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Ten Underrated ‘80s Soundtracks to Distract You From the Fact These Movies Came Out Four Decades Ago

Oh the ‘80s, what a maligned/permed cornucopia of bright blazers, trickle-down economics that neither trickles nor goes down, Zack Morris-esque cell phones that couldn’t fit in an oversized back pocket of ‘90s JNCO Los Angeles Convict Wide Leg Jeans, and pure unadulterated trash with an extra heaping of cringe! Normally hair metal bands like Def Leppard, new wave acts similar to A Flock Of Seagulls, pop stars in the same vein as Debbie Gibson, and dubsteppers like Daryl Hall and John Oates get their public due, but soundtracks are the unsung hero of this decade… and we’re not talking about any musicals, Tom Cruise aviation films, movies based on a masked character in WWF, and abortion choreography with Patrick Swayze! We listed ten underrated soundtracks from the 1980s below in alphabetical order that came out between 1/1/80-12/31/89, and your opinion is wrong.

“Back To The Beach – Original Motion Picture Soundtrack” (1987)

When one thinks of the 1980s, 1960s movie stars like Frankie Avalon and Annette Funicello are not two people that often get name-dropped by the general public, or General Public for that matter, but “Back To The Beach” changed that for a moderate amount of big kahuna burgers and pre-murderous Orenthal James Simpsons’ in their local drive-in movie theaters. Even moreso, its curiously spectacular soundtrack featuring, and we kid you not, Eddie Money, Aimee Mann, FISHBONE, and freaking Pee-wee Herman puzzled cool cats, mockers, rockers, and skankers of all ages in the best way, and truly needs 1987 more streams from you and your other brother Daryl stat! If you can make it through the film, mazel tov, but you can most certainly breeze through all ten tracks of its soundtrack effortlessly, rinse, repeat, and do so again on every sandy shore moving forward. Absolute perfection; wipe out.

“Caddyshack: Music from the Motion Picture Soundtrack” (1980)

And now for something completely different, a movie that DEFINITELY couldn’t be made now, unless its creators wanted to blacklist themselves from all things arts/entertainment, “Caddyshack”…. Anyway, we can wax poetic about Chevy Chase, Bill Murray, Rodney Dangerfield, and the candy bar that doubled as poo, but this piece is about underrated ‘80s soundtracks, and “Caddyshack: Music from the Motion Picture Soundtrack” is most certainly not as discussed as the film it submerged, despite the fact that it was a minor success on the charts. The oldest movie/soundtrack listed here was seemingly sponsored by Kenny “I Do Other Soundtracks Too” Loggins, but also featured Journey, Paul Collins and the Beat, and Hilly Michaels, a former drummer for both Sparks and Michael Bolton. Yep. The movie “Caddyshack” was an outstanding success and many claim that it’s the best sports movie ever, whereas the soundtrack was its direct support cousin.

“Just One of the Guys (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)” (1985)

Speaking of movies that would never have been greenlit in 2024, let’s get into “Just One of the Guys”! The film’s lead, Joyce Hyser, may not ring a bell for you now or ever, but she definitely checked all of the then-stereotypical boxes in the mid-’80s with her Ralph Macchio-esque vocal and aesthetic inspired role in this gender bender of a cinematic masterpiece, or cringe comedy. The soundtrack itself is ten tracks of deep cuts from such acts as Ronnie Spector, Shalamar, Berlin, and Moscow, and it even has a bonus track by The Stooges. Do yourself a favor and watch this movie film and peruse its soundtrack song by song on YouTube, as many tracks aren’t available on DSPs like Spotify, Apple Music, or Kazaa; how punk rock is that?

“Repo Man: Music from the Original Motion Picture” (1984)

Demolition’s Smash may be the most popular repo man in the land but Charlie Sheen’s duck brother comes close! A cult favorite to every human on earth, “Repo Man” is a dark/often comedic tale involving aliens, a Chevy Malibu, Chevy Chase, and “Chasing Amy”… Honestly, if we’re being honest we can write 150 words or less about the movie film, but its musical media laserdisc of a punk soundtrack is what got you here and it does NOT disappoint. Black Flag, the Circle Jerks, Iggy Pop, and Brokencyde assist in blasting through eleven tracks that all work as a gut punch to your dad bods. Fun fact: Michael Nesmith of The Monkees was the executive producer of this flick, so you can thank daydream believers, Davey Jones, ‘60s TV like “Back to the Beach,” and animals that will defecate on your corpse for this one.

