Last week it was ELO whose only number one was with Olivia Newton-John, and this week here she is in her own right!
Australian singer Olivia Newton-John OBE has had 19 top forty hits, including 11 top tens and 3 number ones. It is a shame that despite some great solo singles all her number ones were with other artists and from musicals, two with John Travolta (from Grease) and one with ELO “Xanadu” from the movie of the same name.
Olivia also had two hits duetting with Cliff Richard.
Olivia debuted in 1971 with “If Not For You” reaching number 7, quickly following that up with “Banks of the Ohio” reaching 6 later the same year. She continued with country and wholesome pop, including representing the UK in Eurovision with “Long Live Love” in 1974. In 1977 she reached number 6 with ballad “Sam”.
In 1978 the film “Grease” came out with Olivia in the lead role of Sandy and everything changed. She rode a massive wave of popularity and had two number ones with Travolta and reached number 2 with “Hopelessly Devoted to You” from the film.
As her character Sandy changed from “Sandra Dee” to rock chick at the end of Grease, so did change Olivia musically. Olivia’s next single in 1978 was the song “A Little More Love” with her singing “where did my innocence go?” and reached number 4. “Magic” continued in a similar vein in 1980.
In 1981 she released album “Physical” and the lead single of the same name was a worldwide smash. It was a raunchy pop song and the video accompanying it made a worldwide impact. The single made number 7 in the UK.
Olivia made a music special with videos for all the songs on the album, but none of the other singles made the impact “Physical” did, making 18 and 43 with “Landslide” and “Make a Move On Me”. This in my opinion was a great shame as I have this album, and it is vastly underrated and a great pop album.
So here are two tracks from the “Physical” album which I particularly like which weren’t singles.
(Uploaded to YouTube by OliviaNewtonJohnVEVO)
(Uploaded to YouTube by QueenofRockChannel)
She still continues to make music today with a focus on wellbeing. Her last album “Liv On” in 2016, was a “collaborative grief and healing” album with Beth Nielsen Chapman and Amy Sky. She said “As a group, it’s our intention with this album to create songs with a message of compassion and hope. They are for anyone facing a time of challenge in their life, whether it is grieving a loss – or on the journey to health and recovery.”
Olivia is herself battling cancer and I send her my best wishes.