Olivia Newton-John, First Impressions: Greatest Hits (1975)
I was at an Olivia Newton-John concert once; notice I didn’t say I went to. I was at, it wasn’t my choice. I had agreed to review the Mission concert one year and the headliner was Chris de Burgh – but he had been announced after they put up the tickets, they tried to get people to buy into the gig – as an event – before announcing the act. It failed. And so a bunch of people turned up determined to get super-drunk since it had cost them heaps. To sweeten the deal, Olivia Neutron-Bomb was added to the bill and that meant that as soon as she did her medley of songs from Grease she was the hit of the night. It’s a classy affair after all, is the Mission. People were throwing up all over themselves while cheering, vomiting more while booing – and poor Chris de Burgh never stood a chance. I’m no fan of his work – not especially anyway. But he gave it his best, he left the stage to entertain the crowd, he played covers as well as his own songs, he pulled a string section on stage to do his signature hits. He was trying to be all things to all people. And all the people there had decided in advance that he was shit – because Olivia Newton-John had played up at playing some of her pop hits. Fuck, it was a truly awful crowd to be around – and in. Made worse by an awful hangover from a friend’s wedding the night before and a road-trip and so on…But that crowd was just revolting. As for Livs? Well, I always liked her cover of Bob Dylan’s If Not For You. And she played that. But apart from that I couldn’t tell you that I loved it; that I honest loved it. No chance. I remember thinking Chris de Burgh deserved a lot more from New Zealand. What a lasting impression that pissed-up crowd of fuckwits must have created for him.
Sample Track: I Love You, I Honestly Love You
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