Tuesday, September 15, 2015

"Flashdance...What a Feeling" by Irene Cara

#1 Alert!
Gold Record Alert!
Grammy Alert!
Oscar Alert!
Rated 10 Alert!
Song#:  1402
Date:  04/02/1983
Debut:  77
Peak:  1 (6 weeks)
Weeks:  25
Genre:  Pop, Dance, Soundtrack

Pop Bits:  That steel town girl on a Saturday night turned a minor romantic drama into box office gold and along with it, a major hit soundtrack. "Flashdance," starring Jennifer Beales, opened to critical pans in April of 1983. But many folks loved the story of a welder by day, exotic dancer by night trying to get into ballet school and it became a $200 million box office sensation. It also helped that the film had a terrific pop music soundtrack that topped the album chart thanks to this lead single. Co-written by Cara, Keith Forsey, and producer Giorgio Moroder, the song was a smash that would be Cara's first (and only) #1 hit. It would also reach #1 on the dance chart and #4 AC. The tune would go on to score an Oscar for Best Original Song and a Grammy for Cara for Best Pop Female Performance. Although the use of pop songs in films was not a new idea (see "Saturday Night Fever"), the success of the soundtrack (from a movie that technically was not a musical) started a trend. Movie studios recognized the cross marketing appeal of a good pop soundtrack and its potential for making even more money from the film. A slew of pop soundtracks would follow over the years including #1 albums from "Footloose" and "Top Gun." But the spark for the soundtrack explosion began with "Flashdance" and this single.

ReduxReview:  Even my cynical, new wave, rock lovin' BF totally fell for this song. So how can anyone hate on this tune? You just can't. It may not be something you put in your playlists, but I'm sure you have to be boppin' along when this hits the speakers. From it's quiet start and "slow glowing dream" to Cara wailing on the final outro, the song is an iconic piece of 80s pop music. It's as irresistible now as it was then. Slip on your leg warmers and torn sweatshirt and let's get dancin'! I can have it all!


Trivia:  Double Shot!  1) The "Flashdance" soundtrack was hitting its peak during the summer months. At the time, Michael Jackson's "Thriller" had been riding the #1 spot for 17 weeks. The soundtrack finally overtook the top spot from "Thriller" and remained there for 2 short weeks before "Thriller"-mania continued and returned to #1. Oddly, it would be another soundtrack that would finally topple "Thriller" for good. After an additional 20 weeks at #1 (which was interrupted along the way by The Police's "Synchronicity," Quiet Riot's "Metal Health," and Lionel Richie's "Can't Slow Down), "Thriller" relinquished the top spot for the final time to the soundtrack from "Footloose."  2) Originally this song was recorded by vocalist Joe Esposito, who had worked with Moroder before on songs for Donna Summer. However, after hearing the song the movie studio wanted it done by a female singer. Irene Cara was contacted for the work. She helped to reform the lyrics into something from a female perspective and then recorded the tune. Although Esposito lost on out this tune, he still got a song on the soundtrack. He sang the ballad "Lady, Lady, Lady."


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