Golden Raspberry Awards: 1981
The first Golden Raspberry Awards ceremony started as a joke. Founder and publicist, John J.B. Wilson was able to parlay his potluck dinner party into a few local headlines. The following year, he held another potluck dinner following the Oscars and attendance doubled. The list of nominees was also trimmed down to five each to mimic the format of the Academy Awards.
Let’s review the nominees and “winners” of 1981.
We will kick things off with both of the musical categories. This year, they added Worst Musical Score as a category.
Worst Musical Score
- Heaven’s Gate, music by David Mansfield
- The Legend of the Lone Ranger, music by John Barry
- Thief, music by Tangerine Dream
- Under the Rainbow, music by Joe Renzetti
- Zorro, The Gay Blade, music by Ian Fraser
Winner: The Legend of the Lone Ranger
I’m not sure how much musical expertise went into this decision. The Legend of the Lone Ranger was one of the most derided movies of 1981. We’ll see it again in some of the bigger categories. As frequently happens in the Oscars, I think that momentum carried over into this category. It probably helped that the score was composed by the legendary John Barry. Barry is best known for composing the iconic James Bond theme, so I imagine Razzie voters were eager to take him down a peg.
Worst Original Song
- “Baby Talk” from Paternity, music by David Shire, lyrics by David Frishberg
- “Hearts, Not Diamonds” from The Fan, music by Marvin Hamlisch, lyrics by Tim Rice
- “The Man in the Mask” from The Legend of the Lone Ranger, music by John Barry, lyrics by Dean Pitchford
- “Only When I Laugh” from Only When I Laugh, music by David Shire, lyrics by Richard Maltby, Jr.
- “You, You’re Crazy” from Honky Tonk Freeway, composed by Frank Musker and Dominic Bugatti
Winner: “Baby Talk”
Not a whole lot to say here either. I wasn’t able to track down the winner to listen to it. The song comes from a comedy starring Burt Reynolds as a confirmed bachelor who decides he wants to become a father. So he hires Beverly D’Angelo to conceive a child with him. Whether or not the song was any good, the movie was dreadful.
Next: Worst New Star