Tina Arena is ashamed of something she shouldn’t be…

27 Nov

Oh Tina. You glorious, perky-breasted goddess, you. You captivated us from the moment you donned your pink, polyester onesie and belted Volare to the adoring live audience of Young Talent Time. And you did it again last night when you majestically appeared at the top of the ARIA stairs amidst some serious dry ice to belt the shit out of Chains. (Again in a onesie, but this one had a funking cape.)

Fellow babe Kylie Minogue then inducted you into the Hall of Fame before you gave a rousing, if not lengthy (I’ve got the attention span of a three year-old after downing a litre of cordial), speech about the music industry and the role women have to play in it. You even referenced your amazing cans. Bravo.

But I have one little problem with that speech, Tina.

Amongst the praise and positive memories of Johnny Young and his bowl cut, you delivered a small dagger to the heart that I’m not sure everyone watching at home felt as much as I did.

Not to take away from your well-deserved moment, but you implied that your 1990 single, I Need Your Body was not your greatest work. At first I thought maybe it was a joke and you were just trying to be funny. But upon further research, I discovered that this glistening gem of early-90’s electro-pop has been making you “cringe” for years.

And to this I call bullshit.


(And if you have yet to experience the song for yourself, I demand you stop what you’re doing right now and watch this immediately:)


Here are the reasons why:

1. It was your break-out song.

All through the 80’s you were labelled Tiny Tina. Every Australian with a working television wanted to take you home and cook you pineapple fritters. But you had to grow up some time.  Britney did it when she donned leather bumsters and danced up on a lot of sweaty people in I’ m a Slave For You. And the song isn’t even that good, just quietly. I Need Your Body was your Britney moment. And you did it BEFORE her! AND you were all of 20 years old. At 20, my biggest achievement was buying my own jaffle-maker and managing to shave my legs once a week. While you were busy paving the way for many a sexually frustrated child star to come. Don’t be ashamed of that, Tina.

2. Half-naked dancing men.

While the trend for music videos, today and in the past, has been to parade dancing women around in vagina shorts and bikini tops, you bucked that trend in the INYB video clip. Because Tina don’t give no f***s. Your film clip featured a small chorus of shirtless, muscly dudes dancing on patio chairs in the Phantom of the Opera’s house. I was just shy of six at the time, but even I could appreciate it. Because #girlpower.

3. It reached #3 on the ARIA charts.

And that is nothing to sneeze at. Let’s put this into perspective:

Chains, your stunning anthem of white-girl angst that no one else can sing, no matter how many Pinots they’ve had, (definitely not me…I’m talking about a friend) only ever got to #4. NUMBER FOUR! I mean, that is a travesty of justice in itself, but now is not the time. The point is, I Need Your Body beat that. That is a BIG. FLIPPING. DEAL.


Again, I’m referencing the music video here, but who can seriously forget that velvet bolero?! Most people get a bit caught up in the memory of your boobs dancing around in the matching velvet dress, but honestly, it was all about that bolero for me. At times you even got so into the whole running-away-from-Fabio’s-brother thing, it fell off your shoulders but you just kept going. Very devil may care, very Tara Reid nip-slip without the nip. That entire velvet outfit was my life and I will continue to spend my waking hours hunting it down so I can wear it to every social occasion ever.

Seriously, can someone bring velvet back?

5. It’s a great bloody song.

For realz. It’s a song about being so damn into a guy that you constantly feel burning things inside you, and not in the medical/STD way. Who can forget lyrics like:

And the wind cries out

Out your name to me

And I feel no shame

Feeling this way…

Gawd I love a smart wind reference. It taught us girls that it was totally okay to feel all the feelings about a boy and even encouraged us to own it in the hope he might show up at our own abandoned mansion and dance about in the shadows.

The song also contains a siiick electro beat. The kind of frenetic, blood-pumping disco/pop track that made Belinda Carlisle a household name. Honestly, if it wasn’t for I Need Your Body, dance concerts across Australia would have had nothing to do with all their lycra bodysuits and jazz sneakers.


I need your body

Even her perm on the single cover is #onfleek.


Anyway Tina, my point here is that, while you are polishing off your Hall of Fame trophy and looking back on what has been a pretty illustrious career, please don’t view I Need Your Body as that ugly, stumble-block that you try to laugh about now but secretly kills you inside. Because it shouldn’t.

I have and will continue to defend I Need Your Body until the cows come home, as well as continue to play it on repeat at erry flipping house party I go to.

So, on behalf of the children and teens of the 90’s, I would just like to say thank you, Tina. Thank you for one of the best velvet-clad, shadow-dancing disco pop tracks of our generation.

Merci beaucoup.*



*Because Tina speaks French. She’ll know what it means.

One Response to “Tina Arena is ashamed of something she shouldn’t be…”

  1. Louise December 26, 2015 at 7:50 am #

    Awesome!!! Hilarious!! And so true!

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