TGJ Replay: The ‘Dreamgirls’ Soundtrack

Published: Saturday 27th Dec 2014 by Rashad
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After a lengthy break on the bench, ‘TGJ Replay’ is back!

Designed much like our ‘Retro Rewind’ and ‘From the Vault’ features, ‘Replay’ is That Grape Juice‘s latest retrospective segment to act as a written quest, if you will, to re-spin the gems and jams of yesterday.  Unlike its ‘Rewind’ and ‘Vault’ predecessors, ‘Replay’ looks to dust off and showcase entire albums (and eras) from a library of pop and Urban pop music hits.

As this month brings with it the 8th anniversary of the ‘Dreamgirls’ motion picture soundtrack, we thought there would be no better time than the present to ode this amazing collection of new and revamped tunes.  Tuck in below for more on one of the most celebrated soundtracks of all time…

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Late 2005 brought with it news that an all-star African American cast was on board to remake the prized 1981 Broadway hit ‘Dreamgirls.’  A tough adaptation to create given the show’s impact on pop culture at its height, singer/actor/comedian Jamie Foxx, singer/actor/comedian Eddie Murphy, pop megastar Beyonce, ‘American Idol’ finalist Jennifer Hudson, and Tony award winning actress Anika Noni Rose were tapped to bring the award-winning play, loosely based on the rise of Diana Ross & the Supremes, to the big screen for its first wide release.

The pressure to create a sonic body of work worthy of being deemed the play’s revamped successor was met when production group The Underdogs signed on to helm the film’s accompanying soundtrack. Reworking the stage edition’s signature tunes ‘Move,’ ‘Dreamgirls,’ ‘It’s All Over,’ and more, the album also listed four original tracks absent from the Broadway play (‘Listen,’ ‘Love You I Do,’ ‘Patience,’ and ‘Perfect World’).  While fans were thrilled to see the newest musical endeavors of chart toppers Jamie Foxx and Beyonce, it would be the lesser known ‘American Idol’ gem, Hudson, who would steal the show with her stirring rendition of the show’s most memorable number ‘And I Am Telling You’ (originally performed by Jennifer Holliday).

Talk about a knock out!

Packed with powerhouse vocal displays and wrapped with a gripping, testimonial delivery, early screenings of the film were flooded with reports that audiences were literally responding with standing ovations to the scene in the movie theater!  Quickly met with Oscar buzz of Oscar, the performance and subsequent release of ‘And I Am Telling You,’ though not cited as the “first official single” of the set, kicked interest in the film into overdrive.

While it made its way to the R&B singles’ chart top 20 (where it would peak at #14), elsewhere, the movie would dominate box offices as its Columbia Records-backed soundtrack would gear up to use its star player’s contribution to the film as its official first single.

Enter Beyonce’s ‘Listen’:

Like Hudson, Beyonce lent what many would argue is her best recorded vocal performance to date.  An emotional affair exhibiting a depth displayed in dearth from the diva’s prior recordings, ‘Listen’ would lead Bey to her latest notch on the Hot 100 and R&B songs (peaking at #61 and #23 respectively).

With the buzz of its action packed cast and on the wings of ‘Telling,’ the soundtrack would storm the Billboard 200 to make a modest #20 debut with 92, 000 sold.  By the time the film began its full on domination of the box office competition, its success would be reflected not only there but in soundtrack sales as well.  With 68,000 sold in its fifth week of availability, the album would be hoisted to the perch of the Billboard 200.  Marking the lowest number of albums sold to hold the #1 spot (a record later broken by Taylor Swift), the critical acclaim that accompanied the release would help it maintain its grip on Billboard album charts’ upper ranking well into 2007.

As expected, award season 2007 was greeted with ‘Dreamgirls’ fever.

A critical shoo-in for film industry top honors, the set’s only original single ‘Listen’ would land a Golden Globe nomination (but lose to Prince). Later welcoming 8 overall nods at the year’s Academy Awards, the soundtrack would dominate monopolize mention in the ‘Best Original Song’ category with three nominations for ‘Love You I Do,’ ‘Patience,’ and ‘Listen.’ Losing there as well, fans cried “foul” for the absence of honors bestowed to the soundtrack, but were redeemed when Hudson walked away with the ‘Best Supporting Actress’ Oscar for her role as “Effie.”

The real “winners” of the night were showcased when the film’s leading ladies joined other cast members to lend a rocking ode to the celebrated soundtrack.

Released in December 2006, the album would not be eligible for Grammy recognition until the 2008 ceremony where it received ‘Best Compilation Soundtrack Album’ and ‘Best Song from a Motion Picture, Television, or Visual Media’ nominations, winning the latter.

The win would only help stall the album’s descent down Billboard 200 as it maintained a notable stance on the tally lasting well into 2008.

