As we have shown 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 times before, not every soundtrack is going to stay the same. After time goes by, one really good choice turns into something else. Sometimes this change is iconic, sometimes it's simply just good and other times it may even hurt the film. But you can't deny the overall different feel of the film with different songs. Like in films such as...
One of the most classic movies ever, Casablanca is filled with songs that are even today remembered. “As Time Goes By” alone is still parodied and homaged to death. Another memorable scenes is when the German and French patrons do a sing off with the French and Germans fighting each other with their song choices:
What did the French ultimately win with? Their own national anthem, the “La Marseillaise”:
However, when it came to the Germans, they were supposed to be singing the Nazi party anthem “Hort Vessel Leid” (which won't be played here for numerous, obvious reasons). It wasn't because of personal reasons either – the filmmakers really wanted it. But the Nazi Party themselves owned the rights to the song, and the film was going to be shown in neutral countries, which could choose not to run the film because of it's use.
A close substitute, a 19th century song praising the German Empire “Die Wacht Am Rhein” was used:
That choice made the film instantly more accessible, and also made it less political. This helped make Casablanca a classic as well, because instead of a song that could sink them, the new song sent the same exact message to audiences but without the complaints and having the pull it out for being too political.
2. THE LIVING DAYLIGHTS
In 1987, there was a new Bond in Timothy Dalton. Needing an opening hit song like Duran Duran did for the previous film A View to a Kill, The Living Daylights turned to A-Ha, a Norwegian band who had the recent hit “Take On Me”:
A-Ha had beaten out several others in the running. Local group the Pet Shop Boys had their own rendition for the darker Bond called “This Must Be The Place I Waited Years To Leave”.
Also in it was The Pretenders, who gave their own soft song “If There was a Man”.
The Pretenders were loved enough to have a few of their songs to be in the film, to have “If There was a Man” be the main instrumental for the scenes (along with other song in the movie “Where has Everybody Gone”) and even had it to close out the end credits. The Pet Shop Boys? Not so lucky, and their song wasn't used outright. A-Ha had won.
3. WILLY WONKA AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY
Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory needed one song to suck people into a tale of a crazy candy company owner and his horrible punishments of children. They needed something jaunty and catchy. Naturally the opening number was “The Candyman”:
But before Aubrey Woods got the role as the Candyman, one big name wanted the part, but was seen as too kitschy and was replaced late in production. Who was this? Rat Pack member Sammy Davis Jr. of course.
While he wasn't given the role, he covered the song, and Davis' version ultimately became the most recognized version. If he was allowed to be in the film? Who knows how big it would have been.
4. HARRY POTTER AND THE GOBLET OF FIRE
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire continued the book/film tradition of the series to make it darker and darker as time went on. This is apparent in the soundtrack with it's darker opening and themes:
What the movie didn't need was a silly scene with a silly song. And if it wasn't for an already long run time, this would have stayed in:
While a good, embarrassing counterpoint to the other 2 school's songs, the lighthearted school song was just too light and silly in an otherwise more serious film, and it was replaced with a more foreboding score – which added to and foreshadowed the rest of the movie.
5. VIVA LAS VEGAS
One of Elvis's better movies, Viva Las Vegas is what a Disney Channel original musical would have been like in the 1950's and 60's. It's a simple story with youth megastars singing it out at each other – complete with choreography!:
The end result was a popular but somewhat forgettable movie (With only a few aspects, like the song “Viva Las Vegas” surviving it). But it could have been different, as one song, “You're the Boss”, was seen as “too sexualized”.
While Elvis Presley and Ann-Margaret sound tame by todays standards, this sort of song caused an uproar back then. It was cut and replaced with another one of those goofy songs that wouldn't be considered their “A” or B” material.
There is no thin line between “Playing it safe” and “Experimenting with songs and movies”. With so many decisions needing to be made, many songs fall by the wayside, with mixed results of what worked and what didn't. With songs like these, it's easy to see just how different the movies could have been.