Olivia Newton-John

Have You Never Been Mellow

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The hit single "Have You Never Been Mellow" carried Olivia Newton-John right back to number one, six months after "I Honestly Love You" brought the singer to that coveted position for the first time. The title track is a masterpiece of songwriting by her producer, John Farrar, an exquisitely pleasant melody with a sunny and peaceful theme. Having covered John Denver's "Take Me Home Country Roads" on the Let Me Be There album in 1973, Newton-John goes back to the Denver catalog twice on this project, including her beautiful rendition of one of his lesser-known gems, "Follow Me," with Farrar's lush country-pop instrumental backing. "The Air That I Breathe" was a hit for the Hollies when Newton-John was filling the airwaves with "I Honestly Love You"; she does a nice interpretation of the Albert Hammond/Mike Hazlewood song here, along with an intriguing look at Rick Nelson's "Lifestream." The album also includes a soulful reading of Graeme Hall's "And in the Morning" and a John Farrar/Hank Marvin composition, "It's So Easy," a fun melody that is not the Buddy Holly title of the same name. Years after it was recorded, Have You Never Been Mellow continued to stand as an entertaining and full album by a woman who would record hits for another 11 years. The title track opens the album and it closes with former producer Bruce Welch's co-write of "Please Mr. Please," a pretty pop tune that went Top Three. From beginning to end Have You Never Been Mellow is Olivia Newton-John showing why she could hold her own on the charts with as powerful a star as Elton John. Recorded at EMI Studios, London, it has impeccable sound and a special vibe.

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