Everything old becomes new again, and right now it seems we're stuck in the '80s. We've got Andie- and Duckie-style fashions crowding the Forever 21, synthy new-wave revival bands like Cold Cave generating buzz . . . even the economy's in the shitter.
Whether we've kept the best or the worst is hard to say, but one thing's for sure: Movies in the '80s had rockin' soundtracks. Instead of using already-popular songs, '80s filmmakers wrote hits for their movies, generating several inescapable #1s. You wouldn't find two movies capitalizing on M.I.A.'s "Paper Planes," as was the case with Slumdog Millionaire and Pineapple Express in 2008. Instead, Huey Lewis and the News would garner their first #1 for "The Power of Love," which was recorded specifically for Back to the Future.
From quirky indie in John Hughes classics or chart-toppers you still hear in the grocery store, here are 10 songs from movies that can't be denied.
10. "Ghostbusters," Ray Parker Jr., from Ghostbusters, 1984.
The song still heard in skating rinks across the country lost the Best Original Song Oscar to Stevie Wonder's "I Just Called to Say I Love You." "I ain't afraid of no ghost" = best line ever.
9. "Million Miles Away," the Plimsouls, from Valley Girl, 1983.
Nic Cage's first real appearance also introduced the world to the Plimsouls through its soundtrack packed with new-wave gems like Josie Cotton's "Johnny, Are You Queer?"
8. "Purple Rain," Prince, from Purple Rain, 1984.
The album that coincides with the film generated three chart-topping singles. It's Prince at his finest.
7. "Blade Runner Theme," Vangelis, from Blade Runner, 1982.
With Ridley Scott signing on to a sequel or prequel of this iconic sci-fi film, perhaps we'll be able to experience a soundtrack as dark and synthy as this one a second time.
6. "Cruel Summer," Bananarama, from The Karate Kid, 1984.
Perfectly captures the ennui of a coming-of-age story.
5. "Don't You (Forget About Me)," Simple Minds, from The Breakfast Club, 1985.
The song that launched a thousand karaoke performances first appeared on The Breakfast Club soundtrack.
4. "The Power of Love," Huey Lewis and the News, from Back to the Future, 1985.
The News' first #1 single was written for the movie. Michael J. Fox's Marty McFly plays the song with his band at a Battle of the Bands audition, and Huey Lewis himself appears as the teacher who tells him they're "just too darn loud."
3. "In Your Eyes," Peter Gabriel, from Say Anything, 1989.
The iconic scene of Lloyd Dobler (John Cusack) holding up the boombox playing "In Your Eyes" spawned a thousand copycat acts (and some very cool Halloween costumes). Cameron Crowe's directorial debut is also set in Seattle.
2. "Highway to the Danger Zone," Kenny Loggins, from Top Gun, 1986.
The video for this song, composed by Giorgio Moroder and Tom Whitlock, has over 15 million views on YouTube. Artists who declined to record the song include Bryan Adams and Toto, leaving Kenny Loggins to take the #2 hit.
1. "Pretty in Pink," Psychedelic Furs, from Pretty in Pink, 1986.
The Psych Furs re-recorded their 1981 single for use in John Hughes' film, which features Molly Ringwald in the best floral and lace ensembles a girl could dream of.
This list could easily run 20 or even 30 songs long, so add your favorite '80s soundtrack in the comments!