MORE

The 12 Best Songs in '80s Movies

The 12 Best Songs in '80s Movies

For many of us Generation X and Y-ers, much of our adolescence can be directly linked back to '80s cinema. Thanks to writers and directors like John Hughes, '80s teen movies were accurate depictions of suburban (non) happenings. Furthermore, the '80s were a special time in film history thanks to movies' soundtracks.

Sure, sometimes it dawns on us, now twenty years later -- usually when we catch a rare late-night cable-friendly showing of our former favorite '80s flick on TBS or when someone decided to remake Footloose -- how downright corny most of the dialogue and song montages were, but we appreciate them just the same. Here are some of our favorite songs in '80s movies.

12. Bananarama, "Cruel Summer," from The Karate Kid: Because getting jumped by a herd of karate-fighting, skeleton costume-wearing black-belt assholes makes for a cruel summer, indeed.

The 12 Best Songs in '80s Movies

11. Psychedelic Furs, "Pretty in Pink," from Pretty in Pink: Serving as the inspiration for John Hughes' 1986 film of the same name, the song was rerecorded for the movie's soundtrack; it originally appeared on the Psychedelic Furs' 1981 album, Talk Talk Talk.

10. Prince, "Partyman," from Batman: Prince's entire 1989 album Batman doubles as the soundtrack to the Tim Burton movie. "Partyman" is particularly memorable, appearing in the scene during which Joker dances through the art gallery defacing artwork.

The 12 Best Songs in '80s Movies

9. O.M.D., "If You Leave," from Pretty in Pink: Because it's impossible not to feel excited flutters and memories of Pretty in Pink's Andie and Blane kissing in the rain to this song.

8. Lindsey Buckingham, "Holiday Road," from National Lampoon's Vacation: The Fleetwood Mac guitarist wrote the song for this 1983 comedy; it later became one of Buckingham's most successful singles as a solo artist, reaching #82 Billboard's Hot 100. Fans of the movie will know the track also reappears in National Vacation sequels including 1985's European Vacation and 1997's Vegas Vacation, as the soundtrack to Clark's recurring roadtrip run-in with dream girl, supermodel Christie Brinkley.

7. The Bangles, "Hazy Shade of Winter," from Less Than Zero: The Bangles covered this Simon and Garfunkel tune for 1987's film adaptation of Bret Easton Ellis' L.A./drug-centric debut novel, Less Than Zero -- and we dare to say their version nearly trumps the original...but the film adaptation of Ellis' book? Not so much.

6. Gerard McMann, "Cry Little Sister," from The Lost Boys: The recurring musical theme of Lost Boys, the track is a memorable, eerie standout for any '80s kid. The entire Lost Boys soundtrack is worthy of a mention; INXS and Echo & the Bunnymen also recorded tracks for the 1987 album.   5. Peter Gabriel, "In Your Eyes," from Say Anything: The soundtrack to the hopelessly-romantic Say Anything scene responsible for raising every girls' expectations of a guy, however unfortunately unrealistic.

4. Thompson Twins, "If You Were Here," from Sixteen Candles: I doubt there's a girl in the world who doesn't feel some wistful romantic nostalgia within seconds of hearing this song. The mere idea of kissing Sixteen Candles' dreamy "bohunk" Jake Ryan is enough on its own; this Thompson Twins' tune only sweetens the daydream.

3. Tears 4 Fears, "Everybody Wants to Rule the World," from Real Genius: One of our favorite movie scenes ever, this song plays during Real Genius' hilariously memorable laser/popcorn scene.

2. Cyndi Lauper, "Goonies 'R' Good Enough," from The Goonies: We shamelessly admit this track remains on our iPod's heavy rotation, 20+ years after its inclusion in 1985's pre-teen classic The Goonies. The song itself is wildly catchy, but its ability to conjure any memory of The Goonies is its icing on the cake.

1. Simple Minds, "Don't You (Forget About Me)," from The Breakfast Club: The most poignantly placed song of the bunch, there's not a '80s-loving soul out there who doesn't identify with this track in some way -- whether you're a brain, an athlete, a basket case, a princess, or a criminal...


Sponsor Content

Newsletters

All-access pass to top stories, events and offers around town.

Sign Up >

No Thanks!

Remind Me Later >