‘Never Been Kissed’ – 5 Essential Soundtrack Cuts
If you’re a fan of rom-coms, the 1999 Drew Barrymore vehicle ‘Never Been Kissed’ might top your all-time list. Barrymore plays a woman looking to relive her high school years, and in a move that would likely get you arrested today, she poses as a teenager and re-enrolls. (The '90s were a simpler time, were they not?) As good as the movie is, it's the soundtrack we're still thinking about all these years later. It’s one of the better rom-com musical companions of the ‘90s, and it helped launch (or relaunch, depending on how you look at it) at least one of the acts on it. Here are our picks for the 5 Essential Cuts on the 'Never Been Kissed' Soundtrack.
Any soundtrack that includes a Smiths b-side gets a gold star from us. Breezy, acoustic, introspective, and lovelorn, this classic strikes us as the type of song Noel Gallagher of Oasis might cite as an influence, and at 1:53, it’s short and sweet, just like our attention span.
Why haven’t you heard of the Murmurs? Maybe because you've had earwax in your ears since 1990? ‘Smash’ is a super-sized ‘90s female-fronted tune reminiscent of the Rentals and Blink-182, and that makes it perfect ‘Never Been Kissed’ fodder. You might know Leisha Hailey, one-half of the songwriting and vocals team, as part of the latter-day group Uh Huh Her.
A decent grunge band in the post-Nirvana-knock-off era, Local H put out one of the better pissed-off ‘90s anthems in ‘Bound for the Floor.' Their addition to the ‘Never Been Kissed’ soundtrack, ‘Cool Magnet,’ is like the Beatles’ ‘Day Tripper’ played on distorted guitars. It's an electric tune that makes us want to buzz back to the '90s.
‘Never Been Kissed’ star Drew Barrymore has a lot of famous girlfriends, including Courtney Love. It's only natural, then, that Love’s band, Hole, appears on the soundtrack, and the heavily Byrds-influenced ‘Heaven Tonight’ actually includes a kissing-related lyric: “Here comes a kiss / that I never had / nothing feels like this.”
If ever there was ever perfect timing for a band to land a song on a major motion picture soundtrack, this is it. At the time, Jimmy Eat World were in the midst of getting dissed by their record label and had put out what would become their signature album, ‘Clarity.’ The addition of ‘Lucky Denver Mint’ -- easily ‘Clarity’’s catchiest number -- on this soundtrack helped the band gain a more mainstream audience, and it probably helped them sell a few extra albums. (The ‘Never Been Kissed’ soundtrack also includes a demo version of ‘Seventeen,’ from JEW's 1996 ‘Static Prevails’ album).