Top List Thursdays – Top 20 gloriously cheesy 1980’s movie songs – Part 1

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A long time ago, in a movie industry far, far away in the 1980s, films were different. Hair was bigger, explosions were more practical than special and no film would be complete without a generous helping of audio Parmesan cheese on top of it. That’s something that the industry no longer does, and it’s a damn shame. Still, there were plenty of great dairy products woven into those movies, and we’ve selected twenty of the best. Here’s part one.

  • Xanadu – “Xanadu” by Olivia Newton John and ELO

There’s a special place in hell for the worst of the worst that humanity has to offer. It’s a circle of hell reserved for people who stand still on airport moving walkways are subjected to endless loops of Olivia Newton John songs for all eternity. And I’ll be the one person there that is tapping his feet to the delightful Arthurian tune of Xanadu.

  • Footloose – “Footloose” by Kenny Loggins

In a list about the 1980s, you could easily slap down a Kenny Loggins playlist and call it a day. But that would be an injustice to the man himself. K-Log (That’s what I call him in my dreams) ruled that decade, spinning hit after hit like a movie executive laying down lines of cocaine. Here’s just one great example of his cheddar goodness. Expect more.

  • Rocky 4 – “Hearts on fire” by John Cafferty

What? What about Eye of the Tiger, I hear you say? Well here’s the thing, that’s a great song but it ain’t exactly cheesy. It’s low-fat, low in carbs and perfect for when you want to emulate Mr T and do angry pull-ups. Rocky 4 however, had the perfect mix of montage training audio and rock. John Cafferty poured on a thick helping of gouda, as Stallone proved that good ol’ Siberian tundra training can beat Soviet steroids and gym equipment any day of the week.

  • Top Gun – “Highway to the danger zone” by Kenny Loggins

Oh man, the king is back! Kilo-Log pulled out another winner in Top Gun, with a song that is easily played every single time Tom Cruise glanced at a jet. And it never, never got old. It was the perfect mix of solid bass riffs with a dash of synthesized tunes, that would take your breath away each and every time. And possibly make you want to sign up to join the army. Subliminal advertising at its best.

  • Highlander – “Princes of the Universe” by Queen

I was in New York recently, and I did what every fan of swords of Queen should do. Namely, find every spot where Highlander was filmed in that big city. While standing on a bridge, an old man with a Scottish accent who claimed to be Egyptian noticed that I was listening to this specific tune. And according to him, that “senshation that I wash feeling, of a good shong and shome magnifshent lyrics” was the Quickening. Then he robbed me blind, kicked me in the nuts and ran off shouting something about Brooklyn.

  • A view to a kill – “A view to a kill” by Duran Duran

A view to a kill, is quite simply one of the worst Bond films ever made, and that’s saying something when you consider that Moonraker was released in the same decade. While Roger Moore was circling a retirement village by the time his final flick came out, he did so with one high note at least. Actually, several of high notes, thanks to a Gorgonzola-good entrance from 80s icons Duran Duran.

  • Risky Business – “In The Air Tonight” by Phil Collins

Gorilla suits be damned,  this is the one song that you wanted playing in the background if you had any hope of getting lucky that night. With a slower entrance burn than a Pink Floyd song and lyrics about love that were cheesy enough to give you cholesterol, this was a song saved by a solid drum beat. And Phil Colllins pretending be Big Brother in the intro.

  • Caddy Shack – “I’m all right” by Kenny Loggins

Another Killer Loggins song? Hey, I told you the guy was a genius. And with yet another early 80s hit tune, Loggins proved that he was indeed alright, and that nobody needed to worry about him. Unless he was getting ready to drop a Baby Ruth into a public pool that is.

  • Dragnet – “City Of Crime” by Dan Aykroyd and Tom Hanks

I could give a lengthy description as to why rap music was the beginning of older white people attempting to be cool. But as cheesy as that is, nothing is cheesier than seeing one half of the Blues Brothers lay down some phat beats with Forest Gump. Yes, you heard me, Tom Hanks and Dan Akroyd rapping with an effort that was actually damn good. Tom Hanks. Dan Akroyd. Rapping.

  • Bloodsport – “Fight to Survive” by Stan Bush

James wrote a feature on the greatest 1980’s martial arts movie that happened to star Jean Claude Van Damme and a big hairy biker sidekick fighting Bolo Yeung, on Monday. That film had one of the catchiest themes ever, which was the genesis for the this particular Top Week Thursday. And Stan Bush cranked out a masterpiece with Fight To Survive. It’s just such a perfect encapsulation of the entire film, with some truly rocking guitar solos and the most addictive chorus ever.

It’s stuck in your head right now, isn’t it? C’mon, pray to Cheesus Crust and sing it with me. KUMITE! KUMITE! KUMITE! I FIGHT TO SURVIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIVE!

And if you want more cheesy goodness, check out Kervyn’s Part 2 of this article OVER HERE!

Last Updated: January 8, 2018

Darryn Bonthuys

Something wrong gentlemen? You come here prepared to read the words of a madman, and instead found a lunatic obsessed with comics, Batman and Raul Julia's M Bison performance in the 1994 Street Fighter movie? Fine! Keep your bio! In fact, now might be a good time to pray to it!

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