808s / The World's Greatest Hits

The World’s Greatest Hits: Flashdance: Original Soundtrack from the Motion Picture – Various Artists

Flashdance: Original Soundtrack from the Motion Picture – Various Artists – 1983

Claimed Sales: 20m

First listen?: Yes

Format Listened?: Youtube (You cannot stream this album anywhere!)

I went into the Flashdance soundtrack completely blind. I’ve never seen the film, and I was partly expecting the sort of compilation record that accompanied Dirty Dancing a few years later. Flashdance isn’t this at all, in fact being a surprisingly consistent and stylised take on Disco/80s Pop compiled by a pioneer of the genre Giorgio Morodor. From the opening iconic title track Flashdance…What A Feeling by Irene Cara we have a variety of artists delivering potential dance hits culminating in the other major hit Maniac by Michael Sembello. The Moroder written tracks are the best here, from Joe Esposito’s slow dance synth track Lady Lady Lady, to the instrumental Love Theme that make up part of Side A. It’s interesting though how integrated the rest of the songs are though, Donna Summer’s appearance for the bouncy Romeo feels obvious and fits nicely alongside the likes of Manhunt by Karen Komon. It’s certainly not Summer’ finest moment, but unlike other compilation style sound tracks, the appearance of a major star doesn’t feel unwarranted. As an album, Flashdance manages to capture an era where the tropes of disco were still in the blood of musicians, while the dance genre itself had moved towards the 80s Pop that would follow. Even if none of the tracks truly match the thrills of its two #1 hits, Flashdance genuinely works as an album. For this reason it sits way above the likes of Dirty Dancing, even without the context of the movie.

Rating: 7/10

Will I listen again?: Probably not

Best Track: Maniac is a hectic and exciting closer here, but the peppiness of Flashdance…What A Feeling is hard to deny.

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