Original Soundtrack

You Light Up My Life

  • AllMusic Rating
  • User Ratings (0)
  • Your Rating

AllMusic Review by

Carole King released a 45 of a great song entitled "You Light Up My Life" from her 1973 Fantasy album, and it quickly faded into obscurity. Four years later actor/songwriter/producer Joe Brooks gave his film and a quite different song the same title, "You Light Up My Life," and it became a monster hit from a brief ten-track, seven-song album on Arista. But here's the catch -- singer Kasey Cisyk is listed on the back cover of the LP as the female "lead vocalist," but it wasn't her terrific rendition that shot to number one for ten weeks! As Pat Boone made a living cashing in on the success of Fats Domino and Little Richard, from out of nowhere Debby Boone, his daughter, released more than just a cover of the title track to this film. A flip through Fred Bronson's Billboard Book of Number One Hits reveals that Mike Curb at Warner Brothers borrowed the original backing track from producer Joe Brooks to put Debby's voice on the original master! It is something Maurice Starr is said to have done with another Arista 45 rpm master when he put the voices of New Kids on the Block on his production of "Step by Step" and allegedly re-released the same tape on Columbia. Two big records that slipped away from Arista and went to the competition! This album features backing vocals from the singer of the Archies and producer of Barry Manilow, the legendary Ron Dante, as well as the voices of Leslie Miller, Jerry Keller, producer Joseph Brooks, and Kenny Karen -- all part of the ensemble. The smash from the autumn of 1977 garnered numerous awards and cover versions from Johnny Mathis to a live parody by Arista singer Patti Smith. Composer/producer Brooks includes two vocal renditions of the title song as well as an instrumental, and his own voice on the acoustic "California Daydreams," part of another famous title lifted for this film. Lobo's 1972 hit "I'd Love You to Want Me" is revamped as "Do You Have a Piano," while the core of soundtrack writer Harriet Schock's "Hollywood Town" can be felt on "Rolling the Chords." The amusing thing is that a small part of the melody can be heard in a future Manilow hit written by David Pomeranz, "The Old Songs," so it sounds like Brooks getting a vibe from Schock and the reworked composition itself inspiring more music. Or maybe Ron Dante was spinning Manilow demos for Brooks while this was being created! Cisyk's voice is a standout, though none of the tunes hold a candle to the theme song. The opening and closing performances sound exactly the same -- a pity they didn't use Brooks' own rendition or some film dialogue to bring something extra to this brief mix.

blue highlight denotes track pick