Flashdance: Original Soundtrack from the Motion Picture is the soundtrack to the 1983 American musical and romance film Flashdance, produced by Don Simpson and Jerry Bruckheimer and starring Jennifer Beals and Michael Nouri. It sold more than 20 million copies worldwide. The film is set in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and follows Alex, a welder and exotic dancer and her dreams of becoming a professional ballet dancer. In 1984, the album received a Grammy nomination for Album of the Year and won for Best Album of Original Score Written for a Motion Picture or a Television Special.
The film's three singles feature on the album. Two of these singles, "Flashdance...What a Feeling" by Irene Cara and "Maniac" by Michael Sembello, peaked at #1 in the U.S. Billboard Hot 100. The track "Romeo" by Donna Summer was released as a promo video to MTV prior to the film's release, composed only of outtakes from the film. However, the song was not released to radio as Summer was on the verge of releasing her 1983 album She Works Hard for the Money, and the title track was already becoming a major hit. ("She Works Hard for the Money" was actually in the top 10 on the Billboard Hot 100 consecutively with both "Flashdance...What a Feeling" and "Maniac".)
The Flashdance LP was massively successful, selling over 6 million copies in the U.S. and 1 million in Japan. It was certified gold by RIAA on June 17, 1983, and became multi-platinum on October 12, 1984 and again on June 21, 1996. In addition to its own success, the album is notable for having supplanted Michael Jackson's Thriller after the latter had remained Billboard's number-one album for 17 weeks. Thriller would again overtake Flashdance at number one after 2 weeks. In Japan, the album topped the chart for 11 weeks in total, and became the biggest-selling album of 1983.
The music in Flashdance was supervised by Phil Ramone. There are several pieces of music used in the film that do not appear on the soundtrack album, including "Gloria" by Laura Branigan; "I Love Rock and Roll" by Joan Jett and the Blackhearts; and the "Adagio in G Minor" by Tommaso Albinoni. The title track "Flashdance... What a Feeling" was originally recorded by Joe Esposito before Irene Cara was asked to re-record the song as in line with the film's female perspective.