1981 Keith Forsey – Dynamite

Keith Forsey is an English soundtrack composer, drummer, songwriter and record producer.
Forsey began his career as a percussionist in the early seventies. By the time the late seventies came around Keith was a pioneer of disco, working with artists such as Lipstique, Claudja Barry and Boney M. Keith became legendary disco producer Giorgio Moroder’s drummer and appeared on Donna Summer’s groundbreaking club records, including the 1979 classic “Bad Girls”. Keith’s own band, Trax, however, was not as popular. Forsey was obviously being influenced by Moroder and began experimenting with electronics and European dance rhythms. Like Moroder, Keith started producing albums himself, and in 1982 produced Billy Idol’s self-titled solo debut. Idol’s 1983 follow-up, “Rebel Yell”, went even further, combining Forsey’s affection for synthesized pop, Idol’s punk grit, and guitarist Steve Stevens’ heavy metal sound. 1983 was the year that established Forsey as a producer. Keith co-wrote “Flashdance… What a Feeling” with Moroder and Irene Cara, who also performed the track, for the movie “Flashdance”. In 1984 the song earned him an Academy Award. The popularity of “Flashdance” led to his (co-)writing songs featured on the soundtracks of “Ghostbusters”, “Beverly Hills Cop” and “The Breakfast Club”. The song “Don’t You (Forget About Me)”, from The Breakfast Club, was originally intended for Billy Idol, who declined. It was instead recorded by the Simple Minds in 1985 and turned out to be a hit, topping charts in multiple countries. The music community saw less and less of Forsey in the nineties. In 2003 Forsey produced his final music group the guitar pop band “Rooney”.

The man who made punk bankable and took a little-known Scottish new wave band to number one on the U.S. charts also helped to define disco music, the antithesis of underground and alternative rock. Born in January 1948 in London, England, Oscar-winning producer Keith Forsey began his career as a drummer in the early ‘70s, contributing his skills as a percussionist to Krautrock artists like Roy Fleming and Amon Düül II. In the late ‘70s, Forsey became one of disco’s pioneers, working with dance artists like Lipstique and Claudja Barry. More importantly, he was legendary disco producer Giorgio Moroder’s drummer and appeared on Donna Summer’s groundbreaking club records, including the 1979 classic Bad Girls. Less remembered is his own band, Trax, essentially a collaboration with Pete Bellotte that spawned two LPs, 1977’s Watch Out and 1978’s Dancing in the Street. Moroder’s influence on Forsey became increasingly obvious as he further experimented with electronics and European dance rhythms. Like Moroder, he started producing albums himself. In 1982, Forsey produced Billy Idol’s self-titled solo debut. Although it wasn’t the first time Forsey was involved with Idol — Generation X marked the beginning of their longtime partnership — Billy Idol was a revolutionary disc, giving punk enough studio gloss to make the genre palatable to mainstream FM rock radio without sacrificing any of its punch. Idol’s 1983 follow-up, Rebel Yell, went even further, combining Forsey’s affection for synthesized pop, Idol’s punk grit, and guitarist Steve Stevens’ heavy metal fireballs into a multi-platinum blockbuster that is one of the decade’s most indelible releases. 1983 was the year that established Forsey not just as a top-drawer producer but as a commercially desirable one, too. He co-wrote “Flashdance…What a Feelin'” with singer Irene Cara for the Flashdance movie soundtrack, a number one hit on the U.S. charts. In 1984, the song earned him an Academy Award. The mammoth popularity of Flashdance suddenly gave Forsey the reputation of a soundtrack wiz; it led to a string of blockbuster soundtracks including Beverly Hills Cop, Ghostbusters, and The Breakfast Club. The Forsey-penned “Don’t You (Forget About Me)” for The Breakfast Club was originally intended for Idol to sing; instead, it was given to the Scottish cult group Simple Minds in 1985, handing them a number one smash that is generally considered to be among the most beloved tunes from the ‘80s. The less-is-more trend of the ‘90s saw fewer work from Forsey, as keyboards and big production were suddenly frowned upon in rock, especially in the alternative scene wherein he made post-punk acts such as Idol, the Psychedelic Furs, and Simple Minds glossy enough for the masses. In 2003, Forsey produced the guitar pop band Rooney’s critically acclaimed eponymous debut.

Tracks

1  Take Me To The Pilot (Keith Forsey) 3:48
2  Give Me The Right (Keith Forsey, Laurie Andrew) 3:47
3  Don’t Be Shy (Keith Forsey) 4:04
4  Can’t You See It (Keith Forsey) 3:26
5  Hold On (Keith Forsey) 4:00
6  Dynamite (Keith Forsey, Greg Mathieson) 3:48
7  Seventeen (Keith Forsey, Greg Mathieson) 3:43
8  Thin Ice (Keith Forsey, Laurie Andrew) 3:42
9  School Girls (Keith Forsey, Greg Mathieson) 3:56
10  Romeo (Keith Forsey, Laurie Andrew) 4:07

Media

Musicians

BassBob Glaub
BassLeland Sklar
DrumsKeith Forsey
GuitarSteve Lukather
GuitarJeff Baxter
GuitarLarry Carlton
GuitarRichie Zito
GuitarSnuffy Waldon
GuitarMats Bjoerklund
Acoustic GuitarTrevor Veitch
KeyboardsGreg Mathieson
KeyboardsRichie Zito
Background VocalsBill Champlin
Background VocalsTom Kelly
Background VocalsCarmen Grillo
Background VocalsLaurie Forsey

Liner Notes

Producer – Keith Forsey
Executive Producer – Giorgio Moroder
Arranged By – Greg Mathieson
Contractor – Trevor Veitch
Engineer – Brian Reeves, Joe Bogan
Mixed By – Brian Reeves (Tracks 3, 4), Jürgen Koppers