Wednesday, November 6, 2013

1985 - The Golden Age of Soundtracks?

In 1985, 27 singles reached the #1 spot on the Billboard Hot 100. Of those 27, one-third came directly from movie or TV soundtracks.  That's 9 soundtrack singles and there's not even any Kenny Loggins on this list!!

"Crazy for You"
#1 for one week, May 11 
from the movie Vision Quest
"Don't You (Forget About Me)"
Simple Minds
#1 for one week, May 18
from the movie The Breakfast Club

Bryan Adams
#1 for two weeks, June 22-29
from the movie A Night in Heaven
"A View to a Kill"
Duran Duran
#1 for two weeks, July 13-20
from the movie A View to a Kill.

"The Power of Love"
Huey Lewis & the News
#1 for two weeks, August 24-31
from the movie Back to the Future
"St. Elmo's Fire (Man in Motion)"
John Parr
#1 for two weeks, September 7-14
from the movie St. Elmo's Fire

"Miami Vice Theme"
Jan Hammer
#1 for one week, November 9
from the TV series Miami Vice
"Separate Lives"
Phil Collins and Marilyn Martin
#1 for one week, November 30
from the movie White Nights

"Say You, Say Me"
Lionel Richie
#1 for four weeks, December 21, 1985 - January 11, 1986
from the movie White Nights

Interesting that the cover for the "Say You, Say Me" single states that it is the title song from White Nights.  Wha?  Wouldn't the title song be titled "White Nights"?  There I go nitpicking again.  Regardless of the song title, "Say You, Say Me" won the Oscar for Best Original Song at the 58th Academy Awards.

For the record, I don't like all of these, just the ones by Madonna, Simple Minds, Huey Lewis, and Jan Hammer.  I've never seen Vision Quest, A Night In Heaven, or White Nights.  Should I bother?

Other soundtrack hits from 1985 that didn't make the top spot include:
  • "You Belong to the City" by Glenn Frey from Miami Vice  (peaked at #2)
  • "The Heat is On" by Glenn Frey (#2), "Axel F" by Harold Faltermeyer (#3), and "Neutron Dance" by The Pointer Sisters (#6) from Beverly Hills Cop. 
  • "When the Going Gets Tough, the Tough Get Going" by Billy Ocean from The Jewel of the Nile (#2)
  • "We Don't Need Another Hero (Thunderdome)" by Tina Turner from Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome (#2)
  • "Rhythm of the Night" by DeBarge from The Last Dragon (#3)
  • "No More Lonely Nights" by Paul McCartney from Give My Regards to Broad Street (#6)
  • "Spies Like Us" by Paul McCartney from Spies Like Us (#7)
  • "The Goonies 'R' Good Enough" by Cyndi Lauper from The Goonies (#10)
  • "Love Theme from St. Elmo's Fire" by David Foster from St. Elmo's Fire (#15)
  • "To Live and Die in L.A." by Wang Chung from To Live and Die in L.A. (#41)
  • "Into the Groove" by Madonna from Desperately Seeking Susan (surprisingly never released as a single)


  1. Yup, 1985 was like a high-water mark for soundtrack singles. Lots of great memories there.

  2. First off, you NEED to see Vision Quest for the three L's: Louden Swain versus Brian Chute, "Lunatic Fringe" and Linda Fiorentino.

    Secondly: 1985 was not the banner year for movies and their accompanying soundtracks as it had been the previous few years. Sure, quite a few soundtrack singles topped the chart but only three soundtrack albums managed the same feat: Purple Rain, Beverly Hills Cop and Miami Vice; the former two were from 1984 movies and the latter was from a TV show that began airing in 1984.

    Thirdly: After consulting BoxOfficeMojo, it turns out there were a few good movies with decent soundtracks in 1985 after all, at least in HERC's opinion: Rocky IV, Fletch, Weird Science, Ladyhawke, the John Cusack double feature of The Sure Thing and Better Off Dead, Krush Groove, After Hours (terrrible movie, great soundtrack though never officially released) and Mischief (featured songs from the 50s yet no album was released).

    Fourthly: Now that you got 1985 out of your system, let's see you shine those big klieg lights on 1984 (7 soundtrack #1s out of 19 total with two #1 soundtrack albums out of just 5 total), 1983 and the best year in music ever, 1982. Those latter two may not have featured many Number One soundtrack singles or albums but they were chock full of great soundtrack albums and singles.

    HERC out.