Physical – Olivia Newton John

THIS DAY IN MUSIC………………………………on November 21st of 1981 Olivia Newton-John started the first of 10 weeks at the top of the US singles chart with “Physical”. It was her fourth US #1 and went on to sell over 2 million copies. In the UK, the song reached #7. Songwriters Steve Kipner and Terry Shaddick came up with this song, which was originally titled “Let’s Get Physical.” Instead of writing about the emotions of love, they decided to write this about the physical side, which many listeners found very refreshing in a pop song. Other songs Kipner helped write include “Hard Habit To Break” by Chicago and “Genie in a Bottle” by Christina Aguilera. You know how at the end of the movie Grease Olivia Newton-John transforms from a chaste good girl into a leather-clad vixen? She was definitely in vixen mode for this song, which if you are at all paying attention to the lyrics, is blatantly about sex: “There’s nothin’ left to talk about unless it’s horizontally.” Olivia’s real-life image was far more modest than what she portrays in this song, and she was concerned about how she would be perceived. Her managers talked her into recording it, as they knew they had a huge hit on their hands. For 9 of the 10 weeks that this song topped the charts, “Waiting For A Girl Like You” by Foreigner was the runner-up. When “Physical” did finally fall, it was replaced at #1 by “I Can’t Go For That (No Can Do)” by Hall & Oates. The #2 song that week: “Waiting For A Girl Like You” for the 10th consecutive week. This was a #1 hit in the US for an amazing 10 weeks. The only song to that point that stayed at #1 longer was Elvis Presley’s “Hound Dog.” In America, it was the best-selling single of the ’80s. In a survey by Billboard magazine based on each song’s performance on the Hot 100 chart, this was named the #1 Sexiest Song Of All Time. The runner-up was Rod Stewart’s “Tonight’s The Night,” followed by Boyz II Men’s “I’ll Make Love To You” in third place.