Featuring Songs From Their Television Show

Donny & Marie Osmond

Polydor, 1976


REVIEW BY: Michael R. Smith


Not so much a proper studio release as a soundtrack compilation, Songs From Their Television Show was an appropriate introduction to Donny and Marie Osmond’s memorable variety show back in the gaudy and glorious 70’s. It was the first pop record I ever heard and the first of countless other Osmond records I would collect later. After taking radio listeners by storm in 1974, the relatively new brother and sister act were subsequently given their own show by suitably impressed ABC executives after filling in as hosts for Mike Douglas on his talk show in 1975. And the rest, as they say, is history.

Three songs make return appearances after initially appearing on other Osmond albums, namely: “C’mon Marianne,” “Take Me Back Again” and “It Takes Two.” With its solid construction and some psychedelic effects thrown in for good measure, “C’mon Marianne” makes the boldest impression and is a wise choice to kick off the album.  Never mind the sad fact that it was also the lead-off single of the Donny’s dismal and downright embarrassing “Disco Train” solo effort. Both “Take Me Back Again” and “It Takes Two” were also featured on Donny and Marie’s debut, my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250 I’m Leaving It All Up To You and as standouts, they clearly deserve another spin here. If a song like “Take Me Back Again” doesn’t make you homesick and make you long for the good ’ol days, nothing will. And “It Takes Two” is such a stunning revved-up remake of the soul classic, it all but obliterates the original.

Recent Dancing With The Stars finalist Marie has ample opportunity to shine on this, her very first Polydor release (leaving stagnant MGM Records behind for good). Turning in four numbers in all, she attempts to dominate her brother Donny, but falls a tad short with her lack of substance and range. Marie gets all organic on us this time around, donning a Mother Nature sort of persona with titles “Butterfly,” “Weeping Willow” and, worst of all, “Dandelion.” I guess only an Osmond could sing a song about what it’s like to feel like a weed…ho hum. Her being a little bit country never was as exciting as Donny’s rock and roll alter ego, after all. Oh, and by the way, little Donny Osmond turns 50 this year.  It certainly has been a long haul for the most popular Osmond, as chronicled in his revealing autobiography, Life Is Just What You Make It.

And yes, those two trademark theme songs are also here for the taking. There’s the classic that you all know by heart, “A Little Bit Country, A Little Bit Rock ’N Roll” and the closing song written in the form of a prayer to the world, “May Tomorrow Be A Perfect Day.” Both help to wrap up this fun package of tunes with a nice shiny purple bow around it. Speaking of Donny’s favorite color, the dynamic duo even sing a song about it, which is yet another remake in the form of “Deep Purple.” Released in advance of the album, this single made it all the way to #14 on the charts and has long been one of my favorites.  With its lazy harmonica sounds and overlapping lead vocals by the pair, it all adds up to pure bliss. 

Though it is largely a patchwork affair, Songs From Their Television Show is a safe and harmless listen that made the listener in 1976 look forward to what great music was still to come for this talented -- and often underrated -- twosome.

Rating: B+

User Rating: Not Yet Rated



© 2007 Michael R. Smith and The Daily Vault. All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of Polydor, and is used for informational purposes only.