First Hit #1: August 24, 1985
Sometimes a movie comes along that just captures a decade, and Back to the Future is one of those films. It kind of has to, since it has to underline the differences between 1985 and 1955 by getting as many trends as possible into short segments of film. That means the fashion, scenery, cars, music, everything, it’s got to be something that is instantly recognizable as current.
Huey Lewis and the News are barely cool – they did write a song called hip to be square, let’s not forget – but they do sound like 1985, even before they became part of one of the year’s biggest films. Big, synth laden power pop that sounds sort of like Van Halen’s Jump has aged a few years, Power of Love gives a powerful sense of time that is needed for the film. In some ways, it’s an ’80s overdose, a piece of music that would seem incredibly dated only a few years later. But that’s part of its charm, and part of the film’s continuing charm: Every era is a precise time and place that you can’t go back to, but with a little bit of film magic it can somehow feel like you’ve gone back there.