Song of the Day #4,444: ‘Dancing in the Dark’ – Fred Astaire and Cyd Charisse

Continuing my personal ranking of the 25 movie musicals deemed essential by the American Film Institute…

#10. The Band Wagon – 1953
(#17 on the AFI list)

This is the second Fred Astaire film on the list, this time pairing him with the long, lean and gorgeous Cyd Charisse in her first leading role.

The Band Wagon is about a fading musical star (Astaire) who gets a chance at a comeback through a Broadway musical. He is paired with a rising star ballerina (Charisse) and the two get off to a rocky start before, naturally, falling in love.

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Song of the Day #1,243: ‘Dancing in the Dark’ – Bruce Springsteen

Two years after his bleakest, most low-key album, Bruce Springsteen released a great big shiny pop masterpiece. 1983’s Born in the U.S.A. was written and recorded with mass popularity in mind and that’s exactly what it achieved.

The album generated a record-tying seven top ten singles and ultimately went 15X Platinum. It turned Springsteen into a household name. And it did all of that without compromising his worldview, even if some of the songs were misunderstood (see Ronald Reagan’s use of the title track for an ironic example).

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