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‘GLOW’: How That Vintage ‘Transformers’ Movie Song Became Ruth and Debbie’s Fighting Anthem

Editor Tyler L. Cook discusses that surprising addition to the Netflix series' totally ‘80s soundtrack.

Betty Gilpin and Alison Brie, "GLOW"

Erica Parise/Netflix

The ‘80s are alive on Netflix’s “GLOW” – and that means more than just the pulling of large AquaNet hair.

Besides plenty of evidence of the decade in the ring with the Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling, “GLOW” also features ass-kickery set to the totally ‘80s soundtrack from Patti LaBelle, Journey, Tears for Fears and others. For viewers who grew up with these artists on cassette, the series has been a heart-pumping aural trip down memory lane.

READ MORE: ‘GLOW’: Breakout Betty Gilpin Still Doesn’t Feel Like She’s Made It, and That’s a Hollywood Problem

There’s one song in particular that will appeal to a very specific set of ‘80s music and film fans: Stan Bush’s “Dare.” In Episode 7, the track is first heard in a montage as Ruth (Alison Brie) and Debbie (Betty Gilpin) decide to get additional instruction on their wrestling moves before their big match.

As they perfect the leaps, the hits, the throws, and the clothesline — all requiring far more acrobatic ability, skill and timing than expected — Ruth and Debbie start to get more comfortable with the moves. Once they start executing them with more confidence, “Dare” goes form mere background music to a swelling anthem that celebrates the risks that are paying off for their journey.

Alison Brie and Betty Gilpin, "GLOW"

Alison Brie and Betty Gilpin, “GLOW”

Erica Parise/Netflix

Here’s a sample of the inspiring, albeit very cheesy ‘80s lyrics:

Dare! Dare to believe you can survive.
You hold the future in your hand.
Dare! Dare to keep all of your dreams alive.
It’s time to take a stand.
And you can win, if you dare.

Editor Tyler L. Cook told IndieWire the use of “Dare” came during editing.

“The montage was initially scripted with a completely different song and after showing my first cut to the director, Jesse Peretz, his only real note was that he felt we could find something better musically to support the story we were telling,” Cook said. “I spent a very long time looking for the right piece of music and probably went through a dozen options. They all had the right montage feel but emotionally didn’t match up with what was happening on screen.”

Cook said his assistant editor, Anthony Rosc, finally suggested “Dare” late one evening – and it made “the scene come alive.”

“Both lyrically and musically it really bolstered the scene and underscored Debbie finally taking GLOW seriously and really wanting the match with Ruth to be the best it could be,” he said. “Lyrics like ‘The fire in your heart is growing,’ ‘You hold the future in your hand,’ “You can win if you dare,” really matched up perfectly with both Ruth and Debbie’s growing confidence as they got better, as well as spoke to where Debbie was on her journey as a character.”

READ MORE: ‘GLOW’ Producers Didn’t Want to Cast Alison Brie — Here’s How She Fought to Change Their Minds

More importantly, for children of the ‘80s who know that “The Transformers: The Movie” is still the best film from the franchise (no apologies, Michael Bay), the use of “Dare” evokes the same excitement and youthful sense of possibility from the first time we saw Hot Rod and Daniel tearing through a canyon.

“Anthony and I are just huge fans of the ’86 ‘Transformers’ movie, so to be able to repurpose it in the GLOW world, it just seemed like a wonderful way to pay homage to something that was really special to our childhoods and do it in a very organic way,” Cook said.

Watch the original scene from “The Transformers” below:

It’s not the first time that a “Transformers” movie song has been repurposed and used for another project. Bush’s “The Touch” has been heard in a number of projects including video games, an episode of “Chuck,” and the Mark Wahlberg-starring “Boogie Nights.”

“GLOW” is currently available for streaming on Netflix.

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