Nine beautiful photos accompany the lyrics -- Olivia with horses, Olivia in the hay, Olivia with a doggy; following up the phenomenal success of Have You Never Been Mellow was pretty elementary -- Newton-John ruled the Top 40, adult contemporary, and country charts at this point in time. From the end of 1975 to early 1976, Clearly Love generated a Top 20 and two Top 30 hits: "Something Better to Do" and "Let It Shine" b/w "He Ain't Heavy...He's My Brother," respectively. They both topped the adult contemporary charts while the flip of "Let It Shine," a rare female-vocalist cover of "He Ain't Heavy...He's My Brother," also garnered radio and sales action. The choices for cover songs on this album are strange indeed: an unnecessary "Summertime Blues" which adds nothing to Eddie Cochran's song of hot-weather angst and the interesting remake of the Hollies' hit "He Ain't Heavy," with its big country-ballad ending to what started as a lilting love song. The gems here are what sound like Olivia Newton-John bread-and-butter staples -- "Slow Down Jackson," which is as bubbly and beautiful as "Have You Never Been Mellow"; "Crying, Laughing, Loving, Lying"; the stunning title track "Clearly Love"; along with, of course, the hits. "Let It Shine" has lots of country twang -- John Farrar's impeccable production was pretty much automatic after all their previous success. "Something Better to Do" might not be among her biggest hits, but the class and style the Newton-John/Farrar team brought to the table -- a prime example being this title -- was very well-crafted pop and set the stage for the movie soundtracks down the road, which would bring her back to chart dominance. The transition from the Linda Ronstadt soft rock of "Summertime Blues" to the harmonica-laden "Just a Lot of Folk (The Marshmallow Song)" had Newton-John covering all the bases. Very pleasant, inoffensive, and able to put the listener in a good mood, Clearly Love is a nice addition to Newton-John's collection.
Clearly Love Review
by Joe Viglione