'Cruel Intentions' at 20: 'Bittersweet Symphony' & More Classic Movie Songs In 1999

Cruel Intentions
Columbia Pictures/Getty Images

Sarah Michelle Gellar and Ryan Phillippe in Cruel Intentions.

On March 5, 1999, Cruel Intentions was released, and four days later came a soundtrack with some truly memorable tracks, including Fatboy Slim’s “Praise You,” Blur’s “Coffee & TV" and Counting Crows’ “Colorblind.”

But the song most associated with the teen sex drama is undoubtedly The Verve’s iconic “Bittersweet Symphony" from their 1997 album Urban Hymns. The track, which swells over the final shocking scenes of the film, has made its mark on plenty of pop culture (it’s been featured in everything from The Simpsons to Riverdale) but it will forever be the song from Cruel Intentions.

“Bittersweet Symphony” wasn’t the only song on a 1999 soundtrack that made big waves that year. Here are 10 other singles that graced soundtracks 20 years ago and the movies they’ll always be associated with when you hear them.

“Steal My Sunshine” from Go

Like Cruel Intentions, the Go soundtrack was chock full of '90s artists (Gwen Stefani, Eagle-Eye Cherry, and, yep Fatboy Slim), but was there anything more 1999 than Len’s one-hit wonder “Steal My Sunshine"? Didn’t think so.

“Kiss Me” from She’s All That

Yet another soundtrack featuring Fatboy Slim (he truly was everywhere in 1999), but let’s be real, the only song that you think of when you think of the high school comedy is the swoon-y, Billboard Hot 100 No. 2 hit “Kiss Me” by Sixpence None the Richer.

“Dragula” from The Matrix

Rob Zombie’s “Dragula” was actually released in 1998, but the Hot Rod Herman Remix from the 1999 soundtrack to The Matrix made it a heavy metal/electronic crossover smash that had everyone that year slipping on their best pleather outfits. (The song would also make an appearance on another 1999 soundtrack: the horror comedy Idle Hands.)

“Beautiful Stranger” from Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me

Listen, Mike Myers knows how to put together a soundtrack for his movies (see: “Bohemian Rhapsody” in Wayne’s World), so it’s no surprise the Austin Powers franchise nabbed everyone from Beyonce to Madonna. The latter released the 1999 single on the soundtrack to The Spy Who Shagged Me, and it was only there where you could hear the delirious dance track until the release of her GHV2 in 2001.

“Wild Wild West” from Wild Wild West

It’s the titular song! Will Smith was the undisputed king of rapping about his own movies in the '90s, and the title track from the western comedy was no exception. The song, featuring Dru Hill and Kool Moe Dee, went to No. 1 on the Billboard 100.

“My Hero” from Varsity Blues

James Van Der Beek didn’t want yer life in 1999, but everybody wanted the Varsity Blues soundtrack. The football flick featured tunes from the likes of Green Day, The Offspring and Foo Fighters. While “My Hero” appears on the Foos' 1997’s The Colour and the Shape, the song took on a whole new life (sorry, James) when paired with slo-mo football sequences.

“I Want You to Want Me” from 10 Things I Hate About You

Much to the delight of a young Ben Wyatt, the 10 Things I Hate About You soundtrack featured not one but two Letters to Cleo songs. The alt/pop rockers famously covered Cheap Trick’s “I Want You to Want Me” for the high school rom-com (as well as Nick Lowe’s “Cruel to Be Kind”) and '90s soundtrack history was made.

“I Do (Cherish You)” from Notting Hill

98 Degrees were just a boy band, standing in front of a Julia Roberts and Hugh Grant rom-com asking it to be loved.

“Save Me” and “Wise Up” from Magnolia

Every single track from the Aimee Mann-centric Magnolia soundtrack holds up two decades later, but these two heartbreakers got radio play and introduced the singer-songwriter to a new generation. “Save Me” would go on to earn Academy Award, Golden Globe and Grammy nominations.


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