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And now, in memoriam of one of the greatest songs ever written, a complete analysis of "The Heat is On" by Glen Frey. In 1984, Beverly Hills Cop was a movie pre-destined to become a hit. All you really needed to be a big time movie in 1984 was Eddie Murphy, a serviceable plot with a few jokes, and a catch theme song. Thanks to the wise-cracking antics of Axel Foley, Beverly Hills Cop was already halfway home to being a smash. With the addition of Eagles founder Glen Frey on the soundtrack, the pieces were in place to make Beverly Hills Cop one of the most successful movies about displaced cops chasing down cocaine dealers.
It wasn't until the first tracks for the soundtrack were being laid down that anyone had any idea just how big things could become. "The Heat is On" was a bit of a departure for the more esoteric Frey we knew and loved from the Eagles, and had a lot more pop appeal than we were accustomed to hearing from the '70s rock band. It was such a huge success that it was bested only by REO Speedwagon's "Can't Fight This Feeling" on the Billboard Top 100 in March of 1985. It's as synonymous with Beverly Hills Cop as Eddie himself, which says a lot about Frey's ability to craft a masterful rock song to tie perfectly into a major summer movie.
While Beverly Hills Cop spawned a few sequels, "The Heat is On" never earned a follow-up number in the ways songs like "Unforgiven," "Unforgiven II," and "Unforgiven III" did, albeit for a different band, and for a different audience. But it's still one of the most memorable songs of 1985, so it's got that going for it.
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