Video albums were very briefly in vogue as the MTV boom got underway at the start of the 80's with record labels happy to shell out for expensive looking music videos to promote their artists' product. With more singles being released from albums, culminating in Michael Jackson's "Thriller" album where 7 out of 9 tracks were so extracted, it must have seemed like a good idea to make a video for each track, as here, behind Olivia Newton-John's hit "Physical" album. The only other acts I can think of who did similar video albums are Paul McCartney for his group Wings' "Back To The Egg" album and M of "Pop Muzik" fame. Olivia's album at 53 minutes in length is much longer than both of those and has obviously had more money thrown at it too.
It helps that the songs are almost all high-level pop, crafted in the main by her principal writer / producer of the time John Farrar although he ironically didn't contribute to the massively successful title track, which is represented here by the humorously camp, if not exactly P.C. video which must be universally known by now.
Some of the tracks just put Livvy in a shiny glittery outfit in front of a new-wavey type band to deliver before a disco-type crowd "live" takes of previous hits like "A Little More Love", "Magic" and "Love Make Me Strong" as well as the hit-to-be "Make A Move On Me".
Of the set piece videos, some just place the singer in front of a camera either provocatively or demurely, but the story songs work best as in "Recovery" where Olivia seems to be undergoing hypnotherapy for multiple psychological personality disorder, "Stranger's Touch" with its B and W film noir femme fatale vibe, the futuristic take on the ecological plea "Silvery Rain" and the female fantasy slant on "Landslide". The last number is a straightforward representation of her old "Grease" soundtrack hit "Hopelessly Devoted To You".
Ms John acquits herself well in all these roles and sells each song well.
Nice to listen to, nice to watch.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?
| Report this