Official Nominations: I Just Called To Say I Love You. Take A Look At Me Now. Footloose. Lets Hear It For The Boy. Ghostbusters.
We’re deep into the 80s now – just look at these songs, every one was a hit, every one is still played today and everyone knows them. Probably only two of them are recognisable from their respective movie today, but these are all still significant movie songs in their own right. I can’t complain about any of these being the winner – I Just Called To Say I Love You is the official choice and it’s one of my favourite Stevie Wonder songs. Most of his fans disregard this one but as I’m not a huge fan of his I don’t fall into that category. I just like good cheese. Likewise, I’m not a fan of Phil Collins, but I do like Take A Look At Me Now (or Against All Odds as it is correctly named). Footloose and Lets Hear It For The Boy I can’t say I really like but they’re both a lot of cheesy 80s fun. My winner then is the most iconic song of the bunch, at least in terms of movies. Everyone knows Ghostbusters – who ya gonna call, and all that. Even so, I’m not a massive fan of the song – I like it, who doesn’t – but I have to pick it as the winner.
My Winner: Ghostbusters
My Nominations: I Just Called To Say I Love You. Take A Look At Me Now. Footloose. Lets Hear It For The Boy. Ghostbusters. The Heat Is On. You’re The Best. Young Hearts. Feel The Night. Cruel Summer. See Me In The Mirror. Love Came For Me. Sorcerer. Nowhere Fast. Breaking Like The Wind. Stonehenge.
This is when we get into that realm of 80s movies and hit songs going hand in hand. It honestly seems like every worthwhile movie released this year, and in this era, had an accompanying hit song or songs. If they couldn’t manage a hit song, they likely had a hit piece of theme music – see Beverly Hills Cop. Not happy with having a hit theme, Beverly Hills Cop also had a hit song in The Heat Is On – you already know it, and now that I’ve made you remember it you’ll be going ‘wow ooh wow oh, wow ooh wow oh’ all day.
The Karate Kid is littered with hits and 80s monstrosities – the biggest one being ‘You’re The Best’ – another inspirational anthem that you can’t help but love. Young Hearts is pretty dreadful on its own, but once again it works well within the confines of the movie. The same goes for Feel The Night. Cruel Summer ended up being one of Bananarama’s biggest hits, debuting in The Karate Kid.
It’s fair to say Alice Cooper was a bit of a mess in the 80s, recording several bad albums that he has zero recollection of. He also popped up in a number of horror movies and contributed songs to them. He wrote two songs for the Italian cult horror movie Monster Dog, and while they are far from his best, they are stronger than most of his early 80s output. Identity Crisis is a slice of fun but See Me In The Mirror is a darker ballad of the type Cooper was an expert at writing – again far from his best, but a vital curio. Many people would say that the most important soundtrack of this year was Purple Rain. And yet, I’ve never been a Prince fan. At the time his music always seemed too 80s to me, too samey, too reliant on the same rhythms and synth sounds. My opinion hasn’t really changed over the years though I’m aware I’ve only heard a fraction of his work. As such, I’m struggling to find a song from the movie I actually enjoy. Just to annoy you further, I’ll add another slice of stinking cheese in Love Came For Me from Splash. Come at me!
Lets keep things going with the bizarre Streets Of Fire – Nowhere Fast is a decent attempt at some sort of rock/pop opera thing while Sorcerer is a more simple atmospheric ballad. Next we land on The Terminator with a few songs lurking in the background and hitting that weird mix of techno and rock that was around for a few years in the decade – Burning In The Third Degree has a crap verse but great chorus. Most of the other tracks aren’t worth mentioning. For This Is Spinal Tap, really any of the songs could make an appearance but I’m already ripping the arse out of it – my favourites being Break Like The Wind and Stonehenge, but really the entire album rips to shreds everything that was, and is, so laughable and terrible about 80s hair metal. For anyone still reading… I think we’re done here. I think we know Ghostbusters is the winner, but I’m the contrarian.
My Winner: You’re The Best
Let us know your winner in the comments!
My top favorites of those you listed are:
“Love Came For Me” from Splash (it really is a lovely ballad)
“Cruel Summer” from Karate Kid (probably the best song in my opinion in 1984 . . . and sadly not nominated).
Other than these two, I also liked Frank Sinatra’s “All of Me” from the Steve Martin / Lily Tomlin comedy of the same name (not eligible as original song . . . but a classic played during the end credits helped tie up the movie perfectly).
It seems like every movie in the 80s had to have at least two hit songs accompanying, means a lot of unofficial nominees from me!
One choice you forgot was Iggy Pop’s theme to Repo Man, which reminds me that you might have overlooked Repo Man for Best Picture 🙂 Nevertheless, your choices are great 🙂