1:43 pm - 06/22/2014

You're the Best Around: The Greatest Movie Anthems of the '80s

Thirty years ago, the world fell in love with an upbeat empowerment ballad called “You’re the Best Around.” Like most ’80s movie anthems, “Best” is a song you can’t listen to without immediately thinking of the film or scene it accompanied – in this case, the teen martial arts classic The Karate Kid and its climactic tournament montage. The ’80s was a decade full of movie-song symbiosis, with tracks that may have only been modest hits (if that) but achieved immortality by creating perfect harmony with films. Here are 15 ’80s songs that transport us back to some of our favorite ’80s movie moments.
2.   Michael Sembello, “Maniac” (Flashdance, 1983)
Flashdance's greatest contribution to the zeitgeist is undoubtedly the popularization of breakdancing, which made its mainstream debut in Adrian Lyne’s 1983 fan favorite. But it’s Sembello’s uptempo “Maniac” — and Jennifer Beals’ accompanying hip-sliding dance-moves — that still inspires Flashdance fans to get on the dance floor.

3.   Harold Faltermeyer, “Axel F” (Beverly Hills Cop, 1984)
Has an instrumental movie score ever sounded so cool? Faltermeyer’s synthesized soundtrack gem managed the unthinkable by soaring to the Billboard Hot 100 without a single lyric (even though we always imagine Axel Foley’s laugh reverberating over it while listening).

7. Huey Lewis and the News, “The Power of Love” (Back to the Future, 1985)

Huey Lewis was a ubiquitous presence in ’80s pop music, but the full Power of Lewis reached a peak when Marty McFly skated to the tunes of the News in this time travel classic. The song’s inclusion made for a great in-joke, too, with Lewis showing up in the film as a Battle of the Bands judge who deems McFly’s hard rock cover of the song, “just too darn loud.”

8. Simple Minds, “Don’t You (Forget About Me)” (The Breakfast Club, 1985)
This track from the Scottish rock band Simple Minds was so perfect for The Breakfast Club that John Hughes used it for the opening and closing credits. Of course it packs much more punch when Judd Nelson fist-pumps his way through the football field just before the credits roll; by then we’ve gotten to know the brain, the athlete, the basket case, the princess and the criminal, and we’re not going to forget about them.

13. Bill Medley & Jennifer Warner, “(I’ve Had) Time of My Life” (Dirty Dancing, 1987)

It was choreographer Kenny Ortega — the future director of the High School Musical movies ­— who picked this duet for Johnny and Baby to dance all dirty to in the film’s seminal finale. Would it have even made a bleep had we not always equated it with all those twirls and lifts? Probably, but there’s no way it would’ve been such a huge hit.


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littlehayzay 22nd-Jun-2014 06:49 pm (UTC)
I loved the Bob's Burger's Hugo rendition of that song.
zyuranger 22nd-Jun-2014 06:52 pm (UTC)
I love Mannequin and this song so much.

Also, I love these songs from Pretty Woman.

Edited at 2014-06-22 06:57 pm (UTC)
luckythree3 22nd-Jun-2014 06:57 pm (UTC)
Yes!  I used to get all verklempt when I heard that song.  
sastra_fuss 22nd-Jun-2014 07:13 pm (UTC)
etoile_amore 22nd-Jun-2014 07:58 pm (UTC)
okmewriting 22nd-Jun-2014 08:15 pm (UTC)
Yes! I loved that Starship song so much. Unfortunately the "band" for reasons know only to themselves have released a new version, without the amazing female vocal. It sounds awful. Wasn't expecting to hear that on my hits of the eighties mix.
coeur_racorni 22nd-Jun-2014 08:23 pm (UTC)
Mannequin, YESSSS
browneyedguuurl 22nd-Jun-2014 08:27 pm (UTC)
OMG YAAAAS @ your first choice. I posted before reading and posting that song. Such an underrated gem.
my_moloko 22nd-Jun-2014 08:28 pm (UTC)
omg, I used to watch Mannequin all the time!
cam_a 22nd-Jun-2014 09:12 pm (UTC)
King of Wishful thinking. <3<3<3
ludmi_83 22nd-Jun-2014 09:21 pm (UTC)
yesss mannequin was the best
malhy 22nd-Jun-2014 09:33 pm (UTC)

_amateur 22nd-Jun-2014 09:35 pm (UTC)
OMG Mannequin! YES!
go3x 23rd-Jun-2014 01:07 am (UTC)
I've only seen Mannequin 2: On The Move but that song was used as the end credit song and I love it!

"King of Wishful Thinking" is also my groove back when I was a teen. *sigh* I feel old now.
taecish 22nd-Jun-2014 06:54 pm (UTC)

TECHNICALLY it came out in 1989 not 1990 w/e!

