hmv.com presents… The Best Soundtracks of All Time: Boogie Nights
As part our 'Decades' series, every day we'll be picking the best soundtrack, one for every year, starting with 1950 right through to the present day. Today we're up to 1997 and we're getting down to Boogie Nights...
Paul Thomas Anderson’s vintage porn-industry epic Boogie Nights.
So what’s the film about?
It’s the riotous saga of fictional porn superstar Dirk Diggler (Mark Wahlberg), following his rise to stardom through the 70s, his laughable career as a recording artist, his troubles with cocaine addition and his descent into prostitution.
Alongside Dirk, we are also introduced to a host of other outlandish characters in the industry: his porn star mentor Amber Waves (Julianne Moore); Jack Horner, the director who discovers Dirk and his ample talents (Burt Lancaster); gay boom operator Scotty who’s obsessed with Dirk (Philip Seymour Hoffman); and skate-wearing adult film starlet Rollergirl (Heather Graham).
Is this a score or a soundtrack?
A soundtrack collecting the period songs from the film.
So who’s on it? Anyone I might know?
It’s a collection of 70s soul, funk and disco songs capturing the decadence of the era. There are cuts from lots of soul legends, including Marvin Gaye, The Commodores and The Emotions, plus a few classic rock groups like Electric Light Orchestra. It’s top and tailed with excerpts from the film featuring Wahlberg.
So which songs are on it? Did any of them become hits?
There’s plenty of 70s hits on here – Marvin Gaye’s ‘Got To Give It Up (Part 1)’ McFadden & Whitehead’s ‘Ain’t No Stopping Us Now’, The Emotions' ‘Best Of My Love’ and The Beach Boys’ ‘God Only Knows’ (though that’s from the 60s, admittedly). There are also some great deeper soul cuts you might not know, but are definitely worth listening to.
What’s the best moment?
Hidden after the last track on the album is Mark Wahlberg, in character as Dirk Diggler, singing the only song he recorded ‘The Touch’. The song originated on the soundtrack for the 1986 Transformers animated movie, and is a hilariously cheesy power ballad – hearing Wahlberg mangle it is even funnier.
Has it stood the test of time?
It’s a wonderfully over the top soundtrack to a wonderfully over the top film, and it’s a hell of a lot of fun – so yeah, definitely.