Our Top 10 Olivia Newton-John songs list looks back at the career of a big selling artist who had many hit singles that shaped 1970s pop music. In the early 1970s she was able to cross the genres of pop music and country music in the same fashion that artists like Linda Ronstadt and The Eagles did. However, she was always considered more soft rock than those artists. Nonetheless, she would attempt to change her image many times trying to shed the innocent girl next door image that evolved during her “Have You Never Been Mellow,” days. That transformation would be fueled by her starring role next to John Travolta in the 1978 motion picture Grease. Her emergence at the end of the film into the leather tuscadero pants must have triggered something. In 1978 she released the album Totally Hot, that defined her new sensual image. That album would be followed up in 1981 by the very successful record “Physical.” The transformation was complete and it was all very successful.
Looking back at the career of Olivia Newton-John one will find one of the most successful musical artists of all time from a commercial perspective. She is one of pop culture’s biggest selling artists achieving sales of over 100 million records. There are not many that come that close. Since 1971, Olivia Newton John has released twenty eight albums and seventy one singles. She has starred in multiple motion pictures including two films with John Travolta including the original Grease and the 1981 film Two Of A Kind. She also starred in the motion picture Xanadu with legendary actor and dancer Gene Kelly.
Our Top 10 Olivia Newton-John songs list looks to showcase some of her biggest hits. This one will bring you back in time………..
# 10 – Let Me Be There
We open up our top 10 Olivia Newton-John songs list with the classic country rock song entitled “Let Me Be There.” We thought it would be great to open up the list with Olivia Newton-John’s first top 10 single of her career. The song was released on the album also entitled Let Me Be There. It was the first single released from the album. The album was released in 1973. The song was a huge hit on the US Billboard Hot 100 peaking at number six. The song also was a hit on the US Billboard Hot Country Charts reaching all the way up to number seven. The song was a hit on the Australian Music Charts peaking at number eleven. The song broke onto the US Billboard Adult Contemporary Charts peaking at number three. “Let Me Be There” would also become a staple of Elvis Presley concerts in the 1970s.
# 9 – The Rumour
Continuing with our top 10 Olivia Newton-John songs list we take a listen to the great song entitled “The Rumour.” We followed up the country pop song “Let Me Be There,” with the song “The Rumour,” to show the radical transformation that Olivia Newton-John went through from her early days as a country singer to her 80s dance pop sound. Look at her image in the video and how dramatically different she looks. Its big 80s hair Olivia.
The energetic dance song “The Rumour,” was released on the album entitled The Rumour. The album was released in 1988. It was the first single released from the album. The song was a hit on the US Billboard Hot 100 peaking at number sixty two. The song also broke onto the US Billboard Adult Contemporary Charts peaking at number thirty three.
# 8 -Deeper Than The Night
In the number eight spot on our top 10 Olivia Newton-John songs list we present the dark dance song entitled “Deeper Than The Night.” This is a really great song and probably one of the forgotten gems of Olivia Newton-John’s catalogue. The song was released on the album entitled Totally Hot. The album was released in 1979. It was a year in which Donna Summer and The Bee Gees were still having great success with their disco sound, Although bands like The Knack and The Cars were starting to win the battle of the radio as New Wave was converting many music fans.
# 7 – Please Mr. Please
In the number seven position on our top 10 Olivia Newton-John songs list is the heartbreaking song entitled “Please Mr. Please.” The song was released on the album entitled Have You Never Been Mellow. The album was released in 1974. “Please Mr. Please,” was the second single released from the album. The song was a hit on the US Billboard Hot 100 peaking at number three. It would also become her second straight number one single on the US Billboard Adult Contemporary Charts.The song also hit number one in Canada. I wonder how many people looked up B17 on jukeboxes around the country when this song came out.
# 6 – A Little More Love
Landing in the number six spot on our top 10 Olivia Newton-John songs list we present the song “A Little More Love.” This was the song that continued the makeover of Olivia Newton John that we first got a glimpse of in the final scene from Grease. The song was released on the album entitled Totally Hot. The album was released in 1978. It was the first single released from the album. The song was a hit on the US Billboard Hot 100 peaking all the way up to at number one. This was a huge musical departure for Olivia Newton John. Yet, she was just getting started as she entered the second phase of her magical musical career.
