Dean Pitchford Is Footloose
October 10, 2017 10:38 PM   Subscribe

You've probably never heard of Dean Pitchford, but if you are of a certain age, you've definitely witnessed and listened to Dean Pitchford. He wrote the screenplay for 1984's Footloose, and he also co-wrote every song on the soundtrack. Beginning co-writing with Kenny Loggins the title track, a chart topper and Academy Award nominee, performed by Loggins, Footloose.

Tom Snow wrote or contributed to a lot of songs you know, and he also co-wrote track 2, Let's Hear It For The Boy, performed by Deneice Williams. It was a #1 hit on more than one Billboard chart and got to #2 in the UK.

So, imagine this. The guy who sings "Turn Me Loose" (Mike Reno from Loverboy) does a romantic ballad with the woman who sings "Magic Man" (Ann Wilson from Heart). Yes, this did happen, on a track written with Eric Carmen (Go All The Way - The Raspberries): Almost Paradise. It peaked at #7 in the Billboard charts, and spent 13 weeks in the top 40.

Track number four is Holding Out For A Hero, performed by Bonnie Tyler, written with Jim "I write all the songs by Meat Loaf that you've ever loved" Steinman. It was a top 40 hit in several places across the globe, including #2 in the UK and #1 in Ireland.

This soundtrack is the gift that never stops giving. Dancing In The Sheets was a hit for Shalamar, co-written with Bill Wolfer. It was a top 20 hit in the US and a top 40 hit in the UK. [There was also a classic 80s 12" mix!]

The second Loggins/Pitchford pairing on the album was I'm Free (Heaven Helps The Man). Performed by Loggins, it ALSO entered the charts, getting into the top 40 in both the US and Canada.

Tom Snow makes a reappearance for Somebody's Eyes, performed by Karla Bonoff. It hit the top 20 of the US Adult Contemporary Chart.

I mean, how many hits can one soundtrack album have? All with the same co-writer?

Well, that's it, really. The Girl Gets Around, co-written with and performed by Sammy Hagar, and Never [TW: aggressive 80's saxophone], performed by Moving Pictures and written with Michael Gore (who with Pitchford won the Oscar for Original Song in 1981 for the title song for the movie Fame] complete the original soundtrack album.
posted by hippybear (60 comments total) 28 users marked this as a favorite
 
A special place in hell for the first two tracks.
posted by Ogre Lawless at 11:03 PM on October 10 [3 favorites]


The Footloose soundtrack was the first cassette I ever owned, and the last album I ever thought I'd see featured here. I don't even remember The Girl Gets Around, which is pretty telling, but all the other songs are pretty much burned into my soul. I always though it was a shame the kids on the school bus never played the majority of them when the driver let them get out the boombox; it was always Footloose, then Let's Hear It for the Boy, then rewind and play again...for the entire hour trip...for most of the year. Yeah, Ogre Lawless, you've got a point.
posted by darksasami at 11:09 PM on October 10 [3 favorites]


Damn, and they've all got really low Bacon numbers, to boot.
posted by chavenet at 1:15 AM on October 11


Dean Pitchford and Tom Snow also wrote You Should Hear How She Talks About You.
posted by fluffy battle kitten at 1:20 AM on October 11 [2 favorites]


I've mentioned it before on this site but I love Kenny Loggins irrationally. I love I'm Free (Heaven Helps the Man.) Video features Academy Award winner, Virginia Madsen.
posted by fluffy battle kitten at 1:26 AM on October 11 [2 favorites]


Also. I managed to see Footloose in the theater eleven times. It super fed my distrust of authority and religion.
posted by fluffy battle kitten at 1:28 AM on October 11 [4 favorites]


*applies earworm cure*
posted by thelonius at 1:43 AM on October 11 [5 favorites]


Notice: not available in all timelines. Cure may be worse than disease.
posted by thelonius at 1:46 AM on October 11 [9 favorites]


This soundtrack and film are so entwined with my college memories! My friends and I saw the movie multiple times, we owned the soundtrack, we watched the music videos on MTV, we danced to the songs in bars... to this day whenever I hear one of these songs I’m instantly transporting back to that time. Nice memories.
posted by bookmammal at 3:16 AM on October 11 [1 favorite]


TW: aggressive 80's saxophone

The TW we want, need and deserve
posted by I_Love_Bananas at 4:52 AM on October 11 [8 favorites]