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If ever there was a time casting directors got it absolutely right on every front, ‘Dreamgirls’ the motion picture and its soundtrack would be it.  Even Murphy and Foxx, who received less notoriety than their female counterparts, rendered solid performances via their solos ‘Jimmy Got Soul’ and ‘When I First Saw You’ respectively.

Unveiled in an era where megasoundtracks (a la ‘Saturday Night Fever,’ ‘The Bodyguard’) were believed to be dead and done, a megawatt composite of talented gents and gems would prove otherwise.

As we at TGJ HQ press play on our jam ‘Heavy Heavy,’ ease on down and tell us:


Your thoughts?

Comments 15

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  1. truth (icki is on the radio cryn cause THEPINKSHIT Flippidy flipidy FLOP!!! December 27, 2014

    NOCKI BOUGHT HER OWN CDS HONEY!!! SHE ONLY SOLD 4500 INTERNATIONALLY..KIO!!!

    • Anne December 27, 2014

      According to Billboard her final US actual sales tally was under 200k. I think it was 194k. The HDD numbers are not final. Billboard uses Neilson Sound scan. So although HDD had over 200k as her sales, she actually fell short. With streaming though her first week was over 250k.

      • truth (icki is on the radio cryn cause THEPINKSHIT Flippidy flipidy FLOP!!! December 28, 2014

        Thank u love.. 🙂

  2. MISHKA December 27, 2014

    My favourite got to be “We’re the weavegirls and we’re gonna just-for-me youuuu” lmaooo Toddrick Hall killed that parody!

    TGJ you better handle him the TGJ award for best youtuber, he’s the best hands down plus his show on MTV starts in a few weeks.

  3. JOHNVIDAL December 27, 2014

    Anything to hype Beyonce. Damn it Sam´s obsession has to be hard to handle 🙂
    I don´t remember this movie slaying box office lists? I suppose it was a moderate success in the USA, and stop it there. Also, “Listen” has to be one of the most generic and vocally unimpressive ballads ever released by a superstar that is supposed to have a great voice (meaning hers is not too especial in case you didn´t got it 🙂 ). And that is like her only ballad as a single in her whole career.

    Now let me be nice: Beyonce is in a very nice place now, she took the risk her career was asking for (after basic catalogue claims) and with her last album she really pushed herself artistically, it´s her best album as a whole piece. We´ll see what she does next, just don´t release ballads as singles cause you don´t have it like that girl 🙁

    • Anne December 27, 2014

      You forgot about Halo and If I Were A Boy. Irreplaceable is mid tempo but it’s another good vocal performance. In general it is true that her strongest ballads were not radio releases. She can blow when she wants to though. Those who listen to her albums as a whole (not just the radio stuff) and also the live performances would be most aware of her abilities.

      • omarion baby mom December 27, 2014

        He said in her recordings PRIOR to listen. Halo and if i were a boy came after Listen

      • JOHNVIDAL December 28, 2014

        The only ballad, real ballad, those that amazing singers used to release in the 80s and 90s Bey has ever released is Listen, those others (Halo) are not as demanding the way they are built. She has a great voice. But not comparable to the people I´m thinking about, not special enough to realease real ballads as singles and make the world fall in love with her with just the voice.

    • Anne December 28, 2014

      He (Johnvidal) said “in her whole career.” That’s what I was responding to because it’s incorrect.

  4. Suicide Blonde December 27, 2014

    Tuck in below for more on one of the most celebrated soundtracks of all times.
    I stopped reading at this, this movie nor soundtrack are not memorable, maybe for Beyoncé fans but that’s it, this is really a fansite, LMAO.

    • JOHNVIDAL December 28, 2014

      It´s not memorable musically, it didn´t have any special impact (other than in beyonce´s fans world like you say) and it is not even especially successful. Like most people around the globe don´t know about this soundtrack. Making it seem like this can compete with the huge soundtracks in history is a tragedy.

  5. Anne December 27, 2014

    ‘Listen’ is my favorite on the list, but I like the duet version of ‘When I First Saw You’ by Beyoncé and Jamie even more.

  6. Dossome December 27, 2014

    I’m always here for TGJ replay articles by Rashad but this one is just typical stanning with absolutely no objectivity…Going as far as ranking it up there with the likes of Saturday Night Fever and Bodyguard soundracks is totally reaching.Listen sounds cute but IMO just a poor man’s I HAVE NOTHING

    • JOHNVIDAL December 28, 2014

      It´s hilarious…

  7. Dev December 28, 2014

    I liked I am changing over listen anytime, tbh, listen only sounded good to me when it was duetted with Alexandra Burke as it brought some life and soul to a basically bland sung by numbers ballad. The Film was alright but the 5 heart beats was better

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