Celebrate the 20th Anniversary of ‘Space Jam’ With This Track-By-Track Breakdown of the Glorious Soundtrack
It’s definitely the greatest soundtrack for a half-cartoon sports movie ever recorded…
Twenty years ago today, the world changed forever. After millennia without a movie that united the Looney Tunes, NBA stars and Bill Murray, Space Jam arrived in theaters to fill that gaping maw in American pop culture.
Over the past two decades, Space Jam has cemented itself in the pantheon of Hollywood sports movies, but thinking of it only as a cinematic achievement does not do it justice. The Space Jam soundtrack was itself a masterpiece that combined elements of hip-hop, R&B and rock into a generation-spanning compilation of original and classic songs.
On this 20th anniversary of Space Jam, let’s revisit its soundtrack with a track-by-track breakdown.
1. “Fly Like an Eagle” by Seal
Warner Brothers knew that your parents might listen to the first track before letting you take this DC up to your room, so they saved the Method Man for later. Instead, you get an opener with dad’s favorite corporate rock band and mom’s British crush.
2. “The Winner” by Coolio
The first of three tracks that didn’t appear in the movie, this is Coolio’s feel-good ode to being a good kid and staying in school. What does this have to do with Space Jam? We’re still trying to figure that out.
3. “Space Jam” by Quad City DJ’s
Put this song on and there’s a 100 percent chance you’ll feel a primal urge to dunk some socks into the nearest door way basketball goal.
4. “I Believe I Can Fly” by R. Kelly
How corny is this song? R. Kelly is literally standing in the middle of a corn field signing to the skies in the video. Still, if this hook doesn’t give you chills, you weren’t 10 in the mid-90s.
5. “Hit ‘Em High (The Monstars’ Anthem)” by B-Real, Busta Rhymes, Coolio, LL Cool J & Method Man
If you thought Space Jam had an all-star cast, just look at the dudes contributing verses to this track. All those legends, and Coolio too!
6. “I Found My Smile Again” by D’Angelo
After getting hyped with Busta and Meth, this is the perfect six minute slow jam to kick back and relax.
7. “For You I Will” by Monica
The lyrics to this song are how every Space Jam fan feels about about a sequel. For you, I will do anything.
8. “Upside Down (‘Round-N-‘Round)” by Salt-N-Pepa
Just a solid party song from one of the greatest female hip-hop groups of all-time.
9. “Givin’ U All That I’ve Got” by Robin S.
Could have done without this one to be honest, but we’ll give Warner Bros. a pass for the brilliance that comes next.
10. “Basketball Jones” by Barry White & Chris Rock
So many icons came together to produce this song/skit, including Barry White and Chris Rock who lend their voices to it. The star power is just a big behind the scenes too. Cheech and Chong actually wrote this and somehow managed to keep out all mentions of marijuana.
11. “I Turn to You” by All-4-One
This movie came out in 1996, so you know they had to squeeze some boy band cheese on to this soundtrack.
12. “All of My Days” by R. Kelly featuring Changing Faces & Jay-Z
Did you realize that Jay-Z was on the Space Jam soundtrack? And you thought “masterpiece” was an exaggeration.
13. “That’s the Way (I Like It)” by Spin Doctors featuring Biz Markie
Whoa, this just captures the ’90s in song form. Ask anyone born after 2000 who either of these artists are and they’ll think you’re making the names up. Poor kids will never know.
14. “Buggin'” by Bugs Bunny
If you’re listening to this thinking that Bugs Bunny has surprising good bars, there’s a good reason for that. Jay-Z wrote it.