The time of our lives: Oscar's original song winners in the '80s
Tonight's Academy Awards features one of the smallest (and, sorry, lamest) lineup of original songs in recent Oscar memory. Just two nominations, which if you want to look at the bright side, means that Man or Muppet and Real in Rio have 50-50 odds of winning.
In the '80s, of course, things were different. And by that, I mean "better." Here are the 10 Oscar winners for Best Original Song in the 1980s, along with the other tunes nominated. You decide if the right song won. (I'll add my vote at the end of each year.)
1980 winner: Fame from the movie Fame.
Also nominated: People Alone from The Competition; Out Here On My Own from Fame; On the Road Again from Honeysuckle Rose; Nine to Five from Nine to Five.
My vote: I'd have picked On the Road Again ... or at least argue that the wrong Fame song won.
1981 winner: Arthur's Theme (Best That You Can Do) from Arthur.
Also nominated: Endless Love from Endless Love; For Your Eyes Only from From Your Eyes Only; The First Time It Happens from the Great Muppet Caper; One More Hour from Ragtime.
My vote: Hard to beat Christopher Cross here.
1982 winner: Up Where We Belong from An Officer and a Gentleman.
Also nominated: How Do You Keep the Music Playing? from Best Friends; Eye of the Tiger from Rocky III; It Might Be You from Tootsie; If We Were In Love from Yes, Giorgio.
My vote: Really tough year, but I'd have picked It Might Be You.
1983 winner: Flashdance (What a Feeling) from Flashdance.
Also nominated: Maniac from Flashdance; Over You from Tender Mercies; Papa, Can You Hear Me? from Yentl; The Way He Makes Me Feel from Yentl.
My vote: The academy got it right for sure.
1984 winner: I Just Called to Say I Love You from The Woman in Red.
Also nominated: Against All Odds (Take a Look at Me Now) from Against All Odds; Footloose from Footloose; Let's Hear It for the Boy from Footloose; Ghostbusters from Ghostbusters.
My vote: We all love Stevie Wonder, but this song is borderline criminal (even if the movie is a bit of a guilty pleasure). Phil Collins or either Footloose song would have been a much wiser choice.
1985 winner: Say You, Say Me from White Nights.
Also nominated: The Power of Love from Back to the Future; Surprise, Surprise from A Chorus Line; Miss Celie's Blues (Sister) from The Color Purple; Separate Lives from White Nights.
My vote: Another very tough choice. I'd say at the very least, the wrong song from White Nights won.
1986 winner: Take My Breath Away from Top Gun.
Also nominated: Somewhere Out There from An American Tail; Glory of Love from The Karate Kid, Part II; Mean Green Mother From Outer Space from Little Shop of Horrors; Life in a Looking Glass from That's Life!
My vote: The right song won but no harm if Glory of Love had stolen it.
1987 winner: (I've Had) The Time of My Life from Dirty Dancing.
Also nominated: Shakedown from Beverly Hills Cop II; Cry Freedom from Cry Freedom; Nothing's Gonna Stop Us Now from Mannequin; Storybook Love from The Princess Bride.
My vote: Yeesh, I'm just not a Dirty Dancing fan. And while I'd love Nothing Gonna Stop Us Now, I can't imagine the academy ever handing out a Oscar with the word "Mannequin" on it. (Sorry, Andrew McCarthy.)
1988 winner: Let the River Run from Working Girl
Also nominated: Calling You from Bagdad Café; Two Hearts from Buster.
My vote: Great tune by Carly Simon, but against that weak competition, even Madonna could have won this year.
1989 winner: Under the Sea from The Little Mermaid.
Also nominated: After All from Chances Are; Kiss the Girl from The Little Mermaid; I Love To See You Smile from Parenthood; The Girl Who Used To Be Me from Shirley Valentine.
My vote: Hand to god, I've never seen Little Mermaid. So I'd lean toward Randy Newman's song from Parenthood.