The Return to the ’80s Podcast is back! We return in a big way, talking about one of the most iconic ’80s movies. Robert and Paul are joined once again by Marissa (who last appeared on the ’80s Crushes episode). So come cut loose with Return to the ’80s, where dancing IS allowed, and join in on the discussion of this classic movie, and enjoy some great music along the way!
Remember That Song We’ve always had time on our sides
But now it’s fading fast
We’ve got to, we’ve gotta make it last
On the show thirtysomething, what was the name of the company Michael and Elliot owned in the first season?
– Released February 17, 1984
– Made $80 million domestically with an $8 million budget
– Kevin Bacon as Ren McCormack
– Lori Singer as Ariel Moore
– Chris Penn as Willard Hewitt
– Sarah Jessica Parker as Rusty
– John Lithgow as Reverend Shaw Moore
– Dianne Wiest as Vi Moore
– Jim Youngs as Chuck Cranston
– Directed by Herbert Ross
– Written by Dean Pitchford who also wrote or cowrote every song here
– The dancing feet in the opening credit sequence contained many of the cast and crew. Over 150 different pairs of feet were shot. The dancer with the gold shoes was actually Kenny Loggins.
– The scenes where Chris Penn learns to dance were purposely added to the script because he really didn’t know how to dance!
– With the Principal’s knowledge, 24-year-old Kevin Bacon attended the Payson Utah High School as “Ren McCormack”, a transfer student from Philadelphia to get into his role. With his narrow tie and new-wave haircut, he was treated pretty much like in the film. Bacon gratefully left with the location scouts on the afternoon of the first day.
– Pecking order: Wyoming < Nebraska < Illinois
– Opening scene
– Was that kid really sleeping? Reverend Shaw’s sermon
– Psycho? Rebel? You be the judge, while listening to Sammy Hagar’s “The Girl Gets Around”
– What does Robert, who is an English teacher, think of book burning. We’ll give you 1 guess
– “Do you read much?” – Slaughterhouse Five discussion
– Drive-in diner dancing scene Dancing in the Sheets by Shalamar
– Ren pulls into school blaring Metal Health
– They sell men’s clothes where you got that? Ren meets Willard
– We find out dancing is banned
– Ren gets pulled over
– Ariel wants to go to college and get out of that town – “Somebody’s Eyes” by Karla Bonof
– Awesome tractor chicken scene – Holding Out for a Hero by Bonnie Tyler
– Angry dance – Never by Moving Pictures
– Dancing in Bomont is illegal. Underage drinking? Perfectly acceptable
– Look out Moving Pictures! Marissa and Robert perform “What About Me” for the first installment of Return to the ’80s Karaoke
– Ren and Ariel – train scene
– The gyrating in the seats from listening to music caused the car accident that killed Ariel’s brother. ALCOHOL HAD NOTHING TO DO WITH IT!
– Willard can’t dance
– Creepy dude tries picking up high school student, Rusty
– ’80s Movie + Bar Scene = FIGHT!!!
– Shaw and Vi at church – You can lift a congregation up so high they have to look down to see heaven. But it’s the one to one where you need a little work.
– MONTAGE!!!!!! Let’s Hear It For the Boy by Deniece Williams
– Ren teaches Willard how to dance. In every possible place where they can be seen. In a town that does not allow dancing.
– “You’re so stupid!” – Cranston gives Ariel a beatdown
– Ariel gives Ren a bible with verses highlighted for him to use at the town council meeting
– They had it coming! Somebody throws a brick through the window of Ren’s little cousins who helped him teach Willard how to dance
– Town council scene
– There’s nothing like a good ole fashioned book burnin’!
– MONTAGE #2! Setup for the dance – ” I’m Free (Heaven Helps the Man)” by Kenny Loggins
– Pick a winner! The dance begins – kinda. “Almost Paradise” by Mike Reno and Ann Wilson
– Ninja Ren. The climactic fight scene
– Everybody cuts loose!
– Why?!?!? Footloose remake. Well, it’s not as horrible as the Dirty Dancing remake, so there’s that.
Hey Everybody, it’s been a while. I’ve been wanting to do a new Top 40 countdown, which is a popular feature on this site. The wait is finally over! This week, we’ll Return to the week ending September 25, 1982. At this time in 1982, I had just begun my dreaded Junior high school days – 7th grade. The one thing that got me through those rough times was the totally awesome music. So let’s get to it, and Return to the week ending September 25, 1982. Today we will be covering songs 40-31. If you are new to this series, I post 10 songs a day until we get to the top of the charts. If you want to listen to the song/watch the video, just click on the song title. And away we go!
