SotD80 - Odyssey

Inspired by our series of articles looking back at music released 30 years ago, Jimmy Hunter takes a step further back in time to give us a Song of the Day 1980. This week, he invites us to Use It Up and Wear It Out [how very eco friendly - Ed]...

Although this week’s band choice still records and performs, it’s not in its original form and I always remember it for a stellar 5 year period from 1977 to 1982 with a string of very likeable hits. The 2 singles released in 1980 both provide some very powerful and happy memories for me and are definitely in the category of sensory memory, to use the term loosely.

We’re listening to the outfit’s first and only UK No.1 hit this week: Use It Up, Wear It Out by Odyssey and it’s not a record I listen to very often at all – in fact, hardly ever. I don’t know why, because it’s a cracking choon [Sorry, what??? – Ed].

The original line-up consisted of 3 sisters but after the first album, and notable success of the single Native New Yorker, one sister left and was replaced by a man. Never understood that as I could never hear his voice. However, the group kind of disbanded after the 1982 album that spawned the hit single Inside Out. Sadly, the two female leads died within three years of each other some years ago, well before their time.

So, now then. What about this record? [At last!! – Ed] Almost a salsa introduction, all shakers, handclaps and drums and a whispered

“Shake, Shake your body down
Shake, Shake your body down”

Then we’re into a bouncing bass that always puts me in mind of the 7” single version of Stevie Wonder’s Masterblaster Jammin’. Then in come the powerful yet somewhat clipped vocals with the hooky “1..2..3..Shake your body down”. And here’s where I lied – you do hear the bloke in the background – ha! Gotcha.

This really is a foot-tapper and it really does invite you to, well, shake your body … down. See if you can resist – here’s a video from a German pop show in 1980.

And for fans, and those who know my, er, preferences – here’s the full 12” version:

Image - Amazon

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