Kenny Loggins – Footloose
Pull me up off my knees
Jack, get back
C'mon, before we crack
It was January 11, 1984 when a song came out that will surely bring beautiful memories back to mind. This song is “Footloose”, the main hit of the soundtrack of the beautiful film of the same name. The film was actually released on February 17, and the song anticipated it by a full month. It was the first case of a music video advertising a movie, because the song quickly entered the charts, and the video, which featured almost only scenes from the film, had heavy rotation on MTV, and all this naturally helped to raise the excitement for the film.
A year earlier, things went differently for the release of “Flashdance”, because Irene Cara released “Flashdance…What a Feeling” just a week before the movie release, and Michael Sembello released “Maniac” two months after the film came out.
“Footloose” was a milestone in the 80s “Dance movies” trend. I’d say the first one was “Fame,” followed by “Xanadu,” “Flashdance,” “Footloose,” all the way to “Dirty dancing”. “Footloose” launched the career of a very young Kevin Bacon, who over the years will act in masterpieces such as “Apollo 13”, “JFK”, “Sleepers”, and many other films. In “Footloose”, in addition to Kevin Bacon and Lori Singer, a very young Sarah Jessica parker also appeared.
Behind the great success of this film and this song there are a screenwriter and a singer, whose stories had to intersect. When the production company approved the title “Footloose” to screenwriter Dean Pitchford, they also gave him the task of obtaining the consent of Kenny Loggins, who was an absolute star in the United States, to create a song for the soundtrack.
Finding the title to the film had not already been trivial, and in fact “Footloose” does not have a precise meaning, but sounds nicely, it is graphically attractive with all the “o” letters, it is easy to pronounce even if you do not speak English, and therefore after many idea the producers chose this word as a title.
It recalls the freedom to move your feet to dance, and in fact this was the theme of the film, which tells the story of young Ren, who moves with his family to a small village where young people are forbidden to do almost everything, including dancing, following an accident in which the reverend’s son had lost his life on his way back from a concert. The film is loosely based on the story of a county in Oklahoma, Elmore City, where a law from 1800 that prohibited dancing had recently been abolished.
Once producers found the title, they had to create a song for the soundtrack, and they absolutely wanted Kenny Loggins to sing. The problem was that Kenny Loggins was in Nevada for a few concerts, and he was suffering from the consequences of a fall during a concert and therefore he was suffering and needed rest. Also, a few days later he would go to Asia, so there were really a few days left, in desperate conditions, to get Loggins’ consent and start working on the song.
And in fact Pitchford reached Loggins in Lake Tahoe, Nevada, and the two met in very bad conditions, I would say, because Loggins just couldn’t sit because of the pain, and Pitchford had fever and maybe a pneumonia, but he didn’t want Loggins to notice because the slightest delay could blow up the production of the film. But fortunately this did not happen.
Pitchford had found a strong title for film and song, but Kenny Loggins had a fantastic idea for the lyrics: he used girls and boys names in verses and build the refrain around it. And it actually worked, and a song with a really irresistible rhythm came out, and it’s still absolutely impossible to stand still when we hear “Footloose.”
Song and film were both outstanding, and they perfectly interpreted desires, aspirations, dreams and above all energy of our teenage years as dinosaurs!
Kenny Loggins on Wikipedia