Various Artists – FM (OST) (1978)

FrontCover1FM is the original AOR soundtrack to the 1978 film FM. In the United States, the album reached the Top Five of Billboard’s album chart and quickly earned a Platinum-certified disc. It reached 37 in the UK charts. The soundtrack also won the 1979 Grammy Award for Best Engineered Album, Non-Classical.

QSKY radio station manager/program director Jeff Dugan (Michael Brandon) builds a large fan base by assembling a group of charismatic DJ personalities playing popular rock and roll. He soon finds that corporate management expects Jeff to use the station’s position atop the ratings to sell more advertising time. (Jeff Dugan is based loosely on Mike Herrington, the program director of Los Angeles radio station KMET while writer Sacks was working there.)

The conflict grows until sales manager Regis Lamar (Tom Tarpey) presents him with the chance to advertise for the U.S. Army using a series of cheesy radio ads. When Jeff refuses to endorse the contract, Regis takes the issue to upper management. Jeff is then ordered to run the ads as provided by the Army and on the schedule specified in the advertising contract. Rather than comply, Jeff quits his job.

All of the remaining DJs decide to take control of the station in a sort of lock-in/sit-in/protest. They get listeners to gather in the street outside the station as a sort of protest while the DJs play music without any commercials.

MoviePosterJeff Dugan wakes up to hear the DJs take control of the station. The crowd is already present when he arrives at the station. The DJs lift him up to the second story with a fire hose as they have already barricaded the front doors.

The lock-in lasts only until the police get an injunction to remove the staff. A tow truck rips off the front doors and the police enter the building. The DJs battle back using a fire hose and throwing tapes and other office objects at the police.

The battle is resolved when Jeff Dugan finds himself fighting a policeman outside on an overhang. Jeff saves the policeman from falling off and decides that fighting is the wrong thing to do. He calms the crowd and announces that the DJs are coming out.

Unknown to him, the company owner, Carl Billings (Norman Lloyd), has watched from the crowd as the events unfolded. He insists that the DJs stay in the station, fires his management staff responsible for the advertising conflict, and then joins the DJs inside the station.

The story unfolds across a background of concerts, broadcast music, appearances by various rock stars, and public appearances by the station DJs. A minor subtheme to the film is the competition between QSKY and another area radio station. The major event of that subtheme occurs when Jeff arranges to broadcast a live concert by Linda Ronstadt that is being sponsored by the competitor’s radio station.

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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; and Tom Tarpey as new sales manager Regis Lamar, the bane of the disk jockeys’ existence.

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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.

Rolling Stone magazine considered the music heavily biased towards musicians who had been managed by Irving Azoff, who was head of MCA Records at the time. Some reference books claim that the TV sitcom WKRP in Cincinnati was based on FM. The physical resemblance between Michael Brandon and WKRP lead actor Gary Sandy and the fact that their respective characters were both based upon KMET programming director Mikel Hunter may have contributed to this speculation. However, WKRP series creator Hugh Wilson asserts that the sitcom was already in development when the film came out. He also states that he was “scared to death” when the film came out, afraid that it would eclipse the CBS show, which made its debut in September 1978. Wilson was relieved when FM came and went from theaters quickly. (by wikipedia)

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Appropriately, the soundtrack for the 1978 movie FM feels like a radio play list of the era, collecting songs from Joe Walsh, Randy Meisner, Boz Scaggs, and other ’70s radio staples. Steely Dan’s title track, Queen’s “We Will Rock You,” Bob Seger & the Silver Bullet Band’s “Night Moves,” Billy Joel’s “Just The Way You Are,” and Boston’s “More Than a Feeling” are some of the highlights from this double-disc set, which also includes tracks from Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers, Foreigner, and Linda Ronstadt, all of whom also appeared in the film. Though FM itself wasn’t exactly a box-office smash, its soundtrack is a surprisingly durable and entertaining collection of classic rock that is arguably better than many of the ’70s rock compilations available today. (by Heather Phares)

In other words: If you like to celebrate a Seventies party … use this soundtrack and you can´t do wrong !

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Tracklist:
01. Steely Dan: FM (Becker/Fagen)  4:52
02.  Bob Seger: Night Moves (Seger) 3:27
03. Steve Miller Band: Fly Like an Eagle (Miller) 3:04
04. Foreigner:  Cold As Ice (Gramm/Jones) 3:20
05. Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers: Breakdown (Petty)  2:44
06. Randy Meisner: Bad Man (Frey /Souther)  2:38
07. Eagles: Life in the Fast Lane (Frey/Henley/Walsh) 4:46
08. Steely Dan: Do It Again (Becker/Fagen) 5:54
09. Boz Scaggs: Lido Shuffle (Paich/Scaggs) 3:42
10. Boston: More Than a Feeling (Scholz) 4:45
11. Linda Ronstadt: Tumbling Dice (Jagger/Richards  4:51
12. Linda Ronstadt: Poor, Poor Pitiful Me (Zevon/Ronstadt) 4:15
13. Jimmy Buffett: Livingston Saturday Night (Buffett)  3:10
14. Dan Fogelberg: There’s A Place In The World For A Gambler (Fogelberg) 5:41
15. Billy Joel: Just the Way You Are (Joel) 4:49
16. The Doobie Brothers: It Keeps You Runnin’ (McDonald)  4:13
17- James Taylor:  Your Smiling Face (Taylor) 2:43
18. Joe Walsh: Life’s Been Good (Walsh) 8:05
19. Queen: We Will Rock You (May) 2:04
20. Steely Dan: FM (Reprise) (Becker/Fagen) 2:54

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This is another item from the great greygoose collection !
Thanks a lot !

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