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Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Various Artists - Lambada: Set The Night On Fire (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack) (1990)

In my Vanity post, I mentioned that I read that she was supposed to star in the movie Lambada: Set The Night On Fire and was supposed to record the song "Gotta Lambada" for the soundtrack. This got me thinking about the soundtrack again, which I only ever had on cassette.  I remember loving that soundtrack (even though I've never seen the movie), so I had to find and buy the CD immediately. While only once before have I featured a compilation, this one seemed to fit the Isle perfectly, since some current and future postees and people they've worked with are on it. So here it is.  The film was based on the Afro-Brazilian dance called the Lambada, which was a sexy partner dance that became popular in the 1980s.  It was also referred to as "The Forbidden Dance" because of its suggestiveness. In 1989, the French group Kaoma released their version of the Los Kjarkas' Bolivian song "Llorando Se Fue" from 1981, translating it to Portuguese and renaming it "Lambada".  The song instantly became a worldwide hit (it even reached #46 on the Billboard Hot 100) and a dance craze.  Looking to capitalize on the craze, as well as rekindle the success of 1987's Dirty Dancing, two American films based around the dance were quickly made.  Vanity was reportedly tapped to play the lead female role in Lambada: Set The Night On Fire, but was unfortunately soon replaced by Melora Hardin. likely due to personal problems.  The two films, Lambada: Set The Night On Fire and The Forbidden Dance, were both released on March 16, 1990.  The Lambada craze was already waning by then, and Lambada: Set The Night On Fire, while both commercially and critically the more successful of the two, was still far from a hit.  (Looks like Vanity dodged a bullet there!)  It also had the better soundtrack, in my opinion.  Three promo singles were released from the album.  The first, the title song "Set The Night On Fire," was recorded by the R&B/funk trio Sweet Obsession, which consisted of sisters Keena, Kimmala and Michelle Green. The trio released two modestly successful albums in 1988 and 1991 (download them both at The Music Spectrum), and two less successful but funkier albums previously, but under different monikers - Razor by Greens III in 1984 (which included "You Want My Body", which was their 'interpretation' of Vanity 6's "Nasty Girl") and Set Me Free as Foxx in 1986.  The second promo single was the song supposedly originally intended for Vanity, "Gotta Lambada," which ended up being recorded by R&B duo Absolute, consisting of backing vocalist Tiara Le Macks and Carolyn Griffey, who was the daughter of Solar Records head Dick Griffey and disco singer Carrie Lucas, who also had a track on the soundtrack, the Lambada-ish "I Like The Rhythm".  "Gotta Lambada" was produced by one of the men behind Isle postees The Day Zs, Freeze. Absolute released the album For All Seasons and the single "Cheap Shot" that same year, though neither was a success. (Griffey would later replace Jody Watley in the reformed Shalamar in 2003, much to Watley's chagrin.)  The third single was "Perfect" by rapper Dina D, who released the album Never Seen A Rapper Like This (And I'll Betcha) and single "Groove With Me" in 1991, to little fanfare. Also included on the soundtrack were Tony Terry, who'd had a minor R&B hit with "On The Strength" with Isle postee Flame; Isle postee Kathy Sledge of Sister Sledge fame; freestyle and pop diva extraordinaire Brenda K. Starr; and Bill Wolfer, the producer behind Vanity's amazing solo album Wild Animal.  The soundtrack is more dance-pop than Lambada-esque, and though it and the singles didn't do that well, it is a solid dance workout and, in my opinion, an overlooked gem. So download it now and set your night on fire!

Download Lambada: Set The Night On Fire

1 Sweet Obsession - Set The Night On Fire
2 Absolute - This Moment In Time
3 Dina D - Perfect
4 Tony Terry - Tease Me Please Me
5 Kathy Sledge - Lambada Dancin'
6 Absolute - Gotta Lambada
7 Carrie Lucas - I Like The Rhythm
8 Johnny Thomas Jr. - Rock Lambada
9 Bill Wolfer - Wes Groove
10 Brenda K. Starr - Sata
11 Judette Warren - Give It Up

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