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Would it spoil some vast eternal plan?
August 31, 2012 12:51 PM   Subscribe


 
As Abraham said, "I am a stranger in a strange land... "
posted by mazola at 12:54 PM on August 31, 2012


Dear Lady Osmond Fans of the 1970s:

This song makes me, too, want to scream.

AIIEEEIIEIEEEEEE!!!!
posted by drlith at 1:00 PM on August 31, 2012 [1 favorite]


Oy.
posted by Faint of Butt at 1:01 PM on August 31, 2012 [3 favorites]


I was all excited to hear the Osmonds sing about not minding if the man the matchmaker found for them was "as handsome as anything." But, dang, they changed the lyrics.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 1:02 PM on August 31, 2012 [4 favorites]


So, I'm of generation X. I grew up Mormon but far away from the Mormon Belt of Utah, Idaho, the rest of the intermountain West, etc. I was and have always been a socially-awkward person who felt like an outsider both in the church and outside the church, for various reasons. And one of my defining personality characteristics is a seemingly-endless capacity for vicarious embarrassment. And I hate show tunes with a white-hot passion because of the vicarious embarrassment I feel on behalf of the performers. I squirm in my seat and just want to leave. I also feel that way a lot of the time in church when listening to people give talks, etc. Also, I was raised by a dad whose favorite music was Cream and The Rolling Stones and Leadbelly and a mom who was a giant opera geek.

So, obviously, The Osmonds are the perfect storm of discomfort for me.

And it is in that context that my grandparents - who lived in Utah - took me as a young teenager on a guided tour of Osmond Studios. I'm pretty sure all of my awkwardness as a teenager and every uncomfortable social interaction I've ever had since then can be explained by the fact that I have never stopped squirming with vicarious embarrassment and discomfort brought on by that single experience.

That feeling of "WTF is this i don't even" you're getting when you watch this? Yeah, for me it's that exact feeling, plus the subconscious feeling that, in every glance, every dance move, and every smile, they are reaching out to me personally and saying "one of us! one of us! one of us!"

eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee
posted by The World Famous at 1:04 PM on August 31, 2012 [22 favorites]


(I was also given - as a gift - a huge 1970s-style button with a soft-focus photo of Jay Osmond behind his huge pink drum kit, in front of a pink background, dressed in pink. It is the best/worst thing ever.)
posted by The World Famous at 1:08 PM on August 31, 2012 [4 favorites]


I had no idea that Mr. Mac once sold pastel suits.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 1:16 PM on August 31, 2012 [1 favorite]


Hot cocoa is a hell of a drug.
posted by dirtdirt at 1:20 PM on August 31, 2012 [11 favorites]


"Fiddler on the Roof" is one of my all time favorites... I couldn't listen to the whole Osmond medley. ~shudders~
posted by Mojojojo at 1:22 PM on August 31, 2012 [1 favorite]


Still couldn't hold a candle to Crazy Horses
posted by jonp72 at 1:30 PM on August 31, 2012 [3 favorites]


Whenever you get stressed out about the awfulness of pop culture contemplate that from the distance of 40 years, the Ramones get 20x more hits on a video than the osmonds. Wait another 40 and this garbage will be washed away into the sea. Just wait.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 1:42 PM on August 31, 2012 [2 favorites]


They came on after Clint Eastwood?
posted by PHINC at 1:44 PM on August 31, 2012 [4 favorites]


I'm another Mormon who doesn't get The Osmonds. Same boat as Lawrence Welk for me. Let's see if there's some Knight Rider on, or something cold and scientific...Newton's Apple...anything.
posted by circular at 1:53 PM on August 31, 2012 [3 favorites]


Ugh, the Osmonds remind me of the Ripleys one through seven that Sigourney encounters in "Alien Resurrection." Donny is like the limply wheezing and grimacing one that Marie discovers in horror and then mercy-kills with a flamethrower.
posted by hermitosis at 2:01 PM on August 31, 2012 [2 favorites]


Still couldn't hold a candle to Crazy Horses

Or Hold Her Tight.
posted by Oriole Adams at 2:04 PM on August 31, 2012


I think we can all agree that Donny Osmond has redeemed himself.
posted by crunchland at 2:12 PM on August 31, 2012 [9 favorites]


You know as upsetting as that was I gotta admit, those were some pretty boss vocal harmonies.
posted by Doleful Creature at 2:22 PM on August 31, 2012 [3 favorites]


Is it more, or does Donny look like a 1970s Justin Bieber?
posted by drezdn at 2:30 PM on August 31, 2012 [1 favorite]


Is it more, or does Donny look like a 1970s Justin Bieber?

