Art of the Real 728x90 Film Comment Film Society of Lincoln Center

Trivial Top 20 (expanded to 50): The Most Indelible Songs from 1980s Films

By Film Comment

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Rocky IV, Rocky punches Draco

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1. Eye of the Tiger Survivor, Rocky III, 1982
2. Call Me Blondie, American Gigolo, 1980
3. Don’t You (Forget About Me) Simple Minds, The Breakfast Club, 1985
4. (Flashdance) What a Feeling Irene Cara, Flashdance, 1983
5. Cat People (Putting Out the Fire) David Bowie, Cat People, 1982
6. Arthur’s Theme (Best That You Can Do) Christopher Cross, Arthur, 1981
7. Ghostbusters Ray Parker Jr., Ghostbusters, 1984
8. (I’ve Had) The Time of My Life Bill Medley & Jennifer Warnes, Dirty Dancing, 1987
9. Purple Rain Prince, Purple Rain, 1984
10. Into the Groove Madonna, Desperately Seeking Susan, 1985
11. The Power of Love Huey Lewis and the News, Back to the Future, 1985
12. Take My Breath Away Berlin, Top Gun, 1986
13. 9 to 5 Dolly Parton, 9 to 5, 1980
14. A View to a Kill Duran Duran, A View to a Kill, 1985
15. Holiday Road Lindsey Buckingham, National Lampoon’s Vacation, 1983
16. Up Where We Belong Joe Cocker & Jennifer Warnes, An Officer and a Gentleman, 1982
17. We Don’t Need Another Hero Tina Turner, Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome, 1985
18. Flash Queen, Flash Gordon, 1980
19. When Doves Cry Prince, Purple Rain, 1984
20.  St. Elmo’s Fire (Man in Motion) John Parr, St. Elmo’s Fire, 1985
21. I Just Called to Say I Love You Stevie Wonder, The Woman in Red, 1984
22. Xanadu Olivia Newton-John & ELO, Xanadu, 1980
23. Oh Yeah Yello, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, 1986
24. Maniac Michael Sembello, Flashdance, 1983
25. Crazy for You Madonna, Vision Quest, 1985
26. To Live and Die in L.A. Wang Chung, To Live and Die in L.A., 1985
27. Live to Tell Madonna, At Close Range, 1986
28. Weird Science Oingo Boingo, Weird Science, 1985
29. Wind Beneath My Wings Bette Midler, Beaches, 1988
30. Let the River Run Carly Simon, Working Girl, 1988
31. Fame (I Want to Live Forever) Irene Cara, Fame, 1980
32. Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now Starship, Mannequin, 1987
33. For Your Eyes Only Sheena Easton, For Your Eyes Only, 1981
34. Footloose Kenny Loggins, Footloose, 1984
35. Axel F Harold Faltermeyer, Beverly Hills Cops, 1984
36. Fight the Power Public Enemy, Do the Right Thing, 1989
37. I’m Alright Kenny Loggins, Caddyshack, 1984
38. Let’s Hear It for the Boy Deniece Williams, Footloose, 1984
39. Titles Vangelis, Chariots of Fire, 1981
40. Absolute Beginners David Bowie, Absolute Beginners, 1986
41. She’s Like the Wind Patrick Swayze, Dirty Dancing, 1987
42. It’s So Easy Willy DeVille, Cruising, 1980
43. Goonies ‘R’ Good Enough Cyndi Lauper, The Goonies, 1985
44. Who’s That Girl Madonna, Who’s That Girl, 1987
45. The Neverending Story Limahl, The Neverending Story, 1984
46. This Is Not America David Bowie & Pat Metheny, The Falcon and the Snowman, 1985
47. If You Were Here Thompson Twins, 16 Candles, 1984
48. Highway to the Danger Zone Kenny Loggins, Top Gun, 1986
49. Together in Electric Dreams Philip Oakley & Giorgio Moroder, Electric Dreams, 1984
50. Magic Olivia Newton-John, Xanadu, 1980

Contributors: Chris Chang, Travis Crawford, Scott Foundas, Leah Giblin, Kent Jones, Glenn Kenny, Laura Kern, Michael Koresky, Olaf Möller, Mark Olsen, Oliver Père, Nicolas Rapold, Michael Robinson, Jonathan Romney, Gavin Smith, David Zuckerman