Half of the joy of this post (or, seven-eighths of the joy, if you don’t like my writing) comes from enjoying these fondly-remembered songs in music videos, and subsequently from getting the songs stuck in your head for the rest of the day. That means you RSS readers and e-mail subscribers will miss out on at least fifty percent of available joyousness unless you visit the post.
5) TIE: “The Transformers Theme” (Lion) and “You’ve Got the Touch” (Stan Bush) – Transformers: The Movie
“The Transformers Theme”
If Michael Bay had the ounce of sense to tack this song onto the opening credits of the 2007 live-action version of Transformers, the adrenaline alone might have fooled me into thinking I had enjoyed the film. But he didn’t… and I did not.
Seriously. This song makes me want to go fight a giant robot. Or go hit something. Really, really hard. Or at least wildly wave the sign of the devil in the air. You know what I’m saying. This song effing rocks.
“You’ve Got the Touch”
Not even Marky Mark’s rendition of this song in Boogie Nights can tarnish its memory in the hearts and minds of geeks everywhere.
And I am not at all prone to hyperbole. Much.
“You’ve Got the Touch” accompanies the scene in which Optimus Prime, leader of the Autobots, valiantly and single-handedly saves Autobot City from the dastardly Decepticons… subsequently dooming himself to a dramatic death at the hands of Megatron. (I’m not ashamed to tell you… I cried. When I was ten years old. So shut up.) At the climax of the movie, the song appears again, to signal the miraculous rise of new Autobot leader Rodimus Prime… who valiantly and single-handedly saves everybody from the planet-eater, Galvatron.
Death and rebirth, people. Frigging poetry. Let’s see Michael Bay try to string together a plot device like that. I think not.
4) “Ghostbusters” (Ray Parker Jr.) – Ghostbusters
This high-spirited “anthem” is practically an 80s dance song, except that it evokes images of the Ghostbusters kickin’ ass, plowing through New York City in Ecto 1, toasting some Marshmallow Man, and getting frigging parades thrown in their honor.
So go ahead. Join the crowds in yelling the Ghostbusters name in adulation. Ray Parker Jr. would want it that way.
Who you gonna call?
3) “You’re the Best Around” (Joe Esposito) – The Karate Kid
There’s nothing like a rockin’ anthem to get you pumped up for the climactic, final confrontation of the movie. And to convince you that a gimpy kid from New Jersey named Daniel Laruso is, indeed… the best around.
Or, at least, one of the better-than-average around, who knows a few tricks (if you consider the crane kick “tricky”) and can thereby maybe get lucky and squeak by with a win. But, you get the point. Joe Esposito’s super-rockin’ point.
2) “The Power of Love” (Huey Lewis and the News) – Back to the Future
“The power of love… it’s a curious thing. Make one man weep… make another man sing.”
From God’s lips, to my ears.
Yes. I believe I just called Huey Lewis, “God.” Do you not remember the “Sports” album?
Ok, so he’s not God. He’s just the Jesus of catchy song lyrics.
1) “Flash’s Theme” (Queen) – Flash Gordon
Leave it to Queen to produce an anthem so rousing that you forget that the song is actually about some cheesy dude with a bad haircut and even worse acting skills in a glorified B-movie.
Reader Paul points out an oversight on my part:
Honorable Mention: “Highlander Theme” (Queen) – Highlander