Last Thursday marked 10 years since Hairspray hit theaters! It was based on the 2002 musical of the same name and starred Nikki Blonsky, John Travolta, Christopher Walken, Queen Latifah, Zac Efron, James Marsden, Elijah Kelly, and Amanda Bynes.
The movie had a really talented cast, which made up for an amazing soundtrack. I decided to give it another listen and rank them from worst to best!
16. It Takes Two
This song didn’t really have a full scene in the movie, so I didn’t want to include it higher on the list. Efron’s second solo song certainly doesn’t have the tempo and jest of his first, but it’s still a solid performance.
15. The New Girl in Town
Brittany Snow has a good voice (see: Pitch Perfect), I’m just not sure this was the best song to showcase it. The New Girl in Town doesn’t really stand out that much amongst the rest, but the scene when it cuts over to the Negro Day cast is great.
14. The Nicest Kids in Town
Our introduction to the Corny Collins Show and cast. It’s a good showcase of Marsden’s sultry voice and a funny introduction to Efron’s Link Larken, but putting those two things aside, the song kind of falls flat.
13. (It’s) Hairspray
I don’t really have too much to say about “Hairspray”. I put it a little higher on the list than some because of what’s going on behind the scenes. I love the whole heist of getting Tracy into the pageant. It also had the title of the movie in it, which I always appreciate.
12. (You’re) Timeless To Me
Christopher Walken was a literal treasure in this movie. “You’re Timeless to Me” was more on the slower side for the movie but it can still probably get you to crack a smile during it.
11. (The Legend of) Miss Baltimore Crabs
Miss Baltimore Crabs is a tough song to like. Pfeiffer does a good job with it and it’s a nice treat to see her signing again (“Cool Rider” anyone?), but the song itself never really held the weight that a villainous song should. This always gave me mad Tangled “Mother Knows Best” vibes though.
10. Big, Blonde and Beautiful + Reprise
Travolta in a dress and Latifah in a huge blonde wing – that’s a musical matchup I never knew I wanted but am so glad that we have. “Big, Blond, and Beautiful” starts off great, but eventually turns into an all around mess when it comes to the reprise. The only redeeming thing about it was Walken’s Wilbur Turnblad just completely missing the whole point.
9. I Can Hear the Bells
“I Can Hear the Bells” is a good middle of the road filler song. It gives Blonksy some good comedic material to work with and she does a good job with it.
8. Good Morning Baltimore
The opening number of any musical is always a classic. I often found this performance of “Good Morning Baltimore” to be a little on the irritating side, but it was still a good introduction to newcomer Nikki Blonsky. Plus, I can’t even hear the word Baltimore without going ‘oh oh ohhh’ in my head.
7. Come So Far (Got So Far to Go)
This song wasn’t actually a number in the film, but it played during the closing credits and I absolutely fell in love with it. It’s got a great beat and everyone sounds great in it.
6. Run and Tell That
To me, Elijah Kelly’s “Run and Tell That” is one of the best vocal performances on the soundtrack. I absolutely love this scene of Seaweed taking Tracy, Link, and Penny
5. Ladies’ Choice
Okay, “Ladies Choice” is a super fun song and you can tell that Efron is having a blast doing it. Not to mention that Hairspray really gave him the opportunity to show off his vocal chops on the big screen before High School Musical 3 came out. I think that Efron’s performance as Link Larken was definitely a stand out when compared to some of the others who have taken on the role.
4. I Know Where I’ve Been
“I Know Where I’ve Been” is by and far the most powerful song from the musical. It shows Maybelle leading a peaceful protest through the streets and Queen Latifah’s vocals it really takes it to the next level. She carries it with such grace and strength, making it a true standout performance for her and the movie.
3. Welcome to the 60’s
I have always loved “Welcome to the 60’s”, which finds Tracy finally getting her mom to leave the house. I always found it to be an especially sweet number that really shines a light on Tracy and Edna’s relationship. Plus, it gave us a lot of Travolta and in this movie, you couldn’t have too much of that.
2. Without Love
It was hard putting this song at #2 when it’s always been #1 in my heart. There’s something about “Without Love” that stands out amongst all the other songs. It’s fun, it’s lighthearted, it brings all of the young cast together and really shows off their voices. The song has got a great beat and the whole scene itself really encapsulates the wackiness of Hairspray people love.
1. You Can’t Stop the Beat
“You Can’t Stop the Beat” is basically the heart of Hairspray, which puts it’s at #1 on this list. It’s the big finale, bringing everyone together and finally gives Edna Turnblad her time to really shine. Not to mention the Corny Collins show finally becomes integrated! The only gripe that I have always had with this number is the insanely tight dress they put Amanda Bynes in – like she can’t even do the choreography!
Having studied Media & Writing at James Madison University, I always knew that I wanted to do some type of creative writing, but being able to write about zombies, Starks, and superheroes on a daily basis for Fan Fest is my actual dream. While I probably shouldn’t be as proud as I am to be so similar to Nick Miller, I do hope to one day write my own “Pepperwood Chronicles’.