You know it within the first two seconds. “Maniac” one of the most recognizable hits of the ’80s, thanks in large part to the unexpected success of the 1983 movie, Flashdance. But the movie and its soundtrack actually helped each other. Both made a lot of money.
Michael Sembello’s single made it all the way to number one on the pop charts in the U.S. and Canada, which undoubtedly helped box office sales. Another reason why the movie and soundtrack did so well was MTV. The videos for “Maniac” and Irene Cara’s “Flashdance…What a Feeling” were comprised of scenes from the film, essentially making them commercials that aired over and over again on the music video channel.
As a bonus, here’s Michael Sembello’s performance of “Maniac” on American Bandstand. Let’s just say 1983 was a hairier time.