People often talk lovingly about Olivia and her Star Quality: she was so likable, they say. And she was. But I think that simplifies her. Yes, she had a simple, wholesome, innocent quality. And no, the whole "bad girl" attempt was kind of hollow. There was nothing "bad" about Olivia Newton-John. What I think it was though, is that Olivia embraced her smarts. She knew she had a great voice...that wasn't the problem. I don't know how she met John Farrar; but when she put herself in his hands, that's when the Magic really happened.
He took her crystalline voice and dropped it into pop songs that had an unusual tempo. A bit of a dark side. A kind of mystery. Baselines that created a kind of suspense and turned them into little short stories. And I think that's why they hold up so well. Still sound so fresh when they play on the radio. I give you A Little More Love as my choice for her best song; and one of my favorites. It has all the qualities I mentioned. And that's John Farrar on the keyboards, goofing around. He doesn't have to be serious. He knows how good it is.
CFR August 9, 2022