Monday, April 22, 2013

REPOST - New Wave for the New Week #18: Divinyls

Sad news today that Christina Amphlett, former lead singer of Divinyls, passed away at age 53 from complications of breast cancer and multiple sclerosis.  In her honor, here is a repost of the New Wave For the New Week entry I wrote for Divinyls on July 13, 2009.  R.I.P., Christina.

Cover of "Desperate"Cover of Desperate
Some bands are fated to toil away in obscurity making wonderful music, to have their only taste of mainstream success come in the form of a song so unbefitting it's almost comically sad. Such a fate was that of Australia's Divinyls.

To most people, if they even remember that band name at all, the one song that they know is the shock-hit "I Touch Myself," which was their only visit to the American record charts, climbing all the way to #4. It's an OK, if too-purposefully titillating, single - but for that to be all Divinyls would be remembered for is a disservice to a solid band with a number of very good records under their belt.

Based from the start around the duo of Christina Amphlett and Mark McEntee, Divinyls first made noise in their native land around 1980. Their first release, an EP of music created for the movie Monkey Grip, included two wonderful singles. "Boys in Town" and "Only Lonely" got the band noticed quickly, both charting in the top 20 in Australia. Both songs were included on their debut album, Desperate, the following year, along with their third single and this week's entry, "Science Fiction."

The band continued their Australian success with two more albums and a few more charting singles, including "Pleasure and Pain" (1985) and "Hey Little Boy" (a 1988 reworking of The Syndicate of Sound's 1966 garage stomper "Hey Little Girl").

Despite their growing reputation and a fair amount of play on MTV, their breakthrough seemed like it would never happen until that 1991 smash. Another record followed with little publicity, and Amphlett and McEntee went their separate ways.

This week, enjoy Divinyls as they should have been remembered with their entry in the NW4NW series, "Science Fiction," which was named one of the top 30 Australian songs of all time by APRA (Australian Performing Rights Association).

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