This week playlist features four tracks from early to mid 80s, when american pop synth music was entering the mainstream, in which the synthesizer is the dominant musical instrument.
In 1981, Carnes recorded the Jackie DeShannon and Donna Weiss song “Bette Davis Eyes“. As the first single released from the album “Mistaken Identity“, it spent nine weeks at number one on the US singles charts and became a worldwide hit. The song’s success propelled the album to #1 for four weeks. The single became the biggest hit of the entire year for 1981, and is second only to Olivia Newton-John‘s “Physical” as the biggest hit of the 1980s in the USA, according to Billboard. The song earned both the Record of the Year and Song of the Year awards at the 1982 Grammy Awards. Carnes was nominated for Best Pop Female and “Mistaken Identity” also earned a nomination for Album of the Year. Two follow-up singles were released from the album. The title track reached #60 on the US singles charts, and “Draw of the Cards” reached #28 in the US, #49 in the UK and #64 in Australia.
Oakey’s career in music has rarely been confined to just the Human League. He has worked on his own, but also with numerous other artists and producers. His first collaboration was producing the Spanish released single “Amor Secreto” by Nick Fury in 1983 for which he also played synthesizer, together with Jo Callis.
His highest profile and most commercially successful collaboration was with producer Giorgio Moroder. In 1984 for the film Electric Dreams, he and Moroder provided the film theme song, “Together in Electric Dreams“. When later released as a single it would go on to become an international hit, actually eclipsing the film it was intended to promote. The song went on to become a bigger hit than some of Oakey’s Human League singles of the same period.
In 1985 Oakey and Moroder released the joint album Philip Oakey & Giorgio Moroder which generated two further single releases, “Be My Lover Now” and “Good-Bye Bad Times“. Released in both the UK and US these singles were not as successful as “Together in Electric Dreams” and the Oakey/Moroder partnership was effectively ended.
Eddie Murphy – Party All The Time
“Party All the Time” is a single originally recorded by comedian and actor Eddie Murphy in 1985, written and produced by Rick James and Kevin Johnston at James’s home studio in Buffalo, New York. The single reached No. 2 on the Billboard Hot 100, kept off the top by Lionel Richie‘s “Say You, Say Me“. Rick James also provided some vocals for the song.
On September 11, 2010, Matthew Wilkening of AOL Radio ranked the song at #36 on the list of the 100 Worst Songs Ever, stating, “If only Eddie Murphy knew an amazingly sharp, funny, music-loving comedian to help rip this ‘song’ apart…”
Flashdance – What A Feeling
“Flashdance… What a Feeling” is a song from the 1983 film Flashdance, written by Giorgio Moroder, Keith Forsey, and Irene Cara, and performed by Cara. Despite the title, the word “Flashdance” itself is not heard in the lyrics; however, the line “In a flash, take a hold of my heart” is a reference to the title of the movie. The instrumental backing tracks of the song made extensive use of synthesizers.