Vision Quest is a coming-of-age movie about a Spokane high school wrestler who falls head over heels in love with an older woman. Based on Terry Davis’ 1979 novel of the same name, the film stars Matthew Modine, Linda Fiorentino, Michael Schoeffling and Ronny Cox, but is best known for being the first movie to feature Madonna, who pops up as a singer in a local bar to perform Crazy for You and Gambler. Both songs appear on the Vision Quest soundtrack, as do the rest of these fine tunes.
10. She’s on the Zoom – Don Henley
Don Henley probably wasn’t thinking of the millions of workers who took to Zoom during the COVID pandemic when he wrote She’s on the Zoom, but even if it’s not prophetic, or even particularly profound, it’s an enjoyable romp with enough big beats and chewy hooks to get you interested. The production might have 1985 written all over it, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing.
9. I’ll Fall in Love Again – Sammy Hagar
He might be best known for his work with Van Halen, but Sammy Hager has also carved out a successful solo career… not to mention launched a tequila brand, a restaurant chain, hosted the TV show Rock & Roll Road Trip with Sammy Hagar, and fronted a bunch of bands that include Chickenfoot and Sammy Hagar and the Circle. Basically, he’s a very busy boy, and one who certainly knows his way around a big chorus and a meaty hook, at least if this classic slice of rock and roll from the Vision Quest soundtrack is anything to go by.
8. Hungry for Heaven – Dio
Dio, the heavy metal band led by Black Sabbath’s Ronnie James Dio, seemed to have a bit of a weakness for Hungry for Heaven. Dig through their discography, and you’ll find dozens of versions, some released as singles in different countries, some found on live albums, and some on compilation recordings. The one most fans are familiar with is the one from the band’s third studio album, Sacred Heart, which reached number 30 on the Billboard Top Album Tracks chart in 1985. Check out their performance on the Vision Quest soundtrack for yet another version to add to the list.
7. Lunatic Fringe – Red Rider
Red Rider guitarist Tom Cochrane wrote Lunatic Fringe in response to the rise in anti-Semitism during the 1970s. He recorded the first demo on the evening of John Lennon’s murder, an event that spurred him to go against the advice of his record company (who felt the song lacked commercial appeal) and release it as a single. It became the only one of the band’s singles to pick up any degree of airplay in the US, where it reached number 11 on Billboard’s Rock Radio Airplay chart. In 2000, it snagged the SOCAN Classic award after being played over 100,000 times on Canadian radio.
6. Change – John Waite
Change was first recorded by Holly Knight and her band Spider for their 1981 second album, Between the Lines. A year later, John Waite, fresh from leaving The Babys, released it as the debut single from his solo debut album, Ignition. While Spider’s version had gone largely unnoticed, Waite’s cover picked up a top twenty spot on the Billboard Album Rock Tracks chart. After Vision Quest inspired a fresh wave of interest in the song, it re-entered the charts, this time peaking at number 54 on the Billboard Hot 100.
5. Hot Blooded – Foreigner
A tongue-in-cheek examination of the problem of meeting ladies on the road, Hot Blooded took Foreigner to number 3 on the Billboard Hot 100 in September 1978. It’s since been certified platinum by the RIAA after exceeding record sales of one million. Find it on both the Vision Quest soundtrack and their second studio album, Double Vision.
4. Only the Young – Journey
According to Song Facts, the first person to ever hear Only the Young was a 16-year-old Cystic Fibrosis patient called Kenny Sykaluk, whose mother had written to the band telling them how much he’d always wanted to meet them. The band visited Kenny through the Make a Wish Foundation and played the song to him in his hospital room. Kenny died that same night. The experience left the band deeply affected, with Steve Perry later saying “As soon as I stepped out of that hospital room I lost it. Nurses had to take me to a room by myself.” As a tribute to Kenny, the band played the song at the opening of each show on their Raised On Radio tour.
3. Shout to the Top!- The Style Council
Shout to the Top! was written by Paul Weller and released by The Style Council in 1984, initially as a standalone single but later as a bonus track to the band’s second studio album, Our Favorite Shop. In addition to appearing on the soundtrack to Vision Quest, it also worked its way onto the soundtrack of the 2000 movie, Billy Elliot. In 1998, a remixed version of the song featuring Loleatta Holloway made it to the top spot on the US dance charts.
2. Gambler – Madonna
Described by Stylus Magazine as the “most aggressive track of Madonna’s career,” Gambler is the kind of urgent, assertive disco-pop-punk mash-up that made Madonna the Queen of Pop in the ’80s. It never got released as a single in the US (Madonna’s management were worried it would lessen the impact of singles from the Like a Virgin album) but it became a big hit internationally, reaching number 4 in the UK charts and entering the top ten in Belgium, Ireland, Netherlands, and Norway.
1. Crazy For You – Madonna
Described by Billboard as the “ultimate slow-dance song,” this sassy, slow-burning ballad from the Vision Quest soundtrack became a major hit for Madonna in 1985, earning the singer her second number-one single on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100, reaching the top 5 in Ireland, New Zealand, and the UK, and topping the charts in both Canada and Australia. It also scooped a Grammy Award nomination for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance – the first (but by no means the last) Grammy nomination of her career.