1980: MCA MCAD-31110
I have enjoyed this album for years had it on vinyl, in fact (which is good because the cheapo CD release didnt include liner notes, so I can consult the LP for details and lyrics). I dont remember which track it was that first got me interested in it but I do recall the time some prime-time TV network aired the video album for its U.S. debut and the early-teenage me saw that startling and unexpected end of the video for Physical and I said to myself god DAMN! when I saw those hot musclemen heading off to the showers arm in arm. Having confessed that terrible tidbit, Ill bring things up to the present by noting that I actually get a big kick out of the title track even today its so tongue-in-cheek and teasing/teased that its hard not to smirk all the way through it, plus which its catchy as all hell.
But really for me the albums standout track is the restless Recovery, with its very odd chord patterns and chorus harmonies delivered by a calm and almost galloping beat and reinforcing the troubled reflection of the lyrics. (Its also interesting to compare it to its original version, by songwriter John Farrar, who sings backup on it here as well as playing various instruments. Olivias version is superior, largely because of the range of vocals on the chorus, but that Farrar himself is part of the reason for that just makes this a track more worthy of repeated study.)
The opening track, Landslide, brings back unfortunate memories of 1980 and Reagans election, but its a fine counterpart to the title song and makes for excellent strut material also great on headphones cranked as loud as it can go so you can really feel the whooshing of the tom-tom triplets. It has some very curious chord changes that somehow find their way back to where they need to be at various points of intersection. It may have a significant amount of synthesizer use, more or less of the style of the day, but it also thumps and rocks along surprisingly well, and god knows Olivia can rip the rough edge of her voice appropriately at such times and then turn around and coo sweetly again.
I like Silvery Rain most of the time, but on occasion it seems just too topically important to listen to without rolling my eyes. Really only Love Make Me Strong and that godawful closing track mar this album, although I guess Falling can either work for you or make you retch at its cloying sweetness (ditto Carried Away).
Comments © 2005/2012 Mark Ellis Walker, except as noted, and no claim is made to the images and quoted lyrics.