Whether you lived through it or still remain living vicariously through the 80’s, one cannot dispute that the individuality, quirkiness and extreme innovation that was the 80’s skyrocketed us to a the world we all live in today.
It was a decade pioneered in colors, gadgets, film, music, charity, tragedy, politics and change. It was a time to take in all the bottled up creativity from the blah of the 70’s and release an explosion that still resonates today.
We thought we would take this opportunity to pick ten of the greatest movie songs from the 80’s. Before all you self-proclaimed critics out there start shouting away, remember this is only one opinion, but we would welcome all thoughts through the comment section.
Get ready for this journey back in time because when this baby hits 88 MPH….You know.
#10. (Tie) Crazy for You – Madonna (Vision Quest) / Glory of Love – Peter Cetera (Karate Kid II)
Every great movie needs a true emotional love song to bring the connection of the main characters together.
Interesting fact about Glory of Love – This song was originally written for the movie Rocky IV, but when passed on for that film it was picked up for the Karate Kid sequel.
Now, sit back and think about the first time you were in love and enjoy this flashback to 80’s romance.
#9. Purple Rain – Prince (Purple Rain)
This is one of the most powerful rock ballads of the 80’s if not ever. It backs so much emotion that you cannot help but get caught up in this song.
#8. Danger Zone – Kenny Loggins (Top Gun)
Kenny Loggins was the king of 80’s theme songs so choosing one from him is a true challenge. With I’m Alright from Caddyshack and Footloose a close second, we went with Danger Zone. Strap on your gear, break out your favorite Tom Cruise and Val Kilmer poster and let it ride.
#7. Power of Love – Huey Lewis and the News (Back to the Future)
What trilogy defined the 80’s more than any other. Yes Back to the Future. Led by Michael J. Fox and Christopher Lloyd, this memorable series fixed the speed limit 88 MPH into our minds forever.
#6. St. Elmo’s Fire – John Parr (St. Elmo’s Fire)
This coming of age drama from many of the brat pack members gave us our first look at life after college. This movie by Joel Schumacher took the next step in the evolution of adulthood that began with the Breakfast Club. The song was written by David Foster, but not originally for this film. It was inspired by a Canadian athlete who was paralyzed and traveling the world in his wheelchair to raise awareness. The “wheels in motion” do not refer to the wheels on the jeep owned by Demi Moore’s character in the movie, but actually the wheels on a wheelchair.
#5. Against the Odds (Take a Look at Me Now) – Phil Collins (Against All Odds)
It is reported that Collins wrote the song a few years earlier for his first wife who had left him. It would win the Grammy for Best Male Pop Vocal Performance in 1985.
#4. Eye of the Tiger – Survivor (Rocky II)
This song was written at the request of Sylvester Stallone specifically for this movie. The phrase was used by the “Apollo Creed” character to describe what “Rocky” was missing when he lost his title. The song became hugely popular and was also featured in the very beginning of Rocky IV in 1985. It hit #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 in July of 1982 and stayed there for 6 weeks in a row. This is the second song from Survivor on this list and both are from Rocky films.
#3. Everybody Wants to Rule the World – Tears for Fears (Real Genius)
A special extended edit of this song is featured during the ending credits and in the final scene of the movie as popcorn has overflowed from the house of “Prof. Jerry Hathaway” and “Lazlo” drives off with his prizes. It was originally released on the Songs from the Big Chair album making it one of only three songs in the top 10 not to be first released on the movie soundtrack. It hit #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 in June of 1985
#2. Don’t You Forget About Me – Simple Minds (The Breakfast Club)
The Brat Pack. Need we say more. Clearly one of the essential defining songs of the decade, this song is featured as the gang leaves the Saturday detention and head their separate ways. Judd Nelson’s character throws his fist into the air as it fades to black and this great song continues through the ending credits. This song hit #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 in May of 1985. It was written by Keith Forsey who also wrote another popular 80s movie song called “Flashdance… What a Feeling.”
#1 – In Your Eyes – Peter Gabriel (Say Anything)
Here is a prime example of when a song plays such an important role in a film. This song blares from the boom box held above the head of “Lloyd Dobler” at a key moment in the movie. The song had not been chosen yet when they filmed this scene, so a song by the group Fishbone is actually being played during filming and would later be dubbed over with “In Your Eyes.” Two years ago, Entertainment weekly did a ranking of the Top 25 most romantic scenes in film in the last 25 years and that that scene was #1