There are a few movie and soundtrack pairings that represent the wild 1980s. None more so than Top Gun (Footloose and Pretty in Pink are also strong contenders.) A whirlwind romance set in the U.S. Air Force during the Cold War, Top Gun featured wild aerial acrobatics, steamy sexual tension, and macho competition. And the soundtrack had the songs to match. Featuring the huge hits "Danger Zone," "Take My Breath Away," as well as "Playing with the Boys," "Mighty Wings," and a handful of classic soul tracks, the Top Gun soundtrack may be the perfect example of the outrageous '80s. This version expands on the original, including a number of songs not featured on the initial release, such as "Sittin' on the Dock of the Bay" and "Great Balls of Fire" .
The Style Council's albums were always weighed down by their far-reaching musical ambitions, which meant that their ideas were usually best heard on their singles. And while this period of Paul Weller's career has been criticized heavily, he wrote several excellent songs during the Style Council, most of which are featured on the fine compilation The Singular Adventures of the Style Council. Not all of the 16 songs are first-rate, as it begins to lose steam toward the end of the band's life, but "My Ever Changing Moods," "You're the Best Thing," "Long Hot Summer," "Shout to the Top!," "A Solid Bond in Your Heart," "Money Go Round," "Walls Come Tumbling Down," and "Speak Like a Child" are terrific, and make the collection worthwhile for fans of the Jam and Weller's solo career, as well as fans of New Romantic new wave and jazzy sophisti-pop.