Seven unworthy songs that should have never won a Best Song Oscar

These tracks should have been winners.

4 of 6


Winner: “I Just Called to Say I Love You”
Should have won: Several others

Wow. I never thought I would say a Stevie Wonder song was not deserving of an award. And “I Just Called to Say I Love You” is certainly a fine song. It’s just that 1984 was a very tough year. Though Stevie Wonder’s song is arguably better as a stand-alone song, there were two other numbers that year that quite literally defined their movies and became inseparably linked to a couple of the year’s biggest films. “I Just Called to Say I Love You” could have appeared in any generic romcom, and the movie would have been elevated as a result. But “Ghostbusters” and “Footloose” had to be in their own namesakes.

This is where the hybrid criteria that define this award come into full view. Pull Stevie Wonder’s song from the Gene Wilder movie, and not much changes. A fairly drab movie becomes a little more drab. But pull Kenny Loggins' “Footloose” and you have a massive hole. And if you pull Ray Parker Jr’s “Ghostbusters,” you literally do cataclysmic damage to the universe.

Footloose had two nominees that year (“Let’s Hear it for the Boy” was the other) and it would not have been a terrible choice either. I’d personally go with “Ghostbusters,” which became a culture phenomenon. Truth be told, I could have lived with any of the 1984 nominees, with the exception of Phil Collins’ “Against All Odds” from the film of the same name. That is one of the most unpleasantly overwrought songs ever to score a nomination.