Olivia Newton John

So, I saw Olivia last night. Her vocals are superb, she can still hit those high notes and she was so lovely and funny. Yes there's a few songs in there that I never thought I'd hear live. I won't say if people are going and don't want spoilers. But I was delighted. Someone in the audience went up to the stage and handed her a Mars easter egg which was a bit random.

Only downside was that the arena was half full at most. The side tiers weren't even there and the floor seats were really spaced out. I guess this is what comes from there being no new release, even if it was a new compilation, and the tour hasn't really been promoted so I think only the very loyal fans were there. Great crowd though.
lisaj, I'm so glad you got to see her. I feel very fortunate to live in Australia and to have had the opportunity to see Olivia an obscene amount of times over the last 15 years or so when the European fans have been starved for attention since 1978 (!) I hope her 'homecoming' was worth it - it certainly sounds as if it was, based on your post and the other comments I've read. The whole Eurovision section (no spoilers...) was typically thoughtful of Olivia in terms of her setlist inclusions, a lovely tip of the hat not only to hardcore fans with the use of a deep cut from her catalogue but to the whole UK audience as the Eurovision competition holds no currency in her regular touring areas.

I look forward to seeing videos of her performances on this tour. One has surfaced from Cardiff of Olivia singing 'Hopelessly Devoted To You' and her voice sounds particularly strong, really rich and resonant in the choruses. Olivia's voice can waver live from time to time, no doubt a reflection of her age and the way the voice alters accordingly, but when she's in the pocket she really is still unbeatable as a female pop vocalist. That video reminds me of the first night of her Sydney performances last year. I went to all three, but she knocked the vocals out of the ballpark on the first night with confident and strong notes throughout that made evergreens I'd heard her sing ten times over sound fresh again. Her voice failed to reach the same heights the next two nights and whilst they were still sound performances, there was something truly special about hearing Olivia sound so consistently flawless for a two hour concert.

Yes, it was the Eurovision bit I loved. Also loved that she has done away with the 'age appropriate' version of Physical and we got a cheesy, on-your-feet live version of the original. Olivia referred to her Welsh heritage a few times too. Someone from the audience shouted 'come back soon!' She said she would, I hope she means it! But yes, it was totally worth it!
I'm jealous! I had my tickets for the Glasgow date, and I was so excited for it but it ended up getting cancelled - most likely to due to a lack of tickets being sold.
Hi, new member here and an all time huge ONJ fan. Discovered her in 1975 and have followed her ever since. My favourite album is Totally Hot. It came out at the end of 1978 when really that year had all been about Grease. It should have been overkill but turned out to be one of her best ever albums. Still remember the day I bought it! A Little More Love was a killer lead single and different to anything else's she'd recorded at that point.
I've been playing the Physical SACD today. Another amazing album. Remember buying the video album that was later shown on TV. Still have it!
New EP on the horizon - and dance remixes!

Fans are always looking for new music from you. Is there anything on the horizon?
I have an EP of songs I’ve had in the works for years called Hotel Sessions. It’s a collection of songs produced by my nephew Brett Goldsmith. I literally recorded the tracks over nine years in different hotel rooms across Australia while on tour. Plus, there will be a couple of dance remixes for fun. It will be available on iTunes soon and at the Flamingo Las Vegas during my run there.
I'm a huge fan. She's my second or third most listened to artist ever.

I love the melancholy quality of Truly Love and her two 1976 albums.

Strangers Touch, Suspended in Time, Dancin, Tied Up, Never Enough, Boats Against the Current, and The Right Moment are my favorite non-hits

Still haven't really gotten into her ten years worth of inspirational records yet. I have Stronger Than Before.

She's also my favorite fashion icon of the mid 70s to mid 80s. I love her Physical-era pirate look for example.
Last edited:


Staff member
As a lover of country-pop Olivia is my favorite artist of the 70's. My favorite songs by her are Let Me Be There, If You Love Me (Let Me Know), I Honestly Love You, and Please Mr. Please. With I Honestly Love You being my favorite. Then there's all the Grease songs and the movies itself which is timeless. She had a few songs that I loved from 80's as well but not as much as her 70's.

It's kind of crazy that "There's nothing left to talk about unless it's horizontally" was so controversial at the time.

Has anyone listened to any of her albums after Physical? Which ones are worth checking out?
I would highly recommend The Rumour (1988). The album features some of her best vocals ever and also some of her best song-writing.

