If you don’t like Reese Witherspoon, you’re probably not going to like Legally Blonde, and if you don’t like sugary pop, you’re not going to have too much time for the soundtrack either. If, on the other hand, you feel a wave of nostalgia every time you fall down a candy-coated pop rabbit hole on YouTube, the Legally Blonde soundtrack is definitely worth a revisit.
You might not remember many of the band’s names (Lo-Ball, anyone?), but if you’re still watching the film as much today as you were 20 years ago, you’ll definitely recognize the tunes. If you’re ready for some female empowerment, 2000s style, check out how we rank all the songs from the Legally Blonde soundtrack in order of greatness.
11. Ooh La La – Valeria
Sure, the lyrics are trite and it’s not a song you’ll remember after the last note plays, but as catchy pop fluff goes, Valeria’s Ooh La La is hard to hate.
10. Watch Me Shine – Joanna Pacitti
Most people remember Joanna Pacitti best from the eighth season of American Idol in 2009, where her appearance caused an uproar about the fairness of allowing singers with professional experience to compete. Before that, she was offering up sugary pop confections like Watch Me Shine, which plays during the montage of Elle studying like crazy to land a place on Professor Callahan’s internship after Warner tells her she’s not smart enough to get accepted.
9. Can’t Get Me Down – Lo-Ball
Los Angeles-based, all-female band Lo-Ball turned out to be more of a flash in the pan than anything with legs, but even if they disappeared faster than they arrived, fans of Legally Blonde will always remember them for this hard-rocking hymn to female empowerment from the soundtrack.
8. Sex Machine – Mýa
The original version of James Brown’s Sex Machine has been voted onto Rolling Stone’s list of the 500 greatest songs of all time, and for very good reason. Mya’s version might not be in the same league as the original, but it’s still got enough strut, swagger, and sauce to do Brown proud.
7. Don’t Need You To (Tell Me I’m Pretty) – Samantha Mumba
Back in 2001, Irish singer Samantha Mumba was riding high in the charts with this track from her debut studio album Gotta Tell You. Listen out for it as Elle decides that the best way to get her ex Warner to take her seriously is to become a lawyer.
6. Magic – Black Eyed Peas featuring Terry Dexter
Terry Dexter has written and performed songs for dozens of TV shows and films over the years, including The L Word, Not Easily Broken, Kings and Queens, The Game, Deliver Us From Eva, The Real O’Neals, and Family Guy. For all that, most film buffs will know her best from Magic, performed with the Black Eyed Peas for the Legally Blonde soundtrack. It’s a good song anyway, but the re-played samples of the Police’s Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic takes it next level.
5. Love Is a Beautiful Thing (remix) – Krystal Harris
Love Is a Beautiful Thing was first recorded by soul legend Al Green back in 1993 for his album Don’t Look Back, quickly becoming one of his signature songs. Green’s original has been used in dozens of films in the years since, but it’s Krystal Harris’ version that made it onto the Legally Blonde soundtrack.
4. One Girl Revolution – Superchick
Superchick’s career only lasted as long as the 2000s, but even if they’ve been gone longer than they were around, there’s something irresistibly nostalgic about post-punk moments like One Girl Revolution, especially for fans of Legally Blonde. Listen out for it during the film’s end credits.
3. Perfect Day – Hoku
Hoku might only have recorded one album, but on it, she perfected bubblegum pop, creating a more wholesome, less salacious alternative to the saucier sounds being peddled by contemporaries like Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera at the time. As MTV notes, Perfect Day, her contribution to the Legally Blonde soundtrack, is so good they played it twice, once during the opening credits and again during Elle’s Harvard commencement speech.
Speaking to Billboard about the song’s impact, Hoku said: “No one really knew that Legally Blonde was going to be what it was. Literally, my label heads were like, ‘This movie’s not going to become anything.’ And then the next thing you know, it’s like, this iconic movie. And my song opens it! Sitting in the premiere and hearing my song open the movie, and everyone’s cheering — it felt like, ‘I’ve really arrived now, folks.'”
2. We Could Still Belong Together – Lisa Loeb
Lisa Loeb delivers some of her usual brand of brainy, emotional rock on this excellent track from the 2002 album Cake and Pie. Catch it as Elle drives to Harvard for the first time.
1. A Thousand Miles (Interlude) – Vanessa Carlton
Even if not everyone was a fan of Be Not Nobody, Vanessa Carlton’s debut album, it was impossible not to fall for the charms of A Thousand Miles (Interlude). Described by All Music as “sweet, multi-layered, and appealing,” it’s a good-natured romp with a huge piano hook that, over 20 years later, is just as irresistible as ever. The song’s been featured in numerous films and TV shows over the years, including White Chicks and Workaholics, but it was on Legally Blonde that we heard it first.
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