Sunday, June 12, 2016
AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Michael Sembello
Album:Flashdance: Original Soundtrack From The Motion Picture
Session musician Michael Sembello topped the charts with Maniac from the 1983 hit film Flashdance. It was a complete fluke that the song was in the movie so Sembello never would have scored a hit single otherwise. He didn't need it as he was already a successful session musician, songwriter and producer. He was born Apr. 17, 1954 in Philadelphia and he grew up in the suburb of Ardmore. He studied with jazz guitarist Pat Martino. His first professional gig was playing guitar on Stevie Wonder's 1974 album Fullfillingness' First Finale. Then Sembello was the lead guitarist on Songs In The Key Of Life. Then he got into session work with Sergio Mendes, Stephen Bishop, The Jacksons and many others. Sembello signed with Warner Bros. and released the 1983 album Bossa Nova Hotel. Maniac was on the album. When Sembello's wife sent a demo tape of his recordings to Paramount Pictures for possible use in Flashdance, Maniac was included by mistake. Paramount chose Maniac for the film and the rest is history. Flashdance was a huge hit and Maniac topped the charts in 1983. The song was not eligible for an Oscar because it wasn't an original song written for the film. Sembello wrote Maniac with keyboard player and frequent songwriting partner Dennis Matkosky who wrote the lyrics after watching the 1981 slasher film Maniac. BTW, the dancer in the video is Marine Jahan. Flashdance star Jennifer Beals could not dance. Marine doubled all of her dance scenes. The Flashdance soundtrack is available as a budget CD. Since then, Sembello has recorded occasional solo albums. But mostly he went back to session work. He has worked with all kinds of artists and also on film and TV music. But Michael Sembello will forever be remembered for Maniac. Here's the video for Maniac by Michael Sembello.