Based on a true story, Remember the Titans was a biographical sports film that first hit theaters on September 29, 2000. It grossed an estimated $115.6 million USD on American soil and $136.7 million USD worldwide. Portrayed by Denzel Washington, Coach Herman Boone attempts to integrate into the T.C. Williams Highs School football team in Alexandria, Virginia during the year of 1971. His assistant coach, Bill Yoast, was played by Will Patton. Gerry Bertier was played by Ryan Hurst while Julius Campbell was played by Wood Harris. These are real-life characters that were portrayed in the movie, which has been regarded as one of the best football movies ever produced. It, along with the soundtrack, won over the hearts of critics and fans worldwide and both continue to serve as an inspiration for aspiring athletes.
Remembering the Titans Soundtrack
The soundtrack to Remembering the Titans was released on September 19, 2000, by Walt Disney Records. There are a total of twelve songs on the track where eleven of them have been previous releases by the artists originally behind the music. The era of the movie was 1971, which meant in-movie music needed to match the timeline of the story. For the soundtrack, it stayed on course with the movie’s lineup of music. These are mostly classic hits, performed by some of the artists that are every bit as timeless as the hit singles they released.
12. I Want to Take You Higher (performed by Ike and Tina Turner)
(I Want to Take You Higher) was a song first produced by Sly and the Family Stone that became a 1969 hit for the group. For the group, this was one of those rare songs that were designed to simply enjoy without some sort of underlying message that was personally or politically motivated. It’s simply meant to be listened to and enjoyed. Ike and Tina Turner performed a very impressive cover to this original, which charted at number thirty-four on the US Billboard Hot 100, at number twenty-five on the US Billboard R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart, and at thirty-six in Canada. It was actually the only cover song recording that appeared on the Remembering the Titans soundtrack. Every other previously charted single were an original performance.
11. Spill the Wine (performed by Eric Burden and War)
Originally released in May 1970, (Spill the Wine) was a collaborated performance between Eric Burden and the group, War. For Burden, it was his first and only hit. For War, it was also the band’s first hit. The inspiration for the song came from an accident War’s keyboardist, Lonnie Jordan, spilled wine on a mixing board. The flute solo, plus the Spanish-speaking woman, made this single a distinguishable favorite that saw it climb as high as number three on the US Billboard Hot 100 and at number one on the US Cash Box Top 100. It was also a top twenty hit among the nations of Australia, Canada, Mexico, Netherlands, and Norway. This single also earned a gold certification from the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA).
10. A Hard Rain’s a-Gonna Fall (performed by Bob Dylan)
In 1962, Bob Dylan’s (A Hard Rain’s a-Gonna Fall) was written out of inspiration, answering the question-and-answer form of traditional ballads. For Dylan, he wrote this song as a lyrical response to the Cuban Missile Crisis as one long funeral piece. This powerful song was actually written a month before the actual crisis broke out, almost serving as a premonition of what was to come. Dylan has been notorious for presenting protest songs in his music and this was no exception. It did not chart as a hit but did strike deep into the hearts of listeners who felt they understood the song, despite Dylan himself suggesting they really don’t. However, it’s undeniable this is one of those songs that’s deeply heartfelt and it suited the theme of Remembering the Titans and the story is presented as a form of visual history.
9. Act Naturally (performed by Buck Owens and the Buckaroos)
(Act naturally) was a number one hit on the US Billboard Hot Country Songs chart in 1963. Recorded by Buck Owens and the Buckaroos, this was the first time the group realized a number one hit. This lyrical tale of a jilted narrator makes reference throughout the song that he can act naturally as a sad or lonely person without anybody knowing the difference if it’s for real or just acting. This song was covered many times over, but it was the original that was featured in the Remembering the Titans movie, as well as the soundtrack.
8. Up Around the Bend (performed by Creedence Clearwater Revival)
(Up Around the bend was a song recorded by Creedence Clearwater Revival just a few days before the band’s 1970 European tour. It was included in the album, (Cosmo’s Factory), and it climbed as high as number four on the US Billboard Hot 100 and a number three hit on the UK Singles Chart. It was also certified platinum by the RIAA after selling over one million copies. Potent and enjoyable, considering the actual timeline of Remembering the Titans was in 1971, it stands to reason this song needed to be included in the soundtrack as CCR was one of the most popular groups at the time.
