Footloose 40th anniversary: Remembering the iconic theme song and soundtrack

Footloose is ranked as one of the best '80s movies and is responsible for the amazing theme song that spans generations.

"Footloose" Premiere
"Footloose" Premiere / Barry King/GettyImages

The movie Footloose celebrates 40 years in 2024, and the musical drama has been released on 4K for the first time in a collectible steelbook or two-disc set. While the movie received mixed reviews from critics, it became a box-office smash and is a favorite of teens from the era.

Directed by Herbert Ross, known for Steel Magnolias and Boys on the Side, Footloose tells of a young man, Ren (Kevin Bacon), who moves from Chicago to a small town in Utah. While there, he comes against the local preacher (John Lithgow) and the town's long-standing ban on dancing within the city limits. The movie also stars Lori Singer, Dianne Wiest, Chris Penn, and Sarah Jessica Parker.

From this film came a remarkable soundtrack led by the theme song, "Footloose," which was co-written and recorded by Kenny Loggins, who also recorded "I'm Free (Heaven Helps the Man)," which is also included in the movie.

The Footloose soundtrack was available on cassette, 8-track, vinyl, reel-to-reel, and CD formats and was one of the last commercial releases on reel-to-reel. The soundtrack was released ahead of the movie's premiere to heighten the emotional response to already familiar songs. The album would reach No. 1 on Billboard 200 from April 1984 until June 1984. Six of the songs charted on the Top 40, with three in the Top 10 and two reaching No. 1. "Somebody's Eyes" reached No. 16 on the Adult Contemporary chart.

"Footloose" and "Let's Hear It for the Boy" topped the Billboard Hot 100, and both were nominated for Academy Awards for Best Original Song in 1985. "Footloose" was nominated for a Gold Globe for Best Original Song - Motion Picture. The album was nominated for a Grammy for Best Album of Original Score Written for a Motion Picture or a Television Special.

Footloose soundtrack songs

  • "Footloose" - Kenny Loggins
  • "Let's Hear It for the Boy" - Deniece Williams
  • "Almost Paradise...Love Theme from Footloose" - Mike Reno and Ann Wilson
  • "Holding Out for a Hero" - Bonnie Tyler
  • "Dancing in the Sheets" - Shalamar
  • "I'm Free (Heaven Help the Man) - Kenny Loggins
  • "Sombody's Eyes" - Karla Bonoff
  • "The Girl Gets Around" - Sammy Hagar
  • "Never" - Moving Pictures

15th Anniversary Collectors' Edition

This edition would add in several titles featured in the movie.

  • "Bang Your Head (Metal Health)" - Quiet Riot
  • "Hurts So Good" - John Mellencamp
  • "Waiting for a Girl Like You" - Foreigner
  • "Dancing in the Sheets" - Extended 12" Remix - Shlamar

"Footloose" has also been included in the American Film Institutes - AFI's 100 Years...100 Songs list.

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