Thursday, November 21, 2013

1984 - The Golden Age of Soundtracks?

This post follows up a previous post that posed the same question for 1985.  In 1984, 20 singles reached the #1 spot on the Billboard Hot 100. Of those 20, seven came directly from movie soundtracks.  That's 35%, slightly higher than the 33% of 1985 (9 of 27).

Kenny Loggins
#1 for three weeks, Mar 31 - Apr 14 
from the movie Footloose
"Against All Odds (Take A Look At Me Now)"
Phil Collins
#1 for three weeks, Apr 21 - May 5
from the movie Against All Odds

"Let's Hear It For The Boy"
Deniece Williams
#1 for two weeks, May 26 - June 2
from the movie Footloose
"When Doves Cry"
#1 for five weeks, July 7 - Aug 4
from the movie Purple Rain.

Ray Parker, Jr.
#1 for three weeks, August 11-25
from the movie Ghostbusters
"Let's Go Crazy"
Prince and the Revolution
#1 for two weeks, Sept 29 - Oct 6
from the movie Purple Rain

"I Just Called To Say I Love You"
Stevie Wonder
#1 for three weeks, Oct 13 - 27
from the movie The Woman in Red

As far as the number of weeks that a soundtrack single topped the Billboard chart, 1984, with twenty-one weeks, easily bests 1985's fourteen weeks. Looking at those numbers, 1984 wins in terms of quantity, but I'm going to give the subjective edge to 1985 in terms of quality. 

Of these 7, my favorites are "Footloose" and "Let's Go Crazy".  I've never seen Against All Odds or The Woman in Red, but I watch Footloose fairly regularly - "I thought this was a party. LET'S DAAAANCE!"

Other soundtrack hits from 1984 that didn't make the top spot include:
  • "I Can Dream About You" by Dan Hartman from Streets of Fire  (peaked at #6)
  • "Twist of Fate" by Olivia Newton-John from Two of a Kind (#5)
  • "Almost Paradise" by Mike Reno & Ann Wilson from Footloose (#7)
  • "Breakin'... There's No Stopping Us" by Ollie & Jerry from Breakin' (#9)
  • "Dancing in the Sheets" by Shalamar from Footloose (#17)
  • "On the Dark Side" by John Cafferty & The Beaver Brown Band from Eddie & The Cruisers (#7)
The winner of the Oscar for Best Original Song at the 57th Academy Awards was "I Just Called To Say I Love You."


  1. Can't wait for further annual reviews of soundtrack singles.

    Interesting how you included four Footloose singles but only two of the higher charting quartet of songs from Purple Rain: both the title track and "I Would Die 4 U" went Top 10. The album won Best Original Song Score at the same Oscar ceremony as Wonder won for his single. Sure, the movie sucked but the musical performances captured on film and on record remain among the best ever bar none.

    You are better off not seeing The Woman In Red and Against All Odds but tell me you liked Streets Of Fire?

    1. I didn't intentionally snub Purple Rain, I just browsed this list and it didn't include the other tracks. It will probably upset you to learn I haven't seen Purple Rain since 1984.

      A Rock N Roll Fable! Streets of Fire is hilariously campy. I enjoy it greatly and Diane Lane is yummy. Bonus points for casting Elizabeth Daily.

    2. I haven't watched the movie in it's entirety since 1984 either. But I cue up the HD-DVD occasionally and skip to the good stuff:

      Chapter 1 - "Let's Go Crazy"
      Chapter 2 - "Jungle Love"
      Chapter 10 - "The Beautiful Ones"
      Chapter 18 - "Computer Blue"
      Chapter 19 - "Darling Nikki"
      Chapter 24 - "The Bird"
      Chapter 25 - "Purple Rain"
      Chapter 26 - "I Would Die 4 U"
      Chapter 27 - "Baby, I'm A Star"

      And as far as Streets Of Fire goes, you might have shown up for Diane Lane and E.G. Dailey but you stayed for Rick Moranis and Ed Begley Jr. I bet. Pretty sure you were unimpressed by Jim Steinman's epic opening and closing themes from the movie. They are among my favorite songs of all time and the movie is one I watch at least monthly, sometimes weekly. Probably watched it at least a couple hundred times. Martin is probably typing up the review of the soundtrack album now - it was released in May 1984, exactly a week before Graduation.

    3. Herc, now now...I am not that far ahead on my blog. May is still a ways away for me, working-wise. However, I have reviewed that soundtrack already - Martin's View: Streets of Fire (soundtrack)

  2. No Purple Rain since 1984? *gasp* I like having the DVD so I can jump right to the musical performances.