Saturday, March 31, 1984

Kenny Loggins hit #1 with “Footloose”

First posted 1/28/2021.


Kenny Loggins

Writer(s): Kenny Loggins, Dean Pitchford (see lyrics here)

Released: January 11, 1984

First Charted: January 28, 1984

Peak: 13 US, 13 CB, 13 RR, 2 AR, 6 UK, 11 CN, 13 AU (Click for codes to singles charts.)

Sales (in millions): 1.0 US, 1.0 UK, 2.0 world (includes US + UK)

Airplay/Streaming (in millions): 1.0 radio, 44.8 video, -- streaming

Awards: (Click on award for more details).

About the Song:

1984 was a good year for movie songs. Prince hit #1 with “When Doves Cry” and “Let’s Go Crazy,” Phil Collins with “Against All Odds,” Ray Parker Jr. with “Ghostbusters,” and Stevie Wonder “I Just Called to Say I Love You.” The latter three, along with with Deniece Williams’ “Let’s Hear It for the Boy” and Kenny Loggins title song from Footloose, were nominated for Oscars for Best Song. It was the first time all five nominees had hit #1 on the Billboard Hot 100. BR1

Dean Pitchford, the screenwriter for Footloose, was a co-writer on the title song, as he had been on 1980’s “Fame,” an Oscar-winning song from the movie of the same name. He had also worked with Loggins before on his 1982 top-20 hit “Don’t Fight It” and knew he wanted him on “Footloose.” He told Dick Clark, “It felt to me like he was the voice of the country.” BR1 Loggins also had experience with a hit song (“I’m Alright”) from a hit movie (Caddyshack).

Pitchford worked on the movie for two years. The story was inspired by a 1979 newspaper article about the town of Elmore City, Oklahoma. The town’s fourteen high school seniors wanted a prom and got the town council to overturn the law against dancing which had been on the books since the 1800s. SF

Pitchford said Loggins “persevered with me through script after script after script…He was very much around when the whole thing was coming together.” BR1 The pair wrote the song over four days while Loggins was suffering a rib injury and Pitchford from strep throat. They knew they had a hit when they saw audiences at Loggins’ concerts respond to the song before the movie had even been released. BR1

Pitchford co-wrote all the songs on the soundtrack – six of which charted. In addition to the #1 hits “Footloose” and “Let’s Hear It for the Boy,” the soundtrack churned out top-40 hits with another Kenny Loggins’ song (“I’m Free”) as well as tunes by Shalamar (“Dancing in the Sheets”), Mike Reno and Ann Wilson (“Almost Paradise”), and Bonnie Tyler (“Holding Out for a Hero”).

Resources and Related Links:

  • DMDB encyclopedia entry for Kenny Loggins
  • DMDB page for parent album Footloose soundtrack
  • BR1 Fred Bronson (2007). The Billboard Book of Number One Hits (4th edition). New York, NY; Billboard Books. Page 585.
  • SF Songfacts
  • WK Wikipedia

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