The Best of Olivia Newton-John: The Millennium Collection
Hip-O / Universal
For nearly a decade, pop music was largely ruled by a pretty blonde Australian named Olivia Newton-John. Although her career started in country music, it was her ability to cross over into the adult contemporary and pop charts that made her a huge star, a star that went supernova when she starred as Sandy in Grease. Her super sweet image made her an oddly safe sex symbol. Although it has some notable exclusions and head scratching inclusions, The Best of Olivia Newton-John is nonetheless a pretty solid sampling of her career. There is no reason for “Deeper Than the Night ” to be on the disc, especially since ONJ’s best song ever, “If You Love Me, Let Me Know” was left off. The collection does span from her earliest country work through her attempt to shed her good girl image with “Physical.” It is, however, her good girl image that will always prevail. Just like Sandy in Grease, even if she changes her clothes and hair, she’s still sweet Sandra Dee inside, and ONJ will be the most fondly remembered for her whispery ballads like “Have You Never Been Mellow” or “I Honestly Love You.” No can touch ONJ in a soft ballad. Olivia Newton-John’s career has not been on the upswing for quite some time, and she spent several years as the punchline of jokes. A collection like this reminds one of her glory days and realize that she was quite the singer, and although her style may never fully come back into vogue,it can be fun to remember the good times.
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