Whether it’s fashion, films, music, sports, or video games, the 1980s was a decade full of fun and excitement. During that period of time, world-renowned artists such as Prince and David Bowie created songs that became theme songs for acclaimed movies and later transformed into all-time hits.
The Best 80s Movie Theme Songs
No movie is complete without a great theme song, and the 1980s had some of the best ever. They were powerful and memorable, and they made some of the best movies ever made even better.
So what were some of the best movie theme songs of the 1980s?
Here are our picks for the best 80s movie theme songs:
1. “Ghostbusters“ – Ray Parker Jr.
Just like the film of the same name, this iconic theme song by Ray Parker Jr. was released in June 1984. Ghostbusters quickly became a cultural phenomenon and one of the highest-grossing films of the decade, while the dance-pop theme song also thrived by topping multiple charts worldwide.
2. “(I’ve Had) The Time of My Life“ – Bill Medley & Jennifer Warnes
Speaking of the most popular theme songs from movies released in the 1980s, you can’t make a list without this banger. Used as a theme song in the iconic romantic drama “Dirty Dancing”, this song immediately broke records and won not only an Academy Award, but also Golden Globe and Grammy Awards.
3. “Eye of the Tiger” – Survivor
“Rocky” has grossed billions at the worldwide box office, but the film series is also known for its motivational singles. One of these hit singles that has dominated the charts and continues to do so nowadays in countries all over the world is “Eye of the Tiger” by the rock band Survivor. When it comes to getting pumped up Eye Of The Tiger is hands down the song you want on your playlist.
4. “When Doves Cry” – Prince
Prince is one of the legendary artists whose music career exploded in the 1980s. Released in mid-May 1984, “When Doves Cry” is a mix of pop, soul, and funk that became the singer’s very first number-one single. It was used alongside “Purple Rain” for the rock musical drama of the same name.
5. “Take My Breath Away” – Berlin
The classic from Berlin was used as the theme song of Top Gun, which is one of the movies that elevated Tom Cruise’s career. Besides becoming a hit in various countries, Berlin’s pop song also won an Academy Award and a Golden Globe.
6. “Maniac” – Michael Sembello
Another hit song that is a 1980s fan favorite is Maniac. Even though now it can be heard in a wide variety of films and television series, Sembello’s single was originally created for the romantic drama “Flashdance”, which dates back to 1983.
7. “Underground” – David Bowie
David Bowie is another best-selling artist whose music can be heard and seen in many film and television projects. One of his superior hits from the 1980s is “Underground”. It was used as a theme song for “Labyrinth”, in which the icon himself can be seen as the king of the goblins.
8. “Axel F” – Harold Faltermeyer
The action-comedy Beverly Hills Cop immediately became a blockbuster that’s also known for its soundtrack. Its theme song, “Axel F”, instantly turned into a worldwide hit single that was covered by multiple artists and also entered numerous charts worldwide.
9. “Everybody Wants To Rule The World” – Tears for Fears
Although they were already popular, Tears for Fears’ fame really picked up after the release of this song. The memorable song made waves on its own after being used as the theme song for the science fiction comedy “Real Genius”, which came out in August 1985.
So those are our top picks for the best 1980s movie themes songs. Did your pick make the cut? What do you think we should’ve added?