The 83 year old music legend’s very first public appearance took place shortly after his 5th birthday where he recited a poem. He was so nervous before hand, that he picked his nose until it bled, earning him the name “Booger Red.”
This song, the second single from Willie’s Always On My Mind album, and is a cover of an Everly Brothers 1960 song.
This song was released off of Olivia’s Greatest Hits Vol. 2. My mom owned the album, but I think I listened to it more than anybody else. While my mom watched the television shows she liked, such as Dynasty, I would sit at the stereo with headphones listening to this album, while I stared lovingly at Olivia on the album cover:
Barry Manilow’s heyday was in the ’70s. The best contribution Manilow made in the ’80s was that he was mentioned in one of the most popular quotes of the decade, delivered by Bender in The Breakfast Club: “Does Barry Manilow know you raid his wardrobe?”
I had never heard of this song before, and like it a lot. Tané Cain sounds like a cross between Laura Branigan and Pat Benatar. If her last name sounds familiar, it’s for a good reason. She was married to Journey keyboardist Jonathan Cain, who also happened to co-write and co-produce the songs on Tané’s self titled debut album, from which this song came. It was her only top 40 hit.
This Stevie Nicks song was a huge hit off of Fleetwood Mac’s Mirage album. It was intended to be included on Stevie’s solo album, Bella Donna. However, when her best friend Robin Anderson died of leukemia, the song took on a new significance and Nicks held it over for Fleetwood Mac.
You may remember this band, Fleetwood Mac, from 3 songs ago. This one is a Christine McVie jam, with Lindsey Buckingham on the backing vocals. This was the first single released off of the Mirage album.
Our coverage of the classic 1984 movie, Footloose, continues today. Yesterday was a review of the movie itself. Today, Robert is going to cover what very well may be the heart and soul of the movie - the music. Enjoy!
Movie-wise this is my absolute favorite not very good movie. The plot is weak, the acting is passable, and the dialogue is, at times laughable. Consider when Ariel is spitting mad at Chuck Cranston. During an argument, Chuck is being petty and jealous while physically roughing Ariel up a bit. Now, Ariel has every insult and curse at her disposal; and she opts for, “You’re so stupid!” It is difficult to find a positive review by any movie critic . . . and I don’t care- I LOVE THIS MOVIE!!! One thing I have always enjoyed more than the actual film is the movie’s soundtrack. I have seen the movie countless times: several times in the movie theatre, nearly 30 times on VHS and a dozen times on Netflix (in fact, I have it on Netflix as I write this). All of these viewings do not hold a candle to the number of times I have listened to the soundtrack. I own it on vinyl, cassette, and CD – always at the ready in case someone asks about it or I just want to be washed away in nostalgic memories.
According to Billboard, the soundtrack has sold a total of 9,000,000 copies and was #1 on the album charts for weeks (April 21 – June 30, 1984). This soundtrack spawned six Top 40 songs with three of those being Top ten hits: “Footloose” #1, “Let’s Hear It for the Boy” #1, and “Almost Paradise” #7. With all of this success, this soundtrack must be loaded with great songs, so let’s take a look.
Footloose (#1) by Kenny Loggins (opening credits, bar scene, and prom)
Loggins is easily considered the “soundtrack king” of the ‘80s, and this song is one of the big reasons why. It is not his first soundtrack hit nor will it be his last in the ‘80s, but it may be the most popular. I recently took my younger daughter to a popular local event “Daddy Daughter Date Night.” It is an annual dinner and dance for fathers and their daughters (between first and fifth grades). During the dance portion, the DJ played Footloose and all of the girls screamed and rushed to the dance floor. As much as I love this song, the reaction of all of these young girls to a song released over twenty years before they were born gave me goosebumps; this must be a sign of a true classic. The video contains clips from the film. The original video release was Ren’s big dance scene – that never made sense to me because they used a different song in the film (see track 9).
Despite this song being a huge hit and being used in a funny montage in the movie, it may be my least favorite. It has a memorable chorus and a smooth dance beat, but it has never really appealed to me – I have no good reason – it just doesn’t.
