For reasons unknown to us, this phenomenon doesn't seem to happen anymore. This hasn't stopped some fairly prominent contemporary artists from trying, though. Britney Spears has a song on The Smurfs 2, Jessie J is doing Kick-Ass 2 and Lana Del Rey crooned all over The Great Gatsby.
Digital Spy has shuffled through our movie soundtrack playlist to revisit some of the big tunes, and see who stands up and who falls down years on.
Bryan Adams - '(Everything I Do) I Do It for You' - WORST!
We're not averse to a bit of Bryan Adams given the right circumstances. However, his Springsteen-lite brand of stadium rock works much better when he quickens the pace (see: 'Run to You', 'Summer of '69'). Nevertheless, this power ballad spent 16 weeks at number in the UK in part thanks to its association with the third best Robin Hood movie (after Errol Flynn's and the one with the fox).
Whitney Houston - 'I Will Always Love You' - BEST!
The signature Whitney tune, and further proof that Kevin Costner had the magic touch when it came to '90s movie soundtracks. Lifted from The Bodyguard, this was a true crossover smash with box office cash registers ringing and more than 45 million soundtrack albums sold. We're still waiting for the inevitable Ryan Gosling/Rihanna remake.
Leona Lewis - 'I See You' - WORST!
As if slogging through James Cameron's near-3-hour FernGully/Dances with Wolves sci-fi spectacular wasn't difficult enough, it's all capped off with a snoozy ballad by Leona Lewis. 'Bleeding Love' this is not, and it had us all running for the exits and a much-needed bathroom break.
Bryan Adams/Rod Stewart/Sting - 'All for Love' - WORST!
Like some kind of Justice League of middle-aged dad rockers, this Three Musketeers ballad saw Bryan Adams, Sting and "old tart" Rod Stewart uniting in a bid to recapture the commercial success of Adams's Robin Hood anthem. The video has to be seen to be believed, as awkward pally "banter" quickly shifts to a performance where our rock 'n' roll Musketeers are each seemingly demanding 33.33% of close-up screen time each.
Aerosmith - 'I Don't Want to Miss a Thing' - BEST!
A worldwide chart-topper for US rockers Aerosmith, this Diane Warren-penned tune soundtracked global destruction in Michael Bay's 1998 blockbuster. The song - and video, complete with emotional Liv/Steve Tyler hand-touch - is pure cheese from start to finish, but somehow we still love this karaoke staple.
Vanilla Ice - 'Ninja Rap' - WORST!
Vanilla Ice briefly ascended to superstar status in the early '90s and even found time to appear in sequel Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Secret of the Ooze. In a case of blatant movie/soundtrack synergy, he even performed his 'Ninja Rap' as the half-shelled heroes kicked butt/executed a perfectly-choreographed dance. It's as bad as it sounds...
Ray Parker Jr - 'Ghostbusters' - BEST!
Even though the video for this Ghostbusters hit is showing its age quite badly (what's with RPJr as a creepy spectral intruder?), it's almost possible not to think of the '80s comedy classic and recall this song. With a celeb cameo-stuffed video and instantly catchy lyrics, this propelled itself to a three-week stint atop the Billboard chart in 1984.
Celine Dion – 'My Heart Will Go On' - WORST!
A repeat offender when it comes to bloated running times and soundtrack singles, James Cameron captained Titanic to 11 Oscars and a then-record-breaking box office haul in the late '90s. You couldn't go five minutes back in '97/'98 without hearing Celine Dion's caterwauling. It hit number one on 26 different charts around the world, although strangely Japanese and New Zealand music fans never took to it - in like a bullet at 34 in both countries.
Berlin - 'Take My Breath Away' - BEST!
Memories of a fresh-faced Tom Cruise will come flooding back when the opening bars of Berlin's mega-hit chime in. A number one in both the UK and US, this was actually one of two big smashes from Top Gun. Kenny Loggins's 'Danger Zone', remember?
Wet Wet West - 'Love Is All Around' - WORST!
This ubiquitous ballad from Four Wedding and a Funeral seemed unmovable from the UK charts in 1994, spending 15 consecutive weeks in the number one spot. By the end, it was driving everyone up the wall, and it's somehow apt that Marti Pellow's band covered The Troggs's classic. If we were to describe this version in one word, it would most definitely be wet.
What movie soundtrack singles do you love and loathe? Leave your comments in the space below!