The Songs That Made Kenny Loggins The “King Of Movie Soundtracks”

 

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! 


 

References:
“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.
Cheers~
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.

[Playlist] The Very Best of Chicago

Chicago – one of the most successful rock bands and one of the world’s bestselling groups of all time will finally be included in the rock ‘n’ roll hall of fame this year! I’m thrilled and more than excited to see them get on that stage and accept the well-deserved award and recognition.
Needless to say, Chicago is a very special band – from their debut album, released back in 1969, till their ultimate rise to stardom in the late 70s, this band has left us with nothing but some of the most finest and well-written compositions in history.
Chicago, originally called Chicago Transit Authority, will forever remain in our hearts as one of the first bands to present a mind-blowing and successful merge of jazz and rock music. They self-described themselves as “rock and roll band with horns”, however the idea of a jazz-rock band was most certainly not a new one – horns and rock had been merged many times before Chicago debuted. What was different this time though was that Chicago turned into a “fully functioning” rock and roll band that not only included a horn section in their work but became radio friendly and proved that they have a lot of potential to succeed in the industry. It was Chicago that basically brought the sound to the mass audience and got the big thumbs up!

Even though, their debut album – “Chicago Transit Authority”, was awarded a platinum disc, it was the band’s second self-titled release that brought them immense popularity and triumph. Chicago had many line-up changes, in addition to music-direction alterations, especially in the 80s. Actually, I am mostly fond of their 80s sound and the so called ballad-era, supervised by the infamous producer David Foster. Their new power-ballad style gave birth to numerous successful singles; however the new creative direction also created some frictions between the members of the band – which of course, led to the departure of Peter Cetera. Nevertheless, the band kept on releasing albums and making sure that their loyal fan base gets the best of what they got. Over the course of their career, they released five number one albums and 21 top ten singles. Not to mention that they are second only to the Beach Boys in terms of Billboard singles and albums chart success among all other American rock bands. Their consistency, brilliant song-writing and devoted attitude towards their fans are what kept the band alive in our hearts for so many years. Chicago are one of those classic rock groups which will forever remain a must on any rock radio. Their songs are just that good…

To demonstrate what I mean, I collect some of Chicago’s greatest songs throughout the years. I hope you guys might get reminded of a few great rock classics or if not – listen and appreciate something new (old) you haven’t had the chance to hear before. I selected 10 songs from their ENORMOUS catalogue (which believe me was harder than I thought) and prepared this little playlist to honor their greatness and appreciate their musicianship once more. I hope you guys like those songs as much as I do! Let’s have a listen…


 

 

10. Hard Habit to Break (1984)

 

9. Old Days (1975)

 

8. Saturday in the Park (1972)

 

7. Beginnings (1969)

 

6. Does Anybody Really Know What Time It Is? (1969)

 

5. Hard to Say I’m Sorry (1982)

 

4. You’re the Inspiration (1984)

 

3. If You Leave Me Now (1976)

 

2. 26 or 6 to 4 (1970)

 

1. Baby, What a Big Surprise (1977)