Monday, May 05, 2014

NZMM Day 5 – Sharon O’Neill

Nelson-born Sharon O’Neill has a been active in the music industry since she was a teenager. While she got her start in New Zealand, she had success in Australia starting in her 20s. She's the artist for today's post.

The video above is of “Maxine”, her 1983 hit about a prostitute from Sydney’s King’s Cross. It reached Number 16 on both the NZ and Australian charts. It’s from the album Foreign Affairs, which reached Number 12 on the NZ charts. “Maxine” is the song of hers I know best, probably because it’s been on a lot of compilation albums.

However, a few years before “Maxine”, she released a song called “Asian Paradise” [Watch on YouTube: The audio in the linked version is okay, but all versions I found had truly awful video quality]. I never heard that version. Instead, I heard a 2001 remake from When The Cat’s Away. The original version hit Number 24 in New Zealand and Number 76 in Australia. The remake hit Number 16 in NZ, and didn’t chart in Australia. Personally, I think the remake is better (a subject for another post).

This post is sort of “crowd-sourced”: Sharon O’Neill was one of the artists suggested by family members. While I may have thought of many of the various suggestions on my own, I have to admit that this is not one of them, probably because all of her charted singles were before I arrived in New Zealand. Sometimes, you really do have to be there.

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