Albums of the ’80s: Vision Quest Soundtrack

One of the many great things about the ’80s was all of the awesome movie soundtracks. Vision Quest had a great one. My friend Doug McCoy from the podcast McCoyCast will be covering the movie in an upcoming episode of his “Never Seen It” series. You should check out his podcasts. There are a few series. There are the “Crazy Creepy Cool Movies” episodes. Doug does a great job reviewing movies that are crazy, creepy, cool, or all of the above. They are all movies from the late-70s throught the ’80s that he saw as a kid. They are movies that are usually a little out of the mainstream. For example, the last episode was the Ringo Starr movie Caveman.
Never Seen It” is another great series. In these episodes, Doug and his wife, Heather, review movies mainly from the ’80s. The hook here is that one of them had never seen it, and the other has. The latest episode was Witness. They do an awesome job, and I love the podcasts.

As I said, Doug and Heather will be reviewing Vision Quest. They had done an episode on Days of Thunder, and I sent Doug a message letting him know that I loved the soundtrack to that movie. I was listing off the songs, and one of them was a really good song by John Waite called “Deal For Life“. I love that song, but I told him that I do like his song “Change” from Vision Quest better. Then I said, “Oh, that would be a good podcast if one of you guys haven’t seen it”. Apparently, one of them hasn’t seen it, so we’ll be getting a Vision Quest episode.

Okay, I think I’m done rambling for now. So let’s go Return to 1985, and listen to the Vision Quest soundtrack.

1. “Only the Young” by Journey

The album starts with the song that played during the opening credits of the movie. Journey is one of my all time favorite bands, so this was my favorite song from the soundtrack. There is an incredible history to this song that some of you may or may not know. “Only the Young” was originally recorded to be on the band’s Frontiers album in 1983. However, it was left off and replaced with “Back Talk” and “Troubled Child”. It all worked out. This song was released a single in 1985 for the Vision Quest soundtrack, and became a big hit.
Here is the interesting story about this song. The first person to ever hear the song (other than the band members) was sixteen-year-old Kenny Sykaluk of Rocky River, Ohio, who was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis. His mother wrote a letter to the band telling them about her son’s terminal condition, and how big a fan he was of Journey. The band flew to his hospital bedside in Cleveland, Ohio at the request of the Make a Wish Foundation. Along with a Walkman containing the new track, the band also brought Kenny a football helmet signed by the San Francisco 49ers (Journey is based out of San Francisco) and an autographed Journey platinum record award. The experience of playing the song for Kenny left Steve Perry and Jonathan Cain deeply affected. Perry said, “As soon as I walked out of the hospital room I lost it. Nurses had to take me to a room by myself.” On the band’s episode of VH1’s Behind the Music, Cain broke down in tears recalling the event, remarking that “children should not have to live with that kind of pain”. Kenny died the next day, with the Walkman still in his hand. The song brought life into perspective for the band and left them humbled. Neal Schon said that Kenny’s death affected Journey by making them re-evaluate the issues that were causing friction inside the band itself. In honor of Kenny Sykaluk, the band used the song as their opener for the Raised on Radio Tour.

2. “Change” by John Waite

This is one of my favorite songs by John Waite. A few years ago, I went to a Journey concert, and John Waite was one of the opening acts. He played this song, and it still sounded great.

3. “Shout to the Top!” by The Style Council

This was never one of my favorite songs on the soundtrack. I like it a little more now. But, with so many other great songs on this soundtrack, I usually skipped this one.

4. “Gambler” by Madonna

At this point, Madonna had just become one of the biggest stars on the planet, coming off her Like a Virgin album. This is one of two songs she recorded for this soundtrack. We all know the other song she did, but this one is pretty good too.

5. “She’s On the Zoom” by Don Henley

This isn’t a bad song if you’re a Don Henley fan. It kind of feels like a ’50s Rock & Roll song.

6. “Hungry for Heaven” by Dio

I love Dio!! This is such a great song. I miss Ronnie James Dio. This song just flat-out rocks, and is perfect for this movie.

7. “Lunatic Fringe” by Red Rider

This is another rocker. I like Dio better though. The local rock station played this song to death. I think they actually still play it a lot. So I got sick of it. It is another song that does fit in well with this movie.

8. “I’ll Fall in Love Again” by Sammy Hagar

The Red Rocker rules!! I love this song too. This was also released on Sammy’s great Standing Hampton album, which came out several years before he joined Van Halen.

9. “Hot Blooded” by Foreigner

One of the most overplayed songs in rock history.

10. “Crazy For You” by Madonna

This was the movie’s love theme, and was the highest charting single from the album. There was a little controversy surrounding this song. What?!?! Controversy surrounding Madonna?!? Unheard of!! Well, Madonna was innocent in this. What happened was the soundtrack for Vision Quest was produced by Geffen Records. However, this came out in the middle of Madonna’s Like a Virgin album run. Like a Virgin was produced by Warner Bros. Records. Warner Bros. did not want “Crazy for You” to be released as a single because they felt that it would take attention away from Like a Virgin album. However, they were finally convinced to allow the single to be released. It all worked out, as both the song and her album were smashing successes.

I hope you enjoyed this soundtrack. And don’t forget to check out McCoyCast at, or go to iTunes to download and/or subscribe to the podcast.

7 thoughts on “Albums of the ’80s: Vision Quest Soundtrack”

  1. Love “Only The Young,” and I LOVE that story!

    “Crazy For You” is the only Madonna song I have. I may get “Material Girl” someday, but if I had to pick just one, I picked correctly.

    My local classic rock station played “Lunatic Fringe” so much, it’s been more than ten years since I heard it and I’m still going to skip it. I’ll listen to the rest of the soundtrack throughout the weekend, though.

    This is a movie I always kind of wanted to see. Found a library nearby that has a copy on VHS, so I think it’s time to go get it.


    1. I didn’t really listen to Lunatic Fringe again – just the opening guitar riff.
      I haven’t seen the movie in years, but I do remember that it was good. I was going to try to watch it on Amazon Prime today, but it’s not available.


  2. Hey! To help you with the timing of this vs. Madonna’s Like A Virgin album, this soundtrack came out closer to the beginning of the release of the Virgin LP singles, and CFY was an active part of her rise to superstardom that came with the Like A Virgin album. Crazy For You was released in the middle of the singles released from Virgin.

    I remember being blown away by Crazy For You because it was Madonna’s first release that was a ballad… until then, she had well proven that she could rule dance pop, but this showed a side of her voice that was a nice surprise. I liked her up until this point, but I was enamored with her after this release.


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