Olivia Newton John (1948-2022) | Page 112 | The Popjustice Forum

Olivia Newton John (1948-2022)

Discussion in 'Comeback corner' started by ysaferrer, Sep 4, 2011.

  1. I have to say I didn't realize how big an Olivia fan I was/am until this past week. I have always been a huge Madonna/Kylie fan, but before them, Olivia was probably the one singer who I listened to. My sister loved Grease and Xanadu, so it obviously rubbed off on me. I loved Make a Move on Me and I remember even when I was eight years old I preferred it to Physical. I loved opening up the album fold-outs for Physical, Greatest Hits Volume 2 and Two of a Kind (back when I was actually into vinyl). I loved her voice, her look, and her albums had such beautiful design and photography (probably my first exposure to the legendary Herb Ritts). I loved the colour scheme for Greatest Hits Volume 2. It seemed so simple yet it was classic pop iconography.

    I think some people forget how big Olivia was especially before Madonna and Cyndi Lauper came onto the scene. And in the write-ups about Olivia, there is a lot of talk about Grease, but surprisingly little about her pre-Grease years where she had quite a few hits and was primarily known - at least in the US - as a country singer.
  2. Olivia really was such an pioneer and huge female solo artist. That run from 78-83, is up there with the best of them. Shame things stalled after Soul Kiss of which I also enjoy.
  3. They really were exquisite. A lot of the credit for those beautiful designs goes to George Osaki who she worked with during her time at MCA. Obviously the 'Physical' era kicked the iconography of those album sleeves up a notch, but these four consecutive releases from '76 to '77 are some of my favourites. The colour contrast between the front and back cover of 'Don't Stop Believin'' was so simple but perfectly executed.






  4. From just a few years ago. This randomly came on my feed tonight and hearing the opening lines of that song hits so differently now. She sang it like a lovely farewell and here I am crying again.
    Txetxu likes this.
  5. Is there any way of watching the Australian music TV show The Rage's tributes to Olivia here in the UK?

    They're miles better than the tributes that some of the music TV channels did here in the UK.
    ohnoitisnathan likes this.
  6. All of these are just truly beautiful and then some. Can see in particular why the last two images were re used years later for Gold and the 2002 Greatest Hits.
  7. I took the weekend to watch some Olivia content and I have never watched 'Down Under' and... It was an interesting experience, let's leave at that. Her personality, charisma and beauty saves everything, though! What a star.

    Yes! Not only they are beautiful but aged like fine wine. When it comes to the 70s artworks that looks good today, other than ONJ I can only think of ABBA.
    Txetxu and WhatKindOfKylie? like this.
  8. Her album covers were usually very simple shots, but incredibly striking. My favourites might be Come On Over and Physical, but these aren’t too shabby either.

    Txetxu, Daniel L and idratherjack like this.
  9. Nice interview with Olivia (and John Travolta) from the set of Grease in 1977. The interviewer is on the creepy side though!

    Last edited: Aug 14, 2022
    lob0to and idratherjack like this.
  10. Which album(s) do you consider as her best?

  11. I hope Olivia knew how beloved Xanadu has become, I genuinely adore it. It always puts a smile on my face and the soundtrack is legitimately fantastic.
  12. Physical. Totally Hot. If Not For You & Have You Never Been Mellow if you prefer the more laid back stuff.
    Tchelitchew and Daniel L like this.
  13. I’m staggered by how slim she is in this clip. Just look at her waist! She must have been barely eating then.
  14. I do hope Totally Hot doesn't take too long to come back out on CD and of course vinyl too. Such a brilliant album.
    Tommy Johnson likes this.
  15. As the best Olivia album covers have been discussed, can I do the honours and mention what I perceive to be the worst?

    Firstly, Long Live Love. Nice photo but the rendering of the titles is way too twee and fussy, all those flowers. Plus the album isn’t that good, mostly being made up of other Eurovision attempts rejected in favour of the title track (which itself isn’t very good).

    Secondly, Clearly Love. Whilst most of her 70s covers (pre-Totally Hot) are quite simple, this one is perhaps the most boring of the lot. What she’s wearing is a bit dull, and we’re left to wonder what she’s looking down at.

    Lastly, Soul Kiss. Quality yes, but this is just not Olivia and this image doesn’t really fool anyone. The front cover image is more tame than the back one though.
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2022
    diegolcl and lob0to like this.
  16. I really like the Long Live Love album, but you’re right about the titles. I think they were going for an English Rose vibe.

    I like Clearly Love too. It was her first gatefold sleeve. It had lyrics as well. Apparently the photos were taken on Clint Eastwood’s ranch.

    Agree about Soul Kiss. The front cover is elegant and draws the eye, but it’s not really her.
  17. I just watched a really sweet 1990s movie called "Gas Food Lodging" about two teen girls growing up in a small New Mexico town. One of the subplots involves Fairuza Balk dressing up as Olivia and playing "Magic" to try her to seduce her ONJ-obsessed friend, who she somehow doesn't realize is gay. There's another memorable scene where the gay friend extemporizes on the inner meaning of the lyrics of "Magic." Her impact!
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2022
    Tommy Johnson likes this.
  18. Very nice to see I Need Love make that Top 10, I absolutely agree it's an underrated gem in Olivia's discography and one of my personal favourites.
    Daniel L and WhatKindOfKylie? like this.
  19. An interesting and varied list that, with some selections surprising, but very nice to see included too!
    idratherjack likes this.
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