No decade combined music and movies quite like the ’80s. Sure, the 1960s has a handful of songs still used to signal ‘the ’60s, maaaan’, and the 1990s produced some classic soundtracks. But try to imagine any John Hughes film without the new wave hits that accompanied them. Or Ghostbusters without Ray Parker Jr.’s theme song. Or Michael J Fox skating through Hill Valley without Huey Lewis crooning about ‘The Power of Love’. And shoot, don’t even get us started on Purple Rain.
Suffice to say, an ’80s movie can’t be considered a true ’80s movie if the soundtrack isn’t banging. But what are the absolute best songs from ’80s movies? Everyone has their personal favorites: the ones that instantly conjure memories (or at least fantasies) of spraying on Aquanet, throwing on some spandex and heading to the multiplex in your Delorean. Here, though, we present the ultimate, canonical, indisputable ranking of the most radical songs from ’80s movies. And in order to keep it strictly ’80s, we limited the list only to songs actually made in the decade – so no ‘Stand By Me’ or ‘Day-O’, as much as we’d want to include them.
Written by Michael Chen, Brent DiCrescenzo, Andrew Frisicano, Sophie Harris, Oliver Keens, James Manning, Tristan Parker, Amy Plitt, Joshua Rothkopf, Hank Shteamer, Matthew Singer, Steve Smith, Sarah Theeboom and Kate Wertheimer.
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🎘 The 50 best ‘80s songs