Cheesy '80s Songs About Heart and Soul and Overcoming and Winning and Givin' it All That You Got (RIYL Action Movies and Training Montages and Cocaine)

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Just fuckin' go for it, guys. Take it to the limit. Here, let me...Break the Ice.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lyNRmFxpbLU

Gregory Horsemelt (Old Lunch), Tuesday, 17 July 2018 15:34 (three years ago) link

https://youtu.be/SwrYMWoqg5w

Jules Rimet still leaving (Noodle Vague), Tuesday, 17 July 2018 15:37 (three years ago) link

aaaaargh phone

Jules Rimet still leaving (Noodle Vague), Tuesday, 17 July 2018 15:39 (three years ago) link

Also just songs of that era with that same spirit. Rallying cries for a vague undertaking which aren't entirely lucid but which certainly sound exciting and like something we should all aspire to be a part of.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tqED_NN5o3Y

And there's also a coked-out paranoid vibe of people trying to keep you down, man, but you just have to (sniff) rise above, turn up the heat, make a move, fight the streets or whatever. You're a winner, and you'll pass the test.

Gregory Horsemelt (Old Lunch), Tuesday, 17 July 2018 15:41 (three years ago) link

to be honest, my favorite of these is probably the faux-80s inspirational song written for wet hot american summer

ant banks and wasp (voodoo chili), Tuesday, 17 July 2018 15:48 (three years ago) link

Every mid-'80s Stallone soundtrack is filled to the brim with these beautiful paeans to inchoate victory.

Gregory Horsemelt (Old Lunch), Tuesday, 17 July 2018 15:48 (three years ago) link

this entire genre could be called 'frank stallone' tbh

BIG RICHARD ENERGY (bizarro gazzara), Tuesday, 17 July 2018 15:49 (three years ago) link

for songs actually from that period:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rOXaPE6gklI

ant banks and wasp (voodoo chili), Tuesday, 17 July 2018 15:49 (three years ago) link

i wanna print out a collage of these youtube screencaps and put it up on my bedroom wall

ant banks and wasp (voodoo chili), Tuesday, 17 July 2018 15:56 (three years ago) link

Eye of the Tiger obv, I Need a Hero, etc.

But the thread title practically begs for

https://youtu.be/SwrYMWoqg5w

nonsensei (Ye Mad Puffin), Tuesday, 17 July 2018 15:56 (three years ago) link

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rW3WYcnQj8I

nonsensei (Ye Mad Puffin), Tuesday, 17 July 2018 15:59 (three years ago) link

One of my favorite examples of this comes from the godawful Space Mutiny, a longtime MST3K/Rifftrax punching bag. I give you...Steve McClintock's "Edge of a Dream"!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1fZnBVxNn6Y

Ned Raggett, Tuesday, 17 July 2018 16:00 (three years ago) link

Of course one cannot ignore

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wFWDGTVYqE8

nonsensei (Ye Mad Puffin), Tuesday, 17 July 2018 16:01 (three years ago) link

The musical episode of Buffy lampshaded its parody of the genre by saying "I'm just worried this whole session is going to turn into a training montage from an '80s movie."

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4YKg6016rTQ

nonsensei (Ye Mad Puffin), Tuesday, 17 July 2018 16:04 (three years ago) link

Obvious choice
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EOvMpND2OZY

MarkoP, Tuesday, 17 July 2018 16:10 (three years ago) link

here's that wet hot version. best part is that it's just a chorus amidst some epic guitar solos

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YR2Hm2mVO1I

ant banks and wasp (voodoo chili), Tuesday, 17 July 2018 16:23 (three years ago) link

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wwac6mRHF2A

nonsensei (Ye Mad Puffin), Tuesday, 17 July 2018 16:35 (three years ago) link

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Liw4Z6StgL8

Gregory Horsemelt (Old Lunch), Tuesday, 17 July 2018 19:26 (three years ago) link

that Karate Kid song is always the first thing to come to mind

Hazy Maze Cave (Adam Bruneau), Tuesday, 17 July 2018 19:32 (three years ago) link

i also enjoy Arrested Development's take on this trope, "Balls in the Air"

