1. INXS and Jimmy Barnes, “Good Times”
“Good Times,” the Harry Vanda / George Young composition which was first released as a single by their band, the Easybeats, in 1968 – may not be the first song that comes to mind when one thinks of The Lost Boys, but it’s likely the one that’s been heard by the most people, having been the only charting single from the film’s soundtrack in the U.S. Although it wasn’t what you’d call a smash, hitting only #47 on the Billboard Hot 100, not only did it serve to keep INXS in the pop culture consciousness between their Listen like Thieves and Kick albums, but it also provided Barnes with a sufficient raise in his Stateside profile to pull his first – and, unfortunately, really his only – substantial solo hit in America, “Too Much Ain’t Enough Love.”
3. Lou Gramm, “Lost in the Shadows (The Lost Boys)”
Although “Cry Little Sister” is the real theme from The Lost Boys – it says so in parentheses – this solo contribution from the onetime Foreigner frontman (he was still with the band at the time) is likely just as familiar to anyone who’s seen the film. Although securing Lou Gramm for the soundtrack was no doubt made easier by the fact that he was already part of the Atlantic Records family, a 2012 Indiewire piece indicates that Schumacher helped seal the deal by promising to direct a video for Foreigner at some future juncture. Although it appears that Schumacher never made good on his promise, it would seem likely that the royalties Gramm has racked up over the years from writing “Lost in the Shadows” would’ve helped heal any rift that might’ve occurred between them as a result of the reneging.
5. Roger Daltrey, “Don’t Let the Sun Go Down on Me”
The bond between Roger Daltrey and Elton John goes back pretty far (surely you remember when the two gentlemen engaged in an epic onscreen pinball battle in Tommy), so it’s not exactly a stretch to imagine Daltrey being pitched the idea of covering this thematically-appropriate track and deciding, “Sure, I’ll give it a go!” Producer Beau Hill was working mostly with metal artists at the time – some of the folks whose albums he was helming in ‘86 and ‘87: Alice Cooper, Ratt, and Twisted Sister – but he gives Daltrey’s version of “Sun” all the bombast it deserves. Hill was also responsible for bringing in ’80s rock goddess Fiona to sing background vocals, but that was an easy get: the two were a couple at the time.
7. INXS and Jimmy Barnes, “Laying Down the Law”
While “Laying Down the Law,” an INXS/Barnes co-write, and the cover of “Good Times” have come to be immediately associated with The Lost Boys over the years, both songs were originally recorded and released in 1986 to publicize a series of outdoor concerts called Australian Made, which – in addition to INXS and Barnes – featured Divinyls, I’m Talking, Mental as Anything, Models, and The Triffids. As a result, “Good Times” hit #2 down under several months before the soundtrack to The Lost Boys ever hit record store shelves.
9. Echo & The Bunnymen, “People Are Strange”
You certainly can’t say that the Bunnymen didn’t have enough street cred to cover this Doors classic: the recording session was helmed by none other than Ray Manzarek. It was the first time Manzarek worked with Ian McCulloch and company, but it wasn’t the last: in addition to contributing keyboards to “Bedbugs and Ballyhoo” on the Bunnymen’s self-titled album in 1987, he also popped onstage for the band’s concert in Los Angeles to perform the aforementioned two songs as well as a cover of The Doors’ “Soul Kitchen.”
11. Gerard McMann, “Cry Little Sister (Theme from The Lost Boys)”
In a 2013 interview with the website Kickin’ it Old School – 80s Pop Culture, Gerald McMann – who now travels under the moniker of G Tom Mac – revealed that he managed to compose the theme from The Lost Boys, without even enjoying the benefit of screening the movie first, although they did at least send him a copy of the screenplay. “As it turned out, I got inspired by reading the script and the events in my own life and wrote the song,” said Mac. “The song was brewing in my head with the choir as a chorus backing me. That all seemed to come within half an hour. Mike Maineri had this hypnotic beat, we refined it together, and my melody and chords melted right into it. Then I wrote the lyrics within an hour or two, recorded the demo, sent it to Joel [Schumacher], two days later got a call from him, ecstatic by the song and saying, “You nailed my theme song to The Lost Boys! I can’t believe you wrote this without seeing a frame of film!’”
13. Eddie & The Tide, “Power Play”
Founded by Steve “Eddie” Rice in 1983, Eddie & The Tide were a relatively well-established band by the time they turned up on the Lost Boys soundtrack, having already independently released an EP (Maybe I’ll Get Lucky) and album (I Do It for You) as well as their major-label debut, Go Out and Get It, on Atlantic. The band has never really seemed to embrace “Power Play,” however – the lone interview with Rice on their official website, a piece clearly designed as a career retrospective of sorts, makes absolutely no mention of it – and if that’s not mere coincidence, then it may be because they didn’t write it. You’ll recognize the work of the guys who did, though: it was composed by Phil Pickett, late of the band Sailor (“A Glass of Champagne”) and probably best known to ’80s aficionados for having co-written the Culture Club hits “Karma Chameleon,” “It’s a Miracle,” and “Move Away,” and B.A. Robertson, who’s co-written his fair share of hits as well, most notably Mike + The Mechanics’ “Silent Running” and “The Living Years.”
15. Tim Cappello, “I Still Believe”
If there’s one non-vampiric moment that everyone remembers from The Lost Boys, it’s the shot of a sweaty Tim Cappello thrusting his crotch, whipping his ponytail every which way, and brandishing his saxophone like a weapon while performing “I Still Believe,” but it’s a moment which almost never happened. According to The Santa Cruz Sentinel’s obituary for Michael Been, the late, great frontman for The Call and the songwriter behind “I Still Believe,” the band was offered the opportunity to make a cameo in the film but turned it down.
17. Mummy Calls, “Beauty Has Her Way”
Once upon a time, it looked as though the band known as Mummy Calls was destined for tremendous success: there was reportedly a full-fledged bidding war between labels to determine which one would get to release the band’s self-titled debut album. Geffen won out in the end, releasing the 10-song collection in 1986, describing it in the press release as “a torrid concoction of rock and funk with a dash of Neil Diamond circa Station to Station.” Although the album’s second single, “Let’s Go,” didn’t draw much attention, the first single made enough of an impact to be remembered when The Lost Boys came around in ‘87. Unfortunately, that’s when Mummy Calls – frustrated by Geffen’s decision to shift promotional dollars toward artists on the label not called Mummy Calls – called it quits, a break-up reportedly instigated as a way to free themselves from their contract…but at least we’ll always have “Beauty Has Her Way.”
19. Thomas Newman, “To the Shock of Miss Louise”
It’s hard to argue against the theory that, of the artists appearing on the soundtrack to The Lost Boys, none have come farther in their musical careers than Thomas Newman. Prior to contributing “To the Shock of Miss Louise,” Newman had been working on the music for comedies like Revenge of the Nerds, Desperately Seeking Susan, and Jumpin’ Jack Flash, but once he escaped from the ’80s, his Hollywood trajectory changed toward more dramatic assignments, which clearly made all the difference.
To look at Newman’s credits is to see a heck of a lot of award-winning films, including – but in no way limited to – The Shawshank Redemption, The Horse Whisperer, Meet Joe Black, American Beauty, Erin Brockovich, Finding Nemo, The Help, and Skyfall, and although he’s yet to take home an Academy Award himself, his various scores have resulted in him earning a dozen Oscar nominations, most recently for Saving Mr. Banks. (Plus, he’s got three Grammy Awards to keep him warm at night.) All this from the guy who gave us the creepy-carnival instrumental that closes out The Lost Boys’ soundtrack? And you thought Miss Louise was shocked before…