Space Jam is a timeless treasure. Watching Michael Jordan and the Looney Tunes take down the Monstars will never stop being awesome. No matter how old you are, this movie is a classic, even if you’re not a huge sports fan. What took it to another level, however, is the soundtrack. It still holds up over 20 years later.
To say the Space Jam soundtrack is the greatest sports movie album of all time is not hyperbole. It’s the truth. Nothing before it and nothing since has been as electric as the Warner Sunset Records and Atlantic Records compilation.
The soundtrack went certified platinum six times and MJ even helped handpick the artists for it, according to Yahoo Sports NBA. James Newton Howard — the man responsible for the film’s score — definitely had some big names to help the Warner Bros. motion picture become even more iconic.
So while everyone is pretty much stuck at home due to the coronavirus pandemic, let’s do the impossible and rank each and every song from the soundtrack.
14. “Givin’ U All That I’ve Got”
Artist: Robin S.
This song is so 1990s. While it was fun watching the Tune Squad get pumped up for the big game — primarily Elmer Fudd tying on his headband like he’s about to rob a bank — the song just doesn’t age as well as the others on the soundtrack.
13. “That’s the Way (I Like It)”
Artists: Spin Doctors, Biz Markie
For whatever reason, the Spin Doctors just don’t do it for me. This was a fair addition to the playlist at the time, and important part in the movie when those little alien dudes steal the NBA stars’ talent, but it’s not a very inspiring song.
12. “Upside Down (‘Round-N-‘Round)”
The classic 90s R&B group has a very unique sound and it’s on full display here. There’s nothing wrong with the upbeat tempo, but there are simply better songs to listen to on repeat.
Artist: Bugs Bunny
Bugs Bunny as a rapper and Daffy Duck as the hype man isn’t something we knew we needed. Yet here we are, over 20 year later, still remembering it word-for-word. I might be Buggin’ for knocking the creativity here, but there’s a reason why it was the last song on the entire album.
10. “Fly Like an Eagle”
A good song and an ideal intro to the movie soundtrack. It’s even featured in a memorable part in the movie when MJ realizes his game is still at an all-time level. This serves a great purpose, but can probably do without by comparison to some of the other hits.
9. “Space Jam”
Artist: Quad City DJ’s
Look, this is going to come with some controversy. It’s the first song we heard in the opening credits and its title is the namesake for the movie for crying out loud. However, it’s been overplayed and not because it was the best song ever. The amount of birthday parties and skating rink outings this song blared through the speakers over the years further proves my point.
8. “All of My Days”
Artists: R. Kelly, Changing Faces, Jay-Z
Not everyone is a hip hop fan, but yours truly definitely is. And in 1996 — the same year he came out with his first major album “Reasonable Doubt” — Jay-Z dropped two verses on this track that are worth listening to a few times over. There are probably a good amount of people who even forgot he was on the soundtrack to begin with.
7. “I Turn to You”
As an All-4-One apologist, there will be absolutely no slander about the group or this song allowed. It’s damn good, too. Give it a chance. You won’t regret it.
6. “The Winner”
Man, Coolio was awesome. Try listening to this song and not smile. I dare you.
5. “For You I Will”
Every good album needs a strong love ballad, and R&B singer Monica delivered in a big-time way. It definitely belongs in the top-5 and it ages perfectly.
4. “I Found My Smile Again”
Perhaps the most underrated and under-appreciated song on the entire album. It has such a cool groove and vibe that makes you want to dance in the living room.
3. “Hit ‘Em High (The Monstars’ Anthem)”
Artists: B Real, Coolio, Method Man, LL Cool J, Busta Rhymes
Simply put, this song goes hard. The fact every rapper kept their verse clean is a minor miracle, too. When it comes to find a good rap song, especially in the 90s, this checks off every box.
2. “Basketball Jones”
Artists: Barry White, Chris Rock
I’ve loved this song forever. I could write about it all day. But to spare more details, and for the sake of time, it was going to be very hard for me to put any of the previous songs above it. Let’s just leave it at that.
1. “I Believe I Can Fly”
Artist: R. Kelly
At the end of Space Jam, when someone amazingly landed a spaceship onto a baseball field, Michael Jordan was introduced in a megaphone by Stan Podolak — Jordan’s annoying publicist — this song starts playing, and, man, it gives me the damn chills every single time. Not only is it the only good part Stan plays in the movie, but it also brings the movie full circle.
As for the song itself, and say whatever you want about R. Kelly, it’s incredible and will be forever linked to one of the greatest sports movies ever created.