Moe like the Biebs is 2Kteens Donny Osmond
posted by KingEdRa at 2:42 PM on August 31, 2012 [4 favorites]


My favorite parts were the times when the light shined off the backs of their luscious, luxuriant hair and made it look an awful lot like they were all wearing yarmulkes.
posted by ChuraChura at 2:59 PM on August 31, 2012 [1 favorite]


It is the best/worst thing ever.

I read this without the "/" and love the idea of having a best worst thing. Like of all my worst things, this one is the best.
posted by Joey Michaels at 3:02 PM on August 31, 2012


I read this without the "/" and love the idea of having a best worst thing. Like of all my worst things, this one is the best.

It's certainly that, too.
posted by The World Famous at 3:10 PM on August 31, 2012


Still couldn't hold a candle to the Demented Are Go cover of Crazy Horses.
posted by Smart Dalek at 3:15 PM on August 31, 2012


with the sound turned down, this is positively dadaist.
posted by scody at 3:19 PM on August 31, 2012 [1 favorite]


Even with the sound turned up.
posted by Joey Michaels at 3:49 PM on August 31, 2012


I had somehow completely forgotten there were more Osmonds.
posted by trip and a half at 4:06 PM on August 31, 2012


crunchland I never noticed Donny Osmond in the white and nerdy video before. That is like Platonic irony. If only there were a five page Camille Paglia essay about it.
posted by bukvich at 5:23 PM on August 31, 2012


Marie Osmond's reading of Hugo Ball's Karawane is a highlight of the Osmond legacy.
posted by PHINC at 5:24 PM on August 31, 2012 [5 favorites]




Oops, previously.
posted by PHINC at 5:26 PM on August 31, 2012 [1 favorite]


Donny Osmond and Jeff Beck (warning: It would be impossible to create a parody of the 80s more terrible than this.)
posted by The World Famous at 6:00 PM on August 31, 2012 [5 favorites]


I haven't seen the version of "White and Nerdy" that crunchland linked in a couple of years and - you know what? - it just gets funnier every time.
posted by Joey Michaels at 6:00 PM on August 31, 2012


Now I wish I could play instruments so I could record a death metal remake of the entire Fiddler soundtrack.
posted by MikeMc at 6:21 PM on August 31, 2012


Omg, that Donny Osmond and Jeff Beck vid is seriously cringeworthy! Yikes.

As for the The Osmonds 1974 - Fiddler On The Roof Medley, there are many levels to what is wrong with this. Kids, who should by all rights as teenagers be dressed in rebellious clothes are here dressed as "little gents" in three piece suits as fake adults. Then singing songs that are rich in Jewish history as washed out prog-rock muzac, all the while with makes-no-sense-with-this-music pseudo black group dance moves.

Things with meaning, the rebellious teen years, rock music, show tunes for a musical about a painful time in Jewish history, all scooped out and filled with a sort of geriatric mush. It's the sort of mind-numbing emptiness they might play on a tv in a nursing home.

The girls' screams, full of lust and adolescent sexual yearning for that pretty boy teen Donny, even those are ruined because Donny is not being a teen but a fake adult. The plastic smiles add to the hollowness.

This was total anathema to me way back in the 70's. Now, looking at it with an anthropological eye I feel sorry for those kids, the Osmonds, puppeted by whoever put them in those pastel monkey suits. They may have been oblivious to their predicament but they were used to promote the banal, disconnected from being authentic, which has a life suffocating impact on the human beings who are exposed to this kind of drek.