If you are in the mood for guilty pleasure listening, then listen to Soul Kiss (1985).

The Rumour is "grown-up Olivia" with songs about gender equality, divorce, AIDS, the environment and some great mature love songs.

Soul Kiss is "quirky Olivia" with songs about initiating a threesome, flirtation at the doctor's office, Olivia pretending to be a journalist, Olivia pretending to be a taxi driver.
If you like "country pop Oilvia", then try out Back With A Heart (1998). It was her return to country pop and attempt to challenge the big country pop queens of the late 1990s such as Shania Twain and Lee Ann Rimes.

Of her post 2000 albums, my recommendations are Grace And Gratitude (2007) and "2" (2002).


Staff member
If you like "country pop Oilvia", then try out Back With A Heart (1998). It was her return to country pop and attempt to challenge the big country pop queens of the late 1990s such as Shania Twain and Lee Ann Rimes.

Of her post 2000 albums, my recommendations are Grace And Gratitude (2007) and "2" (2002).

Thank you! I will be giving Back With A Heart a chance soon and if that goes well I'll check out The Rumour.
What are her best albums prior to "Physical", folks? Also, "Grease" aside, are any of her films worth checking out, y'all?
Not an expert on her albums but you must watch Xanadu immediately! It is a camp classic in which Olivia plays a Greek goddess on roller skates set to a disco soundtrack. It flopped so bad at the box office it killed the musical as a genre for a decade. What's not to love?

Also check out her best ever song Twist of Fate from the movie Two of a Kind, an ill fated reunion of Olivia with John Travolta which sadly failed to re-kindle the Grease magic.
What are her best albums prior to "Physical", folks? Also, "Grease" aside, are any of her films worth checking out, y'all?

'Totally Hot', the 'Xanadu' soundtrack and 'Physical' are the trio of essential albums if you are a fan of the pop incarnation of Olivia. They are the best representation of her halcyon days and all three albums are pretty much flawless.

If you want to explore the folk/country/easy-listening side of her catalogue prior to 1978, my first recommendation would be 'Don't Stop Believin'' from 1976. Other than a couple of songs that are easy to ignore, namely a novelty track called 'I'll Bet You A Kangaroo' whose sole purpose seemed to be to remind an American audience that she was Australian, it is a superb collection of warm, easy listening pop that finds Olivia really hitting her stride two years' prior to the release of 'Grease'. Much of the album is devoted to sunny uptempos with oddly discontent lyrics ('Compassionate Man', 'Every Face Tells A Story', 'Hey Mr Dreammaker'), and ballads like 'Sam' and 'The Last Time You Loved' are amongst her best ever. It's the album where you can hear the move towards more pop-oriented material most pointedly.

Many fans swear by the 'Have You Never Been Mellow' album, and it is certainly expertly produced, but I prefer the early 70s British folk sound of her debut 'If Not For You' (titled 'Olivia Newton-John' in some territories). It's essentially little more than a glorified covers album of then-contemporary songs like Gordon Lightfoot's 'If You Could Read My Mind' and Lesley Duncan's 'Love Song', but despite its naivety boasts a more muscular sound than some of her other 70s albums which arguably become softer. I am also very fond of another British album from this early period called 'Music Makes My Day', which was released as 'Let Me Be There' in Australia (but not to be confused with her American debut LP 'Let Me Be There' which was actually a compilation - confusing, huh?) The closing run of 'Music Makes My Day', 'Leaving' and 'If We Try' is one of my favourite sequences in any Olivia album. Another option is the second American LP called 'If You Love Me, Let Me Know'. Again, it is comprised of songs from her previous British albums, but it is a great collection of songs that helps to showcase the scope of what she was capable of in the early days. Songs like the self-penned 'Changes' and her cover of Gerry Rafferty's 'Mary Skeffington' are some of her best early tracks, and both take pride of place on this album.

Last edited:
For those interested in an overview, I recently bought the wonderful 2015 Japanese compilation 40/40 The Best Selection which contains her big hits and a few nice surprises. I don't know which remastering they used, but the sound is very good.
I need to give her albums another go. Bought a collection of remastered albums and 'Magic - The Very Best' years ago, but I never gave her non-singles much of a chance. Are there any worthwhile rarities I should also look for (aside from You Made Me Love You and Electric)?