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Jazzy Jan

Loving Olivia Newton John, The real queen of Australian pop

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Larkspur    0

^ I really enjoyed reading your theory. :)

I also like to mention Olivia also had her little girl to raise in the 80's and I know I always mention that with Madonna but when someone takes motherhood very seriously their priorities change and Olivia expressed what she cared about with her music but was she able to give it the time that she would have been able to when she was alone?

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Shine    0

^ I really enjoyed reading your theory. :)

I also like to mention Olivia also had her little girl to raise in the 80's and I know I always mention that with Madonna but when someone takes motherhood very seriously their priorities change and Olivia expressed what she cared about with her music but was she able to give it the time that she would have been able to when she was alone?

I think both situations are different.

When Olivia had her daughter, she'd had 5 #1 hits on Billboard, countless awards, her star on Hollywood Boulevard, she had starred in the highest movie musical of all time (not sure it still is, I'd have to check though) so she really approached it like "I've done it all, this is going to change my life, so everything else would just be icing on a cake".

In fact, when Soul Kiss was released and showed an even raunchier side of Olivia, it backlashed as she was going a bit too far ( Physical had the video to soften the lyrics, Soul Kiss had the Helmut Newton topless back cover ) AND she was pregnant while the Soul Kiss video, where Olivia frolishes on red satin sheets, was released.

When Madonna had her daughter, she had been through the Erotica bakclash and had been trying to soften her image. She took the right decision, coming back with a more mature album, and that totally worked for her. But, most importantly, she had one thing Olivia didn't have much anymore : that drive, that thirst of being #1

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Larkspur    0

^ Your right I did feel that Olivia is the perfect example of someone who is happy about her success but who could also be completely content without pushing herself.

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Shine    0

^ Your right I did feel that Olivia is the perfect example of someone who is happy about her success but who could also be completely content without pushing herself.

And she walked the walk afterwards : she did a lullaby album, TV movies for Disney...

The only time she wanted to come back was in 1992 - maybe because she needed money after her stores chain collapsed, or just regain some popularity - but as we know, that didn't happen.

So after that, she went back to doing just what she wants, whenever she wanted to do it : small stuff, nothing too public (a duet album with mainly Australian singers, more kids stuff, more country/pop music...)

Maybe she could have come back again in 2004 with that Phil Ramone produced covers album, but it was poorly released (Australia first, those interested in buying the album could do it online, then releasing it months later in the UK as if it was 1982 all over again)

As I think I already made obvious here, I'm a huge fan, though I kind of lost interest in her whe she started to do all these spirituality stuff - the Grace & Gratitude album has come to my ears maybe twice - and I won't even mention the Xmas album she did last year with Travolta, and the tacky video accompanying it...

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Here's my theory

I'd say no. Mainly because, as Larkspur pointed out, Olivia did mainly country/pop in the US, after having started with folk-ish music in the UK ( Banks of the Ohio, for instance )

Her musical career is really mirrored in her Sandy character from Grease : the movie gave her the opportunity to try something not as mellow as she did before. Her last studio album before that, Making A Good Thing Better ( the one that includes DCFMA )got "nice" reviews, mainly focusing on the 2 photos from the album cover. So when she released Totally Hot, she really went into pop ( though you have hints of country with Dancin' 'round and 'round or Never enough ) and went on with the Xanadu soundtrack, Physical, the GH album, the TOAK soundtrack... Physical is the song that stayed #1 on the Hot 100 for the longest time in the 80s (10 weeks) and everything pre-1985 was kind of a hit for her.

Still, I don't think she could be labelled "Pre-Madonna Queen of Pop" mainly because, as you can realize now if you take a retrospective look, she didn't have that much of an impact - her thing is, you tend to forget about her but mention her name and it's like "oh yeah, there was Olivia too !"

But in some way, and that would be theory, I think she sort of opened a door : in spite of its aerobic-themed video, Physical is a song by a very popular woman at the time of its relase, and she sings about her wanting to have sex. For someone who enjoyed such popularity at the time, it was really risky. Around the same time, Madonna was working on her first album. Call me a fool (but I know I'm not, haha) but I think that if Physical Attraction wasn't released as a single, it may be because it would have sounded redundant with Olivia's song ( the way both singers repeat the word physical at some point in their respective songs, or the release dates that were not that far apart ).

I'm not questioning M's ability to push the envelope at all, but would she have been that provocative and sexy and all without, amongst others for sure, Olivia's provocative makeover ? She probably would, but we'll never know.

