If Sixteen Candles is for many the definitive portrait of ’80s youth, then its sound track is the era’s anthem. With artists like Wham!, the Thompson Twins, Billy Idol and David Bowie, the music perfectly captures the new-wave zeitgeist and its popularity among the film’s gawky, insecure protagonists (i.e., all teenagers everywhere). The song selection was courtesy of Sixteen Candles‘ music-crazed writer-director, John Hughes, who crammed his film with more than 30 songs. Amazingly, the original sound-track release, now long out of print, contained just five. But even without the full collection, it’s impossible to hear the Thompson Twins’ “If You Were Here” — one of the five songs released — without picturing Samantha Baker (Molly Ringwald) and Jake Ryan (Michael Schoeffling) leaning toward each other over Sam’s candle-lit birthday cake.
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