50 First Dates bought together Adam Sandler and Drew Barrymore in a sweet comedy-drama about a marine veterinarian who resolves to win the heart of an art teacher named Lucy after discovering she has amnesia and forgets all about him at the end of each day. No film would be complete with a soundtrack, and in this case, it consists of a collection of ’80s cover songs treated to a reggae-style makeover by artists like Jason Mraz and Ziggy Marley. Here’s how we rank all the songs from the 50 First Dates soundtrack from worst to best.
11. True – will.i.am and Fergie
In 1983, Spandau Ballet earned a worldwide hit with True, which hit number one in the UK and became the band’s only top ten single in the US, peaking at number four on the Billboard Hot 100. Two decades later, will.i.am and Fergie of the Black Eyed Peas came along and tried to destroy its legacy with a frankly risible cover for the 50 First Dates soundtrack. If you want to save your ears from some pain, stick with the original.
10. Breakfast in Bed – Nicole Scherzinger
Sometimes, you shouldn’t mess with a classic. When Dusty Springfield recorded Breakfast in Bed for her seminal 1969 album, Dusty in Memphis, she created a sultry, smoking piece of pop history. Nicole Scherzinger’s cover for the 50 First Dates isn’t a travesty, but it’s not a patch on Dusty’s.
9. Forgetful Lucy – Adam Sandler
Adam Sandler wrote and recorded this short but sweet little love song for his movie love interest, Lucy. It was never going to win a Grammy award, but it’s not without its charms.
8. The Ghost in You – Mark McGrath
The Ghost in You was originally released by The Psychedelic Furs, who hit number 59 on the US Billboard Hot 100 and number 68 on the UK Singles Chart with it in 1984. A little over 20 years later, Sugar Ray’s Mark McGrath added some reggae beats and a ton of digital effects to his cover for the 50 First Dates soundtrack.
7. Hold Me Now – Wayne Wonder
Hold Me Now was originally recorded by the Thompson Twins for their 1983 album, Into the Gap. Released as the album’s first single in late 1983, it stormed to number 4 in the UK, becoming the duo’s most successful single on their home turf. It was even more successful on the other side of the pond, topping the Billboard Hot Dance Club Play chart and reaching number 3 on the Billboard Hot 100. Rather than stick with the original, the producers of 50 First Dates opted for Wayne Wonder’s reggae cover instead.
6. Lips Like Sugar – Seal featuring Mickey Dread
Echo and the Bunnymen’s original version of Lips Like Sugar was a critical sensation, with Pitchfork describing it as a “hook-heavy reverb bomb.” Released in 1987 as the second single from their fifth studio album, it took the band to number 26 in the UK and became a college radio favorite in the US. Despite the enduring popularity of the original, it’s Seal’s version with reggae artist Mickey Dread that made it to the 50 First Dates soundtrack.
5. Drive – Ziggy Marley
Giving one of the most enduringly popular pieces of synth-pop as “a gorgeous ballad that matches heartfelt songwriting to an alluring electronic soundscape”) a reggae makeover could have been a disaster, but Ziggy Marley’s sympathetic remake of the Cars’ classic track work surprisingly well, delivering much the same soulful, soothing poignancy of the original, albeit in a less synth-heavy way.
4. Love Song – 311
When British alt-rock band The Cure released Love Song in August 1989, it became an international smash hit, taking the group to number 2 on both the US Billboard Hot 100 and the Billboard Modern Rock Tracks chart to become their most successful ever single in America. It’s been covered by numerous artists since, including 311, whose interpretation earned them both a spot on the 50 First Dates soundtrack and a place at number one on the Billboard Hot 100.
3. Your Love – Wyclef Jean featuring Eve
Your Love was written by the Outfield’s guitarist John Spinks and first recorded for the band’s 1985 debut album, Play Deep. Issued as a single in February 1986, it reached the top ten on both the US Mainstream Rock chart and the Billboard Hot 100. Fast forward two decades, and Wyclef Jean and Eve treated it to a hip hop makeover for the 50 First Dates soundtrack.
2. Slave To Love – Elan Atias and Gwen Stefani
Slave To Love was one of Bryan Ferry’s first big hits after disbanding Roxy Music, taking him to number 10 on the UK Singles Chart in the spring of 1985. Two months after its release, it won a place in music history when he performed it at Live Aid. Like most of the material on the 50 First Dates soundtrack, it was treated to a reggae makeover, this time around by Elan Atias and Gwen Stefani.
1. Every Breath You Take – UB40
The Police’s original version of Every Breath You Take was nominated for three Grammys (winning two), earned Sting the Ivor Novello Award for Best Song Musically and Lyrically, has been inducted into The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame’s 500 Songs that Shaped Rock and Roll, and selected as one of Rolling Stone’s 500 Greatest Songs of All Time. Basically, it’s a piece of songwriting history. While UB40’s version doesn’t quite match up to the original, it’s still a hugely enjoyable listen.