REMIX: 'Maniac' by Michael Sembello (Vocal Remix)

Released in the US as a single in May 1983, about a month after the film Flashdance hit theaters, "Maniac" would enter the Top 40 on July 1 and take the top spot on Sept 10 from the Eurythmics and their single "Sweet Dreams are Made of This." The dance track would also become an international hit reaching the top ten in seven other countries.

"Maniac" earned Michael Sembello two Grammy nominations for Record of the Year and Best Male Pop Vocal Performance. The music video was the first to use nothing but scenes from a movie, with no shots of the artist. This essentially made the video like a movie trailer which became a key trend for film studios throughout the decade, advertising their movies for free through heavy MTV airplay.

I first discovered this "Vocal Remix" a few month ago when doing research for an episode of Greatest Lists. For as popular as the song was in the 80s, not just commercially but for fitness gyms and dance clubs everywhere, I was surprised there weren't more official remixes or extended cuts of the song. In fact, this was the only official remix I could find that was released as a 12" single. What I like about the remix is it doesn't extend the song just for the sake of doing so (adds 1:40) but adds some different elements to grab your ear. 

It's actually weird it's called the "Vocal Remix" when there are not many vocal elements added. You can hear the line "crazy, crazy, crazy" more vocalized between the first chorus and second verse. You can also here some backing vocal effects when the "Maniac, Maniac" lines are delivered and those backing vocals are singled out later in the song. The main differences I notice are more prominent drums and synth bassline. It really kicks the song up a notch. Plus, there are some added drum fills throughout the song that add a "Danger Zone" type feel to the song. Piano and keys replace the cello part during the break which are fine but I would actually prefer the cellos.

Listen to the remix below and connect with "Maniac" in your favorite music app using this Songwhip link.

Header Background Image courtesy Depositphotos

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