The Kids from Fame (and related Fame stuff)

Learning that there are others who love "Desdemona" or "I Still Believe in Me" or Lori Singer's tragic vocals on "It's Gonna Be a Long Night" is why I love Popjustice.

The first album is a pop gem, full of classics like Hi Fidelity and Life is a Celebration.

This is one of my favourite Fame numbers. Great use of NYC locations. And fabulous Debbie Allen choreography.

I was wondering whether I should start a thread after they got brought up in first singles/albums, so well done!

The first ever album I bought (on cassette) and used to play it to death, however, it's been so long since I have listened to it there's probably only a handful of bits I could sing now, so I'm going to have to check it out again. Remember loving Desdamona and of course Hi Fidelity and one of the tracks being used in my mum's aerobics classes we used to get dragged to (and dance along to on the side lines), maybe the one posted above.

As a fledgling gay, Doris was of course my favourite!

[edit] How could I forget Star Maker and Step Up To The Mike! Plus it was I Can Do Anything Better Than You Can we did at aerobics!!
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I just realized that Kids from Fame really was more popular in the UK than North America. Amazing.

I mean, Hi Fidelity was a legitimate smash. I bought an '80s compilation from the UK about a decade ago and was thrilled to see Hi Fidelity included, only to learn it was a top 5 hit.

I loved Doris, too. And Gene Anthony Ray - what a talented dancer. Such a tragic story but he brought such joy to the character of Leroy.
I loathed this series as a kid, well perhaps loathed is a bit strong but it left me totally nonplussed and for about a year it was everywhere...TV, radio, the charts....

Now that we're well and truly in the age of post-Reality TV and SyCo has turned the pop world to shit, I see the Fame thing in a different light. Less harshly!

I never, ever wanted to sing or dance. I did wear those ankle socks for a while in the early 90s. To keep me warm.
Well THAT was a trip! Amazing that after well over <cough> 20 years* <cough> I can still sing along practically word for word.

But oh my at those vocals! Absolutely dire on some of the tracks, someone seriously thought that that vocal for It's Gonna B A Long Night was worth saving for prosperity?!! But it does add to its charm, thank God the tunes were actually top notch, and actually they really are.

What a highlight Desdemona is! I remembered loving it and it hasn't lost anything, one could almost say epic! (in an early 80's way). I seem to remember it being from an actual Shakespeare "production" they were putting on so think I'll do a youtube search now!

I love threads like this reconnecting me with my past faves!

*Yes I'm well aware its over 30 years since its release but there's now way I'm typing that out in my main comment!

[Edit] It does not disappoint!
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Hurrah for this thread!

I got the Kids From Fame first album on CD a few years back and was still able to sing every word after not hearing the cassette since the 80s. Starmaker, Hi Fidelity, Desdemona, Step Up To The Mike, It's Gonna Be A Long Night (complete with tragic vocals), all utterly amazing!

I named my tortoise after Valerie Landsburg. The signs were always there.
Tough one. Erica Gimpel is one of the best recasts ever, in my opinion. But Irene's performance in the film is magnificent. Her "audition" scene is one of the most devastating scenes I've ever seen.

Coco is such a great character and I loved both performances, but I think Irene is the better singer and actress.

Having said that I’d love an official studio recording of Erica performing the title song from the series. Does anyone know if one is available?
Erica Gimpel was my Coco. I saw the film years after the TV series and couldn't believe how dark and depressing it was! I like my Kids From Fame all singing and dancing.
Moving on from Irene Vs. Erica, what about Series Vs. Film?

Like @idratherjack when I first saw the movie (yeeeaaarrs after the series) at 11, I thought the movie compared really unfavourably to the TV show which I loved, but upon re-watching the film a few years later at 14, I fell in love with it. I still feel the movie holds up today, whereas I can only tolerate the series on a nostalgia level.

I wondered what drove the series creators to bring back some characters and not others? I was glad they brought back Coco, Leroy, Doris, Bruno, Shorovsky, Mrs. Sherwood and Montgomery (albeit a sanitised version), but sad they didn’t bring back Lisa, Hilary or Ralph (although his character does appear in the 1st episode never to be seen again; see also Mrs Tata (?), Shorovsky’s assistant).

Also, thanks to @torontodj for starting this thread!
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Fame was the Glee of its day - though far less irritating.

The film is leagues ahead of the series for dramatic impression, but I love the corniness of the series, though it really went down hill after the first series. It's such a picture of early 80s innocence though - Doris helping out the homeless girl (played by the Poltergeist actress who was murdered later that year); Julie having to prove she's just like the others...

I remember Justin Lee Collins' Bring Back Fame in 2008 being surprisingly emotional. Lee Curreri said he left because once all the good producers were dispersed to other shows the scrimpers wouldn't even let him play instruments because they had to pay him more than if he mimed.

You can tell as the songs went from mini-masterpieces to sluggish drones as well (Beautiful Dreamer excepted).
I got the boxset of the complete first series as a Christmas present a few years back and watched the first few episodes which I loved from a nostalgia point of view. It really was the Glee of it's day and similarly went downhill just as fast.

Carlo Imperato's Danny was also the first boy to make me feel funny inside and I didn't know why!