She’s a maniac
I recently watched Flashdance for the first time. It is one of the greatest movies I have ever seen. Even though it is not very good, it is great. Never mind its two-dimensional characters, formulaic arc (a straight line), or that it would spawn Save the Last Dance with the addition of hip-hop and jungle fever. So many classic scenes! That kabuki/Paul Stanley dance was mind-blowing.
For some reason, Michael Sembello's "Maniac" on the soundtrack inspires, well, maniacal devotion. YouTube reveals dance tributes, karaoke tributes, piano and acoustic versions, even people uploading their takes on the guitar solo. It is a bitchin' solo. Ah, the '80s — when every pop hit had a shredding solo air-dropped into it, complete with two-handed tapping (thank you Eddie Van Halen).
Even metal has gotten "Maniac"al. The best such cover is by Florida metalcore outfit Evergreen Terrace, who make the song theirs. This is the only "Maniac" cover that I can listen to as actual music.
For some reason, European metallers have really taken to "Maniac." Greece's Firewind deliver an impressively straight-faced power metal cover. It sounds exactly like one would expect.
On the other hand, France's Carnival in Coal take the WTF route. They send up the song with hyperactive, almost breakcore-ish synths. I haven't been able to bring myself to hear it all the way through.
Less extreme are Norway's Street Legal. In fact, their cover is precisely in the middle. It is a feat to make music this boring. "Metal cover of 'Maniac'" — this is exactly what you think it would sound like.
If you've ever wanted to hear an Italian metalcore band cover "Maniac," you're in luck. Biosystem55 have done the honors. They do so in a way that requires watching, not listening. This is one of the worst music videos ever made. I can't stop watching it.
That's about it for metal. Even worse are the truckload of dance remixes that one can find on YouTube. But that's another post altogether. Don't go there, trust me. It's like watching multiple car crashes and clown conventions at the same time.
Ah, screw it. "Maniac 2000" was a pop-dance remix that evidently was a #1 hit in Ireland for 10 weeks. If so, Ireland is a f***ed-up place. If you dug those metal dance remixes I posted a while back, then this is for you. It may be the worst song I have ever heard.
- Cosmo Lee