Divinyls – “What A Life!”

Chances are you know the Divinyls best from their 1990 hit “I Touch Myself,” a song about, well, touching yourself. That’s certainly the case for me, though I wasn’t able to put the band and song names together right away when I came across this record the other day – I knew the name for some reason, but wasn’t sure why. It’s actually kind of hard to believe “I Touch Myself” came out in 1990… it feels like a song that should have hit the charts in 1984 or something.

The Divinyls were pretty damn popular in their native Australia, though their chart success was limited elsewhere. 1985s What A Life! snuck into the Top 100 in the US at #91, and 1991s Divinyls peaked just outside the Top 10 at #15, but that was about it. What A Life! falls right into the new wave sound of the mid-1980s, reminding me a bit of a stripped down version of Scandal, especially on side A. The flip side is actually a bit proto-riot grrrl right out of the gate with the raspy vocaled “Old Radios,” a vibe that continues through much of the side.

What A Life! is a pretty cool record, and well worth picking up.

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