Let’s Hear It For The Boy

Let’s Hear It for the Boy” – 1984

Music: Tom Snow

Lyric: Dean Pitchford

Song History: A number-one song for both Deniece Williams from the soundtrack to the feature film, Footloose. It climbed to number one on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 in 1984, as well as number one on the dance and R&B charts,[1][2] and peaked at number two on the UK Singles Chart. It was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Song, and, in 1992, was certified Platinum by the RIAA. The Australian group Young Divas covered the song on their debut album in 2006. The 2008 soundtrack of the hit Nickelodeon show iCarly features this version of the song. It is a pivotal song in the U.S. Queer as Folk continuum. This version is performed by Katty B and is a theme song for the character Justin Taylor. The Mexican Latin Pop singer Byanka has sung by the 1985 song title “Escucho al Muchacho” and composed by “José T. Martinez”.

Author’s Note: Writing is generally rewriting. The difference between the talented amateur and the seasoned professional songwriter is the ability and willingness to rewrite. “Let’s Hear It For The Boy”  is a prime example of a successful rewrite. When Dean Pitchford asked me to write a song for “Footloose” it was during the pre-production phase. He had finished the script and needed a song for an early scene at the “Hi-Spot” drive-in. The song we wrote, “Somebody’s Eyes”, was meant to convey an anxious, semi-paranoid feeling that pervaded the teenager’s lives. It worked so well for the scene that the choreographer, Lynne Taylor-Corbett, used it to work up dance movements for a few others, one of which was the now famous moment when Ren teaches Willard to dance. “Somebody’s Eyes” had a strong rhythmic feel but was written in a minor key.  When the director, Herbert Ross, was cutting the scene together he wasn’t convinced the music was supporting the fun and energetic movement he was seeing. So, rewrite time. I asked for a clip of the scene along with an audio track of the metronome (click track) that matched the tempo of “Somebody’s Eyes”. Starting from scratch with just the video and the click track to play to I came up with the signature bass line that starts the tune. Melody and lyric quickly followed (we were under the gun at that point). When we played the tune for Deniece Williams, along with Herbert and the film’s producers Craig Zadan & Daniel Melnick at Dean’s West Hollywood house, she took a pencil and wrote “#1 song” on the lyric sheet. Safe to say she was prophetic. “Let’s Hear It…” is one of the biggest, if not the biggest, hits I’ve ever been involved with. I will forever be indebted to Herb Ross for giving me a shot at the rewrite and to Dean for bringing me in on the project.

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One Response to “Let’s Hear It For The Boy”
  1. Paul says:

    Such a wonderful example of the sheer joy and fun energy that was in music from the 1980s. I bet you guys were dancing around the control room when Deniece Williams was laying down those vocals!

    I love the sparse arrangement and the jazzed up chords, especially the two chords in the bridge to the chorus

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