Best soundtracks of the '80s? Tell us your favorites
The best soundtracks of the '80s -- it's a list that has eluded mankind for far too long. But its time has come.
I spent the weekend doing laps around Lake Itopia and was amazed how my iPod kept spitting out classic tunes from soundtrack after soundtrack, thus defeating the unwritten rule that I don't stop my workout until a bad song comes on over my sweaty little headphones. (All I can say is, thank you Wham for saving me from a heart attack.)
For some reason, I kept hitting repeat on the Gary Myrick song Time To Win from Valley Girl, which plays when Randy and Julie make out in the back seat of the car the first night they meet. And it's not even the best tune on the soundtrack. (What is? That's up for debate too, but I'm leaning toward A Million Miles Away by the Plimsouls. Heck, any song by the Plimsouls.)
So here's the drill. Leave a comment with your favorite soundtracks of the '80s. You can name as many as you want, but let me know if one stands above the rest. A couple of rules too. The soundtrack must have actually been released either on vinyl, cassette or CD, though not necessarily during the '80s, and it doesn't have to still be in print. Soundtracks with '80s songs are going to rate higher than soundtracks with songs from previous decades. (Sorry, Big Chill fans!) Here are some obvious candidates.
VALLEY GIRL (1983): Perfectly captures the KROQ radio sound of Southern California in the '80s with bands the rest of the country hadn't heard yet. Josie Cotton, Sparks, the Plimsouls and many more. Of course, it also houses the most overplayed song of the '80s, Melt With You by Modern English.
PURPLE RAIN (1984): An obvious frontrunner. It won every award in the book. We've all committed it to memory. And it was far better than the actual movie. But it would have been better had the soundtrack actually included the tunes by Morris Day, Apollonia 6 and the Modernaires.
SIXTEEN CANDLES (1984): A-ha! A tricky one, since the original soundtrack only featured six songs from the film. (But hey, you can buy a copy autographed by Molly Ringwald on eBay for only $200.) If they ever release a complete soundtrack, this would be a contender thanks to Spandau Ballet, Oingo Boingo, the Vapors and more.
PRETTY IN PINK (1986): Yes, of course John Hughes movies are going to dominate this list, because he put more thought into the music than perhaps any director before or since. Again, the soundtrack -- Echo and the Bunnymen, OMD, New Order, the Smiths -- is maybe better than the film.
REPO MAN (1984): Bet you didn't see that one coming. Hey, every pick can't be a Hughes movie. And give a little love to the film that honored Black Flag, Suicidal Tendencies and the Circle Jerks. Very intense. But remember, "a repo man spends his life getting into tense situations."
Add your favorites and let's band out the authoritative list of best '80s soundtracks.