Wednesday, March 5, 2014

1981 - The Golden Age of Soundtracks?


Not the best year for soundtracks, but not the worse, mainly because of the nine week run at #1 of "Endless Love" in the fall of 1981.  Of the 17 songs to reach the top spot on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in 1981, three songs came directly from a movie soundtrack. I feel a little sorry for Neil Diamond - 3 top Ten singles from The Jazz Singer and none of them made the top spot.  Note: MFD is not responsible for the frightening, horrible pastiche that is the "Endless Love" sleeve art.




"9 to 5"
Dolly Parton
#1 for two weeks, Feb 21 and March 14 
from the movie 9 to 5
"Endless Love"
Diana Ross and Lionel Richie
#1 for nine weeks, Aug 15 - Oct 10
from the movie Endless Love


"Arthur's Theme (Best That You Can Do)"
Christopher Cross
#1 for three weeks, Oct 17 - 31
from the movie Arthur

Click on the year to check out similar soundtrack lists for the following years:

YearNo. of soundtrack #1'sTotal no. of weeks at #1
19813 of 1714
19823 of 1610
19832 of 178
19847 of 2021
19859 of 2714


  • I can tolerate "9 to 5"
  • I can't stand "Endless Love" (never liked it from the get-go although I can sing both parts of the duet if you need it)
  • I can't resist yacht rocker Christopher Cross singing a Burt Bacharach melody.  Soft Rock Kid approved.  "Arthur's Theme" is the only one of these three songs currently in my music collection.

Other soundtrack hits from 1981 that didn't make the top spot include:
  • "Love on the Rocks" by Neil Diamond from The Jazz Singer (peaked at #2)
  • "For Your Eyes Only" by Sheena Easton from For Your Eyes Only (#4) 
  • "Hello Again" by Neil Diamond from The Jazz Singer (#6)
  • "America" by Neil Diamond from The Jazz Singer (#8)
  • "Suddenly" by Olivia Newton-John and Cliff Richard from Xanadu (#20
  • "Believe It or Not" by Joey Scarbury from The Greatest American Hero (#2) 
The winner of the Oscar for Best Original Song at the 54th Academy Awards was "Arthur's Theme (Best That You Can Do)."

 



1 comment :

  1. For me and soundtracks, 1981 is the year of HEAVY METAL. Two #43 singles and a #2 (Journey's "Open Arms" but not until 1982) - not too shabby for a #12 album. You know there's a Donald Fagen track ("True Companion") on it, too, right?

    I did pick up the Endless Love because it had Kiss's "I Was Made For Lovin' You" - my Mom had prevented me from buying their Dynasty album a couple years earlier and I kind of forgot about it until reading the back cover of Endless Love. Also the Arthur single back then, too. And my Dad loved The Jazz Singer soundtrack with my favorite track being "America". My sister bought the "9 To 5" single so I didn't have to - we stretched our music dollars by almost never buying the same stuff. Our tastes were surprisingly close back then but she is hopelessly lost to Top 40 nowadays.

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