I love Marcia Hines almost as much as I love cock. So I was naturally rather pleased when it was announced that Marcia would be inducted into the ARIA Hall Of Fame this year. I can't think of a more deserving recipient, Marcia has been churning out hits since the 1970s and she's still as fabulous as ever. I've been meaning to cover some of Marcia's pre-Australian Idol material for some time now. Strangely, I was inspired to finally pull my finger out by a completely different artist - the divine Ultra Nate. Ms Nate is one of the few bright stars on the dull American dance scene. I've been an admirer for years but her latest album has converted me into a fully fledged fan. As such, I've been going through her older work and fell in love with her version of Marcia's "Time Of Our Lives". Naturally, I had to re-visit Marcia's rendition and I was pleasantly surprised by how well it holds up, almost a decade later.
"Time Of Our Lives" was one of many attempts to kick start Marcia's career in the late 90s. The song became Marcia's highest charting single since the 1980s and revitalised her standing as a legendary pop diva. Marcia furiously promoted "Time Of Our Lives" to the gay community and I can still remember her performing it with a gaggle of drag queens in a nightclub. The song quickly became a fan favourite with good reason - as far as uplifting anthems go, "Time Of Our Lives" is hard to top. The song just exudes joy and fun with every beat. It was always going to be hard to follow in Marcia's footsteps but Ultra Nate's version is just as fabulous. Ultra's version is actually credited to DeVoted, which was a collaboration between Ultra Nate and Gerry DeVeaux - who just happens to be the man who wrote the song in the first place! Gerry must have thought that "Time Of Our Lives" still had potential and he was right. The update is a fabulous slice of bright and shiny dance music.
So, who wins this diva face-off? Marcia gets my vote because of the fun memories attached to her version but it's very close. Make up your own mind!