'Back to the Future' Best Music Moments: From "Johnny B. Goode" to ZZ Top
The film series is responsible for some of cinema's greatest music moments and a couple hit songs to boot.
With Wednesday (Oct. 21) marking the day Doc Brown and Marty McFly traveled to in Back to the Future II, it's been widely celebrated as a holiday to honor the trilogy's legacy outright.
With the original soundtrack and film's scores seeing reissues and plenty more celebration taking place, the well-deserved commemoration is expanding across all realms of culture. Aside from Back to the Future's comedic action-packed handling of the always-tricky subject matter that is time travel — as well as putting Michael J. Fox on the map — the film series is responsible for some of cinema's greatest music moments and a couple hit songs to boot.
Paying our own tribute to Back to the Future, we review each film's greatest music moment:
Back to the Future: Marty McFly plays "Johnny B. Goode"
While Back to the Future helped birth Huey Lewis & The News' first No. 1 song with "Power of Love," which was featured on the film's soundtrack -- including a scene where Marty McFly shreds too hard auditioning for the school battle of the bands, failing by judge Lewis' own decree in a cameo performance — the film's best music moment belongs to that iconic performance of Chuck Berry's classic "Johnny B. Goode." The setting is 1955 and McFly has to get his parents romantically entangled in order to save his own life, so he winds up jamming the band at the school dance by bringing the fresh sound of 1958 to the oblivious audience. The rest is history.
Back to the Future II: Michael Jackson at Cafe '80s
In Back to the Future II, as Marty McFly and Doc Brown travel forward in time to 2015 in effort to repair their own present time reality, Brown describes the retro restaurant Cafe '80s as "one of those nostalgia places but not done very well." Instead, the eatery is a clever comment on the commercialism of the 1980s -- when the film was created -- put in the future context of 2015, complete with Miami Vice-inspired pastel colors, "priceless artifact" Pac-Man arcade game and Michael Jackson, Ronald Reagan and Ayatollah Khomeini simulacra video waiters advertising the day's specials. Naturally, Jackson's "Beat It" plays as McFly enters the establishment -- it's pretty classic '80s, only in the future.
Back to the Future III: ZZ Top Performing "Doubleback" as Old West Band
ZZ Top appear in Back to the Future III for a cameo as an Old West band in 1885 playing at the festival where Marty McFly first encounters the bully Biff while Doc Brown is dancing with his love interest. Story has it that while on set, when a camera broke, Michael J. Fox asked if ZZ Top would play "Hey Good Lookin.'" They did, and they kept on playing for about two more hours, waiting for the camera to be repaired. When someone finally asked what was going on with that repair job, it turned out the camera had been fixed for a while but director Robert Zemeckis just didn't want to stop the party.
This article originally appeared on Billboard.com