Tina Arena - Woman of Steel
By Matthew Hall

No sooner had Tina Arena laid the finishing touches to her brand new LP, than she was on the telephone to Matthew Hall.    "Come on over and have a listen", she blurted!  How could he refuse?   Off he trundled and returned with the official Tina Arena Guide to
Strong As Steel!

Woman's Work
"I think that this is a great song - in fact, I think that it's fabulous!  I haven't listened to it in a long while though.  It's quite an American sounding song - I think it would appeal to Americans a lot!  I don't think that this song is something that is typical of the stuff that is produced in Australia.    I hope it's going to be a single.  The song is about a common understanding - a woman's work is never done!"

I Need Your Body
"This song basically started my solo career - this is the one that got me up there!  It was number three nationally and number one in Adelaide.    I've got to be careful when I go out in Adelaide, everyone knows who I am.   I can't walk down the street without being recognised!  I'm starting to realise that I'm public property and that freaks me.  I get incredibly shy.  I walked into a pub where a friend of mine plays in a band and everyone started going, 'Tina! Tina!, because they wanted me to get up and sing.  That was a real spin out!   I just said 'Woah, get me out of here'."

Close To My Heart
"Dave Stewart from the Eurythmics wrote this song.  I think it's very Eurythmic-y.  It's a good album track but I don't see it as going to number one.    I love the harmonica break in it because...I love harmonica!  I had a terrible time looking for songs for this album.  I hope to God that I don't have to go through it again.  When you're a new artist the publishing companies won't give you the cream of their crop, they give you the rubbish.  They save the best stuff for the people that sell.  They weren't to know that I was a seller!"

For The Sake of Talking
"This is a bitter tale.  It's basically what this industry is all about.  To me, the music industry is my life.  A lot of people out there don't realise the shit that you have to go through in order to get to where you want to be.  'You talk and your words don't mean a thing' - this song is about the nice people that you meet and the awful people that you meet.  People can tell me that they can make me a star but I'm not interested in hearing any of that.  I've seen a lot of my friends taken for a ride.  It's definitely a song of personal experience.

Rumour Has It
"The first time I heard this I thought that it was a definite 'no!', but the more you listen to it the more it grows on you.  I think that it's a nice change.  I don't want to pigeon-hole myself into any particular style.  I think that people will enjoy this in concert - it will be a great live track!  Mike Brady wrote this...Rumour Has It and Up There Cazaly!  Mike Brady is a great man!"

Images of Love
"What does love mean to me?  Oh, pur-lease!  I've yet to discover what love is all about.  When I've got more time I'll think about it!  This is a good dance track - it's young, it's fresh and...I co-wrote it!  I'll be writing a lot more when I get back home.  I play a little bit of piano.  I was trained as a child, tied down the ivories. 'Tinkle kid, do it!"

Strong As Steel
"A fantastic track and that's why it's the title song.  It's got soul, it's got feel, and it's got a lot of hooks.  To me, this is a hit!  I'd like to think of it as something that Lisa Stansfield might sing.  It's kind of sophisticated, it would have to be one of my faves.  Diane Warren wrote this one.    I hope that she has a winner with me...she'll be laughing all the way to the bank!   She's loaded, she doesn't need me!" (Diane Warren, facterama freaks, is the authoress of tunes for chartbusters like Heart, Taylor Dane, Bad English, Frilly Manilli, et al - MH).

The Machine's Breaking Down
"This is a song about awareness, although I'm not setting out to make any great political statements - I'm not trying to be a Bono.  I don't boast to be politically minded.  I understand that there is a problem with society and what really spins me out more than anything is the trouble that's happening in Iraq. Machine's is really relevant to the situation and it was written four or five years ago!    It's a sentiment that doesn't date.  The human race can destroy the world and the human race can stop the world from being destroyed."

I'll Be Here
"I'll Be Here is a perfect soundtrack for a film.  I keep telling the record company, 'You must submit this for a film soundtrack!'  It's a great ballad.  I really enjoy singing ballads immensely.  Wind Beneath My Wings Part Two?  I'll take that as a compliment."

"I do get nervous when I'm on stage.  Not all the time, but on opening nights I get nervous, particularly when they're are people in the audience who are pushing pens and are going to say 'She's good', or 'She's shit', that really frightens me.    I guess that I'll be really frightened when I go out on the road on my own.    That'll be next year, it'll be a national tour."

I Believe (When I Fall In Love It Will Be Forever)
"This is an old Stevie Wonder song.  To me it's an anthem, just like You're The Voice is an anthem.  I love the singing that we've done on it.  It's a real singer's song - someone who enjoys singing would really love it.    It's a beautiful song but I don't feel that it would appeal to the average 15 or 16 year old, it's more an 18 and over market."

So there you have it!  And what does Tina think of the whole shebang??
"I'm always going to be my worst critic.  I'll always think that I could have done something a bit better but I'm really happy with the way it's turned out.  I prefer performing on stage but I enjoy making records - it's a lot of fun.  It's also an incredibly hard job.  Just look at me.  I think I need a holiday!"