Hazy Maze Cave (Adam Bruneau), Tuesday, 17 July 2018 19:33 (three years ago) link

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IhpQLH1ZIe8

Hazy Maze Cave (Adam Bruneau), Tuesday, 17 July 2018 19:33 (three years ago) link

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yQHhqDRn4_c

a little more on the rock ballad side but the chorus lyrics definitely fit

Hazy Maze Cave (Adam Bruneau), Tuesday, 17 July 2018 19:37 (three years ago) link

there's crossover with this thread
Rolling Synthwave/Retrowave/Outrun 2017 Thread

tuned into community radio show recently that was just both these things, and i couldn't tell if a lick of it was old or new and it really kind drove me bonkers. IT WAS TOO MUCH

andrew m., Tuesday, 17 July 2018 19:40 (three years ago) link

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=to2KasivROc

MaresNest, Tuesday, 17 July 2018 19:52 (three years ago) link

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5oHGgDhzRnE

andrew m., Tuesday, 17 July 2018 19:58 (three years ago) link

not 80s but this thread dredged up a memory of it.

andrew m., Tuesday, 17 July 2018 20:25 (three years ago) link

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=siwpn14IE7E

Vernon Locke, Wednesday, 18 July 2018 01:15 (three years ago) link

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aL6mEeuehNc
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TpqAUtzWDuw
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QvYEdmW47gQ
(Y'all really need to watch this video if you haven't already. And probably even if you have.)

Gregory Horsemelt (Old Lunch), Wednesday, 18 July 2018 12:52 (three years ago) link

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B17RclyxQHg

Gregory Horsemelt (Old Lunch), Wednesday, 18 July 2018 13:08 (three years ago) link

in that video John Carpenter looks like he could be a character in his movie

Hazy Maze Cave (Adam Bruneau), Wednesday, 18 July 2018 13:10 (three years ago) link

Don't look back, look straight ahead, don't turn away, then the voice it said
Don't look back, yesterday's gone, don't turn away, you can take it on

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FNrbrhQknLQ

... (Eazy), Wednesday, 18 July 2018 14:36 (three years ago) link

The lyrics to some of these songs read like someone feeding commands to a semi-sentient factory robot.

Gregory Horsemelt (Old Lunch), Wednesday, 18 July 2018 14:39 (three years ago) link

Like one that's starting to question its purpose and needs a pep talk so that it can get excited about grinding out camshafts again.

Gregory Horsemelt (Old Lunch), Wednesday, 18 July 2018 14:44 (three years ago) link

I want to arrange a mashup of "Holding out for a Hero" with "We Don't Need Another Hero."

nonsensei (Ye Mad Puffin), Wednesday, 18 July 2018 15:02 (three years ago) link

Heart and Soul did you say?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4oSB-MDt_10

29 facepalms, Wednesday, 18 July 2018 15:13 (three years ago) link

Pokemon theme is pretty much this

Hazy Maze Cave (Adam Bruneau), Wednesday, 18 July 2018 15:22 (three years ago) link

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3wxyN3z9PL4

Josh in Chicago, Wednesday, 18 July 2018 16:04 (three years ago) link

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ueRzA9GUj9c

Josh in Chicago, Wednesday, 18 July 2018 16:07 (three years ago) link

The Beyond Yacht Rock guys did a great ep on this kind of music, they baptized it Heavy Medal:

http://www.yachtrock.com/podcast/2016/9/22/heavy-medal

Daniel_Rf, Wednesday, 18 July 2018 16:20 (three years ago) link

I didn't realize until quite recently that there's a song on the Rocky IV soundtrack which is literally entitled 'Training Montage'.

