1981 Olivia Newton-John – Physical

Physical is the ninth full length studio album by Australian singer-songwriter Olivia Newton-John, released on 13 October 1981 by MCA Records. The album was produced and partly written by her long-time producer John Farrar. Recorded and mixed at David J. Holman’s studio in Hollywood, California. Physical continues the pop style in which Newton-John moved towards after Grease and her new-imaged album Totally Hot, becoming one of her most controversial and sexual records, and her most successful studio album to date. Musically, the album features songs with a considerable use of synthesizers. Physical explores lyrical themes such as love & relationships, sex, kinesthetics and environmental protection. Upon on its release, the album received generally positive reviews from music critics, many of them considering it as Newton-John’s best work. The album reached top ten in several countries across the world — including the United States, Japan and her native Australia, becoming one of the most successful albums of the early 1980s. It is also one of the best selling albums ever by an Australian solo artist, selling more than ten million copies worldwide.

The album’s title track, which was released as a lead single, was a commercial phenomenon, staying ten weeks atop the Billboard Hot 100, the biggest setting at the time which was tied up with Debby Boone’s 1977 hit single “You Light Up My Life”. The song and its music video were very polemical, being banned or edited from several radio stations and music televisions such as MTV, due to its sexual and LGBT-themed content. The single was followed by “Make a Move on Me”, another top ten worldwide hit, and “Landslide”, which failed to enter into the majority of musical charts, but its music video caught the public’s attention, specifically to the featured participation of Matt Lattanzi on the video, Newton-John’s then-boyfriend and lately became her then-husband at that time in which she had also dedicated the album to him. A video compilation was made entitled Olivia Physical, featuring her music videos of all of the songs from the album. The material was a commercial and critical success, and earned her a Grammy Award for Video of the Year.

The album was promoted on Newton-John’s fifth concert tour in 1982, the Physical Tour, in which she only visited North America and filmed for the television, also recorded for its home video released entitled Olivia in Concert. The Physical era marked the height of Newton-John’s solo career, who was considered for several media vehicles such as Billboard and Cashbox as one of the most successful female artists of the early 1980s.

Tracks

Landslide (John Farrar) 4:22
2  Stranger’s Touch (John Farrar, Steve Kipner) 3:49
Make A Move On Me (John Farrar, Tom Snow) 3:16
4  Falling (John Farrar) 3:44
5  Love Make Me Strong (Sue Shifrin, Terry Britten) 3:08
Physical (Steve Kipner, Terry Shaddick) 3:44
7  Silvery Rain (Hank Marvin) 3:39
8  Carried Away (Albhy Galuten, Barry Gibb) 3:42
9  Recovery (John Farrar, Tom Snow) 4:18
10  The Promise (The Dolphin Song) (Olivia Newton-John) 4:29

Musicians

1 Landslide

Bass John Farrar
Drums Carlos Vega
Guitar John Farrar
Synthesizer Michael Boddicker
Vocoder John Farrar
Percussion Carlos Vega


2 Stranger’s Touch

Bass John Farrar
Drums Carlos Vega
Guitar John Farrar
Synthesizer Michael Boddicker
Vocoder John Farrar
Background Vocals John Farrar


3 Make A Move On Me

Bass John Farrar
Drums Carlos Vega
Guitar John Farrar
Synthesizer John Farrar
Background Vocals John Farrar
Synthesizer Tom Snow
Background Vocals John Farrar


4 Falling

Bass John Farrar
Cymbal Mike Botts
Guitar John Farrar
Synthesizer Michael Boddicker
Synthesizer Bill Cuomo
Background Vocals John Farrar


5 Love Make Me Strong

Bass John Farrar
Drums Carlos Vega
Guitar John Farrar
Piano Michael Boddicker
Synthesizer Michael Boddicker
Vocoder Michael Boddicker
Percussion Carlos Vega
Background Vocals John Farrar


6 Physical

Bass David Hungate
Drums Carlos Vega
Guitar (solo) Steve Lukather
Guitar John Farrar
Synthesizer Bill Cuomo
Sax Gary Herbig
Percussion Lenny Castro


7 Silvery Rain

Bass (synthesizer) John Farrar
Drums Carlos Vega
Guitar John Farrar
Synthesizer Michael Boddicker
Background Vocals John Farrar
Percussion Mike Botts


8 Carried Away

Bass John Farrar
Drums Carlos Vega
Guitar John Farrar
Acoustic Guitar Steve Lukather
Piano Tom Snow
Piano John Hobbs
Synthesizer John Hobbs
Synthesizer Michael Boddicker
Vocoder John Farrar
Background Vocals John Farrar


9 Recovery

Bass John Farrar
Drums Mike Botts
Guitar John Farrar
Synthesizer Tom Snow
Marimba Victor Feldman
Percussion Lenny Castro
Background Vocals John Farrar


10 The Promise (The Dolphin Song)

Bass John Farrar
Drums Carlos Vega
Guitar John Farrar
Synthesizer Michael Boddicker

Liner Notes

Producer – John Farrar
Engineer (Re-mastering) – William Bowden
Mastered By – Doug Sax, Mike Reese
Mixed By – David J. Holman
Other (Re-mastering Supervisor) – Glenn Aird
Recorded By – David J. Holman

Art Direction, Design – George Osaki
Artwork (Graphics) – Gribbitt!, Michael Kevin Lee
Photography – Herb Ritts

Mastered At – The Mastering Lab
Licensed From – ONJ Productions
Licensed To – Festival Manufacturing Pty. Ltd.
Made By – Festival Records Pty. Ltd.
Manufactured By – Festival Manufacturing Pty. Ltd.
Distributed By – Festival Records Retail Marketing Division
Phonographic Copyright (p) – ONJ Productions