Old music with new voices: Olivia Newton-John’s “Physical”

It brings my Gen X heart joy to see the music of my 1980s youth given new life by talented young musicians. And there is a lot of young talent on YouTube nowadays.

Andreea Munteanu is the lead singer of a Romanian band called Iron Cross. She also has a solo YouTube channel.

Iron Cross and Andreea Munteanu both specialize in 80s metal. But after last month’s death of Olivia Newton-John, Ms. Munteanu performed “Physical”, ONJ’s 1981 pop chart topper. 

I was in the 8th grade when the original version of this song (below) came out. It was everywhere: on FM radio, and the new medium of MTV. “Physical” occupied the number one slot on the US Billboard Top 100 for 10 weeks. That set a record for the 1980s. 

Because of the tongue-in-cheek, suggestive lyrics, “Physical” was mildly controversial in 1981. Yes, really. At least one major radio station (in Salt Lake City, I believe), refused to play it. Moralistic killjoys, alas, have always been with us. 

I like Andreea Munteanu’s version of the song, and her reimagining of the original MTV video. Munteanu is, yes, very easy on the eyes. We need not be coy about that. But she’s also a very talented singer with a strong stage presence. 

The other members of Iron Cross (all male), are excellent musicians, as well. Check out their YouTube channel. If you like heavy metal, you’ll probably like their stuff.