Magic: The Very Best of Olivia Newton-John
Audio CD | Remastered
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All of Olivia's #1 singles and 15 Top 10 hits from 1973 to 1983, the decade when she topped the pop, country and adult contemporary charts, won major awards (Grammys(r), People's Choice, CMA), and starred in Grease.
It's hard to have a more milquetoast image than Olivia Newton-John. Even when she was decked out in stretch pants and stiletto heels at the end of Grease, you never mistook her for a wild girl. Proudly carrying the torch once held high by Karen Carpenter, Newton-John embodied the safer and, yes, blander side of the '70s and early '80s. But just like Carpenter went on to be rehabilitated as a pop singer, Newton-John's career deserves a second look--and this compilation is a good way to start. Even if the singer's precise touch was audible as early as 1973 (on the countryish "Let Me Be There"), she reached her peak five years later with Grease and the torchy "Hopelessly Devoted to You." "Physical" may be the best-known episode of the singer's leg-warmer years, but the one to cherish forever remains "Xanadu." On it, Newton-John basically fronted Electric Light Orchestra and the result is one of the most underrated songs of the past 25 years. --Elisabeth Vincentelli
Top Customer Reviews
There are Olivia's early hits: "Have You Never Been Mellow?" "Please Mr. Please"; And from my favorite chick flick, "The Wedding Planner", "I Honestly Love You".
There are the Grease hits: "You're The One That I Want"; "Summer Nights".
Finally, there are Olivia's later hits: "A Little More Love"; "Twist Of Fate"; "Magic"; And the beautiful duet with Cliff Richard, "Suddenly".
I had forgotten that Olivia was first a country artist. I had also forgotten the songs "Deeper Than The Night" and "Heart Attack" which are also quite good.
In today's pop era of female singers battling for a shopworn "diva" crown and muscular, over-dramatic vocal acrobatics plastered over insipid, nu-soul stylings, it's good to remember a whisper can ring louder than a shout.
Olivia's voice was always a beguiling instrument, crafty in its facility to blend shimmering, understated innocence with a subtle allure. Her character Sandy in Grease, seems in fact a metaphor for this transformative gift -- comparing her ingenue 70's persona with the glorious coming-out which would soon follow.
While I was not so inspired by the countrified vanilla of some of her early Nashville leanings, it had its simple charm. And I've frankly never liked "Physical", a throw away as dated as her video's work out duds and sadly one of her biggest hits.
One star downgrade for leaving off her cover of Dylan's "If Not For You" (and which George Harrison also did so wonderfully on All Things Must Pass), and some of her later 80's material maybe didn't age so well. (OK, "Make A Move on Me" is pretty damn catchy - gotta admit.)
BUT....that leaves a small bevy of killer songs, the likes of which any singer worth her salt would have cheerfully given her right vocal cord to have a shot at...and ample reason to buy this cd: the fun, unforgettable numbers from Grease; the lilting "Sam"; "Suddenly", with Cliff Richard (one of the greatest duets ever IMHO); the bewitching "Magic" and "A Little More Love"; and ELO's spectacular "Xanadu", a luscious pop confection with a finale which gives goose bumps (those incredible notes!)
Olivia hit more homeruns in a decade than most recording artists will have in a lifetime. I'm so glad I finally got this!
The songs from the movie "Grease" are an added treasure here. John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John had a great chemistry in the movie. Their duet in "Summer Nights" is just golden and unforgettable. It makes you feel like dancing and mimic their give and take from the movie. All her great songs are here, the ones I grew up listening to anyway. Have fun!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
It was however missing some songs I
had hoped it would contain