1978 Soundtrack – FM

FM is a 1978 film directed by John A. Alonzo and starring Michael Brandon, Eileen Brennan, Alex Karras, Cleavon Little, Martin Mull, and Cassie Yates. The screenplay was written by Ezra Sacks.

This film was produced by Universal Pictures and originally released to theaters in the spring of 1978.

The story unfolds across a background of concerts, broadcast music, appearances by various rock stars, and public appearances by the station’s DJs. A minor subtheme to the film is the competition between QSKY and another area radio station, KLAX. The major event of that subtheme occurs when Jeff arranges to broadcast a live concert by Linda Ronstadt that is being sponsored by a competing radio station. Another minor subtheme is the ongoing task of massaging egos of the various DJs to keep them happy and on the air.

Martin Mull appears in his feature film debut as a zoned-out record spinner. He plays Eric Swan, a libidinous disc jockey with eyes for everyone female. The character is self-centered, smarmy, quick tempered, and overbearingly insincere. During the course of the film, Swan beds a supposed girlfriend, encounters a female fan with a peculiar physical “gift”, and barricades himself in owing to a severe emotional breakdown due to his agent’s dropping him and his girlfriend’s leaving him, all within the confines of QSKY’s studio. Also rounding out the cast are Cleavon Little, who plays the Prince of Darkness, QSKY’s overnight host (Little had previously played a disc jockey in the 1971 film, Vanishing Point); Eileen Brennan as “Mother”, the 40-something nighttime DJ; Alex Karras as “Doc Holiday”, the midday DJ with the lowest ratings on the station who is eventually let go from the station; Cassie Yates as Laura Coe, who takes over Doc’s midday slot; and Tom Tarpey as new sales manager Regis Lamar, the bane of the disk jockeys’ existence. In addition, the film includes live appearances by Tom Petty & REO Speedwagon and live performances by Linda Ronstadt & Jimmy Buffett. Steely Dan performed the title theme, which became a sizable hit. The Eagles, James Taylor, Bob Seger, Dan Fogelberg, Billy Joel, and Queen were featured on the Platinum-plus soundtrack album.


Side 1

1 Steely Dan – Fm (Donald Fagen; Walter Becker) 4:50
2 Bob Seger And The Silver Bullet Band – Night Moves (Bob Seger) 3:23
3 Steve Miller – Fly Like An Eagle (Steve Miller) 3:00
4 Foreigner – Cold As Ice (Lou Gramm; Mick Jones) 3:15
5 Tom Petty And The Heartbreakers – Breakdown (Tom Petty) 2:42
6 Randy Meisner – Bad Man (Glenn Frey; John David Souther) 2:34
7 Eagles – Life In The Fast Lane (Don Henley; Glenn Frey; Joe Walsh) 4:43
8 Steely Dan – Do It Again (Donald Fagen; Walter Becker) 5:50
9 Boz Scaggs – Lido Shuffle (Boz Scaggs; David Paich) 3:38
10 Boston – More Than A Feeling (Tom Scholz) 4:40

Side 2

1 Linda Ronstadt – Tumbling Dice (Mick Jagger; Keith Richards) 4:42
2 Linda Ronstadt – Poor Poor Pitiful Me (Warren Zevon) 4:16
3 Jimmy Buffett – Livingston Saturday Night (Jimmy Buffett) 3:06
4 Dan Fogelberg – There’s A Place In The World For A Gambler (Dan Fogelberg) 5:41
5 Billy Joel – Just The Way You Are (Billy Joel) 4:42
6 The Doobie Brother – It Keeps You Runnin’ (Michael McDonald) 4:12
7 James Taylor – Your Smiling Face (James Taylor) 2:41
8 Joe Walsh – Life’s Been Good (Joe Walsh) 8:00
9 Queen – We Will Rock You (Brian May, Freddie Mercury) 2:01
10 Steely Dan – FM (Reprise) (Donald Fagen; Walter Becker) 2:53

Liner Notes

Compiled By – Bob Buziak
Mastered By – Gary Katz

Art Direction, Design – John Kosh
Photography By – Kathy Fields
Photography By (Linda Ronstadt) – Bonnie Lippel

Pressed By – MCA Pressing Plant, Pinckneyville
Manufactured By – MCA Records, Inc.
Phonographic Copyright (p) – MCA Records, Inc.
Phonographic Copyright (p) – Walter Becker
Phonographic Copyright (p) – Donald Fagen
Phonographic Copyright (p) – Capitol Records, Inc.
Phonographic Copyright (p) – Haworth Enterprises
Phonographic Copyright (p) – Atlantic Recording Corporation
Phonographic Copyright (p) – Shelter Recording Company Inc.
Phonographic Copyright (p) – Asylum Records
Phonographic Copyright (p) – ABC Records, Inc.
Phonographic Copyright (p) – CBS Inc.
Phonographic Copyright (p) – Warner Bros. Records Inc.
Phonographic Copyright (p) – EMI Records Ltd.
Phonographic Copyright (p) – Elektra Records
Copyright (c) – Universal City Studios, Inc.
Copyright (c) – MCA Records, Inc.
Record Company – MCA Records, Inc.