I remember the cult classical Physical by Olivia Newton-John played during my physical education classes as a kid but never did I think that there was so much behind the song. Olivia spoke with Yahoo! Entertainment about the title track behind her 12th studio album and the fear she had over her image that was beginning to be sexualized by her studio. She said it was a metamorphosis from the Sandy character she played in Grease, which she had previously been best known for. But even though she was afraid to record Physical, it was her taking control of her role image and new stage of her career.
How the song “Physical” came to be for Olivia Newton-John
Even though the song was released two days after Olivia’s 33rd birthday, she told Yahoo! Entertainment that she initially rejected because of its concept and lyrics. She also expressed that the song was meant to be a rock song for a male.
“I was really anxious about it, because I thought I’d gone too far,” she explains. “And then I tried to get [the record label] to stop it. And then it was too late. It was out there in the public.”
Her fear was that the song would paint her out the wrong way in the early stage of her career. Because of that, she asked her label to make the music video something different, which caused the music video to be a workout video. Because the jazzercising music video came out about a week from the inception of MTV, it received massive success on the television channel. With that success, it also helped it win the Grammy Award for Video of the Year.
If Olivia had not taken a stand for herself, who knows if she would have received the same success she saw with the song or in her entire career. She truly defines girl power.