8 Classic Tracks from the Back to the Future Soundtrack

Actor Michael J. Fox starred in Back to the Future in 1985 when he was only 23 years old, and it was the top-grossing movie of 1985. The film was so popular that it led to a Back to the Future trilogy and rereleases of the soundtrack albums with additional songs for the first film that can be heard in theme parks.

The sci-fi film features him working overtime, not only saving his parents’ relationship by inadvertently going back in time to 1985 but also pulling double-duty by trying to save his eccentric scientist friend, Doc Brown.

Travel back in time with this diverse ’80s-inspired Back to the Future soundtrack album. Great Scott!

The Power of Love – Huey Lewis and the News

Huey Lewis was hired to write a song for the hit film Back to the Future, and in a truly artistic fashion, Huey had trouble adhering to deadlines. By the time the song was completed, filming had already wrapped. The only scene ‘The Power of Love’ would fit was a transitional one featuring the main character Marty riding his skateboard from his friend Doc’s house to school. A short instrumental version was played as well by Marty’s band during a scene featuring a band audition.

Related: Find this song on our playlist of love songs of the 80s.

Time Bomb Town – Lindsey Buckingham

Fleetwood Mac co-founder Lindsey Buckingham went solo for this tune specifically written for the Back to the Future soundtrack. The eclectic tune plays through protagonist Marty McFly’s radio in a scene right before he gets a call from the eccentric “Doc Brown.” The song’s lyrics give life to Marty’s future struggles involving loneliness and desperation in the movie’s storyline.

Related: Listen to more songs about being alone and sad.

Heaven is One Step Away – Eric Clapton

The street bum in Back to the Future known as “Red” witnesses Marty’s chaotic return to the present when he reappears in 1985 with his famous DeLorean car. In the movie, Red was known to listen to music all night long on a small radio he kept with him at all times. Eric Clapton’s ‘Heaven Is One Step Away’ is one of the songs played on Red’s radio as Marty successfully navigates his way “back to the future.”

Related: Hear more of the best heaven songs.

Back in Time – Huey Lewis and the News

Huey Lewis and The News were experiencing significant popularity around the same time Back to the Future was filmed. The band had a couple of songs included on the soundtrack album that is briefly heard in the film. Not only did Lewis and his bandmates write ‘The Power of Love’ for the film, but they also wrote ‘Back in Time’ for it as well. This particular song plays during the Back to the Future end credits.

Related: Don’t waste any time—listen to these time songs.

The Wallflower (Dance with Me, Henry) – Etta James

Etta James co-wrote this romantic number, and it plays on a jukebox in Back to the Future’s famous eatery, Lou’s Diner, as the movie goes back in time to 1955. During the scene featuring the song, a boy and girl dance to it by the jukebox as it plays in the diner. The song was first released on James’ 1961 album, Good Rockin’ Mama.

Related: Dance with someone special with this list of dancing music.

Night Train – Marvin Berry & The Starlighters

This instrumental tune featuring saxophone dates back to the 1940s when Jimmy Forrest first wrote it while he was part of the Duke Ellington Band. Though lyrics were ultimately put to it, the Back to the Future crew went with The Starlighters’ instrumental version for the movie. It is featured during a flashback scene in 1955 at a school dance when the main character Marty is about to get into a fist fight.

Related: Check out the best school songs.

Earth Angel (Will You Be Mine) – Marvin Berry & The Starlighters

The sci-fi plot behind Back to the Future partly features protagonist Marty McFly having to go back in time to keep his parents together, so he doesn’t get snuffed out of existence. Marvin Berry & The Starlighters, band comprised of fictional characters, have several songs featured in the popular ’80s film, with ‘Earth Angel (Will You Be Mine)’ being one of them. The song plays as Marty’s parents, George and Lorraine, kiss back in time in 1955. The real writers of the song were given a special thanks in the film’s end credits since the credit was given to the characters.

Related: Feel the romance with this playlist of kissing songs.

Johnny B. Goode – Marty McFly & The Starlighters

“I guess you guys aren’t ready for that. But your kids are gonna love it.” Marty McFly utters these famous words in a scene towards the end of the sci-fi movie Back to the Future after having just played the song ‘Johnny B. Goode’ with the famous Starlighters band at a dance while still stuck in 1955. Chuck Berry originally wrote this rock ‘n roll tune in the mid-1950s and it’s well-known on the Back to the Future original motion picture soundtrack.