My stepfather, who recently passed away, could never remember the title of Footloose. He always called it "Super Dance."
posted by Kitteh at 5:02 AM on October 11 [28 favorites]


TW: aggressive 80's saxophone

That is really appalling and tasteless sax, even by the standards of the day.
posted by uncleozzy at 5:14 AM on October 11 [2 favorites]


Footloose would've been better if Chuck Cranston was redeemed or had made peace. As they left it, I just imagine him coming to from being KOed and then trashing Ren's car before living a long miserable life as an abusive alcoholic with limited economic prospects.
posted by Burhanistan at 5:43 AM on October 11 [2 favorites]


It super fed my distrust of authority and religion.
It's interesting, though: I saw that movie again as an adult, and I was struck by how hard they worked not to make John Lithgow's character a caricature. He has motivation other than just being a narrow-minded fanatic, and he's capable of change. It's a more subtle portrayal than I remember it being from when I saw it as a kid.

Anyway, my brother and I had that album on record, and we must have worn it out.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 5:46 AM on October 11 [6 favorites]


AMAZE at the conveniently placed high bars!
THRILL to a daring game of chicken with... tractors!
MARVEL at how well kids who have never danced can breakdance!

seriously tho i love this movie more than i probably should
posted by entropicamericana at 5:55 AM on October 11 [4 favorites]


Five years later, Pitchford would write the music for the ill-fated Carrie: The Musical.
posted by pxe2000 at 5:58 AM on October 11 [2 favorites]


holding out for a hero is such a great song
posted by dismas at 6:16 AM on October 11 [1 favorite]


*applies earworm cure*

I feel as if a CFNY signal has just bounced back from some distant moon.
posted by pracowity at 6:34 AM on October 11 [1 favorite]


In 2008, singer/pianist Thomas Bartlett, who performs as Doveman, released a Footloose album of his own. The backstory is that a friend of his had a half-sister who died as a teenager in the 1980s. One of the things she left behind was a cassette of Footloose. Bartlett had never heard any of the songs before, but he agreed to cover the whole thing. It's surprising and really beautiful.
posted by neroli at 6:35 AM on October 11 [4 favorites]


performed by Bonnie Tyler, written with Jim "I write all the songs by Meat Loaf that you've ever loved" Steinman.

Who in the same timespan had also collaborated on Total Eclipse of the Heart!
posted by hwyengr at 6:48 AM on October 11


I feel as if a CFNY signal has just bounced back from some distant moon.

I feel as if I am seeing "The Broadsword And The Beast" tour again!
posted by thelonius at 7:06 AM on October 11


This is great, but I think we're all forgetting the true origin of the Footloose theme song, aka "The Boy Who Dances Away Oppression".
posted by threecheesetrees at 7:08 AM on October 11 [3 favorites]


Jim Steinman also wrote Air Supply's "Making Love Out of Nothing At All", their best song by a long shot, and "Rock and Roll Dreams Come Through" on his own album (although it was sung by Rory Dodd); he also did a couple of songs on the Streets of Fire soundtrack. He's great.
posted by Halloween Jack at 7:09 AM on October 11 [1 favorite]


Man, I've always wondered about that Chuck Cranston. He's a total shit, but the dude has a Shalamar tape. Why's he rocking that and not, you know, Molly Hatchet or whatever? And where'd he get it? He's got a buddy at the tractor store in the next town over who is SUPER DOWN with commercial R&B? Or maybe it's him - he can't sleep at night, he's torn up on the inside because deep down he knows what a terrible person he has become, so while he lays in bed agonizing over how he treats Ariel, the only person he's ever known to be kind to him despite his many faults (he know's he's pushing her away, she's too big for Bomont and he is, even if he represents the opposition party of the small town's social world, still OF Bomont and her path will lead her far away from him. It's always been clear. He knows this but he can't handle it. What will he do when she's gone?) he lays awake in the dark Oklahoma night and spins the knob on that clock radio, finally finding escape in the urban sounds crackling through from Kansas City, or Tulsa.

