Saturday, April 21, 1984

The Footloose soundtrack began a 10-week run at #1

Footloose (soundtrack)

Various Artists

Released: January 31, 1984

Peak: 110 US, 7 UK, 19 CN, 2 AU

Sales (in millions): 9.0 US, -- UK, 16.9 world (includes US and UK)

Genre: pop rock


Song Title (PERFORMER) (Writers) [time] (date of single release, chart peaks) Click for codes to singles charts.

  1. Footloose (KENNY LOGGINS) (Dean Pitchford, Kenny Loggins) [3:46] (1/28/84, 1 US, 2 AR, 6 UK, sales: 1 million, airplay: 1 million)
  2. Let’s Hear It for the Boy (DENIECE WILLIAMS) (Pitchford, Tom Snow) [4:20] (4/7/84, 1 US, 1 RB, 3 AC, 2 UK, sales: 1 million, airplay: 2 million)
  3. Almost Paradise (ANN WILSON & MIKE RENO) (Pitchford, Eric Carmen) [3:50] (5/12/84, 7 US, 1 AC, airplay: 2 million)
  4. Holding Out for a Hero (BONNIE TYLER) (Pitchford, Jim Steinman) [5:50] (2/25/84, 34 US, 2 UK)
  5. Dancing in the Sheets (SHALAMAR) (Pitchford, Bill Wolfer) [4:03] (2/25/84, 17 US, 18 RB, 41 UK)
  6. I’m Free (Heaven Helps the Man) (KENNY LOGGINS) (Pitchford, Loggins) [3:46] (5/5/84, 22 US, 42 AR)
  7. Somebody’s Eyes (KARLA BONOFF) (Pitchford, Snow) [3:33] (8/4/84, 16 AC)
  8. The Girl Gets Around (SAMMY HAGAR) (Pitchford, Hagar) [3:22]
  9. Never (MOVING PICTURES) (Pitchford, Michael Gore) [3:45]

Total Running Time: 36:25


4.204 out of 5.00 (average of 10 ratings)

Quotable: “A light, entertaining listen. Sometimes, that can be better than something substantial” – Stephen Thomas Erlewine, All Music Guide

Awards: (Click on award to learn more).

About the Album:

Footloose was a throwback to ‘50s rock & roll movies, with a silly plot about a town where it was illegal to dance.” AMG When outsider Ren (Bacon) comes to town, he’s stunned by the antiquated no-dancing-allowed law and becomes a rebel with a cause. His effort to fight the system puts him at odds with the town council and local preacher (John Lithgow).

Surprisingly, it was based on real events in the present day. In 1981, the high school junior class in the Oklahoma town of Elmore City petitioned to overturn an 1898 law outlawing dancing so they could hold a prom. Reverend F.R. Johnson, from the nearby town of Hennepin, declared,“No good has ever come from a dance... When boys and girls hold each other they get sexually aroused.” 405

The idea to turn it into a movie came from Dean Pitchford, a songwriter who worked on Fame with Michael Gore in 1980. As the lyricist for the title song, Pitchford won an Academy Award for the title song, a top-five hit for Irene Cara. Pitchford, a novice to screenwriting, turned to Craig Brewer to craft Footloose into a movie. It ended up topping the box office for three weeks in early 1984. It went on to rake in $80 million domestically and ranked #6 for the year. BO

The album was one of only five to top the Billboard 200 in 1984, along with Michael Jackson’s Thriller, Prince’s Purple Rain, Bruce Springsteen’s Born in the U.S.A., and Huey Lewis & the News’ Sports. It went on to be one of the top-ten best-selling soundtracks of all time. MF “It’s easy to see why – the album delivers its mainstream pop, anthemic rock, and light dance-pop with style and an abundance of hooks.” AMG

The toe-tapping, call-to-dance title cut ousted Van Halen’s “Jump” (also propelled by a can’t-sit-still manic energy) from the top of the Billboard Hot 100 the week of March 31. It ended up ranked #4 for the year. BB It was the biggest hit of Loggins’ career, but it wasn’t his first trip to the top 10. He’d reached #4 with the 1972 Loggins & Messina song “Your Mama Don’t Dance” and hit #5 in 1978 with “Whenever I Call You Friend,” a duet with Stevie Nicks. In 1980, Loggins proved his hit-making talents could translate to the movies when “I’m Alright,” from Caddyshack, got to #7.

The “frothy, charming Let’s Hear It for the BoyAMG was released as the next single and also found itself reaching the pole position on the Billboard pop charts. Like Loggins, Deniece Williams had previously reached the top-10 previously. “It’s Gonna Take a Miracle” peaked at #10 in 1982.

The album generated a third top-10 hit with “the excellent power ballad Almost Paradise.” AMG Once again, the song was given a huge bump because of the proven hit-makers on vocals. Mike Reno had racked up five top-40 hits as the lead singer of Loverboy while Ann Wilson had reached the top-40 nine times with Heart, including the top 10 hits “Magic Man” and “Tell It Like It Is.”

While some soundtracks were cobbled together from leftovers by big-name artists alongside a few songs written with the movie in mind, Footloose broke the mold. It did still follow the template of lining up as many A-listers as possible, but the songs bore the distinction of all being co-written by Pitchford. By the time Footlose completed its chart dominance, seven of its nine songs had charted with six of them reaching the top 40.

