Tuesday, October 3, 2017

"Invitation to Dance" by Kim Carnes

Song#:  2180
Date:  01/19/1985
Debut:  85
Peak:  68
Weeks:  6
Genre:  Synthpop, Soundtrack

Pop Bits:  Although Carnes' album Cafe Racers wasn't exactly a hit (#97), her reputation as a songwriter and vocal collaborator was still intact. She got to work with artists like Kenny Rogers and Barbra Streisand and while she was in between albums, Carnes got an offer to supply a song to an upcoming film. The documentary That's Dancing! needed a theme song for the end credits and Carnes was tapped for the job. She co-wrote this tune with her husband Dave Ellingson, Brian Fairweather, and Martin Page. Fairweather and Page had recently supplied a couple song to Carnes for Cafe Racers including the #40 "Invisible Hands." Nile Rodgers stepped on board to produce and the final results played over the end credits of the film. It would also be released as a single and it did fine at Dance getting to #13. However, it could only manage #32 at AC and a short stay on the Pop chart.

ReduxReview:  This is an overlooked gem from Carnes. It's got a great chorus, a nice transitional mid-section, and solid production from Rodgers that resembled the work he had been doing for Madonna's Like a Virgin album. So, why didn't it hit? Well, the film wasn't a big box office draw and although Carnes was still a fixture on the Pop and AC charts, her star had been fading and it was going to take something stronger than this to get it reignited. It also could have been partially due to the lack of promotion. There was a video for the song that tied into the movie, but the kids of the day had no interest in MGM musicals so it didn't play all that well on MTV. It all just didn't gel at the moment and the single got lost. It's too bad because it was good work from Carnes.

ReduxRating:  7/10

Trivia:  Triple Shot!  1) In 1974, a documentary retrospective titled That's Entertainment! was released. It was created to celebrate MGM's 50th anniversary. It featured multiple hosts talking about the history of MGM and introducing segments from their films. The movie was a hit and it prompted a sequel two years later. Although not considered a part of the film series, That's Dancing! was created by the same team, however it focused on dancing in film only and featured bits from other studios besides MGM. Twenty years after the original That's Entertainment!, a second sequel in that series was released.  2) Although not really considered a record, the debut of this single gave Carnes a certain chart distinction. With her appearing on two other singles on the chart at the time, "What About Me" (with Kenny Rogers and James Ingram) and "Make No Mistake, He's Mine" (with Barbra Streisand), Carnes was the first artist to appear on the Pop chart as a solo act, as half of a duo, and as part of a trio.  3) The b-side to this single was not by Carnes. It was a track by film composer Gary S. Scott. Written and produced by Scott, the instrumental track was credited to "Haven." The song was not part of the film. At the time Scott was composing music for the TV series Fame. He would go on to compose music for other shows like Beverly Hills 90210 and The Suite Life of Zack and Cody.


  1. 7/10 as well, Not great or fantastic, but still a really good tune. Should've at least have made it to the lower end of the top 40 on the Hot 100 charts.

    1. Agreed. I was (and still am) a major Carnes fan, so it disappointed me that this tune got ignored.