Best Song – 1983

Official Nominations: What A Feeling. Maniac. Over You. Papa, Can You Hear Me. The Way He Makes Me Feel.

A solid list this year, though a lower number of movies represented with Flashdance getting two nominations (and the official win) and Yentl following with two. What A Feeling, as cheesy and outdated as it is, seems to have the ability to make anyone want to dance and writhe around on a chair. Possibly weld too. It has everything I love in 80s pop, the atmospheric synth combined with a yearning, insta-catchy melody. The same can be said for Maniac, except that the former is much more inspirational. Papa Can You Hear Me is a sweet, tortured ballad – I’d rather hear someone else sing it, than listen to Streisand’s lungs. Streisand belts out another one in The Way He Makes Me Feel, but it lacks the emotional power of the other entry – it has to be a truly great song with Streisand performing for me to enjoy it at all as her voice is too theatrical and leaves me cold. Our final entry is from Tender Mercies – Over You – but it may as well be Streisand again, a non-starting ballad belted out with zero emotion.

My Winner: What A Feeling

The Number Ones: Irene Cara's “Flashdance… What A Feeling”

My Nominations: What A Feeling. Maniac. Easy Money. On The Dark Side. Tender Years. Every Sperm Is Sacred. Holiday Road. After The Fall. Push It To The Limit. Turn Out The Night.

Two songs make it to my list. I could pick several from Meaning Of Life but let’s go with the obvious – I think if there’s one thing The Academy needs to nominate, it’s more songs about masturbation, especially those sung in front of/performed by children. Every Sperm Is Sacres is not only funny, but a decent tune too.

Easy Money is a funky Billy Joel theme song to a Rodney Dangerfield movie. There’s not a lot to it, but it’s a lot of fun and performed with over-the-top pizzazz. On The Dark Side is from the forgotten Eddie And The Cruisers – one of those films where the soundtrack was more successful than the movie. It’s pure inspirational Springsteen, though it gets more and more cheesy as it goes on. Tender Years, from the same movie, should be the cheesier song but it’s better and the emotion feels honest.

Holiday Road from Vacation makes me think of station wagons and, for some reason, Christmas. I think it’s because it feels like a Gary Glitter song. It’s fun, but not a lot to it. After The Fall is a lower tier 80s anthem, appearing in Risky Business, good enough to deserve a nomination here. Push It To The Limit is so 80s you can taste the cocaine – fast paced guitar and synth, gruff, yet high-pitched vocals, and lyrics about limits/zones. It even seems to rip off The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly. Turn Out The Night is more of the same from Scarface, this time with Amy Holland providing the vocals. Again – synth, atmosphere, melody.

My Winner: What A Feeling.

Let us know your winners in the comments!

One thought on “Best Song – 1983

  1. John Charet February 7, 2023 / 11:14 pm

    Yeah, there is really no right or wrong choice in this one 🙂

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