Edited at 2014-06-22 07:01 pm (UTC)
luckythree3 22nd-Jun-2014 06:58 pm (UTC)
The Power of Love gets me all hyped. I should dl it for my workout. 
near_dark 22nd-Jun-2014 07:00 pm (UTC)
Footloose should be #1, otherwise a pretty good list.
arilicious 22nd-Jun-2014 07:47 pm (UTC)
Same, it's one of my favourite songs/movies of the 80s.
I love Kevin Bacon!
jess_sayin 22nd-Jun-2014 09:31 pm (UTC)
ia, footloose pure 80s
shieraseastar 22nd-Jun-2014 07:00 pm (UTC)
came in here just to make sure 'don't you forget about me' was on the list
luckythree3 22nd-Jun-2014 07:01 pm (UTC)
Speaking of Karate Kid, I loved "The Glory of Love" fr the sequal. Basically anything from Chicago and Peter Cetera was gold during the 80s and 90s. 
itsokayimokay 22nd-Jun-2014 07:24 pm (UTC)
I agree

coeur_racorni 22nd-Jun-2014 08:24 pm (UTC)
Oh my word, I'd forgotten about this song! It's so good IDEC
kerrence 22nd-Jun-2014 07:30 pm (UTC)
yesssssss I have no shame about loving this song
browneyedguuurl 22nd-Jun-2014 08:28 pm (UTC)
Great choice. Such a beautiful song.
_amateur 22nd-Jun-2014 09:36 pm (UTC)
I'm so glad my parents made me listen to 80's music growing up. I will always love Chicago.
espressotorte 22nd-Jun-2014 07:02 pm (UTC)
The Pretty in Pink soundtrack <3
cranberryfitch 22nd-Jun-2014 09:08 pm (UTC)
oh my god, YES. i got really into the movie this year and i've listened to the soundtrack so many times recently, it's fucking everything
gypsy_leerose 22nd-Jun-2014 07:02 pm (UTC)

all the rocky songs tbh. i love that saga

fabouluz 22nd-Jun-2014 07:04 pm (UTC)
80's soundtracks are the best! DON'T YOU FORGET ABOUT ME!!!!
prophecypro 22nd-Jun-2014 07:05 pm (UTC)
Back to the Future
(both of their soundtracks for all their movies too)
Partyman from Batman!
tropicalpara18 22nd-Jun-2014 07:06 pm (UTC)
When I was a kid, my best friend at the time and my song was Don't You Forget About Me. I still love it to this day.
sharktoothdecay 22nd-Jun-2014 07:06 pm (UTC)
tessselate 22nd-Jun-2014 07:07 pm (UTC)
lol i just started working on a zine~ that is '80s themed (just for fun) and i made a playlist full of songs that were on teen movie soundtracks etc.
this is the cover

i'm working on a '90s and 2000s one too, but tbh the '80s are my favorite (see icon)
if y'all want a link to the playlist i could post it here too :~)

elstree 22nd-Jun-2014 07:08 pm (UTC)
omg i miss corey haim
tessselate 22nd-Jun-2014 07:10 pm (UTC)
ikr :( how cute is that picture of him too lol like why are there crusty old leaves
zyuranger 22nd-Jun-2014 07:14 pm (UTC)
I thought that was a real mag at first. If you need more songs, I run an '80s-'90s music tumblr.
passerine 22nd-Jun-2014 07:37 pm (UTC)
This is amazing!
war_machine_rox 22nd-Jun-2014 07:40 pm (UTC)
Never cared for Andrew McCarthy

Now Spader otoh

arilicious 22nd-Jun-2014 07:49 pm (UTC)
Love this!
I would totally read!
Can't wait to see your 90s and 2000s ones!
frozenish 22nd-Jun-2014 08:02 pm (UTC)
loooool this is awesome!

I can't stand looking at James Spader's face ever since he had that just fucking awful role in the Office. I know I can't really blame him for that, but I can't look at him without thinking about it and getting angry

lol sorry for the james spader rant but seriously this is great "appetizing adam ant" is cracking me up.
humoresques 22nd-Jun-2014 08:30 pm (UTC)
Please post the mix!
angi_is_altered 22nd-Jun-2014 08:52 pm (UTC)
Your icon and this is perfection.
cranberryfitch 22nd-Jun-2014 09:11 pm (UTC)
Your icon and this is perfection. [2]

i've already told u how much i love your icon lmao, pretty in pink is one of my all time favorite movies and andrew was everything
explodeychik 23rd-Jun-2014 09:41 am (UTC)
Awwww, your icon! ♥♥♥♥♥ !!
elstree 22nd-Jun-2014 07:07 pm (UTC)
excuse me but where is irene cara?

arilicious 22nd-Jun-2014 07:49 pm (UTC)
Agreed, especially the second one.
ludmi_83 22nd-Jun-2014 09:23 pm (UTC)
malhy 22nd-Jun-2014 09:34 pm (UTC)
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