Monday, July 2, 2012

Thank God It's Friday

Thank God It's Friday is a 1978 film directed by Robert Klane and produced by Motown Productions Animation and Casablanca Filmworks for Columbia Pictures (whose "Torch Lady", in a specially produced logo, dances to disco music before the opening credits). Produced at the height of the disco craze, the film features The Commodores performing "Too Hot to Trot", and Donna Summer performing "Last Dance" which won the Academy Award for Best Song in 1979. The film features an early performance by Jeff Goldblum and the first major screen appearance by Debra Winger.


Summary

Thank God It's Friday tells several intertwining stories of the patrons and staff of the fictional Los Angeles club The Zoo. These include:
  • Tony Di Marco (Jeff Goldblum) - owner of The Zoo. Lecherous and promiscuous, he's inordinately fond of his car.
  • Bobby Speed (Ray Vitte) - the club's DJ, who's broadcasting his first live show from the club.
  • Frannie (Valerie Landsburg) and Jeannie (Terri Nunn) - two high school friends who want to win The Zoo's dance contest to buy KISS concert tickets.
  • Carl (Paul Jabara) and Ken (John Friedrich) - hopelessly near-sighted shlub looking for a casual liaison, and his friend looking for a girlfriend.
  • Dave (Mark Lonow) and Sue (Andrea Howard) - a young married couple celebrating their anniversary.
  • Jackie (Marya Small) - dental hygienist by day, drugged-out disco freak by night.
  • Jennifer (Debra Winger) and Maddy (Robin Menken) - the new girl in town taken to the disco by her know-it-all friend who's not as sophisticated as she thinks she is.
  • Nicole Sims (Donna Summer) - an aspiring disco singer.
  • Marv Gomez (Chick Vennera) - a self-described "leatherman" who lives to dance.
  • Malcolm Floyd (DeWayne Jessie) - the roadie for The Commodores, responsible for delivering their instruments to the club by midnight.
  • Gus (Chuck Sacci) and Shirley (Hilary Beane) - mismatched computer blind daters.
Sue insists her uptight accountant husband Dave take her to the disco. On a bet with Bobby, Tony tries to pick up Sue. Dave is drugged and renamed "Babbakazoo" by Jackie, and makes a fool of himself. Carl and Ken are repeatedly thwarted in their attempts to meet girls. Frannie and Jeannie finally manage to sneak in to the disco after several failed attempts. Jennifer tries to meet a guy, but Maddy vetoes each of the guys Jennifer is attracted to. Nicole repeatedly attempts to slip into the DJ booth to get Bobby to play her single. Crude garbage collector Gus is horrified that the dating service has matched him with a prim college educated woman, and one who is taller than he is. Floyd gets stopped repeatedly by the police on suspicion of stealing The Commodores' instruments. Carl gets himself locked in a secured stairwell. Marv teaches the uptight Ken how to dance.
Maddy ditches Jennifer to attend a hot tub party (with the same sleazy guys who came on to Jennifer). Gus and Shirley decide to give it a try. Floyd makes it to the club in time for the Commodores to play but before they go on, Nicole sneaks up on stage and scores a huge triumph singing "Last Dance". Frannie, after tricking Marv's dance partner into the locked stairwell, enters the dance contest with Marv. Carl and Marv's dance partner hook up in the stairwell. Jennifer and Ken share a romantic dance, as do Nicole and Bobby. Dave comes down and Sue ditches Tony. Tony's parked car, having taken innumerable hits from pretty much every other character's car, falls apart in the parking lot. Marv and Frannie win the big dance contest. Deciding that the KISS concert is "kid stuff," Frannie and Jeannie, now self-proclaimed "disco queens," go with Marv to hit another disco for the 1 AM dance contest.

Soundtrack

Thank God It's Friday
Soundtrack album by Various Artists
Released 1978
Recorded 1975-1978
Genre Disco
Label Casablanca Records (original release),
Rebound Records,
PolyGram,
Universal Music
Professional reviews

The triple album was, unlike the movie, a commercial success. It contained contributions from some of the biggest names in disco at the time, including Donna Summer, Diana Ross, Thelma Houston, The Commodores, and many others.
Besides Love & Kisses' title track, the biggest hit single on the album was Donna Summer's "Last Dance", which won an Academy Award as well as a Golden Globe for Best Original Song and also made it to #3 on the US singles chart. The song was written by Paul Jabara, who the following year would go on to compose Summer's duet with Barbra Streisand, "No More Tears (Enough Is Enough)". Jabara himself performed two of the songs on the Thank God It's Friday soundtrack, and appeared in the film as well.