Gregory Horsemelt (Old Lunch), Wednesday, 18 July 2018 16:22 (three years ago) link

sorry for another parody but 10-15 years ago in Atlanta there was a band called Rump Posse that was all about this aesthetic. they used to cover the Top Gun theme song and the song from Mike Tyson's Punch Out. for stage clothes they wore Hanz N Franz style workout costumes and in between songs they would blast a techno track while working out. needless to say some of these guys work at Adult Swim nowadays:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tg70NlyXb0Y

Hazy Maze Cave (Adam Bruneau), Wednesday, 18 July 2018 16:46 (three years ago) link

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V2hPtN8rFyE

Josh in Chicago, Wednesday, 18 July 2018 17:35 (three years ago) link

cf. "This is It"

Ludacristine McVie (Ye Mad Puffin), Wednesday, 23 June 2021 21:31 (ten months ago) link

Legendary Chicago Bears running back Walter Payton released this in 1986:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BoMkMCCtIzY

Montgomery Burns' Jazz (Tarfumes The Escape Goat), Wednesday, 23 June 2021 21:52 (ten months ago) link

Nice, but I prefer his work with the Shufflin' Crew.

Ludacristine McVie (Ye Mad Puffin), Wednesday, 23 June 2021 22:35 (ten months ago) link

the lamest butt cheese of the 80s! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S_E2EHVxNAE

xzanfar, Wednesday, 23 June 2021 23:57 (ten months ago) link

I have been listening and relistening to Jim Steinman's songs from Streets of Fire for like half a year now so my heart and soul are so supercharged that I could shatter the night

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ClnN_s2VGV0
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6eln48BCELk

Jerome Percival Jesus (Old Lunch), Thursday, 24 June 2021 02:43 (ten months ago) link

six months pass...

cross-posted to the Meatloaf thread. A Time For Heroes by Meatloaf, Brian May, and Tangerine Dream.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jR_dk7iyGFA

peace, man, Friday, 21 January 2022 12:00 (four months ago) link

^theme song for the 1987 Special Olympics

peace, man, Friday, 21 January 2022 12:01 (four months ago) link

three months pass...

Tim Cappello - I Still Believe, obviously.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6P23c9KO5uY

Been working on my personal playlist of this stuff because it's a really great way to start the morning. Titled it Motivational Dudes in an attempt to channel some of that positive masculinity that is a hallmark of the genre. No offense to Pat Benatar, of course. This thread has been very helpful.

I see that we have Stan Bush's The Touch, but let's not forget Dare, which I honestly think is his better song from the Transformers soundtrack.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GUhB1O8Le0Q

John Parr's Restless Heart (closing theme from The Running Man) is kinda like this. It's more about overcoming romantic problems than winning the big race or whatever (even though it does actually contain the lyric "and now the race is won).

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rdglEovz3Z0

And wait! Speaking of John Parr - St. Elmo's Fire (Man in Motion)!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dx7vNdAb5e4

And final update, some people might want to make their own spotify playlist of such hits and include Push 1t T0 the L1m1t by Paul 3ng3mann. "Damn," they might say. "That song is not on Spotify and all I can find are cheesy cover versions!" Well, I was a/b-ing the cover versions trying to find the best one and discovered that someone uploaded the actual original song under the artist name Y0ung4n Y0ung4n. Don't know how long it will stay up, but thank god for them.

peace, man, Thursday, 28 April 2022 11:36 (three weeks ago) link

I've seen that lost boys clip referenced a lot lately and the most confusing thing about it is trying to imagine a bunch of teenagers in any era, vampires or otherwise, being excited about seeing that song performed in that manner.

joygoat, Thursday, 28 April 2022 12:03 (three weeks ago) link

Yeah, I hear you. Although apparently the gyrating and thrusting his standard saxophone move (his main gig was as Tina Turner's sideman). Here's a couple quotes from an interview he did in Gizmodo:

In the end, the look of the character may have been the most complex and thoughtful thing about the character, and it was all Cappello. “There was nothing,” he says when I ask about directions from the filmmaker. “I made my own clothes and just showed up with them. So they gave me no wardrobe. There was just nothing.” All he knew was it was a big party scene and he wanted the character to pop. “I knew that I wanted it to be a little wrong,” Cappello said. “I’d like to make this, like, a little bit funny. Take this a little too far. So I did the tie-dye, which was pink and purple on the pants...[then] I went a little further with the Home Depot chains.”

