Saturday, June 21, 2014

Ann-Margret - Ann-Margret (1980)


Sometimes when I go back to the 80's, I go all the way back! My latest treat from my favorite decade happens to be something that another oldies lover gifted me from his music collection: the self-titled album by the Swedish-born singer/actress/dancer Ann-Margret Olsson. I wrote that last sentence as if I've known this lady forever when, in fact, I know absolutely nothing about her. The Discogs database, however, reveals that Ann-Margret has been around the music biz since the early 60's and further information about the various entertainment ventures she's lent her talents to since then can be found at I'm always in the dancing mood or for something to bop my head to on the upbeat side, so naturally, an album full of disco tunes is always right on point with me—day or night! First thing I noticed: Ann-Margaret's strong voice, and she boasts it monstrously well on the opener, "Midnight Message". Sorry; I couldn't help but to use 'monstrously' as the descriptive adjective, because at times, it sounds like she's growling through the lyrics, like some of these other divas that I know (I'll save those names for another post). Two tracks in, and I'd already found my latest music addiction: "What I Do To Men". A mixture of dancey disco beat with a hard rock edge instantly gets me in the groove, but it's that looping of the extremely catchy main chorus where Ann-Margret goes 'whoa-whoa', followed by some rock guitar riffs, then followed by her singing 'what I do to men' that's caused me to listen to this song about three times already (and I'm sure it won't stop there)! And that monstrous voice? Well, it's not so present here—only during that main chorus. It's on the verses where you instead get the innocently sweet-voiced side of her, although those lyrics aren't necessarily as sweet. "What I Do To Men" did it's number on me for sure; "Never Gonna Let You Go" does something to me just the same. Having a similar dancey disco beat and a scintillating orchestral accompaniment, I quickly got into the groove with this one, too. And what kept me even more hooked was its equally catchy main chorus, particularly the humorous manner in which she shrieks 'Never!'. "Love Rush" is a jam that certainly gave me a rush of disco fever! You can almost feel the burning passion that the Swedish singer is feeling as she boasts every word. And once you've burned through the original 6-minute non-mixed version, the extended 'long versions' at the end of this album will let you keep the disco party going for 12 minutes longer:

1. Midnight Message
2. What I Do To Men
3. Love Rush
4. Never Gonna Let You Go
5. For You
6. Love Rush - E Minor [Long Version] [12" Single]
7. Love Rush - E Minor [Long Version-Instrumental] [12" Single]

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