Seven songs that were robbed of their Oscar nomination

The Oscar voters should have done better.

Kevin Winter/GettyImages
4 of 5


Failing to nominate anything from Saturday Night Fever should earn the voters a penalty time out. Failing to nominate anything from Purple Rain warrants a lifetime ban from voting. Not just for Oscar songs. You shouldn’t be allowed to vote for Favorite Breakfast Cereal. It’s that egregious.

What makes it all the more laughable is that Prince did win an Oscar for Best Original Song Score that year. That was a relatively short-lived award that ran concurrent to the still-in-existence Best Original Score award through the 1970s and into the 1980s. It was discontinued one year after the Purple Rain fiasco.

There’s a long and boring history involved in award names and eligibility requirements, but the bottom line is that it seems as if the Academy figured the Original Song Score award was sufficient recognition. The fact that that award no longer exists suggests otherwise. (1984 was an excellent year for movie songs and there were four very good nominees. But the title song and “When Doves Cry” should have taken two spots.

“DON’T YOU (FORGET ABOUT ME)” from The Breakfast Club (1985)

This is simply a case of the Academy not catching up to the times. Most of the nominated songs in 1985 were perfectly reasonable. I would have voted for “Sister” from The Color Purple, even if the Simple Minds song that closes out The Breakfast Club had secured a nomination.

But synth-pop was still a weird thing in the eyes of Academy voters, so they chose to recognize Stephen Bishop’s “Separate Lives,” a by-the-numbers love song that begins slow and then explodes into power balladry – you know, the way every other love song from that era did.