Sunday, December 22, 2013

D.C. Cab (soundtrack)

Welcome to another edition of Soundtrack Sunday.

This month marks the thirtieth anniversary of the release of D.C. Cab, an R-rated comedy film written and directed by Joel Schumacher, and starring Mr. T. (of the A-Team), Max Gail (of Barney Miller), Adam Baldwin, Gary Busey, Bill Maher, Marsha Warfield, Paul Rodriguez and Irene Cara.

Today we are focusing on the soundtrack album of this 1983 movie. While it only peaked at 181 on the US Billboard Album chart, the record did climb all the way to number 56 on the Billboard R&B chart.

Side one opens with Irene Cara and “The Dream (Hold On to Your Dream)” which appeared on her What a Feelin from earlier in the year (click here for that review). As a single, it charted at number 37 on the US Billboard Hot 100 and number 26 on the Dance charts. After a slow start, it really builds in inspirational intensity that is fueled by Cara’s powerful vocals.

“Deadline U.S.A.”, performed by Shalamar, is a danceable ode to the fast-paced, career-focused mentality of the early 80’s.

“Peabo Bryson sings D.C. Cab”, another dance track about hard working individuals, reaching for their dreams. The percussion, at points, has a very industrial sound to it as if coming from a factory manufacturing line. As a single, it went to number 53 on the US Billboard R&B chart.

“Knock Me on My Feet” by Champaign propels forward on a funky groove.

Singer/actress Karen Kamon is next with “Squeeze Play”, making it five for five on the up-tempo tunes for side one. This soundtrack marks the second one in 1983 where she and Cara both appeared (the first being Flashdance which I reviewed here).

Leon Sylvers III is part of the R&B family the Sylvers who hit it big in the 1970‘s. His contribution to the record, “World Champion”, struts with its held high and confidence oozing from every pore.

DeBarge slows things down with a love song called “Single Heart“. The R&B family would later release the track on their 1985 album Rhythm of the Night as well.

“Party Me Tonight” brings back the beats and teams them with Stephanie Mills’ powerful voice.

“One More Time Around the Block Ophelia”, performed by Gary U.S. Bonds, is a rousing rocker, complete with powerful saxophone.

Giorgio Moroder, the co-writer of half of the tracks on the record, revisits “Knock Me on My Feet” with an instrumental version. It features all the good grooves from.

Thinking back, I am pretty certain I never caught D.C. Cab, even on late night cable movie channels, back in the day. With a budget of $12 million and a box office take of only $16 million, the film was a commercial flop. However, the soundtrack album definitely has some solid performances. The downside is that it has yet to hit digital release anywhere, so look to YouTube if you want to sample some of these songs as I did.

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