The film-music partnership dates back to the 1930s, however it wasn’t until the 1980s when the entertainment industry started to heavily explore the potential benefits of cross-promoting their products. On top of that, that little force, called MTV, completely joined the marriage between film and record companies, by providing a new promotional venue. An absolute genius, named Robert Stigwood started the trend back in the late ‘70s with that infamous movie “Saturday Night Fever”. Basically, the idea was to release the soundtrack prior to the movie premiere in order to promote it. Eventually, the Bee-Gees dominated-soundtrack sold over 22 million copies. This multimedia marketing concept is often referred to as “synergy”.
As I said, MTV completely changed the game in the 80s. Along with the music, the marketers could “tease” people by carefully selecting and putting scenes and frames from the movie into the music video. Leonard Goldberg, the producer of “War Games” (1983), once said: “If you get a really hot soundtrack and you get MTV playing it all day long you’re in business.” I mean, it was the beginning of the visual age, after all, so the progress was quite natural. On top of that, the ‘80s were the greatest decade in terms of artistic and musical quality. The music industry was booming and definitely some of the greatest pop/rock acts were happening at that time!
I apologize for the long introduction, however, I felt the need to explain a few things before moving on with Kenny. What can I say about him? Definitely, one of the strongest performers of the ‘80s! An absolute class act with a tendency to go for the soft, rock ballads but still reminding us from time to time that he can rock pretty hard as well. He is known for his beautiful voice and tender music, but what probably everyone remembers him for are his timeless and quite catchy movie soundtracks. If you were a top movie producer in the ‘80s and you were looking for artists to record the soundtrack for your movie, you call either Irene Cara or…Kenny Loggins. There’s a reason why he is called The King of Movie Soundtracks – just listen to the following tracks and you will understand what I’m saying. From the memorable “Footloose” tunes that simply make us dance like crazy, to the touching “Meet Me Half Way” from “Over the Top”, 1987, Kenny’s legacy is absolutely immortal.
Listen to his movie soundtracks below:
The foundation of his “kingdom” begun with this song, back in the beginning of the decade. Who knew that this was just the start of a long and outstanding line of soundtracks.
I’m All Right (From the Move “Caddyshack”, 1980)
The absolute staple of the synergy between music and movie industry in the ’80s. Those two tracks from the successful old-fashioned movie, made for young people – “Footloose”, 1984, became the absolute must for every party, wedding, birthday, gathering, etc. I wish they would still play them because let’s face it – the moment you hear the intro of “Footloose” you just want to get up and dance the night away…Perfect marriage between a song and an artist!
Footloose (From the Movie “Footloose”, 1984)
I’m Free (Heaven Helps the Man) (From the Movie “Footloose”, 1984)
This one has to be one of my favorite Kenny Loggins tracks ever! So touching and emotional. On top of that, it’s a song for an arm-wrestling movie which deals with child-parent relationships and custody battles. It’s brilliant and so emotional. Don’t forget to play it!
Meet Me Half Way (From the Movie “Over the Top”, 1987)
This track right here is simply badass! “Highway to the danger zone” is an unforgettable line that can mean absolutely anything to anyone. It’s an empowering and quite energizing song with a kick-ass MV and Kenny Loggins just being the ultimate rockstar. I adore it!
The other track from “Top Gun”, 1986, is also quite pleasing, if we ignore the fact that the MV shows some very awkward (at least to me) beach volleyball, fan-service scenes.
Danger Zone (From the Movie “Top Gun”, 1986)
Playing With the Boys (From the Movie “Top Gun”, 1986)
The producers would’ve definitely be labelled as fools if they didn’t call Kenny for the sequel. The movie is pretty dumb and unfortunately the catchy and refreshing song couldn’t save it. Don’t watch the movie but definitely listen to the song!
Nobody’s Fool (From the Movie “Caddyshack II”, 1988)
Kenny scored a #1 single in 1997 with this song and an Oscar nomination. The song truly deserves it – not many male vocalists can touch my heart and soul the way he does…especially with this song!
For the First Time (From the Movie “One Fine Day”, 1996)
I wasn’t sure whether I should include or not this track but it’s his last film song, so I decided to just publish it as well. The movie is very cute and I cannot believe it’s been 16 years since its release. Nevertheless, let’s enjoy this gorgeous and quite calming track of Kenny who once again delivered with his heart.
Your Heart Will Lead You Home (From “The Tigger Movie”, 2000)
Let’s hope I will update the list someday! I really need more soundtracks from him!
“Synergy in 1980s Film and Music. Formula of Success or Industry Mythology”, 1990, By R. Serge Denisoff and George Plasketes
P.S. I don’t own any audio or visual material used in this publication. All the rights and credits go to the owners and/publishers.
The publication expresses my personal opinion and in no way is trying to make a generalized statement. Please be kind and considerate when you read and/or comment.