He imagines dancing freely in a roomful of people but knows it will never happen.
posted by dirtdirt at 7:36 AM on October 11 [7 favorites]


Don't give up on Chuck. Many people who thought that they knew what the rest of their life would be like even in high school got their world rocked when they went off to their state's land-grant university. They thought that they'd pledge a frat and get a business degree and take over Dad's business, but then they went to a different sort of party on a whim.
posted by Halloween Jack at 7:48 AM on October 11 [3 favorites]


Track number four is Holding Out For A Hero, performed by Bonnie Tyler, written with Jim "I write all the songs by Meat Loaf that you've ever loved" Steinman.

He also wrote the only other Bonnie Tyler song you know, FWIW.
posted by Sys Rq at 8:18 AM on October 11


(Guess I'll read the thread now, doot de doot de do... Oh.)
posted by Sys Rq at 8:19 AM on October 11 [1 favorite]


I was an extra in Footloose, I was 6 or 7 years old, I don't remember exactly. What I do recall (if the memories are to be trusted) is that I didn't quite understand this ritual we were performing, and that it strained my immature patience from one take to the next, over and over. Also, I was paid $24 for the work, and I got to keep ALL OF IT.

In short, my Bacon Number is 1. Thanks, mom.
posted by Hot Pastrami! at 8:34 AM on October 11 [35 favorites]


He's a total shit, but the dude has a Shalamar tape. Why's he rocking that and not, you know, Molly Hatchet or whatever?

I always thought that Shalamar tape was Ariel's - from the way they talk, it seems like she's telling him she has a smuggled tape (and not just informing him that she knows that he has a smuggled tape). But if the tape really is Chuck's, he has a Shalamar tape so that if he ever gets busted with a Shalamar tape he can easily deny owning it, and instead say that his girlfriend left it in his truck.
posted by 23skidoo at 8:40 AM on October 11 [1 favorite]


A Footloose-type scenario ended my career as a city planner. I have an uneasy relationship with this movie.
posted by humboldt32 at 8:50 AM on October 11 [9 favorites]


I have never been able to tell the difference between Kenny Loggins and Eddie Rabbitt.
That is all.
posted by Atom Eyes at 8:53 AM on October 11 [3 favorites]


OK, humboldt32. Spill it.
posted by Atom Eyes at 8:54 AM on October 11 [4 favorites]


A Footloose-type scenario ended my career as a city planner. I have an uneasy relationship with this movie.

all you needed to do was give up on repealing the dance ban
posted by thelonius at 8:56 AM on October 11 [4 favorites]


A Footloose-type scenario ended my career as a city planner.

as a frustrated would-be planner, imma need details on this
posted by entropicamericana at 9:00 AM on October 11 [1 favorite]


Did you try to zone a bunch of pre-abandoned warehouses where teenagers would be tempted to dance out their frustrations in them?
posted by Sys Rq at 9:19 AM on October 11 [3 favorites]


Metafilter: aggressive 80's saxophone
posted by kuanes at 9:26 AM on October 11 [2 favorites]


aggressive 80's saxophone

Reed-ing too much into it, as it were.

So I have this vague memory of the music teacher in elementary school making us do some kind of awkward dance next to our desks while she played "Footloose" on a boom box, and having to do this several times in succession. To this day, I'm not sure what that supposed to teach us about music other than "You little bastards are going to learn you're children of the 80s if it kills you."

But one thing I'm sure of is that I won't be able to get Footloose out of my head for the rest of the day, even after liberally applying thelonius' prescription.
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 9:34 AM on October 11


*applies earworm cure*

For those of a certain age* I've always found Jefferson Starship's Miracles to be an unnervingly effective ear worm "cure." Something about that damned chorus drives out all others.

The songs in Footloose occupy such an outsized portion of my 80s pop memory that I've resisted ever watching the movie again. Each of them are burned so indelibly into my brain—not entirely willingly, mind you—that I won't even risk clicking any of the links in this thread. Apologies to Sterling Archer, but I will not risk my sanity on this.

*GenX, that is. Results neither guaranteed nor warrantied. Efficacy may vary depending on age. Please consult a therapist before applying "cure."
posted by los pantalones del muerte at 9:58 AM on October 11 [2 favorites]


Apologies to anyone who gets Jefferson Starship stuck in their head as a result of my actions, but releasing the Footloose soundtrack back into the wild is so dangerous I felt it requires what my coworkers called "invoking the nuclear option," when a particularly catchy bit of song got caught in their heads. Miracles was so effective, they'd sometimes decline when offered the choice, and simply suffer their current internal music loop.