# 5 – Magic / Suddenly
At the halfway point on our top 10 Olivia Newton-John songs list is a tie between two songs that were featured on the soundtrack album to the motion picture entitled Xanadu. Both of these great songs entitled “Magic,” and “Suddenly,” were huge hit singles on the Billboard Hot 100. The song “Suddenly,” was a duet between Olivia Newton-John and the legendary singer Cliff Richard who was one of the biggest rock stars of all time in the UK and who had a huge hit in the USA entitled “Devil Woman.”
# 4 – Physical
At the number four spot on our top 10 Olivia Newton-John songs list we present the song entitled “Physical.” Many people would say that this was the biggest song of Olivia Newton-John’s career. It’s tough to argue against that because this song was huge. Just compare the album cover of Physical to Have You Never Been Mellow and you will be blown away by the image change. The video for the song was put into heavy rotation on MTV and Vh1 when it was released in 198. However its very cringy and we just could not bare to watch it again. It’s not one of our favorite Olivia Newton-John songs, but the song’s success forced us to put it this high on the list. We are a history site. The song hit number one on the US Billboard Hit 100 in 1981.
# 3 – The Grease Soundtrack: “Summer Nights, You’re The One That I Want, Hopelessly Devoted to You.”
It was really tough trying to figure out where to put the songs from the Grease soundtrack on this top 10 Olivia Newton-John songs list. She had three massive hit singles from the soundtrack. The songs we’re not just hits in the 70s they have become staples in pop culture over the past 40 years. How could we really separate them on a top 10 list. The top 10 Olivia Newton-John songs list was composed also to present readers an overall view of Olivia Newton-John career. So we really didn’t want to take up almost a third of the list on songs from the Grease soundtrack. However these were huge monster hits that really deserve to be mentioned and so we decided just put them all together into one spot on our top 10 Olivia Newton-John songs list.
The Grease Soundtrack sold close to forty million copies around the world. Not only did that make it one of the biggest selling soundtrack albums of all time, it made it simply one of the biggest selling albums of all time. Each one of these three songs hit number one somewhere in the world. All three songs hit number one in the United States in 1978. There were also other big hit singles from the record including Frankie Valli’s title track. And again, you can’t mention the career of Olivia Newton-John without mentioning these songs from the Grease Soundtrack. Do we believe they’re the best songs she ever recorded? Well they are up there. Yet for the number one and two spots we decided to go with two songs from the earlier part of her career that we thought were very special and simply belonged all to her.
# 2 – I Honestly Love You
In the number two spot on our top 10 Olivia Newton-John songs list we celebrate the song “I Honestly Love You.” Every time I hear this song I am reminded of the scene in Jaws where Roy Scheider is walking along the beach and you can hear this song playing on one of the sunbather’s transistor radios. I wish I could remember the song differently but Jaws was a pretty powerful movie that you never forget. “I Honestly Love You,” is not a song with a big chorus. It’s a song with an incredible hook and verse that everyone fell in love with. Olivia Newton-John vocal performance on the song was so genuine that you just wish it was you that she was in love with. The song melted your heart and did you in instantly.
“I Honestly Love You,” was released on the album entitled If You Love Me, Let Me Know. The album was released in 1974. It was the second single released from the album. “I Honestly Love You,” would become Olivia Newton-John’s first number one single of her career. The song went all the way to number one on the US Billboard Hot 100. In the United States the song also hit number one on the US Billboard Adult Contemporary Charts. The song was also a number one a hit on the Australian Music Charts and the Canadian Music Charts. Yes, this was a very successful song.
# 1 – Have You Never Been Mellow
Some may argue with our number one choice because of all the success Olivia Newton- John had with “I Honestly Love You,” and of course her Grease and Xanadu soundtrack songs. Yet, this was the song that turned so many people onto Olivia Newton John in the first place if “I Honestly Love You,” had not already captured their hearts. The songs chorus was just so stunningly strong and served as a masterclass in how to write a fabulous chorus to a song. The single “Have You Never Been Mellow,” was another monumental hit for Olivia Newton-John. It was an amazing follow up to “I Honestly Love You.”
The extraordinary song “Have You Never Been Mellow,” was released on the album also entitled Have You Never Been Mellow. The album was released in 1974. It was the first single released from the album. The song was a major hit on the US Billboard Hot 100 peaking at number one. It also hit number one on the US Billboard Adult Contemporary Charts. In Canada, the single hit number one on just about every music chart in the country. North America fell in love with the British Australian singer we knew as Olivia Newton-John in 1974. She would become on of the most popular singers of the the 1970s with these songs from 1974 and 1975. And of course her popularity crossed over to all ages with her success in the Grease film.
Top 10 Olivia Newton-John Songs article published on Classic RockHistory.com© 2021
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