The Eighties Club
The Politics and Pop Culture of the 1980s
Featured Song/Artist
"Flashdance...What a Feeling" 
Irene Cara

Music by Giorgio Morodor, Lyrics by Keith Forsey & Irene Cara

Flashdance: Original Soundtrack from the Motion Pictire (Polygram, 1983)


First when there's nothing
But a slow glowing dream
That your fear seems to hide
Deep inside your mind

All alone I have cried
Silent tears full of pride
In a world made of steel
Made of stone

Well, I hear the music
Close my eyes, feel the rhythm,
Wrap around, take a hold of my heart

What a feeling
Bein's believin'
I can have it al,l now I'm dancing for my life
Take your passion
And make it happen
Pictures come alive, you can dance right through your life

Now I hear the music
Close my eyes, I am rhythm
In a flash it takes hold of my heart

What a feeling
Bein's believin'
I can have it all, now I'm dancing for my life
Take your passion
And make it happen
Pictures come alive, now I'm dancing through my life
What a feeling!

What a feeling (I am music now)
Bein's believin' (I am rhythm now)
Pictures come alive, you can dance right through your life
What a feeling (You can really have it all)
What a feeling (Pictures come alive when I call)
I can have it all (I can really have it all)
Have it all (Pictures come alive when I call)
What a feeling!
I can have it all (Bein's believin')
Bein's believin' (Take your passion)
Make it happen
Make it happen (What a feeling)
What a feeling (Bein's believin')

Raised in the Bronx, Irene Cara came from a family of performers; her father and brother were musicians and her mother had always desired a career in show business. When Irene began to demonstrate her musical talents she was enrolled in dancing, singing and piano lessons. At seven she was appearing on Spanish-language radio and TV shows in New York. At eight she made her Broadway debut in Maggie Flynn, starring Jack Cassidy and Shirley Jones (of Partridge Family fame.) When she was ten years old she was invited to perform at a Madison Square Garden concert in tribute to Duke Ellington, and at age twelve began writing songs. She also appeared in the national educational TV series, Electric Company. In 1975 she made her film debut in Aaron Loves Angela, then won a lead role in Sparkle (1976).  She played Bertha Palmer in the miniseries Roots: The Next Generation (Episodes 3 & 4) and appeared in The Guyana Tragedy: The Story of Jim Jones. She became a superstar with her role as Coco Hernandez in the hit film Fame (1980); she sang both the title song and "Out There On My Own," both of which were nominated for Oscars. (Irene became the only performer to ever sing two Academy Award-nominated songs at the awards ceremony.)  She earned a Grammy nomination for "Best New Female Artist" and "Best New Pop Artist" and a Golden Globe nomination for "Best Motion Picture Actress in a Musical." Billboard bamed her "Top New Single Artist" and Cashbox pegged her as "Most Promising Female Vocalist."
Irene repeated this astounding success with the title song to the hit film Flashdance (1983), for which she won five major awards -- an Academy Award, two Grammies, a Golden Globe and a People's Choice. "Flashdance...What A Feeling," named Best Song by the motion picture academy, also spent six weeks at the top of Billboard's Hot 100 chart in the early summer of '83. She starred in several other films during the '80s, including For Us, The Living: The Story of Medgar Evans (1983), D.C. Cab (1983), City Heat (1984), Killing 'Em Softly (1985), Busted Up (1986) and Paradiso (1988). Recently, she has formed a talented all-female band called Caramel and written the screenplay as well as composed the music for a musical film entitled A Waltz with Destiny.


"Do They Know It's Christmas?" 
Band Aid
Written by Bob Geldof and Midge Ure

"Do They Know It's Christmas" cover; Bob Geldof

It's Christmas time
There's no need to be afraid
At Christmas time
We let in light and we banish shade
And in our world of plenty
We can spread a smile of joy
Throw your arms around the world
At Christmas time

But say a prayer
Pray for the other ones
At Christmas time it's hard
But when you're having fun
There's a world outside your window
And it's a world of dread and fear
Where the only water flowing
Is the bitter sting of tears
And the Christmas bells that ring
There are the clanging chimes of doom
Well tonight thank God it's them instead of you

Feed the world
Let them know it's Christmas time
Feed the world
Do they know it's Christmas time at all?

