In my recent travels throughout the city, I found myself purchasing two DVDs for a mere six bucks. Late Friday night, I made the decision to revisit these two films back to back for three things: 1) their contributions to Western cinema, 2) their awesome soundtracks and 3) to make sure, I still enjoyed these films and didn't waste six bucks (get $94 more and you can buy 100 tacos).
These two films were Footloose and Xanadu.
After watching both films again, I pondered the question of which film had a better soundtrack. Is it the ELO written, Oliva Newton John performed glossiness of Xanadu? Perhaps, one would prefer the catchy, Pop numbers that form the soundtrack to Footloose. Personally, it's all about Footloose.
Any soundtrack that provides "Holding Out For A Hero," "Let's Hear It For The Boy" and "Dancing In The Sheets" is a winner in my book. It's not to say that the Xanadu soundtrack isn't gold. There's a whole side of Electric Light Orchestra songs and "Magic" is a really good song. In fact, these six songs as well as "Suddenly" are the best songs on the soundtrack and the ELO side, alone, trumps the entire Footloose soundtrack. Still, Footloose, as a whole, is better. It has more diversity among the pop and rock numbers and all of the tracks are enjoyable. It's a sweet slice of the 80's soundtrack pie where all the songs build montages in your head and you have to breakdance to save a youth center. The songs of Xanadu all pertain to the film whereas everything on Footloose can be seen as a separate entity.
Both soundtracks are great and make for awesome sing-a-longs but, in the end, Footloose has "Let's Hear It For The Boy" and that wins my vote. If it came down to theme songs, I would choose Xanadu based on the fact that the song just repeats itself a lot and is really catchy but overall, Footloose has a better selection of songs. Did I mention that it has "Let's Hear It For The Boy?"