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Cobra Kai fans are psyched for the return of the show with its third season. One favorite aspect of the show is the way it brings viewers back to the ’80s, even though it is set in the present day. The show’s soundtrack is loaded with great ’80s tunes that make you want to get out of your chair and kick something. Let’s take a closer look at the role of ’80s nostalgia on Cobra Kai and the raddest ’80s songs featured on the show that will make you want to learn karate. 

American glam rock band Poison
American glam rock band Poison | Ross Marino/Getty Images

How ‘Cobra Kai’ taps into ’80s nostalgia

It’s hard to argue that The Karate Kid wasn’t one of the most iconic ’80s films. Images like Daniel LaRusso’s headband and the Cobra Kai skeleton costumes are ingrained in our brains when we think of the ’80s. By referring back to this classic movie, Cobra Kai helps bring its viewers back to the ’80s.

It doesn’t hurt that its main character, Johnny Lawrence, in many ways seems stuck in the ’80s (often for comic effect). Everything from Johnny’s car to many of his life choices reflects a man unable to grow up. And one other big component of the show that brings viewers back to the ’80s is the soundtrack. 

The soundtrack of ‘Cobra Kai’

Cobra Kai taps into the music of Karate Kid in a big way. Along with featuring some of the same pieces from the score of the films, it also features a lot of the ’80s songs from the movie.

There’s a cover of “Cruel Summer,” a song featured in the first act of The Karate Kid after Daniel and his mom move from New Jersey to California. Plus, according to IMDb, one episode is titled “Glory of Love.” This is the title of a Peter Cetera song featured in Karate Kid Part II. The episode also features the song “You’re the Inspiration,” a Chicago song on which Cetera was lead vocals. 

The soundtrack does more than instill nostalgia and bring fans back to the ’80s. Like the songs from the movies, it also makes you want to take part in the action.

The raddest ’80s songs in ‘Cobra Kai’


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Men’s Health compiled some of the best songs from seasons 1 and 2 of Cobra Kai. Here are three of the best ones that will make you want to learn karate.

‘I Want It All’ by Queen

Queen is a hard band to nail down in the best way. It’s not quite rock ‘n’ roll, not quite pop, and not quite anything in between. Queen is its own brand of music, and each of its songs will leave you with a different feeling. “I Want It All” is one of Queen’s power ballads that seems like it was made to break wooden boards to. 

‘Nothin’ but a Good Time’ by Poison

Led by Bret Michaels, Poison is one of the hairiest of the ’80s hair metal bands. It’s quintessential ’80s. And the song “Nothin’ but a Good Time” in particular will leave you wanting to train, kick butt, and take names. 

‘Back in Black’ by AC/DC

Finally, one of the best rock ‘n’ roll bands of all time also created one of the best songs to train to. AC/DC has no shortage of songs that will get your blood pumping, and “Back in Black” is one of its greatest hits. Whether you’re on a run or working on your spin kick, “Back in Black” is a certified banger.