And there won't be snow in Africa
This Christmas time
The greatest gift they'll get this year is life
Where nothing ever grows
No rain nor rivers flow
Do they know it's Christmas time at all?

Feed the world
Let them know it's Christmas time
Feed the world
Let them know it's Christmas time again

(Here's to you) Raise a glass for everyone
(Here's to them) Underneath the burning sun
Do they know it's Christmas time at all?

When Bob Geldof saw Michael Buerk's BBC-TV documentary on famine in Ethiopia, Bob Geldof was deeply moved by the suffering he witnessed, and resolved to do something about it. A few days later he traveled to Ethiopia to witness the carnage firsthand. A month later -- November, 25, 1984 to be exact -- thirty six of the United Kingdom's top musical artists joined together as Band Aid to record "Do They Know It's Christmas?," a song penned by Geldof and Midge Ure of Ultravox. The success of the single far exceeded Geldof's expectations; it soared to UK#1 and sold three million units in Britain alone, becoming the bestselling record ever in the UK. Worldwide, the song raised over $10 million for famine relief. It inspired a group of American artists known as USA for Africa to record "We Are The World," a song written by Michael Jackson and Lionel Richie, which reached US#1 and sold 800,000 units in it's first week. Band Aid's success encouraged Geldof to organize the hugely successful Live Aid benefit for famine relief, concerts held at London's Wembley Stadium and in Philadelphia's JFK Stadium on the same day (13 July 1985).Geldof, a former journalist and co-founder of the Irish rock band The Boomtown Rats in 1975, and pursued a solo musical career after Live Aid. He was later knighted for his humanitarian efforts.
Artists who performed as Band Aid:
Bananarama, David Bowie, Phil Collins, Culture Club, Duran Duran, Eurythmics, Frankie Goes To Hollywood, Bob Geldof, Heaven 17, Human League, Kool and the Gang, Paul McCartney, Spandau Ballet, Status Quo, Sting, The Style Council, Midge Ure, U2, Jody Watley, Wham!, Paul Young


"Voices Carry" 
Til Tuesday

Written by A. Mann, M. Hausman, R. Holmes, J. Pesce

Voices Carry (Epic, 1985)


I'm in the dark, I'd like to read his mind
But I'm frightened of the things I might find
Oh there must be something he's thinking of
To tear him away
When I tell him that I'm falling in love
Why does he say

Hush hush
Keep it down now
Voices carry

I try so hard not to get upset
Because I know all the trouble I'll get
Oh he tells me tears are something to hide
And something to fear
And I try so hard to keep it inside
So no one can hear

Hush hush
Keep it down now
Voices carry

He wants me
But only part of the time
He wants me
If he can keep me in line

Hush hush
Keep it down now
Voices carry

Hush hush, darling, she might overhear
Oh no, voices carry
He said shut up he said shut up
Oh God can't you keep it down
Voices carry
I wish he would let me talk

Aimee Mann (vocals, bass) studied at the Berklee School of Music in Boston, and became involved in the city's punk scene as part of bands like Young Snakes before forming Til Tuesday in 1983 with boyfriend Michael Hausman (drums), Robert Holmes (guitar) and Joey Pesce (keyboards). After winning a local battle-of-the-bands contest, Til Tuesday was signed by Epic Records. Their first album, Voices Carry, soared into the Top 20, and the title single became a Top 10 hit, thanks in part to a popular video that got heavy MTV rotation. The band tried to duplicate this success with their 1986 release, Welcome Home, produced by Rhett Davies, but none of the singles could reach the Top 40. Pesce left the band and was replaced by Michael Montes; two other guitarists, Jon Brion and Clayton Scobel, also joined up. The third album, Everything's Different Now, featured a title song by Mann's new boyfriend, Jules Shear. Elvis Costello, a fan of the band, also co-wrote a track with Mann. Though generally admired by critics, Everything's Different Now failed to garner much interest from the record-buying public, and Til Tuesday broke up in 1988. Highly regarded for her songwriting skills, Aimee Mann went on to pursue a fairly successful solo career. Though Til Tuesday had a short life-span, "Voices Carry" remains one of the classic New Wave songs of the era.