The improbable life of Stan Bush's "The Touch"

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This cheeseball rock anthem first came to prominence as the "theme" of the 1986 Transformers animated movie. Since then, it's managed to crop up in the strangest of places — and seemingly refuses to die.

It's not a good song. We should say that right up top: The lyrics are trite and hackneyed, the musicianship is perfunctory at best. But Stan Bush's would-be fist-pumper had one thing going for it — the fact that it underscored perhaps the coolest moment in all of Transformers lore. "One shall stand, and one shall fall":

Since then, "The Touch" finds a way to surface every now and again. It popped up in 1997's porn odyssey, Boogie Nights, as the song that Dirk Diggler (Mark Wahlberg) thinks will cement his prick-prompted stardom.

It was 11 years before "The Touch" found its way to Chuck, in 2008's "Chuck versus Tom Sawyer."

"The Touch" finally made its way back into the Transformers franchise — sorta. When Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen was in production, Bush recut his tune as a rap-rock ballad called "The Touch: Sam's Theme," hoping it might land a spot on the official soundtrack. (It didn't.) It most recently made an appearance in the April 11, 2010 episode of American Dad, "Cops and Roger."

Why has this song survived while others have faded into obscurity? I don't have an answer — other than that nostalgia is a powerful thing.