“The sound and production of Footloose has dated badly – there is a reliance on synthesizers and drum machines that instantly announces that the record was made in 1984 – but that isn’t necessarily a weakness. Not only does it function as a time capsule of a certain moment in pop music history, but many of the songs are catchy enough to transcend their production. There’s nothing of substance on the Footloose soundtrack, but it’s a light, entertaining listen. Sometimes, that can be better than something substantial.” AMG

Notes: An expanded edition of the soundtrack added Quiet Riot’s “Bang Your Head (Metal Health),” John Cougar “Hurts So Good,” and Foreigner “Waiting for a Girl Like You,” all of which were hits prior to the soundtrack. The expanded version also includes another version of “Dancing in the Sheets.”

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First posted 12/25/2008; last updated 1/25/2022.

Phil Collins hit #1 with “Against All Odds”

Against All Odds (Take a Look at Me Now)

Phil Collins

Writer(s): Phil Collins (see lyrics here)

First Charted: February 25, 1984

Peak: 13 US, 13 CB, 14 GR, 14 RR, 2 AC, 11 AR, 2 UK, 14 CN, 3 AU, 2 DF (Click for codes to charts.)

Sales (in millions): 1.0 US, 0.6 UK

Airplay/Streaming (in millions): -- radio, 123.81 video, 358.64 streaming


Click on award for more details.

About the Song:

“Against All Odds” was Collins’ first of seven songs to top the Billboard Hot 100 and his first of six songs to hit that chart which he wrote specifically for a film soundtrack. WK It also hit #1 in Canada, Ireland, and Norway. WK Interestingly, it peaked at #2 in the UK, but two different cover versions made it to the pinnacle. In September 2000, Mariah Carey and Westlife took it to the top and in January 2005 Steve Brookstein, the first winner of The X Factor, landed his version at #1. WK

The song, featured in the 1984 movie of the same name, was a power ballad about seeking reconciliation with an ex-lover even though it is “against all odds.” Collins was on tour with Genesis when the film’s director, Taylor Hackford, flew to Chicago to meet him and show him a rough cut of the film to get him to appear on the soundtrack. Collins watched it on videotape in his hotel room and said yes. WK

Hackford also directed the video clip for the song, which was the #1 MTV video for several weeks. Gary LeMel, senior vice president of music for Columbia Pictures, thought the video added at least $5 million to the movie’s box office. Hackford has said the song, which was featured in the closing credits of the movie, directly contributed to the increase of box office sales. WK Hackford did have one complaint. Collins seemed intent on singing “against the odds” instead of “all.” Collins said, “It just tripped off the tongue easier.” SF

Collins adapted a song originally called “How Can You Just Sit There?” from sessions for his debut album, Face Value (1981). It was inspired by his divorce from his first wife. He said that it transformed him into a lyricist as well as a musician. WK His efforts received nominations for Song of the Year both from the Academy Awards and Golden Globes.


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First posted 11/15/2019; last updated 8/7/2023.

Friday, April 6, 1984

Steve Perry “Oh Sherrie” charted

Oh Sherrie

Steve Perry

Writer(s): Steve Perry, Randy Goodrum, Craig Krampf, Bill Cuomo (see lyrics here)

Released: March 1984

First Charted: April 6, 1984

Peak: 3 US, 4 CB, 2 GR, 2 RR, 33 AC, 12 AR, 12 CN, 5 AU, 2 DF (Click for codes to charts.)

Sales (in millions): --

Airplay/Streaming (in millions): -- radio, 34.8 video, 77.75 streaming


Click on award for more details.

About the Song:

Rock singer/songwriter Steve Perry was born in 1949 in Hanford, California. He was fronting a band called Alien Project when a demo reached the band Journey and Perry became their new lead singer in 1977. The band, originally an offshoot of Santana, had released three albums but never even had a chart single. Their 1978 Infinity album changed their fortunes, reaching #21 and triple platinum status as well as giving them their first chart entries with “Wheel in the Sky” and “Lights.”

Their next four albums all achieved at least three million in sales and three of them reached the top 10. The most successful of these was 1981’s Escape, which sold 10 million copies and produced top-10 hits “Who’s Crying Now,” “Don’t Stop Believin’,” and “Open Arms.” 1983’s Frontiers, which sold six million copies, reached #2, and had four top-40 hits, including the top-10 song “Separate Ways.”

Then Steve Perry decided to release his first solo album. 1984’s Street Talk reached #12 and sold two million copies. Like Frontiers, it also produced four top-40 hits, including a top-10 hit – “Oh Sherrie.” The song is often considered an “honorary” Journey song because of “its resemblance to the band’s trademark sound.” WK Perry wrote the love song for then-girlfirend Sherrie Swafford, who also appeared in the video. WK Two of the song’s co-writers, Bill Cuomo and Craig Krampf, played keyboards and drums respectively on Kim Carnes’ “Bette Davis Eyes.” WK

While some worried that a solo outing from Perry might mean the end of his days with Journey, their fears were alleviated in 1986. Perry reunited with guitarist Neal Schon and keyboardist Jonathan Cain for Raised on Radio, another top-10, multi-platinum effort from the band. It also made for Steve Perry’s fourth album in a row to feature four top-40 hits with at least one of them reaching the top ten.


First posted 12/26/2022.