Hope Riding High: My Top 10 ’80s Fist-Pumping Movie Songs!

So this has been a big, controversial year full of politics and rage. An election and a rejection. Fights. Fear. A collapsing economy.

I figured out why. It’s simply been too long since we had great, motivating songs in our movies and by extension, surrounding culture! To help out with this problem, I have compiled a list of my top 10 personal ’80s faves, in descending order of awesomeness and life importance. Listen to them and you’ll see – the power is within, dude. Just heed the musical cheerleaders, and discover for yourself.

10. “Iron Eagle” by King Kobra, from “Iron Eagle”

This song does not stand out compared to others as such, but “Iron Eagle” is of course one of the best movies ever made. I can’t make a list about kickass movie things from the ’80s and not represent for “Iron Eagle.” I mean, really.

9. “Dream Warriors” by Dokken, from “Nightmare on Elm Street 3”

I didn’t even see “Nightmare on Elm Street” the original until this year or possibly 2007, but I must have watched this video…I don’t even know how many times. It’s creepy. And I love how Patricia Arquette is always playing people who get followed around and haunted. This video kicked ASS back in the day, as did the song, and it was a predecessor for metal in my future grown-up life. Make of that what you will.

8. “The Heat is On” by Glenn Frey, from “Beverly Hills Cop”

Deer neer neer neer neer, neer neer neer neer neer! Ohoh-ohoh, ohoh-ohoh, tell me can you feel it! I sure can!

7. “You’re the Best” by Joe Esposito, from “The Karate Kid”

This would be higher, but the top seven is a super-tight race, and song-wise, I’d rather listen to the top six. Awesomeness-wise, let’s give it up for THIS:

6. “The Power of Love” by Huey Lewis and the News, from “Back to the Future”

In 1985, my friend Ann Marie saw this movie before me, and spent approximately 15 minutes explaining this song, and all I got from it was this:

“Credit cards and subway turnstiles and Huey Lewis and it’s great.”

I had no idea what she was talking about, or why she and her brother would NOT stop singing or talking about this song.

And then I saw “Back to the Future.” Mind you, I was in utter love with Michael J. Fox, so that he was so connected to a song about the power of love? Well, I was SOLD.

5. “Footloose” by Kenny Loggins, from “Footloose”

Again, I only saw this movie recently, but in all those years, I still understood the magic. “Footloose” makes me feel like my feet have wings and I am flying through meadows of lightning and unicorns and joy.

4. “Burning Heart” by Survivor, from “Rocky IV”

I feel like this song is extremely underrated. Personally, this song was always AWESOME to me. Just great. I saw “Rocky IV” in the theaters and always loved the Rocky movies. IV was my favorite because I thought Dolph Lundgren was really hot and badass. He had that awesome accent. “I must break you.” Woohoo! And if the song is good enough to work out to in Soviet Russia in the freezing cold, it is good enough for me.

But this song – dude. I’m just going to give you the lyrics, ’cause they’re too great to choose from, and I feel a life-kinship to them, and the serious expression on the singer’s face below πŸ˜€

Two worlds collide – rival nations,
It’s a primitive clash – venting years of frustrations,
Bravely we hope against all hope – there is so much at stake
Seems our freedom’s up against the ropes.
Does the crowd understand?
Is it East versus West, or man against man
Can any nation stand alone?

In the burning heart – just about to burst,
There’s a quest for answers, an unquenchable thirst,
In the darkest night – rising like a spire,
In the burning heart – the unmistakable fire

In the warrior’s code – there’s no surrender,
Though his body says stop – his spirit cries – never!*
Deep in our soul a quiet ember,
Knows it’s you against you, It’s the
Paradox that drives us on
It’s a battle of wills, in the heat of attack,
It’s the passion that kills
The victory is yours alone.

*My favorite part πŸ™‚

3. “Danger Zone” by Kenny Loggins, from “Top Gun”

It was very close, this and “Burning Heart,” but they did this song on “Kids, Incorporated,” so. Plus, dude – Kenny Freakin’ Loggins! ‘Nuff said.

2. “Eye of the Tiger” by Survivor, from “Rocky III”

If I have to explain this one outside of why wasn’t it number one, I’m not sure this relationship is going to work out between us.

1. “St. Elmo’s Fire (Man in Motion)” by John Parr, from “St. Elmo’s Fire”

“St. Elmo’s Fire” is far from my favorite movie on this list. But this song has always evoked a visceral reaction from me. There is this amazing urgency to it. The opening line, “Growing up, you don’t see the writing on the wall” gives me chills every single time. The verses are so hushed, like you know the song’s gonna take off, but for now we need to discuss why that is going to be so EXCITING.

And just overall, this song encapsulates the word that matters most to me: hope. It’s about true courage, about fighting, soaring, even after you’ve been seemingly defeated.

You broke the boy in me
But you won’t break the man

Holler to that!

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4 Responses to Hope Riding High: My Top 10 ’80s Fist-Pumping Movie Songs!

  1. Pingback: Intentionally Cheesy Movie Night 21: Like Father, Like Son | judisunshine

  2. Pingback: Intentionally Cheesy Movie Night 14: The Care Bears Movie | judisunshine

  3. I’ll keep the Dokken and the St. Elmo’s Fire….and pay you to take the rest far far awaaaaaaaaayyyyyyy

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