Pia Zadora is a Little Bit of 80s Heaven

It was an odd set of circumstances that led to my discovering actress/singer Pia Zadora and her lost 1985 single, “Little Bit of Heaven,” but I’m so glad I did.

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nh_jWz6-Nlc

I haven’t seen choreography that amazing since Laura Branigan’s video for “Gloria.” If I had known this song existed back in the 80s, I can easily imagine Zadora sharing space on the mixtapes I made, alongside artists like Limahl and Cindy Lauper.

As far as 80s fashion aesthetics go, Pia Zadora’s outfit is the absolute epitome.

Pia Zadora - Little Bit of Heaven

Big hair? Check. Headband? Check. Two-color eyeshadow? Check. It’s like one of the goddamn Misfits from Jem came to life. I especially like the parrot motif on her sweater, which is, of course, paired with matching skin-tight leggings and heeled boots. The only question I have is where can I buy one just like it?

As it turns out, I was already familiar with her but didn’t even know it.

In the process of adding the soundtrack for John Waters’ 1988 film Hairspray to Spotify, I hit a roadblock when Spotify didn’t have “Day-O,” a song performed by Zadora that was used in the film, even though I couldn’t place it. Then it dawned on me–in Hairspray, during the scene where Tracy meets the beatnik chick (the one who famously irons her hair), she sings “Day-O” very briefly.  This led me to looking her up on IMDB and sure enough, the beatnik chick is Pia Zadora herself.

Pia Zadora - Beanik Chick in Hairspray

Huh. Somehow I never made the connection.

Pia Zadora is quite a name. Curious, I browsed YouTube to see if there were any other clips from movies she’s been in, like Troop Beverly Hills, which is a movie I’ve seen like a zillion times. How the hell did I miss that? After discovering the above video I looked her up on Wikipedia and found out about her singing career. Evidently Zadora has had nine albums. NINE. Unfortunately, Wikipedia doesn’t seem to have much info about them.

At some point she also did a duet with Jermaine Jackson, which is every bit as awesomely 80s as that sounds. Their song “When the Rain Begins to Fall” was used in a b-movie they both starred in together called Voyage of the Rock Aliens. This rabbit hole just keeps getting better. I’m now on a mission to find a way to listen to the rest of her music and watch all these crazy-sounding movies she’s been in.

The internet is funny like that. I never know what I’m going to randomly stumble upon, nor could I have predicted I’d be spending my Sunday afternoon blogging about it. I guess I’m like a Pia Zadora fan now or something.

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