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10 Best '80s Movie Songs

The best '80s movie songs are classic hits that share their movie titles, or are ones that simply express the main sentiment of the movie. After all, Rocky's epic fight can't be divorced from the 'Eye of the Tiger' and 'Ghostbusters' will always be referenced with the famous lyric, "I ain't afraid of no ghosts!" Here are the '80s movie songs that represent cult classic films.
'Glory of Love'
Movie: 'The Karate Kid II' (1986)

This movie song was nominated for an Academy Award, a Golden Globe and a Grammy in 1987. The song was originally written for 'Rocky IV,' but after the song was passed on for that movie it was picked up by the producers for 'The Karate Kid, Part II.'

Peter Cetera Glory of Love
Movie: 'Cocktail' (1988)

The song was specifically written for the movie 'Cocktail' and earned a 1988 Grammy Nomination, but lost to Phil Collins' 'Two Hearts' (featured in the film 'Buster'). Although it was recorded in the late '80s, the song has the style of a '60s hit, a decade filled with Beach Boys hits.

The Beach Boys Kokomo
'The Power of Love'
Movie: 'Back to the Future' (1985)

Lewis wrote the song specifically for the Back to the Future series, earning him an Academy Award nomination. The song appears multiple times in the films -- notably when the main character Marty McFly is skateboarding to work as well as when McFly's band performs the tune during a battle of the bands competition (judged by Lewis himself).

Huey Lewis & The News The Power of Love
'Against All Odds'
Movie: 'Against All Odds' (1984)

Appearing in the movie of the same name, the ballad is telling an ex-lover that reconciliation is "against all odds." The song was originally titled 'How Can You Just Sit There?' and was featured on recording sessions for Collins' 1981 debut solo album 'Face Value,' which was written about his first wife.

Phil Collins Against All Odds
'(I've Had) The Time of My Life'
Movie: 'Dirty Dancing' (1987)

This '80s movie song is featured in the final scene of the film 'Dirty Dancing,' where the lovers perform a dance in front of the entire camp. The song won the Academy Award, Golden Globe and a Grammy.

Bill Medley & Jennifer Warnes (I've Had) The Time of My Life
'Take My Breath Away'
Movie: 'Top Gun' (1985)

The song plays during the fight/love scene between the two main characters and won an Academy Award and a Golden Globe in 1987. Jessica Simpson and Diana Ross both covered this tune.

Berlin Take My Breath Away
Movie: 'Ghostbusters' (1984)

Ray Parker, Jr. came up with the idea for this movie song while watching late night advertisements. Although he originally thought there would be no way to include lyrics, he wrote the song as a jingle advertisement promoting the Ghostbusters' services. The song was also part of a copyright infringement claim for sounding too much like Huey Lewis and the News' 'I Want a New Drug.' The dispute was settled out of court.

Ray Parker Jr. Ghostbusters
Movie: 'Footloose' (1984)

Most notably featured in the warehouse scene where Kevin Bacon's character performs a solo dance routine, the song was nominated for an Academy Award but lost to 'I Just Called to Say I Love You' by Stevie Wonder.

Kenny Loggins Footloose
'Don't You (Forget About Me)'
Movie: 'The Breakfast Club' (1985)

The '80s movie song -- which explores the film's theme of people being strangers and then becoming intimate friends -- was first offered to Bryan Ferry and Billy Idol, who both declined. Simple Minds then agreed, although the band is generally dismissive of the song. It has since been featured in various films and television shows that dealt with teenage relationships, such as 'American Pie' and 'One Tree Hill.'

Simple Minds Don't You (Forget About Me)
'Eye of the Tiger'
Movie: 'Rocky III' (1982)

The song was used for 'Rocky III' at the request of Sylvester Stallone. The band originally wanted to call the song 'Survival' because they felt 'Eye of the Tiger' was too cheesy. The song has been extensively featured in sporting events for University of Memphis and Clemson University, and was even parodied by "Weird-Al" Yankovic entitled 'Theme from Rocky XII (The Rye of the Kaiser).'

Survivor Eye of the Tiger
Filed under: Best Songs, Top 10 Lists, Pop

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