|Original album cover.|
Perhaps we should focus on the main fact: it was predominately produced by Giorgio Moroder and Pete Bellotte, the production team responsible for many of Donna Summer's biggest records (Bad Girls, Live & More, I Remember Yesterday, just to name a few). As well, Giorgio himself was experiencing a career spike in the early 80's as an in-demand producer, thanks to such immensely successful film soundtracks like AMERICAN GIGOLO (1980), CAT PEOPLE (1982), and, of course, the Grammy and Academy Award winning soundtrack FLASHDANCE (1983). Giorgio's involvement constituted more than fifty percent of the album's content, somehow, however, as with the album reputation, it was sorely overlooked.
|Images from the "Dream Street" album photo shoot.|
The title track, along with "Hold Back the Tears", and "If it Takes all Night" are some of the best, unacknowledged Moroder-produced tracks. The production for each of these tracks are commanding, freezing the audience and luring them into an infectious musical landscape, occupied by dramatic chord progressions, master synth-programming, and yielding hooks. If I were to isolate a few tracks from this release as a recommendation to the curious, these would be it. The other two Moroder/Belotte tracks, "Communication" and the duet track featuring pop-vocal veteran Cliff Richard, "Two to the Power of Love", are enjoyable to the extent of production and vocal performance values, but could have been much more had the "powers-that-be" elected someone who was closer to Janet's age...say Howard Hewitt (Shalamar), or even her husband at the time, James Debarge (of DeBarge). Perhaps the pairing was a creative decision influenced by her father/manager, Joe Jackson? Evidently, a slight misstep.
|Janet during the recording sessions of "Dream Street". Circa 1984|
|Pretty in Pink...Janet during the "Dream Street" photo shoot. The image on the right was included in the inner sleeve of the album.|
DREAM STREET is not a complete throwaway as some fans/critics have voiced over the years, however it is perhaps a touch jagged upon first listen. But rest assured, something musically redeeming emerges from this journey: an electric group of credible musicians and producers delivering something that will ultimately be worth the musical journey...destination: eclectic street.
"Don't Stand Another Chance - produced by Marlon Jackson
"Hold Back the Tears" - produced by Giorgio Moroder & Pete Bellotte
"Dream Street" - produced by Giorgio Moroder & Pete Bellotte
"All My Love to You" - produced by Marlon Jackson