7. Na Na Hey Hey Kiss Him Goodbye (performed by Steam)
(Na Na Hey Hey Kiss Him Goodbye) was a 1969 number one hit for Steam on the US Billboard Hot 100. This served up as great pump-up music, which was all recorded in one session and became a multi-platinum success with the RIAA. At sporting events, this song has become a favorite on the playlist, especially during playoff season and the losing team is facing imminent elimination. Usually, if the music isn’t played by the arena, the fans will sing it in unison like a wave. Such a song is, without doubt, worthy of Remembering the Titans.
6. Peace Train (performed by Cat Stevens)
In 1971, Cat Stevens put forth the single, (Peace Train) from his album, (Teaser and the Firecat). It peaked as high as number seven on the US Billboard Hot 100, becoming his first top ten hits in the U.S. It also spent three weeks at the top of the US Billboard Adult Contemporary chart. This song was first introduced by Cat Stevens at a concert while he was on tour. The inspiration of the song hit him while riding a train and was thinking about the author, Alfred Hitchcock at the time. this served as his trigger point to write up a song that continues to deliver a breezy thunder of audible magic to the hearts of millions who see this song as a contribution to peaceful solutions to any given problem. This made the song a perfect fit for Remembering the Titans.
5. Express Yourself (Charles Wright & the Watts 103rd Street Rhythm Band)
Performed by Charles Wright & the Watts 103rd Street Rhythm Band, (Express Yourself) became their signature song after its 1970 release. On the US Billboard Hot 100, it peaked as high as number twelve and was a number three hit on the US Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart. It earned a Grammy Award nomination in 1971 for Best R&B Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals, but that win went to The Delfonics and their song, (Didn’t I (Blow Your Mind This Time)). For Remembering the Titans, this served as an inspirational bridge song. On the soundtrack, it made the perfect final hit song before going into the final track, (Titans Spirit).
4. Long Cool Woman in a Black Dress (performed by The Hollies)
The Hollies released the hit single, (Long Cool Woman in a Black Dress) in 1972 and it became one of the group’s greatest hits of all time. It sold over two million copies worldwide and peaked as high as number two on the US Billboard Hot 100. It was during a time when the swamp rock style of Creedence Clearwater Revival influenced The Hollies enough to cause them to engage into a mix of country and rockabilly, just like them. The lead singer, Allan Clarke, even imitated John Fogerty’s vocal style in order to pull off what many fans will agree is one of the group’s signature songs.
3. Ain’t No Mountain High Enough (performed by Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell)
At the timing of its release in 1967, (Ain’t No Mountain High Enough) quickly became a popular pop-soul song that came straight out of Motown’s Tamla label. The first time around it was a hit when Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell performed this song and it was a number nineteen hit on the US Billboard Hot 100 for them, as well as a number three hit on the US Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart. It became the first number one hit for Diana Ross in 1970, who just left her group, The Supremes. It, however, remains as the signature song for Gaye and Terrell, who are also credited for their version becoming a Grammy Hall of Famer as of 1999.
2. Titans Spirit (performed by Trevor Rabin)
(Titans Spirit) was the only song on the soundtrack that was specifically designed for the soundtrack. It was orchestrated by Trevor Rabin and was the only cue added to the soundtrack and it is a seven-minute instrumental. The popularity of this song has been used on several sports broadcasts. It’s been consistently used as closing credits for each Olympic Games episode by NBC since 2002. It was also Barack Obama’s favorite piece of music he used during his presidential campaigns, conventions, as well as his 2008 victory speech. Although this song was not released as a single, nor will it be seen on any music charts. It is a cult favorite that is easily identifiable by sports fans who like their music every bit as much as their favorite games.
1. Spirit in the Sky (performed by Norman Greenbaum)
Regarded as the greatest and best-selling one-hit-wonder of all time, Norman Greenbaum recorded and released the mega-hit, (Spirit in the Sky) in 1969. This single peaked as high as number three on the US Billboard Hot 100 and it stayed on the music charts for fifteen weeks. It was also a number one hit among the nations of Australia, Canada, Ireland, and the UK. Among the nations of Austria, Belgium, Netherlands, Norway, and Switzerland it was, at the very lowest, a number four hit. With over one million copies sold, (Spirit in the Sky) earned an RIAA gold certification, as well as with the BPI. For Greenbaum, he admitted he was inspired to write the song after watching Porter Wagoner sing gospel on television. Although he wasn’t familiar with gospel music at all, he felt he had it in him to come up with something that would be gospel at heart, but pop music by sound. It took him only fifteen minutes to write the song and used a fuzz box inside a Fender Telecaster guitar in order to put forth the distinguishable guitar performance this song is well known for. (Spirit in the Sky) is one of those timeless songs that sounds just as great today as it did when it first came out. For Remembering the Titans, this song was perfect in the movie and on the soundtrack.