26 September 2013 1:55 PM, PDT | The Backlot | See recent The Backlot news »

Happy 65th birthday to Olivia Newton-John, a woman who has been hopelessly devoted to pitch perfection for upwards of four decades. I have a friend who calls her “the female James Taylor” (hear me out) because the clarity of her vocal is so pure, yet so distinct. She’s got enough hits to warrant a handful of compilations (please see Snicks for exact number of singles, exact chart positions of singles, and the exact “lostness” of each forgotten single), but I can honestly say her oeuvre appeals to a wide platter of tastes. What’s the definitive underrated item in her catalog?

I’m going with the Ishtar of her Billboard career, the danceable, pranceable “The Rumour.” The leadoff single from the same-named album of ’88, “The Rumour” peaked at a measly #62 despite Elton John’s songwriting hand and that checkered-floor Peppiness we’ve come to associate with the late ’80s. »

- Louis Virtel

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