40/40: The Best Selection is a comprehensive double-disc career overview of Olivia Newton-John designed to celebrate her four decades in show business. Yes, the compilation runs 40 tracks, but this is not designed to showcase each era of Olivia's career in equal measure. Perhaps there are a few more latter-day cuts than most audiences would know, and maybe there are a few more early tracks than needed, but all the big hits are here, from the early mellow country-rock to the slick soft rock and melodic disco of the turn of the '80s. Compared to the U.S. compilation Gold, this isn't quite as good - there's too much of the two bookends of a long career - but it does have what most casual audiences require: all the hits, all sounding as good as they ever have.
"Let Me Be There" is a 1973 album by Olivia Newton-John. The American publication of this 1973 album by MCA Records used the cover art from Olivia's 1972 LP record "Olivia" which was not released by MCA. Some of its songs were taken for the U.S. publication, such as song titles from the British publications of the albums "If Not for You" and "Olivia". Though the title song was a commercial failure in England, it was Olivia Newton-John's first American Top Ten hit, successfully boosting her singing career in North America. She had previously charted in the Billboard Top 40 with the song "If Not for You".
Olivia Newton-John's Greatest Hits (1977) was the first compilation album released by Olivia Newton-John in the United States. (In some other regions, Newton-John released a 1974 compilation, First Impressions. This album was therefore marketed instead as Greatest Hits Vol. 2 and featured a different track listing.) The album collected all of Newton-John's American Top 40 singles released between 1971 and 1977. "Changes" was the only track not released as a single, but it was one of Newton-John's first self-written songs that she recorded. The album was Newton-John's first platinum certification peaking No. 13 Pop and No. 7 Country. It ended up being certified double Platinum in the US and Gold in the UK and in Hong Kong.
Totally Hot is one of the most fun albums from Olivia Newton John. Total abandon is its trademark, the atmosphere lightened up a bit, and from top to bottom it is one of her most satisfying projects. "Please Don't Keep Me Waiting" is a girl group all grown up. Is it Newton-John's voice or Michael Botticker's synthesizer at the end of the first track? A little jarring for her country audience, but she takes care of them on "Dancin' 'Round and 'Round,"…
"Physical" became such a monster hit – not just a hit, but a pop-culture phenomenon that was impossible to escape – that it became difficult to view its accompanying album as anything other than a conduit for the single. The thing was, Physical was a damn good record, in many ways one of Olivia Newton-John's very best.
While Olivia Newton-John's isn't exactly the ultimate collection for the holidays, her rendition of Christmas songs are beautifully orchestrated and perfect for a quiet holiday with family.