One Of Julie's Iconic St. George Bank CommercialsReleased in 1982, "Here I Am" mainly consists of faithful renditions of modern pop hits with a couple of standards and one original track (at least I think it is) thrown in for good measure. The production is fairly formulaic but all 18 songs are lovingly performed and hold up remarkably well more than 20 years later. Part of what makes the album so interesting is the eclectic tracklist. There are a couple of obvious choices ("Some Enchanted Evening" from South Pacific, Elton John's "Blue Eyes" and Cliff Richard's "We Don't Talk Anymore") but the majority of "Here I Am" is weird and rather wonderful. Julie's version of "Have You Ever Been In Love" gives Leo Sayer a run for his money, while a cheerful rendition of "Arthur's Theme" sits happily next to an outrageous cover of The Carpenters' "Calling Occupants Of Interplanetary Craft" - complete with a lisping alien, no less! That is probably my favourite track on the album along with Julie's aforementioned take on ABBA's oft covered "The Winner Takes It All". As much as I love Kylie & Dannii's recent attempt, Julie's dramatic version is infinitely better. Check out Julie's stunning interpretations below:
Calling Occupants Of Interplanetary Craft
Winner Takes It All
Other memorable moments include accomplished interpretations of Sheena Easton's "For Your Eyes Only", Stevie Wonder's "Lately" and Michael Jackson's "One Day In Your Life" - as well as a very cute rendition of Joey Scarbury's "Believe It Or Not" and a toe tapping cover of "Why Do Fools Fall In Love". The track that I think might be an original is a pretty ballad called "China Blue" (it's definitely NOT a cover of Fancy's similarly titled Eurodance classic) but hopefully someone will let me know if I'm mistaken. You can hear short clips of most of the tracks in the amazing television promo below. I'm so grateful to the person who stuck this gem on youtube. Julie's outrageous outfits, stunning perm and glamorous eye make-up deserve to be preserved for posterity! "Here I Am" was only one of several cover version heavy albums Julie released in the early 80s. All of them are highly recommended and can probably be found lying at the bottom of a bargain bin near you.