Olivia Newton-John will always be one of my favorite singers. As a little kid all excited at the prospect of seeing the movie Grease, little did I know that on that night a sweet singer/actress from Australia would leave me dazed and bedazzled by my first sighting of a beautiful woman; I've been looking for my own Olivia ever since then, a cute Sandra Dee type who, under the right circumstances, can magically turn into a wild, extremely hot show-stopper. I don't think some people these days realize just how wildly popular Olivia was in the late 70s and early 80s, the era from which these tracks are taken. Physical was atop the charts just short of forever, and for that day and age the single was a delightfully suggestive little song (at least for a kid like me), if you can consider anything sung by an angel to be suggestive. The earliest recordings featured in this collection go back to 1978: from the Grease soundtrack come Hopelessly Devoted To You (one of the best love songs ever) and You're the One That I Want (a duet with John Travolta that I will certainly never forget thanks to the movie), while the scale-climbing A Little More Love is taken from Olivia's Totally Hot album. 1980's Xanadu may not be a critically successful movie, but it provides us with three great hits: the infectiously upbeat Xanadu (with ELO), Magic, and Suddenly (a really nice duet with Cliff Richard). Olivia's best-selling Physical album from 1981 provides only two tracks: the mega-hit Physical single and the rather sultry Make a Move On Me. The remaining two tracks, the memorable hit Heart Attack and Tied Up, were, if I'm not mistaken, recorded specifically for this greatest hits album.
There are better, more comprehensive greatest hits albums on the market today (ones featuring the earlier hits not included on this collection), but for a long time this was the Olivia Newton-John greatest hits album to have, featuring Olivia's best hits from the years she basically ruled over the world of female vocalists. Her voice is timeless and remains plaintively beautiful to this day. Whenever I listen to this album, I have to wonder why I haven't been listening to it every day for the last twenty years. Pure beauty never goes out of style, and no female singer has ever equaled the beauty of Olivia's voice, body, mind, and soul.
on 22 April 2013
After Physical, there were too many songs of the same ilk and this is a tad predictable, though it puts together a good selection of the latter part of her chart career. With Xanadu included, it is worth 3 stars.