Song: “Flashdance… What A Feeling” by Irene Cara
Reached #1: May 28, 1983 (her first, 6 weeks)
This is one of those days when I feel kind of old – has it really been almost 30 years since Jennifer Beals’ body-double simulated being a stripper in Flashdance?
The song was written – and originally performed – by Giorgio Moroder. I think I’d like to have heard that version… but Paramount wanted the singer to be female so that it’d sound more like the lead character of the movie. So Irene Cara, who’d already done one soundtrack hit (Fame), was recruited to do the official single.
This happens a lot with soundtrack singles – the version you know isn’t actually used in the movie. The song is used, but with different arrangements to fit the scene in which it appears (twice). This version was released specifically for radio.
Cara went on to release one more album after What A Feelin’ (her album built around the Flashdance single) – then took a long break from acting and singing. She returned in the mid-aughts, formed an all-woman band named Hot Caramel, and released their first album in 2011.
Tomorrow, a band whose off-stage troubles are almost as legendary as their music…
Other songs that reached #1 on May 28:
1966 – “When A Man Loves A Woman” by Percy Sledge (his first, 2 weeks)
1988 – “One More Try” by George Michael (his third, 3 weeks)