A definitive list: The top 25 movie soundtracks from the 1980s.

The 1980s were known for big hair, big crucifixes and most notably, big cinematic power ballads.

The decade also seemed to have the unique ability to complement a movie with just the right soundtrack and when done correctly, a soundtrack wasn’t just a bunch of songs played in the movie, the soundtrack WAS the movie.

Ultimately it was the genius of the movie maker who paired the right song to the right movie and in doing so, captivated our attentions, seized our hearts and left us unconsciously associating a specific song with a specific movie.

You can’t hear I’ve had the time of my life, without thinking of the movie, Dirty Dancing.

Nobody puts baby in the corner

And you have to remember that back in the '80s, we didn't have YouTube or Spotify. If we wanted to hear our favourite song, we had to wait around listening to Take 40 Australia, one hand hovering over the record button on our double tape decks, hoping Barry Bissell didn’t talk over the beginning of our favourite songs.

If we wanted to watch the videoclip of our favourite soundtrack, it was also quite difficult, once again having to get out of bed early on a Saturday to watch Video Hits and wait for them to play us some Kenny Loggins.

In honour of this unparalleled decade, we have carefully selected the best 25 Movie Soundtracks from the '80s and collated them here into one post. Tell us what we've missed, and what you loved, and what you hated. Let the debate begin.

1. Danger Zone - Kenny Loggins

Movie: Top Gun (1986)

2. St Elmo’s Fire (Man in Motion) - John Parr

Movie: St. Elmo’s Fire (1985)

3. Get into the Groove - Madonna

Movie: Desperately Seeking Susan (1985)


4. Up Where we Belong - Joe Cocker and Jennifer Warnes

Movie: An Officer and a Gentleman (1982)

5. Footloose - Kenny Loggins

Movie: Footloose – (1984)

6. If you Leave - Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark

Movie: Pretty in Pink (1986)

7. When the going gets tough (the tough get going) – Billy Ocean

Movie: The Jewel of the Nile (1985)

8. Take My Breath away - Berlin

Movie: Top Gun (1986)

9. Kokomo - Beach Boys

Movie: Cocktail (1988)


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10. (I've Had) The Time of My Life - Bill Medley and Jennifer Warnes

Movie: Dirty Dancing – (1987)

11. Against all Odds (Take a look at me now) - Phil Collins

Movie: Against all Odds (1984)

12. Shake a tail feather - Ray Charles

Movie: Blues Brothers – (1980)

13. Stand by Me - Ben E. King

Movie: Stand by Me (1986)

14. Eye of the Tiger - Survivor

Movie: Rocky III (1982)

15. Slave to Love - Bryan Ferry

Movie: Nine ½ Weeks (1986)

16. Wind Beneath My Wings - Bette Midler

Movie: Beaches (1988)

17. What a Feeling - Irene Cara

Movie: Flashdance (1983)

18. Old Time Rock and Roll - Bob Seger

Movie: Risky Business (1983)

19. The NeverEnding Story - Limahl

Movie: The NeverEnding Story (1984)

20. Nothing’s Gonna Stop us Now - Jefferson Starship

Movie: Mannequin (1987)

21. The Power of Love - Huey Lewis and the News

Movie: Back to the Future (1985)

22. Don’t you (forget about me) - Simple Minds

Movie: The Breakfast Club (1985)

23. Together in Electric Dreams by Philip Oakey and Giorgio Moroder

Movie: Electric Dreams (1984)

24. Glory of Love by Peter Cetera

Movie: Karate Kid II (1986)

25. The Heat is on by Glenn Frey

Movie: Beverly Hills Cop (1984)


What would be in your top 25? Did we miss any?