And The World Famous I really could relate to what you said about feeling vicarious embarrassment when watching people perform. I've felt that way about going to the theater especially and could never quite explain why until now. That comment of yours is excellent. Thank you for sharing your thoughts.
posted by nickyskye at 6:22 PM on August 31, 2012 [5 favorites]


The green screen White & Nerdy is one of my go to happy videos, along with The Hoff's Hooked on a Feeling.
posted by Mavri at 6:30 PM on August 31, 2012


I always thought the favorite Osmond video on metafilter was the "Everybody's Everything / Free from the 1972 Ohio State Fair". I cannot find the thread it was linked in but there were dozens of comments favorites +1's likes everything which I thought was ghastly. Although to be honest it isn't that bad. Maybe they were all being sarcastic.
posted by bukvich at 6:43 PM on August 31, 2012


I am feeling vicarious embarrassment for even having lived through the 70s.
posted by leftcoastbob at 7:43 PM on August 31, 2012 [2 favorites]


That Osmonds video is from 1974. Let's be honest here: 1974 was terrible in a lot of ways. It was a year of rainbows and fringes and pastel colors and purple trim on yellow shirts and bad sideburns and feathered hair and butterfly collars and happy flowers and shiny platform shoes.

But did you ever wonder whether it was possible for pure awesomeness to break through all that anyway?

You did? Then you're in luck!
posted by The World Famous at 8:05 PM on August 31, 2012


Marie Osmond's reading of Hugo Ball's Karawane is a highlight of the Osmond legacy.

AMAZING!! Believe it or not. Seriously, this is a supreme Dada moment and I cannot press the little plus sign enough. Thank you, Thank you.
posted by Isadorady at 8:49 PM on August 31, 2012


I keep meaning to do a post about the Welsh origins of the Osmonds (since 1585, through their mother, Olive) and their rather interesting great, great, great grandfather from Merthyr Tydfil -
"Many of them were involved in running Merthyr Steelworks, and one of his ancestors, Dr John Martin, was Chief Surgeon at the Steelworks, saving hundreds of lives throughout his career.
but five years on and I'm still recovering from the cringeworthy episode of Coming Home with Donny.
posted by humph at 2:41 AM on September 1, 2012


You did? Then you're in luck!

I love that concert so much - the otherworldly contrast between the bleakness of Sabbath's music with the pastels-and-smiley-faces 70's good-time explosion. The first time I watched it it took me a full song to realize that that straightlaced young man on guitar is just a clean-shaven Iommi and not some random guy filling in - not that some random guy could play as heavy and evil as he's playing, of course.
posted by item at 4:08 AM on September 1, 2012 [1 favorite]


I was sort of impressed that the did all that dancing around with corded microphones, to be fair. I would have tripwired out of there about five seconds in.
posted by theredpen at 8:45 AM on September 1, 2012 [1 favorite]


The green screen White & Nerdy is one of my go to happy videos, along with The Hoff's Hooked on a Feeling.

I can't believe that he did that whole routine in one take and it's a pretty complicated, energetic routine - wasn't the whole world singing the praises of Beyonce for doing the same thing in her "Single Ladies" video?

I wonder why this doesn't get more credit than it deserves?
posted by bitteroldman at 8:45 AM on September 1, 2012


When I was a little kid, like from the ages 4-10, my mom volunteered at a residential school for teens with disabilities. She arranged dances, parties, and road trips for the kids. The girls there were in love with the Osmonds, so Mom wrote to them. The Osmond family wrote back a lovely letter sent back boxes and boxes of gifts to the kids at the school.

They kept up the contact with my mom and the school. Mom and Dad Osmond didn't have "their people" telephone my mom; they called and talked with her directly to arrange special events and back stage passes to every concert within driving distance.

They were always so incredibly kind and hospitable to us, they always remembered our names and always had special gifts for all of us. Mom and Dad Osmond baked cookies and served us themselves while we waited backstage for Marie and the guys to come out and visit.

So, as you can imagine, I've always had a soft spot in my heart for the Osmonds. And I refuse to apologize for loving their cheesy choreographed numbers and shiny white teeth.
posted by dchrssyr at 2:22 PM on September 1, 2012 [7 favorites]


I wonder why this doesn't get more credit than it deserves? --- Not to detract from the awesome performance, but Donny was just winging it. Add to that, the video, like most music videos, was shot at half speed and then sped up in the final product. You can see what I mean @ the 4:50 mark on this making-of video. But you're right. Presumably Rhianna's video was also shot at reduced speed, too.
posted by crunchland at 5:32 PM on September 1, 2012 [1 favorite]


Here's a weird fact about the Osmonds. The first two brothers - George and Tom - were born deaf. How weird would it be for them to see the next five brothers become singing sensations, and then little Jimmy and Marie do the same thing?
posted by twoleftfeet at 12:02 AM on September 2, 2012 [1 favorite]


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