Various Artists - 1983 Staying Alive [Soundtrack]

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ARTIST: Various Artists
ALBUM: Staying Alive (Soundtrack)
LABEL: RSO
SERIAL: BT3 269-1
YEAR: 1983

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: image

LINEUP: Various

TRACK LISTING: 01 The Woman In You - Bee Gees * 02 I Love You Too Much - Bee Gees * 03 Breakout - Bee Gees * 04 Someone Belonging To Someone - Bee Gees * 05 Life Goes On - Bee Gees * 06 Stayin' Alive * 07 Far From Over - Frank Stallone * 08 Look Out For Number One - Tommy Faragher * 09 Finding Out The Hard Way - Cynthia Rhodes * 10 Moody Girl - Frank Stallone * 11 (We Dance) So Close To The Fire - Tommy Faragher * 12 I'm Never Gonna Give You Up - Frank Stallone

Background

What a difference six years makes. In 1977 disco was king, resulting in one of the biggest selling albums and movies of all time, 'Saturday Night Fever'. Fast forward to 1983, disco was dead and humiliated while AOR had taken its place as the centrepiece of the soundtrack to the unfairly reviled sequel 'Staying Alive'.

Mind you anything associated with Sylvester Stallone in the 80's seemed to focus on AOR, as Stallone directed this film, showing good taste in music also. Of all the AOR dominated soundtracks of the decade this is undoubtedly one of the best, with a good mixture of melodic rock and West Coast, the latter - compliments of Frank Stallone.

Typically this soundtrack has been forgotten, like the movie, but then again the general public never really has any taste do they?

The Songs

The Bee Gees go AOR? For those who don't believe that, the five tracks the band contributed to this album are an AOR lovers dream and eminently more listenable than their disco romps.

Here the brothers creep into Player territory, which makes sense as they shared the same label, the marvellous, ultra smooth 'I Love You Too Much' standing out as a major AOR triumph. Plenty of trademark harmonies and keyboards, with nice guitar fills everywhere.

'Life Goes On 'Breakout' and 'The Woman In You' are worth a deserved mention, and what a shame the Gibbs never made a true album of such songs in the same time period. Easily some of the best work from these guys in their long history.

Frank Stallone features on three tracks, the first his hit 'Far From Over', which is a well known AOR favourite. 'Moody Girl' is a West Coast gem, and a precursor to Stallone's 1984 album, with Frank emulating Christopher Cross with ease. A right stunner.

Frank's duet with Cynthia Rhodes, 'I'm Never Gonna Give You Up' is more light West Coast fare, with Rhodes herself going solo on 'Finding Out The Hard Way', a rare example of a female vocalist perfectly delivering the West Coast vocal.

The other two tracks are sung by Tommy Faragher, whom little has been heard of before or since, which is a shame as these deliver the goods, especially the keyboard overload of 'We Dance So Close (To the Fire)', which is actually quite heavy. AOR purists will have a field day with this song in particular.

In Summary

Not a track here worth skipping, minus the brief snippet of 'Staying Alive' itself. This will transport those old enough back to a time when melodic rock soundtracks were obligatory, although the quality offered here outweighs most others.

This is the album which should have sold twenty five million copies, but we all know AOR never had that kind of throwaway appeal like disco did before it.

I cannot tout this more highly as far as soundtracks go, its an AOR delight, even The Bee Gees. And that should be enough alone.


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