Many movies rely on songs to set mood, and there are some that are probably relied upon too often – what we like to call soundtrack staples. Mental As Anything’s Live It Up has featured in more films than most Aussie songs get a chance to…
To the average Aussie punter, it’s the quintessential “Mentals” track (although we’d happily argue into the wee hours for The Nips Are Getting Bigger). Yet the song’s writer, Greedy Smith (may he rest in peace), originally didn’t think it was much chop.
Luckily for his bank account and Mental As Anything in general, after a two-year-or-so gestation it all came together in the recording and mixing, and Smith gained confidence in his and his bandmates’ creation.
Released in Australia as a single in 1985, Live It Up was the second track to be plucked from the band’s Fundamental album (who remembers the first, You’re So Strong?). It hit the charts and peaked at the rather frustrating spot of number two.
When Live It Up appeared in the 1986 movie Crocodile Dundee, which went on to be quite the worldwide smash, international ears were eager to get their hands on the tune. So much so that it charted in several countries, hitting that frustrating number two spot in Ireland, as well as number three in the UK and nabbing top 20 places in Austria, Germany, Norway, Sweden and New Zealand.
A genuine slice of classic Aussie pop, Live It Up now has a deserved place in the collection of the Australian National Film and Sound Archive.
Here’s the original video clip, complete with a very good boy.
Crocodile Dundee (1986)
Yep, it’s the little Aussie fillum from Paul Hogan that helped give the Mentals an international hit – just going to prove that if people actually get to hear good songs, then they’ll buy them. Here’s the somewhat dubious by today’s pleasingly more sussed eyes scene in which the song got to play out:
The Mentals song starred alongside Hugo Weaving and Jacqueline McKenzie, in this Aussie tale of a teenage girl who finds that her late mother’s diary reveals all manner of “colourful, sexy secrets”. Here’s the trailer:
The Strangers: Prey at Night (2018)
We found clips with all the joy of Bonnie Tyler and Air Supply, but not with the Mentals, whose Live It Up (obviously, considering that we’re writing specifically about it) features. Have some bonus Tiffany though in this teaser for the Christina Hendricks-starring sequel to 2008 horror flick The Strangers.
Blinded by the Light (2019)
So, what better tune to push start a clunker old Vauxhall Viva to than Live It Up? We don’t have the scene, but we do have this trailer that bumps together The Human League and Springsteen: