Saturday, July 24, 2010

Olivia Newton John

I was looking for something on SPIKE TV's website of all places and ran across a link they had featuring Olivia Newton John. Remember her? As a 41 year old, let me tell you, she featured large in my childhood (she got me through puberty ;-). In 1981 she was all over the radio and TV, the latter due to a one hour video special that featured all of the songs off of her "Physical" album. I remember being 11 or 12 and making time in my busy "Empire Strikes back" world to catch this thing on tv. It featured her rolling around on a beach in a t-shirt and bikini bottom and swimming with dolphins and exercising in a gym clad in spandex with a bunch of fat guys. The videos themselves were pretty freaky for the time, typical 80's, interesting for the most part with a few lip synched live pieces. The keyboardist in a few of them I'll always remember. I don't know what he was on, but he's sure hamming it up for the shoot!

The dripping sex appeal aside, I was amazed with her voice. (Amy Grant's voice does it for me too, as does Karen Carpenter's amazing vocal chords ). I was rebooting my attempts at the guitar and all her studio stuff had great strat sounds, the "Chucka Chucka" spanky skany comping stuff the studio rats do I'm still partial too this day.

So, in a throwback to my youth, check Olivia out. I always dug this song Make a move on me and was hopelessly in love with her in the early 80's (that dancing 2 step she does in the chorus slays me). All the current crop of female singers, from Lady Gaga to Fergie to Beyonce to Agulera(sp?),  whoever. Newsflash. You don't have to take all of your damn clothes off and swear like a trucker to make a powerful visual statement in a musical context. None of them have anything on her (and she's gonna be 62 this year, imagine that!).

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