A blog about my favourite movies, music, and TV.

20 March 2009

Pia Zadora – Let's Dance Tonight (1985)

Pia’s good name is now synonymous with some of the crappest films of all time, and her stellar music ‘career’ has been to consigned to somewhere behind the u-bend of 80’s pop history. I feel it’s time Tat Parade paid homage to one of the 80’s greatest icons of bad taste, the great Mrs Pia Zadora.

Pia had been releasing records intermittently since the late 70’s via her deal with Curb Records, in the 60’s she’d even released a few 7-inchers as Little Pia! But by 1983 she’d already had a minor US hit with I’m In Love Again, a ballad from her self-titled debut LP, Pia, which was released in 1982 to little fanfare.

1984 would prove to be Pia’s year in Europe thanks to the tie-in movie and soundtrack to Voyage of the Rock Aliens, a new wave/pop musical comedy in which Pia played a young girl (ha!) who falls in love with an alien. The movie featured several lengthy musical numbers, not least a completely unrelated performance of the song When The Rain Begins To Fall with Jermaine Jackson, which she then sings again, minus the face paint and dodgy wig with someone else at the end of this trash-fest. This is the kind of mind-boggling silliness that makes Voyage such a gem. Other highlights from the movie include You Bring Out The Lover In Me, A Little Bit Of Heaven, Real Love, and Lets Dance Tonight – the latter three were all Top 20 hits in various European countries.

Never one to miss an opportunity to cash in, it was decided that Pia should put out her own album in addition to the soundtrack, and thus the magnum-opus of Pia’s dazzling catalogue was born! Let's Dance Tonight – The Album! Yes, fans across mainland Europe could enjoy all the hits from Voyage and a few other gems, thrown, I mean, put together... by producer Jack White. The similarly bouncy Substitute, and Follow My Heartbeat were thrown in for good measure! Not to mention her GRAMMY nominated rock anthem Rock It Out – which had a video set in a women’s prison! Pia actually had some success with this record, although quite how much is unclear, it was even released on CD! Also included is Pia's US Top 40 hit - The Clapping Song! Pia could even give today's trash bag wannabes a run for their money with this slutty interpretation, the video only adds to the sleaze factor!

The major success of this year was of course the title track which was a phenomenal hit across Europe. Pia’s best Barbara Streisand impersonation blended perfectly with Jermaine’s soulful delivery and the squelchy synthesised backing track. The duo performed the track together on many TV shows and one can only dream that somewhere in the vaults of Curb Records there might be a collection of duets that could’ve rivalled Marvin and Diana! The video is a kitsch classic that really deserved more of a chance in the UK and US where this single flopped. In it Pia is a white-leather clad biker chick who falls in love with Jermaine (whose black, get it!), he’s then chased by her boyfriend and his gang of bikers – who of course have white motor bikes, to really emphasise what Pia and Jermaine were trying to do – this was the mid-80’s remember!

If you like the single, you’ll like the album, because it’s all very similar, over sung 80’s Euro-pop courtesy of the fabulous all-singing, all-dancing, always publicity mad, queen of bad movies, Pia! Who takes you on an exploration of one of music’s most fun and energetic eras – the mid-80’s...

1 comment:

Mike said...

I fucking worship Pia! I have lots of random bits and pieces but very few full albums - probably becuase they're really hard to get on CD. I wish she would make a comeback. Pia is the definition of FIERCE!