Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Top 10 Songs ...

written specifically for movies.

From this point out, this week - all posts I make are going to be related to movies and music from them. I am attempting to get under some kind of schedule for posting and to not be so random and happenstance. So without further....blah blah blah

In the 80s, movie soundtracks were a way to take the movie with you after you left the theater. We didn't have portable DVD players or iPhones so we had to have a way to remember what we just saw and nothing did that better than a soundtrack. soundtracks were BIG business in the 80s and every pop star worth a damn clamored to get on any and all soundtracks possible.

Here is my list of Top 10, well top 12 songs written specifically for a movie not songs that were used in movies (All Along the Watchtower (Jimi Hendrix) - The Watchmen). Not all of these are from the 80s but as time has gone by, soundtracks aren't the big business they used to be.


Who's Johnny (El Debarge) - Short Circuit
This song and video captured the absolute spirit of the movie. They were both fun and playful and El's vocals worked out wonderfully for the song. Great campy movie and an even campier song.


Gangsta's Paradise (Coolio featuring LV) - Dangerous Minds
Whether it was being terrified that LV was going to just give out of a heart attack or Coolio looking a little dangerous, there was something about this video that worried me. I think that had a lot to do with setting the stage for the song and the message that was being delivered.


Footloose (Kenny Loggins) - Footloose
The first video in my countdown by the Master of Soundtracks, Mr. Kenny Loggins. Again, a song that captures the spirit of the movie completely. This song will always get my foot a tappin when it comes on.


Nightmare on My Street (Dj Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince) - Nightmare on Elm Street
The juxtaposition of the faux horror feel and the silliness of previous outings by Jeff and Will complimented each other perfectly. I thought there was an actual video released for this song, but I guess I was mistaken. And this is a perfect example of how every artist was getting on any soundtrack possible.


Invincible (Pat Benetar) - The Legend of Billie Jean
Fair is Fair! The raw emotion and power fueling this song could only be generated by Pat Benetar. In a movie about doing the right thing, her vocals and take no prisoner attitude are just what this soundtrack needed.


We Don't Need Another Hero (Tina Turner) - Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome
As soon as you hear this song you are immediately transported to a post-apocalyptic world where you have to fight for everything you have and what's precious to you. Not her first foray in to the world of soundtracks, Tina gives this song everything she's got.


Don't You Forget About Me (Simple Minds) - The Breakfast Club
Playing over the ending credits, there could be no better way to bring this movie to a close. After spending a day bearing your soul and pouring your guts out to perfect strangers, there is nothing more important than being remembered. This song not only brought the movie to a close but it's the song that brought my own high school career to a close. Maybe one day, I'll tell you all about it.


Danger Zone (Kenny Loggins) - Top Gun
Our second entry by Mr. Loggins. Again, every feeling you need to experience in this movie is summed up in 3 minutes. With this song, you are pushed right to the edge and dared to look down. It's fast, furious and fulfills a desperate need for speed!


The Never-Ending Story (Limahl) - The Never-Ending Story
Atreyu, Bastion, Falcor, the Rock Biter - they are all here and will always be here in this theme song. Limahl, better known as one half of Kajagoogoo, totally sells this song for everything he can get out of it and then gets more.


Rainbow Connection (Kermit the Frog) - The Muppet Movie
I dare you to not have some form of emotion while listening to this song.

Very Honorable Mentions

(The Goonies R') Good Enough (Cyndi Lauper) - The Goonies
They are good enough. This video is ca-razy. Roddy Piper, Classy Freddy Blassie, The Fabulous Moolah, The Iron Shiek, Nikolai Volkav all make cameos along with Cyndi and Capt. Lou and the cast of the movie. How can you not love this song/video.

I've Had the Time of My Life (Bill Medley & Jennifer Warnes) - Dirty Dancing
Just an amazing song for an amazing movie.


  1. I love how since Lou Albano was Cyndi Lauper's manager, all kinds of bizarre wrestler cameos were in her videos.

  2. What no Man in Motion by John Parr, Glory of Love by Peter Cetera?? Not to mention Blaze of Glory by Bon Jovi.

  3. So many parts of my life can be measured by film and music. Each of the songs you've shown here, in association with the films they were developed for, are like a timeline of my life. They span a time that stretches from my childhood, into my teen years, on through to my high school graduation, and entry into college... technically, adulthood. Ugh.

    Thanks for the flashback to the most formative years (and decade, lol) of my life. I will always associate Rainbow Connection to the simplicity and purity of childhood. Don't Forget About Me will always be my anthem for equality in the ranks of high school. And Good Enough will always be my "I'm okay with the way I am" anthem, sort of a "screw you" to Don't Forget About Me. Considering that those two films came out the same year, it's very representative of the emotional roller coaster we experience during those precious but painful years.

    Awesome list, my friend! And thank you for reconnecting me with these old friends of film and music.