He added, “There’s gotta be something wrong about anything that you do, otherwise it’s just plain old cliché.” The result was a look nearly as memorable as his performance. Oh, and don’t forget the oil.

“You always oiled up,” Cappello said “Every night with Tina, I would oil up. It’s just always what you did...It was kind of like you were wearing a shirt. You were wearing a flesh shirt that was shiny.”

peace, man, Thursday, 28 April 2022 12:32 (three weeks ago) link

I'll be honest - I'd been so busy looking at his shiny flesh shirt that I didn't notice the pink and purple tie-dyed pants.

peace, man, Thursday, 28 April 2022 12:34 (three weeks ago) link

Fun fact, you can get a shareable video message from Cappello via Cameo.

Some friends of mine did so recently and it was everything one could hope for. Shirtlessness, chains, saxophone, believing, giving it your all, going the distance, overcoming obstacles, not giving up, etc.

Fifty Centaur (Ye Mad Puffin), Thursday, 28 April 2022 14:48 (three weeks ago) link

https://www.cameo.com/dolcevito

If you ever need inspiration to help you win, or complete a training montage, or defeatsome vampires. Message this dude. He still believes and he will give his all, just for you. Definitely worth a hundred oily dollars.

Fifty Centaur (Ye Mad Puffin), Thursday, 28 April 2022 14:52 (three weeks ago) link

the Pokemon theme song is heavily influenced by this genre.

peace, man, Saturday, 30 April 2022 10:50 (three weeks ago) link

https://www.dailymotion.com/video/x3wpqrg

Glenn Frey: "Livin' Right"

Precious, Grace, Hill & Beard LTD. (C. Grisso/McCain), Saturday, 30 April 2022 15:44 (three weeks ago) link

Put on your bandoleers and your necklace with a hand grenade, it's time to 'Remember the Heroes' go back to 'NAM and bring our boys home.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MSoDTHDI_aU

earlnash, Saturday, 30 April 2022 18:51 (three weeks ago) link

Titled it Motivational Dudes in an attempt to channel some of that positive masculinity that is a hallmark of the genre. No offense to Pat Benatar, of course

Okay, I did have to add Pat Benatar because that song is just so good. But can anyone name any more of these by women?

peace, man, Thursday, 12 May 2022 11:11 (one week ago) link

We don't need another hero

Cause I am the warrior

And this is my fight song

may the florist be with you (Ye Mad Puffin), Thursday, 12 May 2022 15:12 (one week ago) link

Good ones. Yeah, I thought about Fight Song and Katy Perry's Roar, which both fit the bill to a certain extent, but they're definitely not 80s.

peace, man, Thursday, 12 May 2022 15:30 (one week ago) link

Right, just riffing.

80s training-montage music does seem to have been a sausagefest

may the florist be with you (Ye Mad Puffin), Thursday, 12 May 2022 15:41 (one week ago) link

We must not, however, stop thinking about tomorrow

may the florist be with you (Ye Mad Puffin), Thursday, 12 May 2022 15:42 (one week ago) link

I feel like Kim Mitchell's cheesy '80s song about heart and soul and overcoming but compromising and not partying too hard should be here as a cool down number.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MXnTbmPxv5g

bendy, Thursday, 12 May 2022 15:56 (one week ago) link

I feel like Sammy Hagar's "Winner Takes It All" and Queen's "I Want It All" are the harder-edge of this idea

Chappies banging dustbin lids together (President Keyes), Thursday, 12 May 2022 16:01 (one week ago) link

lol that Bryan Adams has a song called "We're Gonna Win" that sounds like he's trying to do Green Day