“Revenge of the Nerds – Original Motion Picture Soundtrack” (1984)

Nerds, nerds, neeeerds! The screwball (if that’s still a word) comedy that spawned various sequels that you never saw known as “Revenge of the Nerds” featured John Goodman, a dude from “Married… with Children,” a bunch of pocket protectors, and various jokes you can’t say in public or private ever again. However, NO one ever writes about its soundtrack but us; yeah. Track five, the film’s title track by The Rubinoos is easily the ‘80s version of “Bohemian Rhapsody” and said song would have been enough to include this album creatively known as “Revenge of the Nerds – Original Motion Picture Soundtrack” here. Also, speaking of Queen, three of the best songs to pee to from said band, Tito Jackson, and CBGB Domes have songs in the film, but not on the actual soundtrack as they would each cost an arm from the same executives that brought you ABC’s “Phenom”.

“Spaceballs – The Soundtrack” (1987)

Easily one of the more enjoyable and laugh out loud “screwball,” yes, screwball comedies from the ‘80s, Mel Brooks’ “Spaceballs” not only featured the king of voice manipulation and bleep bloops similar to grindcore act of all act’s alt-J’s bloop bleeps known as Michael Winslow and THE Pizza the Hut. Both its theme and title track to the movie’s soundtrack are better than the one from “Star Wars” and the late pleasant Joan Rivers’ voice. Anyway, President Skroob endorses this soundtrack as well because of tunes from Van Halen, The Pointer Sisters, ‘80s soundtrack superstars Berlin, and Senses Fail. In closing, stream or buy this soundtrack, buy its official lunchbox, wax poetic with all of the geeks in Druidia except the great, great Prince Valium, and break the fourth wall with all things space, balls, rock, roll, and symphonic charity!

“Stand By Me (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack” (1986)

It’s a toss up between this film and the second last to be mentioned in this piece as to which one is the gold medal movie film covered here, but we’re literally and figuratively seated by you stating what may be known to all except your most bitter, bitter enemies: Stephen King’s “Stand By Me,” based on his novella “The Body” has an incredible “classic” soundtrack, and the story itself was one of four in “Different Seasons,” which also included what became “The Shawshank Redemption,” “Apt Pupil,” and “Police Academy 4: Citizens on Patrol.” Anyway, back to the movie featuring a young Kiefer Sutherland, an even younger River Phoenix, the voice of Mr. Holland sans opus, and chopper, sic balls. “Stand By Me (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)” consists of catchy tracks from cradle robber Jerry Lee Lewis, the (tasty, tasty) Chordettes, Buddy Holly, and Davey “Lardass” Hogan’s cousin Petunia.

“Suburbia (Original Soundtrack Recording)” (1984)

Not to be confused with the 1996 Richard Linklater film, Penelope Spheeris’, who later directed “It’s Pat: The Movie,“ monster classic “Suburbia” came out in 1983, and its eponymous soundtrack was released the following year in the year of our lord known as a Van Halen album. Said soundtrack (recording) also features your cool uncle Ricky Canicky’s golden goose bands The Vandals and T.S.O.L., and his great aunt Doris McGoris’ least favorite BY FAR, D.I.. If you don’t know everything about this flick, the three aforementioned acts, and its literal soundtrack, you’re not as punk as you tell everyone that you are, and if you do, you still will affirm that this mention is technically underrated. Fun fact: Watch this film and marvel/stare at Mike B. The Flea. Yeah, California.

“UHF – Original Motion Picture Soundtrack and Other Stuff” (1989)

Coming out at the tail end of the 1980s by a smidge, Weird Al’s classic snuff film “UHF” may have tanked at the box office in not-so-glorious fashion, but it has lived on long past Hollywood Video ever dreamed of lasting, and its original motion picture soundtrack featuring other stuff also has cultish acclaim, despite not topping the Billboard 200 Charts like “Mandatory Fun”. What’s not to like? What’s not to like? Fans of the sequel to Gandhi, spatulas outside of suburbs, yelling “Stupid! You’re so stupid!” out of a broken window, and Minnesota circles live for these three letters, and so does David Bowe without an “I”. Anywho, stop reading this piece right now and watch this flick front to back regardless of how many times you’ve already done so before, and then listen to its soundtrack in its entirety immediately afterward; you’re welcome, mops.

“The Wild Life (Music From the Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)” (1984)

You made it this far, why stop reading this damned thing now? Don’t answer that, and listen to “The Wild Life (Music From the Original Motion Soundtrack)” after this regularly scheduled internet work delaying program, but DO NOT, we repeat, do not watch the movie. Trust us; Rick Moranis couldn’t even save it. Still, freaking Eddie Van Halen wrote and performed the score for “The Wild Life,” so find a way to mute the dialogue and amp up all of the guitars to ELEVEN! The soundtrack also features tracks by Steppenwolf, Little Richard, Madonna, and Eiffel 65, so that ain’t too shabby! Anyway, Cameron Crowe should be ashamed of himself but Bananarama shouldn’t; hey yo. In closing, The Rolling Stones’ Ronnie Wood played a character named, wait for it, wait for it, Refrigerator Raider in this cinematic something, so that’s all we have to say about that. Come. Of. Age.