Monday, October 27, 2008

Top Ten Movie Songs of the 80s, Part 1

This list is a part of the inspiration for 'Raised in the 80s": a selection of songs culled from my 'Radical 80s' playlist. I kept listening to them and smiling quietly to myself. There's a groaner or two in the list, but they all make me smile -- some in a genuine way, some ironically.

These are all movie songs. They're not necessarily the theme songs of their respective movies, but maybe they ought to be. As an added bonus, I've tracked down their videos on Youtube. So herewith: The Top Ten Movie Songs of the 80s...

#10. Axel F (by Harold Faltermeyer)
as appearing in 'Beverly Hills Cop'

A generation of kids in the 80s got their first synthesizer and wanted to play this one. A friend of mine figured out how to play it using a touch-tone phone. And twenty years later, it became the Crazy Frog song. I don't know if that says something about the lasting impact of the 80s, or if it just means that everything we make in the 21st century has been hopelessly derivative... [shudder]

#9. The Glory of Love (by Peter Cetera)
as appearing in 'The Karate Kid, part 2'

I promised you a groaner, didn't I? :) Peter Cetera just might be the epitome of 80s schmaltz. If it gets any worse than this, I don't want to talk about it. (Actually, I'll probably someday have to do a 'Ten Worst' list. Any nominations?) 'The Glory of Love' just sounds like the 80s to me. It's got camp value, and it's so bound up with the Karate Kid franchise that it's got to make the movie song list. (While we're on the subject, let's not forget that one of Hilary Swank's first big screen roles was in 'The Next Karate Kid.')

#8. Oh Yeah (by Yello)
as appearing in 'Ferris Bueller's Day Off', 'The Secret of My Succe$s', and a bunch of Twix Commercials
This song doesn't really go anywhere, and it's questionable whether it even qualifies as 'song', but it shaped a decade. I think everyone always wanted to 'borrow' Cameron Frye's father's Ferrari and take the day off school. All you need to do is put your sunglasses on and say "Ooooh Yeah...." And it's Duffman's song, now. Who could ask for anything better?

#7. Flashdance... What a Feeling (by Irene Cara)
as appearing in 'Flashdance'
As far as I can see, this is another groaner, but it's one that needs to make the list. But others will tell me that I don't officially have an opinion on the matter, since I've never actually seen Flashdance. But the song won an Academy Award, so someone thinks it was worth the time...

#6. Danger Zone (by Kenny Loggins)
as appearing in 'Top Gun'
I don't really know if there are any real Mavericks out there any more (I think I've seen a Goose or two), but Top Gun lives in the 'iconic' section of the Encyclopedia Nostalgica. Kenny Loggins also gets honourable mentions for 'Footloose'.

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