Chappies banging dustbin lids together (President Keyes), Thursday, 12 May 2022 16:07 (one week ago) link

Irene Cara - Flashdance...What A Feeling

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ILWSp0m9G2U

peace, man, Friday, 13 May 2022 11:26 (one week ago) link

the cheeziest and worst of them all! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S_E2EHVxNAE

xzanfar, Friday, 13 May 2022 13:29 (one week ago) link

I don't want to bring negativity to this thread, but that doesn't match the feel at all. Right Here Waiting is just a ballad.

peace, man, Friday, 13 May 2022 13:34 (one week ago) link

I do think "What a Feeling" fits the thread topic though, good pick.

If I ever have a chance to select music for a bitchin' 80s training montage, that will be a contender.

Doris Day and the Time (Ye Mad Puffin), Friday, 13 May 2022 14:45 (one week ago) link

Yeah, the thing that I notice about all the women's contributions that I've found is that they are much more individualistic. Like, the Irene Cara song is definitely disco-influenced pop. We Don't Need Another Hero is like a pop-rock ballad anthem thing? And I was just sitting around trying to decide whether The Goonies 'R' Good Enough would qualify, and that's squarely in the 'Cyndi Lauper' genre.

But the songs by dudes that make up the heart and backbone of this list that I think Old Lunch was trying to get at - your John Farnhams, your Stan Bushes, your Jean Beauvoirs and Larry Greenes - they all played this this weird, interchangeable kind of arena rock.

peace, man, Friday, 13 May 2022 15:08 (one week ago) link

They were men in motion. They were the best around. Nothin' was gonna break their stride. Because they had what it takes and they gave it all they had. They were the champions, my friend.

Doris Day and the Time (Ye Mad Puffin), Friday, 13 May 2022 15:10 (one week ago) link

"We Don't Need Another Hero" is more about surrendering and losing than overcoming and winning.

Halfway there but for you, Friday, 13 May 2022 15:14 (one week ago) link

Your point is well taken, but isn't it nobler to rise up to the challenge of their rivals?

They did their time and took their chances. Regrets? Perhaps they had a few, but they gave their all and overcame the odds.

Doris Day and the Time (Ye Mad Puffin), Friday, 13 May 2022 15:17 (one week ago) link

regrets
I've had a few
but then again
i gave my all and overcame the odds

Deez NFTs (Neanderthal), Friday, 13 May 2022 15:26 (one week ago) link

I heard "we don't need another hero" the other day on the radio for the first time in ages, and divorced from its context and video it was cracking me up that this iconic pop-rock ballad anthem has totally earnest lyrics about Thunderdome

joygoat, Friday, 13 May 2022 16:40 (one week ago) link

Yeah, that's definitely a little jarring.

peace, man, Friday, 13 May 2022 17:25 (one week ago) link

I was just the other day thinking about starting a thread for songs like that, when I was half consciously listening to an old Bobby Brown jam and had briefly forgotten about the part where he randomly starts rapping about the plot of Ghostbusters 2. See also 'Man in Motion' (which isn't a bad selection for this thread, assuming it isn't already in here somewhere).

But can anyone name any more of these by women?


'Shake it Up' by Elizabeth 'E.G.' Dailey is the first that popped into my mind. Much of the Scarface soundtrack approximates this mood, really (it must be the cocaine).

P.S. I was looking for a video of the song to share and...I think I might've accidentally stumbled upon the greatest clip of filmed entertainment ever made?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e03_Mk53OhQ

Oh duh, Amy Holland's 'She's On Fire' from Scarface is an even better one.

This thread inevitably reminds me of my middle school chorus teacher, a man with the unfortunate name of Mr. Fenicle, who wore a horrible toupée and still lived with his mother. Barely closeted, in other words, but a very sweet and kind man.

