Most U.S. listeners probably know the name Divinyls largely through the provocative and thoroughly decent 1991 novelty single "I Touch Myself," but this driving yet bouncy guitar rock band from Australia actually built quite a career during the '80s. Although the group enjoyed a major chart presence in its homeland, foreign audiences had little chance to hear some truly high-quality post-punk music that managed both to transcend and supplement the broad genre of new wave. Frontwoman Christina Amphlett projected a quirky sex-kitten vibe long before the band entered North American one-hit wonder territory. Even so, the main strength of Divinyls stemmed from the fruitful songwriting partnership of Amphlett and original Air Supply member (oddly enough) Mark McEntee.
The band's debut album, 1983's Desperate, featured a strong set of tunes that could have easily found a much wider audience with better worldwide exposure. One of the album tracks from that record's international release, "Only Lonely" gallops in quickly with spirited, signature rhythms and then maximizes the distinct nature of Amphlett's vocals. Above all, the consistent '80s output of Divinyls embraces fun and energy and demonstrates that there's always room for another rock band with a sexy female singer as long as the music's good. Unfortunately, it was all too easy for those of us too young to know better at the time to overlook this fresh, well-balanced ensemble during its most urgent period. Check out this song and selections from all three Divinyls albums from the '80s for an apt tutorial on the appeal of Australian music at its best.
- Sample or download "Only Lonely" here.
- Compare prices on Divinyls CDs here.
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Album Cover Image Courtesy of Chrysalis/Capitol