Last month, Primary Wave delivered the second title in the label's ongoing Olivia Newton-John reissue program. The 2-CD edition of the late superstar's debut If Not for You not only presented a remastered version of the original LP but added a plethora of singles, B-sides, international recordings, outtakes, and the best of Olivia's performances with the group Toomorrow. This Friday, October 21, the series will continue with the first remaster of Newton-John's original 1977 Greatest Hits.
Greatest Hits succinctly encapsulated the artist's career to that point, from If Not for You through 1976's Come On Over (and pre-Grease/Xanadu/Physical). Produced - and in part, composed - by John Farrar, Greatest Hits became Newton-John's first Platinum-selling album (Double Platinum, in fact). It peaked at No. 13 Pop and No. 7 Country in the U.S., and repeated its success around the world including Platinum status in the U.K. and Canada, and Gold in Hong Kong.
Typical of the era, Greatest Hits was issued in various versions based on territory - five, in total: U.S. and Canada; U.K., Europe, Mexico, and South America; Scandinavia; Japan; Australia and New Zealand) with each LP featuring a different track listing of 12 or 14 songs. Primary Wave's upcoming reissue will include all 20 tracks released across the various international editions, including every one of Olivia's U.S. top 40 hits up to the time of its release (twelve of which reached the top ten) including her chart-topping renditions of Jeff Barry and Peter Allen's "I Honestly Love You" and John Farrar's "Have You Never Been Mellow." Other highlights include her AC No. 1 of Bob Dylan's "If Not for You," the Grammy-winning Pop/Country/AC crossover "Let Me Be There," John Rostill and Bruce Welch's "Please Mr. Please" (No. 3 Pop/No. 5 Country/No. 1 AC), the Don Black/Hank Marvin/John Farrar ballad "Sam" (another AC No. 1) and distinctive renditions of "The Air That I Breathe," "Jolene," and "Don't Cry for Me, Argentina." Olivia's own "Changes," one of her early compositions, is also included.
The upgraded Greatest Hits, produced for reissue by Vinny Vero, will be available on CD and 2-LP 180-gram vinyl, and for download/ streaming. The physical editions contain a booklet with a posthumous introduction from Olivia, new liner notes by Pete Paphides, and a discography of every single released by Olivia between 1971 and 1977.
While the CD, vinyl, and digital formats all have the same track listing, Japan will receive a special expanded edition on October 21. Greatest Hits: Japan Deluxe Edition, offered in SHM-CD format (playable in all CD players), brings together this Greatest Hits presentation with Volume 2, originally issued in 1982. It contains an exclusive double-sided poster and an introduction by Newton-John penned especially for her Japanese fans. It's all housed in a quad case.
That's still not all. On November 18, U.S. Target stores will release an exclusive 2-LP set. Greatest Hits 1971-1982 has the original U.S. 12-track configuration of the first Greatest Hits on light blue vinyl along with the original 10-song U.S. version of Olivia's Greatest Hits Volume 2 on pink vinyl. The two albums are packaged within a gatefold sleeve.
Olivia Newton-John's Greatest Hits: Deluxe Edition arrives from Primary Wave on Friday, October 21. You'll find pre-order links and the track listing below.
Olivia Newton-John's Greatest Hits: Deluxe Edition (Primary Wave, 2022)
CD: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K. / Amazon Canada
2LP: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K. / Amazon Canada
Target Exclusive 2LP: Target.com
Japan-Exclusive 2CD: CDJapan
- If Not for You
- Banks of the Ohio
- Love Song
- Take Me Home Country Roads
- Let Me Be There
- If You Love Me (Let Me Know)
- I Honestly Love You
- Have You Never Been Mellow
- Please Mr. Please
- The Air That I Breathe
- Something Better to Do
- Let It Shine
- Every Face Tells a Story
- Come on Over
- Don't Stop Believin'
- Don't Cry for Me, Argentina
- Making a Good Thing Better
Tracks 1-3 from If Not For You (outside of U.K.) / Olivia Newton-John (U.K.), 1971
Tracks 4 & 6 from Let Me Be There (U.S., Canada) / Music Makes My Day (U.K., Australia, Japan), 1973
Tracks 5, 7-8 from the albums If You Love Me, Let Me Know (U.S., Canada) / Olivia (U.K.,Australia), 1972
Tracks 9-11 from the album Have You Never Been Mellow, 1974
Tracks 12-13 from the album Clearly Love, 1975
Tracks 14, 17-18 from the album Don't Stop Believin', 1976
Tracks 15-16 from the album Come On Over, 1976
Tracks 19-20 from the album Making a Good Thing Better, 1977
Larry Davis says
Well I have the 2CD Gold, which is untouchable, but this has stuff not on that, so I may get it...I usually don't like multiple compilations, but this may be an exception...still need the INFY reissue, got the Physical one which is great & I might get the Target blue/pink double vinyl...RIP ONJ
Sadly nothing from Xanadu's soundtrack. Her songs are not available either on streaming
Joe Marchese says
Happily, "Magic," "Suddenly," and "Xanadu" are all on the second volume of GREATEST HITS which is being reissued on CD as part of the Japanese edition and on vinyl in the Target-exclusive 2LP set.
All the promo for this album states this covers Olivia's (RIP ON-J) output through her 1976 "Come On Over" album. Like this reissue, the original 1977 "Greatest Hits" album also compiled her Top 40 hits from her "Don't Stop Believin'" album that peaked in 1976 (the title track, #33) and 1977 ("Sam," #20) on the Hot 100. This reissue goes one album further by including tracks from her 1977 "Making A Good Thing Better" album - the title track (#87) and "Don't Cry For Me Argentina," the B-side to the 1977 "I Honestly Love You" (#48) re-release.
This album is also missing one of Olivia's Top 40 hits from that era - "He Ain't Heavy...He's My Brother." This was originally the A-side to her "Let It Shine" single, but was relegated to the B-side when "Shine" took off instead. The double-sided single eventually peaked at #30 on the Hot 100 (also #1 AC and #5 Country).
Pity Primary Wave can't get its facts right - Olivia's legacy deserves so much better.
Can't wait! She was my idol growing uo. My mother died when I was 12 AOlivia was my soul comforter listening to her music🤗🤗
The remastering and design should be nice, though I wish they had included What is life (a UK top 10 hit of the George Harrison song) and Long live love (also top 10 in the UK and a hit in her Australia too).
What Is Life would have been a much better choice than The Air That I Breathe. Was Air even a single? I don't recall it.
Air was not a single but as it was on the Australian version of this album (called volume 2) perhaps that's why they included it. They also included love song from the album that was also not a hit. The Aussie album also featured changes and 11 chart singles.
Wondering what or if they the Japanese record company will do something different for Greatest Hits Vol. 2 when it comes out?
Can’t Primary Wave/Vinny Vero get it right at least once? The ‘mastering’ is inconsistent. Listen closely to I Honestly Love You, crackles when he hits high notes toward the end. Volume for Let Me Be There is low compared to previous track. Gets worse when you listen to the Japanese Deluxe that includes Vol.2 … The Promise(as an example) also crackles at the high notes.
And… did no one proof the final design for the gatefold picture? It’s reversed!