Wednesday, August 21, 2013

"Theme from Raging Bull" by Joel Diamond

Song#:  0505
Date:  02/21/1981
Debut:  83
Peak:  82
Weeks:  3
Genre:  Pop, Adult Contemporary, Soundtrack

Pop Bits:  Diamond was already a successful songwriter/publisher/producer and a record company mogul before the 80s even began. He produced hits like Benny Mardones' "Into the Night," Steam's "Na Na Hey Hey Kiss Him Goodbye," and eleven albums by Engelbert Humperdinck including his hit song "After the Lovin'." If that wasn't enough, he decided to do his own album and in 1979 released the disco album "The Joel Diamond Experience." Not much came from it but his next venture was this one-off single based on the main theme to the film "Raging Bull." The film used the Intermezzo from the piece Cavallaria Rusticana by Pietro Mascagni for the opening credits and Diamond adapted that for his version. The instrumental would be Diamond's only chart song.

ReduxReview:  Hmmm. Maybe this piece as used in the movie caught on, sort of like what happened to Vivaldi's "Four Seasons" in the movie "Ordinary People." Otherwise, I'm not sure why this would even get played on radio. It's kind of a bland, pop-orchestrated version of the song - and one that isn't entirely catchy in this manner. It's not totally sappy or horrible, but it is also nothing I'd listen to again.

ReduxRating:  3/10

Trivia:  David Hasselhoff? As a singer? Huge in Germany? Yup - thanks to Diamond. After every American label rejected Hasselhoff for a recording contract, Diamond flipped the bill for Hasselhoff to record and the result was him getting signed and his record released in Europe. The album hit #1 in Germany, as did it's lead single "Looking for Freedom." The recordings were also hits in Austria and Switzerland as well.


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