The other thing that wouldn't make Olivia a queen of pop like Madonna is the time when bot had their breakout and popularity peak : Madonna enjoyed the MTV exposure for her whole career, while it only happened at the end of Olivia's prime (and I'm not even sure she was really played on MTV, she was more VH-1 material)

I wonder how things would have been for Olivia if she was more agressive in promoting her music during the 80s : in 1988, The Rumour was really critically acclaimed, and I think it's very good musically but maybe she was already too old (turning 40 at that point) and that album really was social conscious (songs dealing with AIDS, environment, single parenting...)

Anyway...

thanks a lot :)

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HolidayGuy    0

Olivia was one of the most successful female hitmakers, from 1955-1982, that much is for sure. Obviously, her work was very light, but she was very likable and did light, fun pop pretty well.

Grease did allow her to "toughen up" her sound/image some- think "A Little More Love," and then, "Physical." She was a great Sandy, even though she was 30 or so. :)

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Shine    0

Olivia was one of the most successful female hitmakers, from 1955-1982, that much is for sure. Obviously, her work was very light, but she was very likable and did light, fun pop pretty well.

Grease did allow her to "toughen up" her sound/image some- think "A Little More Love," and then, "Physical." She was a great Sandy, even though she was 30 or so. :)

1955 ? :lol:

totally%20hot.jpg

I love this ! Odd though the only version of this we can find online is the one from Wall To Wall ( the guy behind this website is really sweet, btw ) while this montage has been created some years ago by a French fan ( also very sweet )

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Shine    0

:laugh::laugh::laugh:

I love the US videos for A Little More Love and Deeper Than The Night where you hav glimpses of the Totally Hot photoshoot.

7zum.jpg

:)

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Jazzy Jan    0

I always remember this song and video as it was filmed at Port Arthur in Tasmania. As half of my family is Tasmanian and I spend so much time in Tasmania, this video about a man who was sent to Port Arthur as a convict and his love he left behind always seemed so sad.

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Shine    0

That's from the Rumour album I mentioned earlier. As for Physical, she did almost the full album in videos for an HBO special called "Olivia Down Under". It was later released on VHS and laserdisc.

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Shine    0

33 years ago today, Xanadu ( the movie ) was released in the US :

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Larkspur    0

^ Wow 33 years ago. I love the concept of this movie more than the actual movie itself but it's still always been a favorite. I love Gene Kelly and the soundtrack is great.

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nemo64    0

Playing the Xanadu soundtrack right now. Still fantastic and I can't believe it's been 33 years! The songs by John Farrar and collab with ELO was perfect.

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Larkspur    0

^ I think so too. I think John Farrar was also a wonderful songwriter for Olivia. I think they compliment each other.

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Shine    0

Thief, the rock era started in 1955, so I meant for that whole period. :)

Oh I thought you were talking about Olivia's career :lol:

Another Xanadu gem we can briefly hear in the movie right before Whenever you're away from me, when Gene Kelly's character is playing that Glen Miller record, there's a song by Olivia with does not appear on the soundtrack album, but was released as a B-side for the UK Suddenly single : You made me love you - before that, it was a b-Side for Judy Garland's Over the Rainbow (which Olivia covered 9 years later)

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mamifero    0

After watching Xanadu (33 years ago) I thought it was the GREATEST MOVIE MUSICAL OF ALL TIME :laugh:

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Love her.Even w/ the face work (very shiny, possibly 'enhanced' cheeks etc..lol), I still think she looks amazing at 65! Theres def. been work but not at all Cher or Joan Rivers crazy (subtle). My favs are def. Twist Of Fate, Little More Love, Living In Desperate Times (verrry dated 80s sound but still love it lol) and a few others.

I actually think Physical is one of her most dated, cheesiest (though bad cheesy) and tired songs yet is the biggest song of the 80s lol. Just shows, like today, some songs are all about the timing. Physical came out right at the dawn/ boom the 80s exercise craze and considered 'hip'- almost like many EDM or hip hop songs today :# Crazy lol. It was considered fresh and was such a mega hit and even continued to get radio love throughout the 80s but seemed to just crash since then and is almost cringe worthy now lol. Though, its one of those songs that an easy target for a modern day big named diva to use as an influence or take something from it (whether as a sample or lyric) but make it sound contemporary. I dont think many have sampled or covered it.

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Shine    0

I dont think many have sampled or covered it.

I can only think of Goldfrapp right now

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HolidayGuy    0

Let's not forget the re-recording of "Physical"- featuring Olivia- that appeared on the Hot 100 in recent years:

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