Almost Paradise (#7) – Almost Paradise by Mike Reno (from Loverboy) and Ann Wilson (from Heart) (prom as well as an instrumental version in the music box that Ariel gives Ren)
There is not much I can say about this song. It is one of the all time great love songs from the ‘80s. I have danced to it with my girlfriend (now wife) and it will always be one of my favorite romantic songs that I cannot, and will not, turn off before it is finished.
I love Tyler’s first big hit “Total Eclipse of the Heart“, but I think this song is even better. I am shocked it only reached #34 on the Billboard charts. This song has some grit and enthusiastic drive. It has some of my favorite lyrics on the soundtrack. I have even used these lyrics in my English classes when discussing the importance of heroes to society and literature and the difficulty we have pinpointing the constantly changing definition, “Where have all the good men gone and where are all the gods? Where is the street-wise Hercules to fight the rising odds?”
This is a good, catchy dance tune. The first thing that pops in my mind now is a friend of mine who directed Footloose: The Musical at the high school where I teach. He was forced to cut this song because of its suggestive lyrics. C’mon, that is kinda funny. The video is from American Bandstand (remember that show?).
This is Loggins’ second appearance on this soundtrack, and, while I possess the proper reverential love for the title track, I do like this song better. It should be impossible to separate a good soundtrack from the film; perhaps this becomes a reason that I really like this song. This song fits the movie perfectly, maybe even better that all of the others. Lyrically the song is about fighting for what you believe in and striving to achieve success. In the film, this song marks Ren’s success at the town council meeting and the beginning of the preparations for prom. This lyrics to this song serve an inspirational purpose and the fit perfectly for the film’s transition to the prom scene, “Looking in your eyes, I know I’m right / If there’s anything worth my love, it’s worth the fight / We only get one chance, and nothing ties our hands / You’re the one I want, listen to me / Nothing I want is out of my reach.”
Somebody’s Eyes – by Karla Bonoff (Ariel and Chuck sneaking away to the woods)
This is the only track on the original soundtrack that does not receive any primary attention in the film. It is heard in the background, playing on the radio that Ariel brings with her on a secret, and illicit, meeting with her jerk boyfriend. The song itself is an easy-to-listen to pop song with a good chorus and decent guitar solo. Bonoff’s vocals are haunting and soothing at the same time.
This is the only true rocker on the original soundtrack. Honestly, Hagar is somewhat out of place here. Even though this appearance is before he joined Van Halen, he was already known as the Red Rocker and had a number of heavy guitar driven, popular songs. The song is great – it fits Hagar’s style and matches the scene in the film quite well. Despite this, it does not truly match the overall sound of this soundtrack. The video is from a live performance in St. Louis.
Never – by by Moving Pictures (Ren’s solo dance of frustration)
This is my personal favorite track. I love the rhythm guitar riff and I think the scene it is used in fits perfectly. I have always been a bit of a sap for the cheesy inspirational lyrics and this song has a great one, “If you don’t give your heart wings, you’ll never fly.” I do not even care that Kevin Bacon is not the one dancing in this scene- this song carries an uplifting message with a catchy beat.
The 1998 reissue of the soundtrack included four additional tracks, but I am sticking with the original release.
In the ‘80s there was such a strong connection between movies and their soundtracks. In some of those films the music played a prominent role. If you track Top 40 hits from soundtracks, you will see double digit numbers in ‘84, ‘85, and ‘86. Footloose is clearly one of the most famous and successful examples. The music on this soundtrack can be called nothing except iconic. I never tire of watching the movie or listening to this amazing soundtrack. Every list of best soundtracks is obligated to include this shining example at at near the top.
Welcome back as we wrap up this week’s Top 40 Countdown. If you missed the previous songs, you can go back and check out songs 40-31, 30-21, and 20-11. Well, I think this has been a great week of classic ’80s music. And as you will see, there are going to be no surprises in this top 10 today. They are all songs and artists that helped define the decade. So, let’s Return to the week ending April 14, 1984, and finish the Countdown.
Van Halen had been known for their hard driving guitar rock, led by Eddie Van Halen. But, it was this synthesizer based song that really brought Van Halen into the mainstream and gave them their only #1 single. “Jump” dominated the airwaves for a very long time, and the video was an MTV staple,
Here is another song that there could be no mistake as to which decade this was from. I do have to admit that The Thompson Twins did drive me and my minor OCD slightly insane in that they were not only NOT related, but there were THREE of them! Ugh!! But, that does not take away from the greatness of this song.