However, because it was a public school and religious music wasn’t allowed, we had to sing a lot of choral arrangements of pop songs, so that my first exposure to many iconic songs was through chorus— we did “Man in Motion,” “What a Feeling,” and “Eye of the Tiger,” so basically the sorts of songs this thread is about. Also, tho, some others, including “La Isla Bonita,” “The Rose,” and “Allentown.”

I was in his classes for three years, and it was my time spent in those classes that made me realize the juvenile nature of so much cruelty— I would be sitting red-faced in the corner as some other kid would keep asking Mr. Fenicle if he’d seen “Deez” that day. It made me so sad for him.

Then he would start pounding away at the piano and we’d be singing “Tropical the island breeze.” This was suburban Philadelphia.

we need outrage! we need dicks!! (the table is the table), Saturday, 14 May 2022 01:15 (one week ago) link

The 1989 Gillette jingle

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ThDBf14qPsc

bendy, Saturday, 14 May 2022 15:47 (one week ago) link

cosign Flashdance

Deez NFTs (Neanderthal), Saturday, 14 May 2022 15:56 (one week ago) link

I think this

“Man in Motion,” “What a Feeling,” and “Eye of the Tiger,” so basically the sorts of songs this thread is about. Also, tho, some others, including “La Isla Bonita,” “The Rose,” and “Allentown.”

Would be a pretty fly set for my 80s cover band. I could even just do this as an acoustic open mic set!

Not in that order, though. I would probably alternate the inspirational anthems with the soft pop jams, and add like three flute solos

Doris Day and the Time (Ye Mad Puffin), Saturday, 14 May 2022 19:44 (one week ago) link

I know at least two separate dudes who specialize in doing 80s/90s pop diva stuff as middle-aged male acoustic-guitar songs.

Nothing compares (ahem) to a tipsy middle-aged white dad who will totally play yr Pat Benatar, Paula Abdul, Miley, Mariah, etc., in a sparsely populated suburban brewpub on a Monday night

Doris Day and the Time (Ye Mad Puffin), Saturday, 14 May 2022 19:49 (one week ago) link

Tbh Mr. Fenicle had reasonable taste, I’ve wondered in retrospect what sort of music he was really into.

we need outrage! we need dicks!! (the table is the table), Saturday, 14 May 2022 22:44 (one week ago) link

An avenue worth exploring: I've noticed that there are a few of these songs where they've been used more than once, but by different artists. For instance, many people know the song Nothing's Gonna Stand In Our Way as performed by Spectre General (aka Kick Axe) on the Transformers the Movie soundtrack.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DVkytQtvBWM

But here is it being performed in 1984 by John Farnham (aka RAD dude) for the soundtrack of something called Savage Streets*:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U8B7RLEslMc

*"Crossbow-armed Brenda (Linda Blair) hunts down a Hollywood gang led by a punk (Robert Dryer) with a razor-blade earring."

peace, man, Wednesday, 18 May 2022 12:25 (four days ago) link

Oh fuck, just discovered that Sue Shifrin, one of the writers on John Farnham's Break The Ice, also co-wrote Robbi Robb's In Time from Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure. Definitely more on the ballad side of things than most of these montage songs, but what do you think?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eTYcOQnJaSI

peace, man, Wednesday, 18 May 2022 12:32 (four days ago) link

An avenue worth exploring: I've noticed that there are a few of these songs where they've been used more than once, but by different artists. For instance, many people know the song Nothing's Gonna Stand In Our Way as performed by Spectre General (aka Kick Axe) on the Transformers the Movie soundtrack.

Ok, so this isn't quite the same, but here's Stan Bush doing John Farnham's Thunder In Your Heart. This is a newer recording from 2014.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nGSSuziWX3A

peace, man, Thursday, 19 May 2022 16:09 (three days ago) link

Here's more Joe "Bean" Esposito. Cry of the City, from the 1986 film Knights of the City. Co-written by Stan Bush's The Touch collaborator Lenny Macaluso.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3kvKD5kG9z8

peace, man, Thursday, 19 May 2022 16:14 (three days ago) link


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