Meaning of Maniac by Michael Sembello & Song Story

The melodrama “Flashdance” (Flashdance) made several international hits at once, which were included in the film’s soundtrack. One of them was Maniac (“Mad”) by Michael Sembello. There are many interesting works in the creative baggage of this American singer and composer, but he remained known to the general public, first of all, as a performer of this song.

Directly about the film directed by Adrian Lyne, you can learn more from the thematic sources, and below we will talk about Maniac.

The history of creation and the meaning of the song Maniac

Michael co-wrote it with Dennis Matkosky, who came up with the idea for the song after watching the thriller Maniac about a serial killer in New York. This film by William Lustig is considered one of the most naturalistic and cruel in its genre. According to Sembello:

Initially, he had a seed of inspiration, and he came to me with the main idea and motive. It seems we had this temporary lyrics for the chorus:

He’s a maniac, a maniac, that’s for sure
He will kill your cat and nail it to the door

Interestingly, the composition got into the Flashdance soundtrack by accident. Michael’s wife mistakenly recorded it on a cassette sent to producers at Paramount Pictures. The song was liked by Phil Ramone, who selected the music for the film, but the words clearly did not correspond to the main idea of ​​the picture. At his request, the authors rewrote the text, dedicating it to a girl obsessed with dancing.

Release and achievements

Maniac was released as a single in the summer of 1983, a couple of months after the film’s release. It peaked at number one on the Billboard Hot 100 in September and remained at the top of the chart for two weeks.

The song was nominated for an Oscar in the Best Original Song category, but was rejected by academics for violating the rule that the composition must be written specifically for the picture. According to Michael Sembello, he is still upset by their refusal.

Clip Maniac (Flashdance)

And now let’s take a look at the official video clip that kicked off a whole new trend of music videos made entirely from movie scenes.

Interesting Facts

  • The song is also featured in many other films including American Wedding and Tommy Boy.
  • For many years, it has been widely used in aerobics classes.
  • Some time ago, there was a very popular commercial for KIA cars, in which a car salesman dances to Maniac.

Maniac lyrics

Just a steel town1 girl on a Saturday night
Looking for the fight of her life
In the real time world no one sees her at all
They all say she’s crazy
Locking rhythm to the beat of her heart
Changing movement into light
She had danced into the danger zone
When the dancer becomes the dance
It can cut you like a knife
if the gift becomes the fire
On the wire between will and what will be

Chorus x2
She’s a maniac, maniac on the floor
And she’s dancing like she’s never danced before

On the ice blue line of insanity
Is a place most never seen
It’s a hard won’t place of mystery,
Touch it but can’t hold it
You work all your life, for that moment in time
It could come or pass you by
It’s a push shove world
But there’s always a chance
If the hunger stays the night
There’s a cold connective heat
Struggling stretching for the peak
Never stopping with her head against the wind

Maniac lyrics Alternative

Just a steel town girl on a Saturday night
Goes to the fight of her life
In the real world, no one pays any attention to her at all.
Everyone says she’s crazy
Maintaining the rhythm of the beats of the heart,
Turning movement into light
She danced to a dangerous point
When the dancer becomes the dance itself
It cuts like a knife
If the gift becomes fire
On the wire between desire and what will happen

Chorus (2x)
She’s crazy, crazy on the dance floor
And she dances like she’s never danced before

On the blue, ice line of madness
There is a place that most never see
This mysterious place is hard to get
You can touch it, but you can’t hold it
You work your whole life for this moment
He can come or pass you by
It’s very hard in this world
But there’s always a chance
If hunger doesn’t leave you at night
Cold-blooded pressure
Makes her reach for the top
And keep going against the wind

1. Steel town refers to Pittsburgh with a developed steel industry. The heroine of the film lived in it.

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