Friday Song: "Footloose"
Hitching a ride on Kenny Loggins during his apogee turned out to be brilliant
Let’s have some non-holiday music.
The movie Footloose was released in 1984 and featured Kevin Bacon in his breakout role (he beat Tom Cruise and Rob Lowe for the part). A confection about a town with anti-dancing laws — based on a real situation in Oklahoma in 1979 — the soundtrack contained nine songs, many of which were monster hits:
- “Let’s Hear It for the Boy” by Deniece Williams
- “Holding Out for a Hero” by Bonnie Tyler
- “Almost Paradise” by Mike Reno and Ann Wilson
- “The Girl Gets Around” by Sammy Hagar
This period was a big one for original rock songs in films, and Kenny Loggins was a major player. He was just coming off the success of “I’m Alright” in Caddyshack, and was headed into the “Danger Zone” with Top Gun.
Dean Pitchford, who wrote the screenplay for Footloose after a stint writing lyrics for the 1980 movie Fame, had worked with Loggins on his hit, “Don’t Fight It,” a duet with Steve Perry. He knew Loggins was the best choice to sing the keynote song for his movie, but a series of illnesses and injuries amidst the two of them nearly prevented it from happening.
Written in A with a ferocious pace of 174 bpm, “Footloose” is famous for its lyrics being misunderstood — he’s not “punching my car” and “kicking off my Sundance shoes,” but rather “punching my card” and “kicking off my Sunday shoes.” Loggins’ peculiar enunciations as a singer are well-known.
This is just a romp, with a more aggressive guitar intro than I’d remembered.