Sunday, November 21, 2004

CD Spotlight -- 11/21/2004

Olivia Newton-John - The Rumour (1988)

An interesting CD pick this week--it's Olivia Newton-John's 1988 comeback attempt (emphasis on the attempt part) The Rumour. I remember hearing the title track on the radio in the waning days of the summer of 1988. It was fun and lightweight and it seemed like a guaranteed hit (at least in my naive eyes.) I eagerly awaited the release of the album, which happened while we were on a family vacation in the Rocky Mountains. I actually owned this album as an LP originally--I think it was one of the last LPs I bought. I was stubbornly resisting the transition to cassette tapes (even though everyone else I knew had made the jump--and some were already on the CD bandwagon.)

Livvy covers a whole raft of social topics on this CD--AIDS ("Love & Let Live"), ecology and the environment ("Let's Talk About Tomorrow"), single parenthood ("It's Not Heaven") and growing older ("Tutta La Vita"). I remember liking the album a lot when it first came out--and listening to it now it hasn't aged as horribly as say Physical or Soul Kiss has--those CDs pretty much scream 80s. The production is pretty middle of the road--not great, but not offensive either. Overall, I think that the timing was poor on ONJ's part because her viability as a hitmaker just wasn't there by the time we hit the late 80s. Even with Elton John writing what should have been a sure-fire hit ("The Rumour"), radio just wasn't willing to play it--this was prime hair band time, after all.

One side note--there's a radio remix of "The Rumour" which is highly superior to the album version. The album version seems very empty and bare bones, whereas the radio remix filled it out with synths and overdubs. I managed to dub a copy of that from a cassette single I had of "The Rumour" to mp3 a few years back before the tape completely went to pot. Shep Pettibone also did a remix of the song in the early 90s which was damn fine as well.Posted by Hello

1 comment:

Dennis! said...

I am so in love with this woman it kills me. Saw her in Baltimore this weekend. Love love love her. Can't stop saying that.