One of the hardest working and criminally underrated musician of the 80's. Not a household name, but it's hard to believe you haven't heard a song he wrote, performed or produced. Always in the shadows of Giorgio Moroder, the list of his clients are also impressive; Cheap Trick, Glenn Frey, Bob Seger, Billy Idol, Bonnie Tyler, Blondie, Chris Thompson etc.
He won two Grammy's. Both for a soundtrack music. One of which is the amazing Top Gun Theme performed together with Steve Stevens on guitar. I sincerely doubt the film would've been such a huge success if it wasn't for the music. Of course, I'm talking about Harold Faltermeyer. The movies aimed at teens in the 80's had some cheesy keyboard driven music, but Harold F. was always the good example.
His self titled CD is easily divided into two sides. The first half is the rockier, faster and moodier, while the second half is poppier, slower and straight forward. Some of the musicians he worked with before are here to help him out.
CD ℗ 1988
Note: Red titles = YT
1. Prophecy The opener is almost an instrumental with vocal samples elevating the noir feel to it.
2. Appassionata Brings back Steve Stevens from the Top Gun sessions to lay down some fine guitars.
3.Them Changes Is the best song on the CD. Patti La Belle belts out a passionate vocal delivery, while Steve Stevens graces the song with one of his best solos. Beware of the neck injuries. The horn section will have your head bouncing.
4. Must Be Paradise Is a laid back calypso tune, that let's Keith Forsey (Billy Idol fame) to play the drums to his heart content while Steve Stevens playing here is more restraint.
5. Bad Guys Harold is a one man band in a true sense of the word, but you wouldn't know that because this song sounds like performed by a band, however it's all keyboards and programming. Forsey does his best Billy Idol impersonation. He almost pulls it off.
6. (To Live) The Pop Life As the title suggests the second half of the CD is clearly stirred in the pop direction. The solo is an interesting mix of different sound effects and instruments.
7. Hunger For Love
8. Stop Before You Break My Heart Again
9. Wicked Wind
10. Axel F. (Bonus Track for CD Only) If you didn't know or you forgot, here is a reminder that Harold F. wrote and performed one of the most recognizable synth pop Soundtrack instrumentals of all time. This tune earned him the second Grammy.
Finally getting around to listen to, (for the first time) some music I've been putting aside (for years). Including, things from the past I recently discovered, projects I previously had, but replaced with a newly remastered version, or those simple cases, were my last years order didn't arrive on time.
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in these articles come from the authors heart and personal taste which may not necessarily reflect the common sense or the popular sentiment of those who farm music through the path of least resistance i.e. from ears, straight to the brain.
I totally agree that the BHC theme is iconic. The movie was so good, that theme really needed to be as well, and it was/is.
I like your reasoning for these posts. I use the same reasoning when picking a specific theme for an Album of the Week series. Often times, though it may have been a huge seller, it was not something I had heard before. I truly enjoy doing that, it's like a history lesson.
I was tending bar in 1984 in a dance club and so this guys soundtracks were pounded into my head and just when you think the therapy worked here comes this post!!!
Kidding... but it does bring back some memories and it does make me wonder, if you put this guy and Kenny Loggins in a cage match who would win?
There are some benefits in knowing me and here is an opportunity to prove that. If you have come to me earlier, I would have saved you the therapy money.
Anyway, next time you have a headache; give someone close to you a hammer and demand a good smack on your toes. I guarantee you won't feel the migraine anymore. You're welcome.
Now that you know the remedy, here is my answer to your question.
The winner is always going to be this little dude:
I actually watched Top Gun last week for the first time in around 30 years and it's still so stupid. Music is ok, though.
If you haven't, check out Paul Hardcastle. He had the one fairly big hit here, but hos other stuff isn't that bad.