This was a time when Boy George and Culture Club were among the top artists of the music landscape. This was their third single released from the classic Colour by Numbers album. This is another song and video that could come from no other decade than the ’80s.
Well, this is not one of my favorite Lionel Richie songs at all. But, it is good to hear once in a while. And now I can say that I’m not as creeped out at seeing this Lionel Richie sculpture from the video:
as I was after I saw this recent I Love Lucy sculpture:
Let’s dance!!! The king of ’80s soundtracks scored big time with this smash hit song. It is one of Kenny Loggins’ most identifiable songs, and won a Grammy for Song of the Year. Great way to end a countdown!
Well, I hope you enjoyed this week’s Countdown. I feel like I used the workd “classic” quite a bit. But, it was a appropriate. There were so many signature ’80s songs this week. What a great year of music! We’ll be back with a new countdown soon. In the meantime, Keep your feet on the ground, and keep reaching for the stars.
Welcome back to this weeks Countdown! If you missed the previous songs, you can still check out songs 40-31 and 30-21. This is a good day if you like lite rock and classic rock. And there is one huge surprise, a history making moment for Return to the ’80s. So, let’s get to it, and Return to the week ending January 5, 1980. On with the countdown!
This was singer/songwriter, J.D. Souther’s biggest hit, which would peak at #7. Souther was best known as a songwriter who wrote some of the Eagles biggest hits. He was also influenced by Roy Orbison, which is pretty obvious with this song. I had actually thought that this was a cover of a Roy Orbison song. But, this was an original song.
I really like this one. I thought Pablo Cruise was a person – possibly a Spanish relative of Tom Cruise. I was wrong. Pablo Cruise is a pop/rock band out of San Francisco that formed in 1973. So, this was a nice little discovery for me. Pablo Cruise is still around, and mainly tour in California.
Here is an awesome, pre-soundtrack era Kenny Loggins tune. I don’t want to go back and check right now, but if I’m not mistaken, Michael McDonald has been involved at some point in every countdown we have covered so far. Here is his contribution – backing vocals for this song. He and Loggins also co-wrote this gem. “This Is It” won a Grammy Award for Best Pop Vocal Performance, Male.
We have arrived at an historical moment for Return to the ’80s! I actually found a Prince video where it is actually Prince singing! I don’t need to substitute this with another song this time. If you are curious, I probably would have gone with “Brand New Lover,” my favorite Dead or Alive song.
And this isn’t a bad Prince song to have. I had never heard of this one, and I don’t think it’s bad. I like a lot of Prince’s early music. So, hurry up and listen to this before Prince discovers that this slipped through the cracks, and is available on the internet.
I love this Jefferson Starship song. This was off of the 1979 album Freedom at Point Zero, which was the first for the new lead singer, Mickey Thomas. This was also the first album after Marty Balin and Grace Slick left the group. Grace Slick would rejoin the band on the next album in 1981, Modern Times. I think this was a great song to kick off the new era of Jefferson Starship.
I had always thought of Smokey Robinson as an oldies singer. But, it seems like he’s been on an awful lot of our countdowns of the ’80s. This is a good R&B song. I thought I had heard it before. Why does this sound familiar? Oh yeah! It was covered by Huey Lewis and Gwyneth Paltrow. Yes, that Gwyneth Paltrow, now famous for her uncoupling from Chris Martin. They covered the song for the 2000 film Duets. I’ll take the Smokey version.
This is one of my favorite songs by the Australian group, Little River Band. In the ’80s, I had heard of the Little River Band, but did not know any of their music. Then, while on liberty in Bahrain during Operation Desert Shield, I bought a 90 minute mix tape which included a song by the Little River Band called “As Long As I’m Alive.” I instantly fell in love with that song. So I went back, and bought the full Little River Band tape that this song was on – Get Lucky (1990), and I also bought their Greatest Hits album. “Cool Change” is on that Greatest Hits album, and I still listen to it quite a bit.
That wraps up today’s list. I am actually enjoying the songs this week. I hope you are too. We’ll be back tomorrow to wrap up the countdown. See you then!
[twitter-follow screen_name=’returntothe80s’ show_count=’yes’ text