It’s been far too long. At long last, we Return to the Top 40 countdown. This week, we’ll go back 30 years, and see what the 40 most popular songs were. At this time, I was getting ready to start my senior year of high school. I have a ton of great memories, and I loved the music back then. So, let’s Return to August 8, 1987, and check out songs 40-31 today. You can click on the song title to watch the video, and you can click on the album cover to buy/listen to the song from Amazon.
Future candidate of the Return to the ’80s podcast’s segment, ‘Play This, Not That.’ Sure, “Your Love” is a great song, but The Outfield has many other great songs, which never get played. This was one of them. It reached #11 and never gets played.
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.
Welcome back as we continue this week’s countdown! If you missed the first 10 songs, you can go ahead and check out songs 40-31. My addiction to MTV was still in full force this week. There are some classics here today. So, let’s Return to the week ending November 10, 1984, and move on with the countdown.
Sammy’s signature song. This is a classic song and classic video. In 1994, Sammy was interviewed on the show In the Studio, and said this about the song:
“I was in a rent-a-car that wouldn’t go much faster than 55 miles an hour. I was on my way back from Africa. I did a safari for three months throughout Africa. A really great vacation after Three Lock Box. I was traveling for 24 hours, I got to New York City, changed planes, Albany, New York. Got in a rent-a-car. Had a place in Lake Placid at the time, a little log cabin, I used to go there and write with my little boy. Aaron, at that time, went to North Country school when I was on tour. I would go there and see him. It was a really cool getaway. But it took two and a half hours to drive there from Albany. And I was driving from Albany, New York at 2:00 in the morning, burnt from all the travel. Cop stopped me for doing 62 on a four lane road when there was no one else in sight. Then the guy gave me a ticket. I was doing 62. And he said, ‘We give tickets around here for over-60.’ and I said, ‘I can’t drive 55.’ I grabbed a paper and a pen, and I swear the guy was writing the ticket and I was writing the lyrics. I got to Lake Placid, I had a guitar set-up there. And I wrote that song there on the spot. Burnt.”
Another great song! This was the theme for the film, Teachers. I really need to get back and revisit this movie. I remember enjoying it at the time. And check out this cast: Nick Nolte, JoBeth Williams, Ralph Macchio, Richard Mulligan, Laura Dern, Crispin Glover, and Morgan Freeman.
Yet another classic song. This was one of Duran Duran’s biggest hits, reaching #2 on the Billboard Hot 100. The video was pretty cool too. It had a post-apocalyptic feel too it, like the Mad Max movies. The video should have been good. It cost over one million British Pounds to make, which was a staggering amount for a music video at that time.
This was the fifth and final single released from the Sports album. All the previous singles from the album was severely overplayed. This song was one of my favorites from the album, and I don’t ever remember hearing it on the radio! This was Heuy Lewis and the News’ commentary on the Vietnam War.
Originally a #1 R&B hit in 1959 by Phil Phillips. The Honeydrippers were formed by former Led Zeppelin lead singer Robert Plant. The band also included fellow former Led Zeppelin member Jimmy Page, Jeff Beck, and other friends and well-known studio musicians. They scored a big hit with this song, peaking at #3. The band released only one recording, an EP titled The Honeydrippers: Volume One. With the EP’s success, Plant stated that a full album would be recorded, but it never was.
This title track to New Edition’s second album, was their big breakthrough. It would peak at #4 on the Hot 100. They were trying really hard to be the new edition of The Jackson 5. They did have some pretty decent music, including this song.
I didn’t remember this song at all. It was released off of elton John’s Breaking Hearts album, which featured the song “Sad Songs (Say So Much)“. This may be blasphemous on this page, but I much prefer Elton John’s ’70s music to his ’80s music. He does have some really good ’80s songs. But a lot, like this song, are just middle-of-the-road.
Well that wraps up today’s list of songs. What do you think, now that we are halfway through? Any favorites? The countdown is just going to keep getting better. Come back tomorrow as we continue the countdown.
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.