Happy 65th birthday to Olivia Newton-John, a woman who has been hopelessly devoted to pitch perfection for upwards of four decades. I have a friend who calls her “the female James Taylor” (hear me out) because the clarity of her vocal is so pure, yet so distinct. She’s got enough hits to warrant a handful of compilations (please see Snicks for exact number of singles, exact chart positions of singles, and the exact “lostness” of each forgotten single), but I can honestly say her oeuvre appeals to a wide platter of tastes. What’s the definitive underrated item in her catalog?
I’m going with the Ishtar of her Billboard career, the danceable, pranceable “The Rumour.” The leadoff single from the same-named album of ’88, “The Rumour” peaked at a measly #62 despite Elton John’s songwriting hand and that checkered-floor PEPPINESS we’ve come to associate with the late ’80s. I’m sorry the world wasn’t good enough for this song. It is dynamite, it is classy, and ONJ is dressed like she stole Teresa Ganzel’s wardrobe from a taping of The $100,000 Pyramid. Which is possible, guys.
Olivia Newton-John is also that strange type of well-known celebrity whose entire career is sort of underrated. Does “Suspended in Time” count as underrated? It’s not like kids these days even know “Make a Move On Me,” you know?
What’s your favorite underrated ONJ song? Tell me about it, stud. SPREAD THAT RUMOUR.