The Boogie Nights soundtrack features funky hits, soul singles, and provocative numbers.
Though it only had a 15 million dollar budget, the Paul Thomas Anderson film grossed over 43 million in 1997. The movie follows Eddie Adams’s chaotic rise and fall in the 1970s adult film industry in California.
Check out the Boogie Nights soundtrack below.
Table of Contents
- Intro (Feel the Heat) – John C. Reilly and Mark Wahlberg
- Best of My Love – The Emotions
- Jungle Fever – Chakachas
- Brand New Key – Melanie
- Spill the Wine – Eric Burdon and War
- Got to Give It Up, Part 1 – Marvin Gaye
- Machine Gun – Commodores
- Magnet & Steel – Walter Egan
- Ain’t No Stoppin’ Us Now – McFadden & Whitehead
- Sister Christian – Night Ranger
- Livin’ Thing – Electric Light Orchestra
- God Only Knows – The Beach Boys
- The Big Top (Theme From “Boogie Nights”) – Michael Penn, Patrick Warren
Intro (Feel the Heat) – John C. Reilly and Mark Wahlberg
“Baby don’t you know, my heat will move your soul.” The film features Mark Wahlberg’s character “Dirk” and his buddy Reed (played by John C. Reilly) recording a song of theirs in a studio. Though some fans have lovingly called the song “atrocious,” rap artist Eminem later sampled the tune for one of his own.
Best of My Love – The Emotions
As the first few scenes of Boogie Nights plays out on screen, fans are introduced to the main characters while ‘Best of My Love’ can be heard in the background. The opening scenes are centered around a ’70s-style disco club where adult film industry mogul Jack Horner catches the attention of busboy Eddie Adams.
Jungle Fever – Chakachas
Written by pianist and composer Bill Ador, ‘Jungle Fever’ ended up being the Chakachas’ most famous hit. Though many European radio stations banned it due to its overly-sexualized sound design, US markets put it on rotation. The tune plays in Boogie Nights when adult film director Jack Horner picks up his protege Eddie Adams from a nightclub.
Brand New Key – Melanie
One of the main characters in Boogie Nights, simply known as “Rollergirl,” is played by actress Heather Graham. Throughout the story, a casual relationship develops between her and the main character, busboy-turned-adult-film-sensation Eddie Adams. As they lay in bed together at their boss Jack’s apartment, Melanie’s tune ‘Brand New Key’ is featured.
Spill the Wine – Eric Burdon and War
Musician Eric Burdon would only stay with the band War for about two years. But during that time, the group released one of their most notorious singles, ‘Spill the Wine.’ The title is a slang term used for illicit activities and plays during a scene in Boogie Nights featuring a work-and-play meeting between characters while relaxing poolside.
Related: Check out our list of alcohol songs.
Got to Give It Up, Part 1 – Marvin Gaye
As busboy Eddie Adams becomes more in-demand as an adult film star in the ’70s, his personal life gets upgraded. While Marvin Gaye’s sexually-charged 1977 hit ‘Got to Give It Up, Part 1’ plays in Boogie Nights, Adams shows off his new home and fancy new car to his friends.
Related: Hear this song on our list of feel-good songs.
Machine Gun – Commodores
Adult film star Dirk Diggler (formally known in the Boogie Nights movie as busboy Eddie Adams) rises to instant fame, and tabloids take notice. As he parties in a club, reviews highlighting high praise for his latest film performance are read aloud. While he celebrates his latest success, the Commodores’ ‘Machine Gun’ plays in the background.
Magnet & Steel – Walter Egan
Known as Walter Egan’s only big hit, Fleetwood Mac’s Stevie Nicks recorded the song’s vocals and helped with the lyrics. ‘Magnet & Steel’ plays as adult film star Dirk makes his way to a ceremony with his colleagues and wins quite a few awards for his sexy on-camera performances.
Ain’t No Stoppin’ Us Now – McFadden & Whitehead
In the 1970s, a notable movement in America was known as the “Philadelphia Soul Sound.” Gene McFadden and John Whitehead worked at a popular record company on behalf of other artists but had visions of breaking out with their own original material. When they finally got that chance, they were inspired to write ‘Ain’t No Stoppin’ Us Now.’ The song plays during a party scene in the 1997 cult classic film Boogie Nights.
Related: This song is one of the best songs about victory.
Sister Christian – Night Ranger
Eddie Adams sees success early in the 1970s adult film industry. But as the money rolls in, the hard-living ways of the industry begin to take over his life. As Night Ranger’s ‘Sister Christian’ is featured in Boogie Nights, he’s with his friends at a house participating in a drug deal with a pretty good payday.
Related: Listen to more songs about sisters.
Livin’ Thing – Electric Light Orchestra
It has long been speculated what ELO’s ‘Livin’ Thing’ is really about. From politics to religion, the theme of love lost is ever-present at the heart of the tune. Band leader Jeff Lynne accidentally let it slip one time in an interview that he wrote it after a nasty bout with food poisoning. The song plays as the end credits roll for Mark Wahlberg’s ’90s film Boogie Nights.
Related: You can also find this song on the Cruella soundtrack.
God Only Knows – The Beach Boys
Featured during a montage of scenes as the main characters of Boogie Nights experience different life changes, surf rock group The Beach Boys’ song ‘God Only Knows’ was written by band member Brian Wilson as he explored his own spiritual transformation. This was one of the first songs that transitioned the band to more mature songwriting material.
Related: This song made it to our list of the best songs of all time.
The Big Top (Theme From “Boogie Nights”) – Michael Penn, Patrick Warren
A sorrowful composition serving as foreshadowing for what’s to come in Mark Wahlberg’s film Boogie Nights, composer Michael Penn wrote ‘The Big Top’ specifically for the controversial movie. It plays as the film opens up and a bustling nightclub comes into focus. Using a pipe organ in the introductory piece gives the creation a baroque-type feel.