The 1980s Anthems That Make ‘Ready Player One’ Rock

Chris Tilly

Ready Player One references the movies, games and TV of the 1980s. It’s also filled with the music of that decade. The following fist-pumping anthems serve as the soundtrack to Steven Spielberg’s pop culture caper.

Beware of SPOILERS ahead…

Jump – Van Halen

Van Halen‘s biggest hit shows up at the end of the trailer above, and underpins the film’s opening scene. We meet Wade Watts in his ‘Stack’ in Columbus, Ohio, watch him slide down poles and climb down ladders past all his neighbours, and enter the OASIS for the first time.

Everybody Wants to Rule the World – Tears For Fears

Tears For Fears‘ unforgettable anthem plays during the build-up to Ready Player One‘s first quest – a car race through an ever-changing landscape. It’s also a fitting soundtrack to Halliday explaining the challenges ahead, as well as the spoils that the winner will receive.

I Hate Myself For Loving You – Joan Jett

Joan Jett‘s 1988 hit scores our introduction to the film’s villain Nolan Sorrento, and plays as Parzival gets into his DeLorean. Drop dead cool.

I Wanna Be Your Lover – Prince

One of Prince‘s sexiest songs plays as Parzival explores Aech’s workshop, and connects with Art3mis. His heart rate goes through the roof as Mr Rogers Nelson belts out filthy lyrics.

One Way or Another – Blondie

Parzival has conquered the first quest and become something of a celebrity, with everyone wanting a piece of him. This Blondie song is the perfect complement to said scene.

Faith – George Michael

George Michael‘s homage to 1950s rock ‘n roll fires up when Parzival visits Halliday’s journals and spies the clues that will help him on his quest.

Stand On It – Bruce Springsteen

This obscure song by ‘The Boss‘ plays when Parzival wins himself a top-of-the-range VR suit. And it’s a tune that demands to be better known.

Blue Monday – New Order

The bestselling 12-inch of all time — and one of the best songs of all-time — is a fitting soundtrack to Parzival and Art3mis’s trip to ‘The Distracted Globe’ nightclub, where they dance, and embark on “the leap not taken.”

Staying Alive – The Bee Gees

More ’70s than ’80s, this Bee Gees anthem hits when our heroes are floating in The Distracted Globe, Parzival knocking out a dancefloor to show Art3mis his John Travolta moves.

We’re Not Gonna Take It – Twisted Sister

Dee Snyder’s glam-rock outfit provides the perfect music for the final assault on Planet Doom.

You Make My Dreams – Hall & Oates

Daryl and John’s joyous anthem isn’t just the song that plays over Ready Player One‘s end credits. It was also the first dance at writer Ernest Cline’s wedding.

Ready Player One hits UK screens on March 28 and US screens on March 29.

Chris Tilly
FANDOM Managing Editor in the UK. At this point my life is a combination of 1980s horror movies, Crystal Palace football matches, and episodes of I'm Alan Partridge. The first series. When he was in the travel tavern. Not the one after.