First Hit #1: May 28, 1983
I’ve never actually seen Flashdance, it’s one those cultural touchstones that somehow passed me by. I have seen the video for What a Feeling, at least, so I can guess it has that most ’80s of scenes, the warehouse dance. I can also probably guess what the movie is about, which is that dance is wonderful and people who are dancers are generally having a really great time, leaping and moving and letting it all go. It’s a simple song, and singer Irene Cara imbues it with soul simply by being as enthusiastic as possible. She really sells the whole dance is amazing aspect of the track, and while the lyrics seem to just be a summary of the film, she sells it. She sounds like she believes what she’s singing about, and would be dancing in the studio if the engineers would allow it. Because she is just selling the hell out of the song, Cara kind of makes the rest of it – a synth heavy piece of ’80s dance – somewhat irrelevant. This could be arranged in almost any way, because Cara has made it all about the vocal.