Album information

The soundtrack album was originally issued as a 3 record set in 1978, of which the 3rd disc was a single side 12 inch single of the 15:47 minutes Donna Summer, "Je t'aime... moi non plus" track. An edited CD came out in 1995 on the budget label Rebound Records. A digitally remastered version of the full soundtrack on a 2 disc set was released on PolyGram Records on March 25, 1997. The company that holds the rights to the album is as of 1998 the Universal Music Group.
Cameo's "Find My Way" was originally issued as a 7" single in 1975. Giorgio Moroder and Donna Summer's cover version of Serge Gainsbourg and Jane Birkin's 1969 hit single "Je t'aime... moi non plus" was also recorded a few years earlier, but had its debut on the soundtrack and was subsequently issued as an edited 7" single in a few countries in 1978. "Too Hot Ta Trot" was from The Commodores' 1977 album Commodores Live! - on certain editions of the Thank God It's Friday album replaced by a studio recording. Other titles on the soundtrack, including "Last Dance", were especially recorded for the film. Among the songs heard in the movie but not issued on the soundtrack album are Alec R. Costandinos' "Romeo and Juliet", Giorgio Moroder's "From Here to Eternity", The Originals' "Down to Love Town", D.C. LaRue's "You Can Always Tell a Lady (By the Company She Keeps)" and The Commodores' "Brick House".
Diana Ross' "Lovin' Livin' and Givin'" was remixed after the release of the soundtrack and used as the opening track on her 1978 album Ross. It was also released as a single in certain territories and has since been remixed and re-edited a number of times for inclusion on various hits packages issued by Motown/Universal Music.
The final part of Donna Summer's "Last Dance" is later re-included as a separate track called 'Reprise' towards the end of the soundtrack album. An edited version of the whole track was the version issued on the 7" single in most countries, and this track can be found on many of Summer's compilations, including 1994's Endless Summer and 2003's The Journey: The Very Best of Donna Summer. The 12" single used the full-length 8:08 version. A live recording of the track was included on the album Live and More, issued in late 1978 and the following year the studio version was remixed by Giorgio Moroder for what was to be Summer's final Casablanca Records album, On The Radio: Greatest Hits Volumes 1 & 2. The 1979 mix can be found on Summer's 1993 and 2005 compilations The Donna Summer Anthology and Gold respectively.
An extended remix of Summer's "With Your Love" was issued as a promo 12" single in 1978; a slightly shorter version of this can be found on Mercury Records/PolyGram's 1987 release The Dance Collection: A Compilation of Twelve Inch Singles.

Track listing

Disc 1
  1. Love & Kisses: "Thank God It's Friday (Alec R. Costandinos) - 4:13
    • Producer: Alec R. Costandinos.
  2. Pattie Brooks: "After Dark" (Pattie Brooks) - 7:50
    • Producer: Simon Soussan
  3. Donna Summer: "With Your Love" (Giorgio Moroder, Pete Bellotte, Donna Summer) - 3:58
  4. Donna Summer: "Last Dance" (Paul Jabara) - 8:08
  5. Paul Jabara: "Disco Queen" (Paul Jabara) - 3:45
    • Producers: Bob Esty, Paul Jabara
  6. Cameo: "Find My Way" (Johnny Melfi) - 4:56
    • Producer: Larry Blackmon
  7. The Commodores: "Too Hot Ta Trot" (Lionel Richie, Milan Williams, Ronald LaPread, Thomas McClary, Walter "Clyde" Orange, William King) - 3:24
    • Producers: The Commodores, James Carmichael
  8. Wright Bros. Flying Machine: "Leatherman's Theme" (Arthur G. Wright) - 3:22
    • Producer: Arthur G. Wright
  9. Marathon: "I Wanna Dance" (Pete Bellotte, Thor Baldursson) - 5:58
    • Producer: Pete Bellotte
Disc 2
  1. Sunshine: "Take It To the Zoo" (Bruce Sudano, Donna Summer, Joe Esposito) - 7:56
    • Producer: Arthur G. Wright
  2. Santa Esmeralda: "Sevilla Nights" (Jean-Manuel de Scarano, Nicolas Skorsky, Jean-Claude Petit) - 6:05
    • Producers: Jean-Manuel de Scarano, Nicolas Skorsky
  3. Love & Kisses: "You're the Most Precious Thing in My Life" (Alec R. Costandinos) - 8:02
    • Producer: Alec R. Constandinos
  4. D.C. LaRue: "Do You Want the Real Thing" (D.C. LaRue, Bob Esty) - 4:40
    • Producer: Bob Esty
  5. Paul Jabara: "Trapped in a Stairway" (Bob Esty, Paul Jabara) - 3:22
    • Producer: Paul Jabara, Bob Esty
  6. Natural Juices: "Floyd's Theme" (Dick St. Nicklaus) - 2:57
    • Producer: Dick St. Nicklaus
  7. Diana Ross: "Lovin', Livin' and Givin'" (Kenneth Stover, Pam Davis) - 3:17 (CD releases: - 4:40, remixed version)
  8. Thelma Houston: "Love Masterpiece" (Art Posey, Josef Powell) - 4:01
  9. Donna Summer "Last Dance" (Paul Jabara) (Reprise) - 3:17
  10. Donna Summer: "Je t'aime... moi non plus" (Serge Gainsbourg) - 15:45
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