Friday, May 12, 2017

"Body Rock" by Maria Vidal

Song#:  2037
Date:  09/08/1984
Debut:  89
Peak:  48
Weeks:  12
Genre:  Dance-Pop, Soundtrack

Pop Bits:  Vidal's career initially began to take off when she became a member Desmond Child & Rouge. That group would reach #51 on the Pop chart in 1979 with the song "Our Love Is Insane." After two albums the group would split, but Vidal kept busy as a background vocalist. In 1984, songs were being gathered for an upcoming movie titled Body Rock. It was another entry in the breakdance film craze of the time period and a soundtrack was a necessity. Producer Phil Ramone was put in charge of the soundtrack and songs were gathered from artists like Laura Branigan, Roberta Flack, Dwight Twilley, and others. For the title-track, this song was written and Vidal was chosen to sing it. The tune would be selected as the soundtrack's first single and issued ahead of the film. The single got some attention at Dance where it reached #8, but it petered out before it could get inside the Pop Top 40. It probably didn't help that the movie was a box office dud and disappeared quickly. Ramone was probably hoping for another Flashdance type success (he oversaw that soundtrack as well), but it didn't happen. Vidal would appear in and supply songs for the 1985 film Once Bitten, but neither the film or soundtrack were very successful. She would fully embark on a solo career in 1987 signing with A&M and issuing a self-titled debut album, but no singles charted and the album faded quickly.

ReduxReview:  This song now sounds like a second-rate Madonna imitation. Madonna had recently become a star, so they could have easily copped her sound and style. The problem is that the song and production wasn't nearly as strong as what Madonna was doing. In fact, even for the time period, the production here is very weak. It's so tinny and thin. Vidal actually has a better voice that what this would suggest too. It reminds me of a tune that would be used on some 80s exercise video. I don't mind hearing it, but it's not a very good recording.

ReduxRating:  5/10

Trivia:  Double Shot!  1) Group leader Desmond Child later became more famous as a songwriter and producer. He has written/co-written many hits over the years including Bon Jovi's "You Give Love a Bad Name" and "Livin' on a Prayer," Kiss' "I Was Made for Lovin' You," Aerosmith's "Dude (Looks Like a Lady," Joan Jett's "I Hate Myself for Loving You," Ricky Martin's "Livin' La Vida Loca," Katy Perry's "Waking Up in Vegas," and many more. In 1991, he issued his only solo album titled Discipline. Two singles from the album got on the Pop chart: "Love on a Rooftop" got to #40 and "You're the Story of My Life" made it to #74 (#29 AC).  2) Vidal later married songwriter/producer Rick Nowels. Nowels has had his own string of successes writing and/or producing for artists like Belinda Carlisle, Fleetwood Mac, Stevie Nicks, Madonna, Lana Del Ray, and many others. He would co-produce the majority of track on Vidal's self-titled solo album.


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