Maria Vidal – Body Rock
What comes to your mind if I say Vidal? Well, it depends on when you lived your adolescence! In fact, if you were a teenager in the 70s, you probably remember a famous bath foam, and an ad with a white horse on a beach. If, on the other hand, you are very young and passionate about football and lived your adolescence in the years after 2010, you probably think of a famous Chilean footballer.
But if instead you lived your adolescence in the right period, that is in the 80s, then you will surely think of Maria Vidal, who after a period of apprenticeship found the moment of success starting from the month of August 1984, with a simple but beautiful and enthralling song, Body Rock. But let’s go in order.
Maria is a girl of Latin descent, born in Miami, where in the 70s she meets another guy we spoke about, Desmond Child, also born in Miami and with a great desire to break into the music world.
Desmond and Maria move to New York where they create a group called Desmond Child & Rouge, with two other singers, and Desmond begins to live the music scene also as an author and composer for others, since their group does not seem able to fly high. Desmond and Maria get together and somehow have to make ends meet, but we’ll get back to that later.
Soon fate began to be a little more generous with the two boys, and Desmond imposed himself working with great groups such as Kiss (he is among the authors of I Was Made for Lovin’ You) and later Bon Jovi, while Maria is appreciated as a backing vocalist, and in 1984 her chance arrives: she is asked to sing the main song of a forthcoming film, Body Rock, which will be released in September, anticipated by the release of Maria’s single .
The film is a story for teenagers and music and dance enthusiasts, in the vein of Flashdance and Footloose, let’s say, and Maria’s song will have exactly the function that Flashdance… What a Feeling by Irene Cara and Footloose by Kenny Loggins for these two films: to make people want to see the film through the video broadcast on MTV and through the radios. In the soundtrack there were also songs by Laura Branigan, the talented interpreter of the American versions of Gloria and Self Control, and also by Ashford & Simpson, who are remembered for their success Solid.
And actually the song Body Rock was also quite successful, but the problem came when the movie was released in cinemas, because the level was far from the other films. Perhaps the story was weak: a street kid, Chilly, discovers that he has a talent for break dancing and street dancing, and by acting crazy around New York he manages to get noticed by a producer and eventually becomes a dance star.
The main actor of the film was Lorenzo Lamas, who had become famous with the television series Falcon Crest, and who later took part in many important films in his career – I just want to mention the unforgettable Sharknado 3: Oh Hell No!, one of my favorites. Additionally, he was an frequent actor for guest appearances on TV serials such as Fantasy Island and The Love Boat.
In short, the film was a disaster, and was listed as one of the worst of the whole period, nominated for many of those awards like “Academy Award for worst movie”. But the song Body Rock was a success, and today the great Maria is remembered precisely for this song and for this beautiful video.
Actually Maria Vidal left another indelible mark in the 80s music, and we have to go back to the period in which she was trying to make ends meet together with Desmond Child. In fact, waiting for her success, Maria worked as a waitress in a diner, where her colleagues noticed her resemblance to famous actress Gina Lollobrigida, so they started calling her Gina, and almost everyone in her environment used to call her Gina.
And she is the Gina protagonist of Livin’ on a Prayer, the great success of Bon Jovi written by Bon Jovi and Sambora together with Desmond Child himself. In fact, lyrics talk about Tommy and Gina, two guys who struggle to get a salary to keep their relationship steady, and Gina is a waitress, as we understand from the lines “Gina works the diner all day / Working for her man / she brings home her pay for love”.
It’s all clear, Desmond Child hadn’t invented anything: he was just telling the difficulties that he and Maria Vidal, the fast-food Gina, had encountered upon their arrival in New York, and it was probably also a way of thanking her because, thanks to her efforts, Desmond had been able to concentrate on the world of music!
In short, call her Maria or Gina, but surely this girl managed to leave her mark in the 80s!
Maria Vidal on Wikipedia