Monday 12/5/22 4pm ET: Feature LP: Irene Cara – What A Feelin’ (1983)

What a Feelin’ is the second studio album by American singer-songwriter Irene Cara. Released on November 2, 1983, this album is a continuation of the work that Cara began with producer Giorgio Moroder on the soundtrack to the 1983 film Flashdance. The dance-pop song she co-wrote with Moroder and Keith Forsey for the film, “Flashdance… What a Feeling”, went to number one on Billboard magazine’s Hot 100 and foreshadowed the style of this album, which was unlike her R&B-heavy debut. Although Cara was more accustomed to composing music, she relinquished most of those duties to Moroder here and shifted much of her songwriting focus to lyrics.

The title of the album clued in record buyers to the inclusion of the soundtrack hit from the spring of that year, but another four songs would make the Hot 100, the first of which, “Why Me?”, had been released in October. “The Dream (Hold On to Your Dream)” from the D.C. Cab soundtrack became the second new single when that movie was released in December, four months earlier than planned. Since the song was not on the original pressings of What a Feelin’, those copies were removed from store shelves so that the album could be re-released to include it. The other two Hot 100 entries were Cara’s last top ten hit, “Breakdance”, and the one track on the album for which she did write the music, “You Were Made for Me”.

The album received mixed-to-positive reviews and was moderately successful, reaching number 77 on Billboard’s album chart. But while Cara was having hit records and receiving awards for “Flashdance… What a Feeling”, she was also feeling ripped off by her record company, Network Records, and planning to sue. The lawsuit she filed resulted in a backlash that destroyed her reputation in the entertainment industry. It would be eight years before the courts would acknowledge the harm she suffered and she would begin receiving royalties for the recordings she had made since signing with the label.

  1. “Flashdance… What a Feeling” 3:57
  2. “Why Me?” (12″ Mix) 7:03
  3. “Breakdance” 3:27
  4. “The Dream (Hold On to Your Dream)” 4:49
  5. “You Took My Life Away” 3:53
  6. “Keep On” 3:29
  7. “Romance ’83” 3:56
  8. “Cue Me Up” 3:24
  9. “Receiving” 3:42
  10. “You Were Made for Me” 4:21
  11. “Talk Too Much” 4:01
  12. “Breakdance” (Extended Remix) 5:26
  13. “The Dream (Hold On to Your Dream)” (Dance Remix) 6:49
  14. “Flashdance… What a Feeling” (Extended Remix) 7:09
  15. “Flashdance… What a Feeling” (Instrumental) 8:03

Irene Cara – lead vocals

Joe Esposito – background vocals (CD tracks 1, 2, 14, 15)
Stephanie Spruill – background vocals (CD tracks 1, 2, 14, 15)
Maxine Willard Waters – background vocals (CD tracks 1, 9, 14, 15)
Merry Clayton – background vocals (CD track 2)
Irene Cara – background vocals (CD tracks 3, 9, 12); additional background vocals (CD track 10)
Bunny Hull – background vocals (CD tracks 3, 9, 12) ; additional background vocals (CD track 10)
Giorgio Moroder – background vocals (CD tracks 3, 5, 12)
Beth Anderson – background vocals (CD tracks 6, 8, 9)
Mary Hylan – background vocals (CD tracks 6, 8)
Joe Pizzulo – background vocals (CD tracks 6, 8); guest vocalist (CD track 8)
Charlotte Crossley – background vocals (CD track 10)
David Lasley – background vocals (CD track 10)
Bruce Roberts – background vocals (CD track 10)
Wendy McKenzie – additional background vocals (CD track 10)

Richie Zito – guitar (all CD tracks except 9, 10), Linn drums (all CD tracks except 1, 10, 14, 15), Simmons drums (CD tracks 3, 8, 11, 12), keyboards (CD tracks 3, 9, 12)
Arthur Barrow – bass guitar (all CD tracks except 1, 9, 10, 14, 15 ), keyboards (all CD tracks except 1, 10, 14, 15)
Keith Forsey – drums (CD tracks 1, 14, 15), percussion program (CD track 5)
Sylvester Levay – keyboards (CD tracks 1, 5, 14, 15)
Irene Cara – percussion program (CD track 6)
Leo Adamian – percussion (CD track 9)
Victoria Berdy – percussion (CD track 9)
Joe Caro – guitar (CD track 9)
Will Lee – bass guitar (CD track 9)
Carol Steele – percussion (CD track 9)
William Seidman – guitar (CD track 9)
Mike Baird – drums (CD track 10)
Lenny Castro – percussion (CD track 10)
James Newton Howard – piano (CD track 10), synthesizer (CD track 10)
Dean Parks – guitar (CD track 10)
Neil Stubenhaus – bass (CD track 10)