard – Music by David Foster; Lyrics by Linda Thompson
“Run to You” from The Bodyguard – Music by Jud Friedman; Lyrics by Allan Rich
“A Whole New World” from Aladdin – Music by Alan Menken; Lyrics by Tim Rice)
That’s all – five songs covering three movies from the year. What else could have been nominated? Below is one idea:
Among the many triumphs of the sleeper blockbuster (if ever there was one, it’s this) Home Alone was John Williams’ original theme, “Somewhere in My Memory,” which received a nomination in 1990. So it was a no-brainer that two years later, the sequel, Home Alone 2: Lost in New York, would attempt to make some music magic as well.
A new theme, “Christmas Star,” written by Leslie Bricusse and Williams, channels the same nostalgia as the first film’s song, with a children’s choir singing as both a solitary Kevin (Macaulay Culkin) and his mother, Kate (Catherine O’Hara), miss each other while in separate cities along the East Coast. (They’ve lost him again; this is a Home Alone film – you were expecting something else to happen?) It’s a sweet song, but the movie itself doubles down on his ultraviolent encounters with escaped burglars Harry and Marv (Joe Pesci and Daniel Stern), and the film’s emphasis on these attacks overshadowed the sentimentality even more so than the first time around, and the theme has largely been forgotten.
There’s a second new song on this soundtrack, “All Alone on Christmas,” sung by holiday favorite Darlene Love. It was written by E Street Band mainstay Steven Van Zandt, and features members of that band (including a fantastic saxophone solo by Clarence Clemons) and The Miami Horns. (Culkin himself is featured in the video.) After years off the charts, this one put Love back in play, peaking at #83; it’s been covered numerous times in the last thirty years as well.
This is part of an ongoing series in which I look back at some of the forgotten movie music of 1992.