On the upshot, if you're old enough, it does have a curiously powerful ability to also invoke memories of long drives on summer vacation. For many years it always seemed to be on the radio wherever you went.
posted by los pantalones del muerte at 10:11 AM on October 11


But one thing I'm sure of is that I won't be able to get Footloose out of my head for the rest of the day, even after liberally applying thelonius' prescription.

SAGA's "On The Loose" is my personal brand of rickrolling. But it is also pretty effective at scouring adverse tunes from the brain.

Except this time. hippybear, you have a lot to answer for.
posted by thelonius at 10:20 AM on October 11


Apologies to anyone who gets Jefferson Starship stuck in their head as a result of my actions

They were my first rock concert. At least it was the 80's version with Paul Kantner and Grace Slick still in the band.
posted by thelonius at 10:21 AM on October 11


holding out for a hero is such a great song

YES IT IS.
posted by Trinity-Gehenna at 10:23 AM on October 11 [1 favorite]


Track number four is Holding Out For A Hero, performed by Bonnie Tyler, written with Jim "I write all the songs by Meat Loaf that you've ever loved" Steinman.

He also wrote the only other Bonnie Tyler song you know, FWIW.

Really? good to know Wikipedia is still wrong every now and then.
posted by Trinity-Gehenna at 10:26 AM on October 11


I've mentioned it before on this site but I love Kenny Loggins irrationally.

My (broke-ass) parents played "Danny's Song" a lot when i was a newborn; "House at Pooh Corner" was in regular rotation growing up, too.

SO yeah, me too.
posted by notsnot at 11:21 AM on October 11 [1 favorite]


Sometime in the 90s, I saw Kenny Loggins at Radio City Music Hall, and part way through the show he came out, sat on the edge of the stage, and played songs from Loggins and Messina on his acoustic guitar. It was heaven. So yeah, me too.
posted by ceejaytee at 11:37 AM on October 11 [1 favorite]


Ok gather 'round childrens.

The year was 1995 and I worked as a junior planner for a small Oregon city in the Willamette valley. This was a small blue collar town, referred to locally as "The City of Churches". I was a young punk in a mixed-marriage, bit of a square peg to begin with.

Despite the conservative nature of the place, there was a very nice summer concert series hosting the likes of Los Lobos, Taj Mahal, and such. Imagine the elation I had when it was announced that THE King Sunny Ade would be one of the performers. Sure, seeing Los Lobos and Taj Mahal were great, but afropop was a big part of what made me who I was, so I was beside myself.

At the show, it was wonderful. A warm sunny evening and folks were inspired to get up and shake their booties. This is where it all went tits-up. The cops and security started moving through the crowd telling the dancers to sit down. It became quite distracting to the crowd and I lost my composure. I remember yelling "White trash" and hooting and hollerin' with the music. It didn't help having one of the city council members sitting just next to us.

Anyway, the next week, the City Manager and the Planning Director called me in and suggested that it might be time for me to move on. I was headed in that direction anyway, to be honest. I resigned. On my way out, it was suggested that I might apologize to my colleagues, which was odd and painful for me, but I did. But since I had unfinished projects and they had no staff to take them over, I was given a lucrative contract as an independent contractor to finish them up from home.

In the end I was working at local garden center which was awkward when I would run into professional contacts out of context. But that all lead to us selling our house and everything we owned and moving onto a sailboat. That turned into several years working as caretakers in Medina, WA on what would eventually become Jeff Bezos' place. During that time I developed my new career as a web developer. I'm happy it turned out for the better.
posted by humboldt32 at 12:07 PM on October 11 [19 favorites]


I'm just gonna go on record as having always hated Sammy Hagar.

Also, 1984 was a helluva year for movies.
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 12:16 PM on October 11


holding out for a hero is such a great song

We Don't Need Another Hero. (TW: Shirtless Long-Haired Muscle-Bound Sax Solo Dude in a Loincloth)

not to be confused with this guy playing "I Still Believe" in The Lost Boys
posted by straight at 12:21 PM on October 11 [2 favorites]


(TW: Shirtless Long-Haired Muscle-Bound Sax Solo Dude in a Loincloth)

What's weird is that there's a prominent shirtless saxophonist in a loincloth in Beyond Thunderdome, and that ain't him.
posted by Sys Rq at 1:22 PM on October 11 [3 favorites]


I have never been able to tell the difference between Kenny Loggins and Eddie Rabbitt.

