It is often said that fame is fleeting, but as 1979 tumbled into a new decade, one seemingly tailor-made for America's youth, it seemed that fame -- the film, the stage show, the OST, the television series -- had become a cottage industry. And, of the outpouring of material that would eventually find its way to vinyl in the cascade, Fame, the original motion picture soundtrack, is by far the best of the bunch. With most of the songs written specifically for the film by Michael Gore, who also helmed production, the ensuing drama is a tight, slick, and utterly cohesive aural reel that competently recalls the visual action. And although the whole emerges a nifty set, Fame is highlighted, of course, by Irene Cara's stellar vocal performances of both the iconoclastic title track and the Lesley Gore co-penned ballad "Out Here on My Own." Cara would take both songs into the charts, with the former just eking into the Top Five. Elsewhere, the soundtrack delves into punchy instrumental on "Hot Lunch Jam," full gospel assault on "Never Alone," and then scoops up the stragglers across a handful of light ballads, including the touchy-feely, feel-good "I Sing the Body Electric," which is replete with both lush strings and blistering rock & roll interludes. Eclectic and undoubtedly packed with a verve that many soundtrack producers just ten years hence probably wouldn't dare touch, Fame has become one of those classic albums -- poignant, precise, and perfect for any foray into nostalgia.
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