Friday, 5 July 2013

Mental As Anything 'Live It Up'

Chart Peak: 3

Charted at No. 60 on 3rd February, had raced to No. 8 by 24th February giving Greedy Smith and the boys their first British hit. 'Live It Up' is now one of the biggest-selling singles in Australian pop history.
Coincidentally, there's an element of Fifties pastiche going on in the video to this track (which I saw for the first time yesterday, I hadn't much idea what the band looked like before then) but the production places it firmly within the second half of the Eighties. It's a sound that's not just redolent of its specific era, but one that nobody seems to have pastiched in the years since - people might emulate other elements of the style but it's only ever early-80s production values that get copied.

'Live It Up' was popularised here (and in many other places) by its use in the film Crocodile Dundee, which for once I actually have seen. I'd long assumed that this was a similar situation to '(Don't You) Forget About Me', with a slightly successful act being handed a highly commercial song for the film in an attempt to launch their career internationally. However, it transpires that the song was originally released in Australia as far back as 1985 and was written by lead singer Greedy Smith (not his real name). I suppose it's not a bad song, though a rather inconsequential one - but over a quarter century later it's not enough to avoid being flattened by that horrible production. Even the band sound bored, and with the number of times they must have played this over a click-track to get that perfect sterile sound they probably were. Not the record you'd expect from their admittedly rather dated name. It remains their only Top 75 hit here.

Available on: Essential As Anything

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