Maniac (song)

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Single by Michael Sembello
from the album Bossa Nova Hotel and Flashdance
Released June 5, 1983
Format 7"
Recorded 1982
Genre Hi-NRG, synthpop
Length 4:12
4:21 (album version)
5:57 (12" version)
Label EMI, Casablanca
Writer(s) Dennis Matkosky and Michael Sembello
Producer(s) Phil Ramone
Michael Sembello singles chronology
- "Maniac"
"Automatic Man"
Audio sample
file info · help

"Maniac" is a synthpop song performed by Michael Sembello. The song was used in the 1983 film Flashdance.

"Maniac" appears during an early scene in Flashdance and is used as the backing track of a montage sequence showing Alex (Jennifer Beals) training strenuously in her converted warehouse.

The song was included in Flashdance after Sembello's wife sent a tape to executives at Paramount Pictures who were looking for music to use in the film.[1]

Charts and awards[edit]

"Maniac" reached number one in the Billboard Hot 100 for two weeks beginning on September 10, 1983 and is one of the highest-grossing songs ever written for a film. In addition to producing "Maniac", Phil Ramone produced the song that would dethrone it from the top spot, Billy Joel's "Tell Her About It". The Original Soundtrack of Flashdance won the 1984 Grammy Award for Best Album of Original Score Written for A Motion Picture or a Television Special.

The song was nominated for an Academy Award. Another song from the film, "Flashdance... What a Feeling" performed by Irene Cara, won the Academy Award for Best Original Song in 1984.

Cover versions[edit]

  • 1984 - Herb Alpert & The Tijuana Brass (On the album "Bullish")
  • 1984-1985 - The Kid (played by Rahsaan Patterson on Kids Incorporated episodes called "Go for the Gold" and "Decade of Hits")
  • 1995 - Sargant Fury (On the album "Turn the page")
  • 1999 - Carnival In Coal (On the album "French Cancan")
  • 2002 - L5 (On the album "Retiens-moi")
  • 2004 - Sexydeath (On the album "The Damiana Error")
  • 2004 - Alexander (On the album "Take Your Chance", produced by Dieter Bohlen)
  • 2004 - Evergreen Terrace (On the album Writer's Block)
  • 2007 - Måns Zelmerlöw (On the album Stand By For...)
  • 2008 - Firewind (On the album The Premonition)
  • 2010 - Van Coke Kartel (On the album "Skop, Skiet & Donner")
  • 2011 - Eric Speed[2]
  • 2011 - Jacob Karlzon (On the album "The Big Picture")[3]
  • 2012 - Moullinex feat. Peaches [4]
  • 2012 - OV7 & Gloria Trevi (On the album "Forever 7") Nada es imposible
  • 2012 - Phone Calls From Home (On the album "On and Done")
  • 2014 - myGRAIN

Other appearances[edit]

The song was featured in the 2003 comedy American Wedding, where Stifler dances to it in a dance-off competition in a gay nightclub. It was also featured in the movie Tommy Boy when Chris Farley gets hosed at a gas station, and in The Simpsons episode Simpsoncalifragilisticexpiala(Annoyed Grunt)cious when, during a walk in the park, Groundskeeper Willie is seen performing a version of the song and dance routine.


  1. ^ "''Maniac'' by Michael Sembello". Songfacts. Retrieved 2012-06-07. 
  2. ^ "Eric Speed Maniac". YouTube. 2011-09-18. Retrieved 2012-06-07. 
  3. ^ "Jacob Karlzon 3 - Maniac". YouTube. 2011-02-15. Retrieved 2013-01-19. 
  4. ^ "Moullinex & Peaches - Maniac". YouTube. 2012-01-02. Retrieved 2012-10-22. 

External links[edit]

Preceded by
"Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)" by Eurythmics
Billboard Hot 100 number one single
September 10, 1983 – September 17, 1983
Succeeded by
"Tell Her About It" by Billy Joel
Preceded by
"Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)" by Eurythmics
Canadian RPM Singles Chart number-one single
September 24, 1983 – October 8, 1983
Succeeded by
"King of Pain" by The Police