The Extended ‘Ready Player One’ Playlist

Entertainment Movies Music

No spoilers! There are no Ready Player One movie spoilers in this article other than mentioning all of the movie references that are in the novel. I do not talk about how or why these movies are mentioned in the novel so the movies and songs below shouldn’t reveal much of anything about the book and the upcoming movie.

Extend yourself and add more music to that playlist that was just based on songs mentioned in the ‘Ready Player One’ novel (Image from Warner Bros. Pictures)

As promised, I have added to the “Ready Player One-Novel” playlist I published a few weeks back and created an all new extended playlist I have so cleverly named “Ready Player One-Extended.” This new extended playlist contains 106 songs and about 8 hours of music! So how did I go about creating this playlist? The Ready Player One novel is full of movie references, so I went through those movie references and their corresponding soundtracks and picked from them music that I both liked and thought fit the theme of Ready Player One. The rest of this article is a list of all the tracks I added to my original “Ready Player One-Novel” playlist broken out by the movie they came from. But before we get to that, here are a couple of quick links for those of you that just want to jump straight to the music:

Sixteen Candles

  • “Turning Japanese” by The Vapors
  • “Young Guns (Go For It!)” by Wham!
  • “Young Americans” by David Bowie

The “Turning Japanese” track (if you don’t already know what this song is really about) has some relevance to the Ready Player One novel. This really isn’t a family-friendly topic so I will leave it to the reader to do a bit of digging and make the connection.

Blade Runner

  • “Blade Runner (End Titles)” by Vangelis


  • “In the Name of Love” by The Thompson Twins
  • “Ghostbusters (Instrumental)” by Ray Parker Jr.

Better Off Dead

  • “Everybody Wants Some!!” By Van Halen
  • “Foxy Lady” by The Jimi Hendrix Experience

Back to the Future

  • “The Power of Love” by Huey Lewis and The News
  • “Back in Time” by Huey Lewis and The News
  • “Johnny B. Goode” by Chuck Berry

Ferris Bueller’s Day Off

  • “Oh Yeah” by Yello

The Breakfast Club

  • “Don’t You (Forget About Me)” by Simple Minds
  • “Fire in the Twilight” by Wang Chung
  • “We Are Not Alone” by Karla DeVito

Pretty in Pink

  • “Thieves Like Us” by New Order
  • “Elegia” by New Order
  • “If You Leave” by Orchestral Manoeuvers in the Dark
  • “Shell-Shock” by New Order
  • “If You Were Here” by The Thompson Twins

Weird Science

  • “Weird Science” by Oingo Boingo
  • “Eighties” by Killing Joke
  • “The Circle” by Max Carl
  • “Oh, Pretty Woman” by Van Halen

The Goonies

  • “The Goonies ‘R’ Good Enough” by Cyndi Lauper
  • “Eight Arms to Hold You” by Goon Squad
  • “Wherever You’re Goin’” by REO Speedwagon
  • “What a Thrill” by Cyndi Lauper


  • “1990’s Theme” by Journey
  • “Only Solutions” by Journey

Revenge of the Nerds

  • “They’re So Incredible” by Revenge

Risky Business

  • “Every Breath You Take” by Sting
  • “After the Fall” by Journey
  • “D.M.S.R” by Prince
  • “In the Air Tonight” by Phil Collins
  • “Love on a Real Train” by Tangerine Dream

Real Genius

  • “When the Going Gets Tough” by Billy Ocean
  • “The Walls Came Down” by The Call
  • “One Night Love Affair” by Bryan Adams
  • “All She Wants to Do Is Dance” by Don Henley
  • “Number One” by Chaz Jankel
  • “Everybody Wants to Rule the World” by Tears For Fears

European Vacation

  • “Some Like It Hot” by The Power Station
  • “Town Called Malice” by The Jam

Rain Man

  • “Las Vegas/End Credits” by Hans Zimmer
  • “Scatterlings of Africa” by Johnny Clegg & Savuka


  • “Footloose” by Kenny Loggins
  • “Let’s Hear It for the Boy” by Deniece Williams
  • “Almost Paradise” by Mike Reno
  • “Holding Out for a Hero” by Bonnie Tyler
  • “Dancing in the Sheets” by Shalamar
  • “I’m Free” by Kenny Loggins
  • “Never” by Moving Pictures
  • “Bang Your Head” by Quiet Riot

The Matrix

  • “Wake Up” by Rage Against The Machine

Vision Quest

  • “Only the Young” by Journey
  • “Hungry for Heaven” by Dio
  • “Lunatic Fringe” by Red Rider
  • “I’ll Fall in Love Again” by Sammy Hagar
  • “Hot Blooded” by Foreigner
  • “Crazy for You” by Madonna

Terminator 2: Judgement Day

  • “Main Title Terminator 2 Theme” by Brad Fiedel

Say Anything

  • “Cult of Personality” by Living Colour
  • “One Big Rush” by Joe Satriani
  • “Stripped” by Depeche Mode
  • “Skankin’ to the Beat” by Fishbone
  • “Within Your Reach” by The Replacements

Heavy Metal

  • “Heavy Metal” by Sammy Hagar
  • “Open Arms” by Journey

Mad Max: Beyond the Thunderdome

  • “We Don’t Need Another Hero” by Tina Turner
  • “One of the Living” by Tina Turner


  • “Analog Kid” by Rush
  • “Tom Sawyer” by Rush
  • “Middletown Dreams” by Rush
  • “Digital Man” by Rush
  • “Grand Designs” by Rush
  • “The Body Electric” by Rush

Most of these selections by Rush I think speak for themselves. “Tom Sawyer” was a track that was used in one of the early Ready Player One movie trailers. I specifically left it out of the original playlist because it was not called out by name in the novel. The “Middletown Dreams” track from Rush has a very significant tie-in to the novel. So much so that I probably should have included it in the original playlist. So it’s included now and I won’t say anything else to avoid any spoilers.

Ready Player One Movie Trailer Music

  • “Jump” by Van Halen
  • “Take on Me” by A-HA
  • “World in My Eyes” (Cicada Mix) by Depeche Mode
  • “Pure Imagination” by Ghostwriter Music (must buy separately from iTunes, not streamable on Apple Music)


(Image from

Very recently I posted a GeekLinks article here on GeekDad about a new Ready Player One–inspired song and music video called “Art3mis & Parzival” by GUNSHIP. So this song is my last addition and wraps up my “Ready Player One-Extended” playlist. Hope you enjoy it!

Here is a link again to my “Ready Player One-Extended” playlist in Apple Music.

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3 thoughts on “The Extended ‘Ready Player One’ Playlist

  1. In the original motion picture score there is also Blue Monday by New Order. A hit from the 80’s.

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