Nowadays it seems like soundtracks are whatever 10 bullshit hip hop songs are popular with the tweeners but back in the ’80’s, these albums were full of songs made just for the movie, and it was most non heinous. From hair metal to Kenny Loggins here’s the top 5 most awesomely cheesy soundtracks.
Defining Song: “Footloose” by Kenny Loggins
Footloose follows the tale of Kevin Bacon trying to free a small town from the puritanical reign of John Lithgow with the power of dance. So, of course, the movie featured a number of songs. The title track by Kenny Loggins is the most famous but there was also the built for montage track of “I’m Free”, the angry dance classic “Never” by Moving Pictures and “Holding Out For a Hero” by Bonnie Tyler.
4. Back to the Future
Defining Song: “Power of Love” by Huey Lewis and the News
Back to the Future’s soundtrack is 1/3 Huey Lewis, 1/3 Alan Silvestri and 1/3 50’s songs. Combined that makes one awesome album. Huey Lewis contributed “Power of Love” and also “Back in Time” which plays over the end credits and basically sums up the movie again, a sign of a great 80’s movie song. Also on the album is Alan Silvestri’s classic score which is epic. Rounding it out you have “Earth Angel” and “Johnny B. Goode” so you can reenact the Enchantment Under the Sea dance. Johnny B. Goode is the original Chuck Berry version so you don’t have the combination of a laughable cover with terrible lip syching like you do in the movie.
3. Rocky IV
Defining Song: “No Easy Way Out” by Robert Tepper
Rocky IV’s soundtrack is amazing because almost every song is from a montage or montage related scene. The stand out is of course “No Easy Way Out” by Robert Tepper which is during the introspective “Rock is Sad” montage where he remembers the good times with Apollo and how much he wants to kill Ivan Drago. Other great songs include “Burning Heart” by Rocky alumni Survivor which is featured in the “Traveling to Russia” scene, “Heart’s On Fire” by John Cafferty which is during the second training montage and James Brown busted out “Living in America” the most ridiculously patriotic song till “America, Fuck Yeah”. Vince DiCola also contributes a synthtastic score.
2. Top Gun
Defining Song: “Highway to the Danger Zone” by Kenny Loggins
Top Gun is remembered for a lot of things, cool call signs, awesome jet action, underlying homo eroticism and a kick ass soundtrack. Leading the charge is 80’s soundtrack master Kenny Loggins with Danger Zone which, rightly so, is played any chance the movie can get. He also contributes “Playing with the Boys” which, combined with the volleyball scene it’s featured in, takes on new levels of meaning today. Also on the soundtrack are the dynamic duo of Harold Faltermayer and Steve Stevens with the “Top Gun Anthem” which combines piano and guitar to create one of the greatest movie themes ever. There’s also Berlin’s “Take My Breath Away” and it’s great keyboard track, “You’ve Lost that Loving Feeling” by the Righteous Brothers and (not featured in the movie) Loverboy’s “Heaven in Your Eyes” for the cheesy love song trifecta.
1. Transformers: The Movie
Defining Song: “The Touch” by Stan Bush
Just listen to the artist’s involved on the soundtrack and decide if it’s cheesily awesome or not; Spectre General, Lion, Kick Axe, NRG, Stan Bush, Weird Al and Vince DiCola. Stan Bush has proven himself to be the master of Transformers related songs and he busted out his first two here with “The Touch” and “Dare”, both amazing. This movie is also not afraid to utilize it’s soundtrack songs as there is a musical interlude every 5 minutes at least. Weird Al contributes “Dare to Be Stupid” which people are still scratching their heads about why it’s in the movie. Kick Axe unleashes some hair metal gems with “Hunger” and “Nothing’s Gonna Stand in Our Way” along with NRG who give us “Instruments of Destruction” (which initated the numerous heart wrenching deaths in the movie). Vince DiCola once again provide a synth powered score and Lion unleashes the “Transfomers Theme” with the power of 100 hair spray bottles.