Eddie Rabbit is the one what loves a rainy night. Eddie Money is the one who can't hold back, has no control, and nothing to lose.
posted by octobersurprise at 1:35 PM on October 11 [1 favorite]


kenny loggins is the one who is alright, don't need to worry 'bout him
posted by entropicamericana at 1:41 PM on October 11 [3 favorites]


Holy shit, I was all set to give Halloween Jack the best cryptic origin story comment award but damn, humboldt23, that shit was amazing.
posted by KingEdRa at 5:16 PM on October 11


(TW: Shirtless Long-Haired Muscle-Bound Sax Solo Dude in a Loincloth)

not to be confused with this guy playing "I Still Believe" in The Lost Boys


Same guy.

I was all set to give Halloween Jack the best cryptic origin story comment award

Heh, no, although I did end up doing something pretty different from what I thought I'd be doing when I started college, but lots of people switch majors/careers.
posted by Halloween Jack at 5:36 PM on October 11 [1 favorite]


You can always tell a Steinman song. Bonnie Tyler and Meatloaf songs both sound so much the same to me
posted by 922257033c4a0f3cecdbd819a46d626999d1af4a at 7:59 PM on October 11


Meat Loaf. First and last names.

Steinman also wrote Read 'Em And Weep, which Barry Manilow covered, and his recording of it isn't very good, but I saw him perform it live on his Paradise Cafe tour back in 1984, and his performance utterly stopped the show. Literally 10 minute standing ovation, the audience was crying, Barry was crying, his band was crying... It was the most powerful musical performance I've ever seen by anyone, ever.

Steinman writes very effective songs. They are all exactly the same, but they are all entirely different. He's amazing.
posted by hippybear at 8:24 PM on October 11 [3 favorites]


Always different; always the same.*

What a shame Steinman never gigged with The Fall. <MES>If it's me and Steinman on bongos, it's The Fall!</MES>

<MES>Shut up, Steinman, you're fired!</MES>
posted by octobersurprise at 6:38 AM on October 12


Well, now I just want to see MES try to belt out a live cover of "Total Eclipse of the Heart" at his next show.

I have to admit to being somewhat heartbroken about how terrible MES looks and sounds nowadays
posted by Burhanistan at 6:41 AM on October 12


When I was very young, my half-sister Jenny died tragically. She was a teenager, and it was the 80's. She left behind a wardrobe of brightly colored clothes, rainbow stickers, life-size paintings, doodles on lined paper, and hundreds of tapes. These constitute most of my memories of her. It's sad for me to look at these things, and usually I don't. But a couple of summers ago I found a tape of hers with a startling cover photograph - this was Footloose. I couldn't stop listening: it was a portrait of 80's love, desire, pain, freedom, and frenzy; of being a teenager in a time of change. By listening, I could step into Jenny's shoes, see things from her vantage point. I could be emancipated by rock and roll and walkmen, just as she had been. We could listen together.

I asked my friend Thomas to cover the album, which, sheltered as he is, he had never heard before. I was clear that I wanted him to cover the whole album - the point wasn't to rework any one song, but to re-imagine the picture they made together. With a new Footloose we could reply to the past, tell our own story about being young. This is what he made.

-Gabriel Greenberg

(Gabriel Greenberg, a childhood friend of Thomas's, has illustrated the covers of two Doveman albums and is currently an Assistant Professor of Philosophy at UCLA.)

Via
posted by hubs at 8:54 AM on October 12 [4 favorites]


Thank you, hubs. I read through the comments to see if anyone had posted this. You came through just in time. I love this version of the album. And that's coming from someone who has an actual picture disc of the Footloose soundtrack album (sort of accidentally, but that's another story).
posted by knitcrazybooknut at 9:29 AM on October 12


In the hours before I had my left leg amputated below the knee, I wrote a killer parody of Footloose ("Gotta cut my foot loose; foot loose.") The Benadryl/Ativan cocktail may have had something to do with my creativity, but I'd like to think it was all me.
posted by DrAstroZoom at 2:19 PM on October 12 [3 favorites]


« Older The Storm   |   Delivering medical supplies by drone Newer »


You are not currently logged in. Log in or create a new account to post comments.