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Thread: R.I.P. Olivia Newton-John

  1. #26
    Insect Overlord Progatron's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve F. View Post
    I don’t think that I ever heard of this movie, but GENE KELLY!!
    Yep, with his usual charm and big smile. At almost 70 years old, he was doing a tap dance routine with ONJ.

    The movie was a flop, but like Rocky Horror, it has a cult following. And the soundtrack by ELO was very successful, particularly the songs Magic and Xanadu.
    Interviewer of reprobate ne'er-do-well musicians of the long-haired rock n' roll persuasion at: www.velvetthunder.co.uk and former scribe at Classic Rock Society. Only vaguely aware of anything other than music.

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  2. #27
    Member Steve F.'s Avatar
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    Well…. from Wikipedia

    “ Georgina Emma Mary Born, OBE FBA is a British academic, anthropologist, musicologist and musician. As a musician she is known as Georgie Born and for her work in Henry Cow and with Lindsay Cooper.

    Born was born in Wheatley, Oxfordshire, the granddaughter of the physicist and Nobel laureate Max Born, daughter of the pharmacologist Gustav Born and Ann Plowden-Wardlaw, stepdaughter of American theatre director and writer George Mully, and cousin of the pop singer Olivia Newton-John.”
    Steve F.

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    “Remember, if it doesn't say "Cuneiform," it's not prog!” - THE Jed Levin

    Any time any one speaks to me about any musical project, the one absolute given is "it will not make big money". [tip of the hat to HK]

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  3. #28
    Member Digital_Man's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ronmac View Post
    No doubt.

    Hat hangers.
    Not anymore.
    You can't take a photograph of Uzis on a street corner.

  4. #29
    Quote Originally Posted by Steve F. View Post
    Well…. from Wikipedia

    “ Georgina Emma Mary Born, OBE FBA is a British academic, anthropologist, musicologist and musician. As a musician she is known as Georgie Born and for her work in Henry Cow and with Lindsay Cooper.

    Born was born in Wheatley, Oxfordshire, the granddaughter of the physicist and Nobel laureate Max Born, daughter of the pharmacologist Gustav Born and Ann Plowden-Wardlaw, stepdaughter of American theatre director and writer George Mully, and cousin of the pop singer Olivia Newton-John.”
    Wow, that's a connection I didn't see coming!

  5. #30
    Quote Originally Posted by Steve F. View Post
    I don’t think that I ever heard of this movie, but GENE KELLY!!
    You've never heard of Xanadu?! Dude, what alternate universe were you living in 1980?!

    I always dug this movie. They used the exterior of the Pan Pacific Auditorium, a closed concert hall that they had hoped would be revived due to it's connection to this movie. Of course, the film flopped, the Pan Pacific stayed closed (and tragically, burned down in the late 80's), and that was that.

    Michael Beck, who played Olivia's lvoe interest in the picture had a funny line about the film. About a year earlier, he had been in a movie you also probably never heard of called Warriors, where he played a member of a street gang traversing hostile territory in NYC, in a bid to make it home to Coney Island. So this how he described the situation: "Warriors opened a lot of doors for me, all of which were slammed shut by Xanadu".

    Oh, and this movie also has what I consider to be one of the ultimate pre-CGI special effects sequences (and by extension, therefore, one of the best EFX sequences PERIOD!):


  6. #31
    Quote Originally Posted by Progatron View Post
    The movie was a flop, but like Rocky Horror, it has a cult following. And the soundtrack by ELO was very successful, particularly the songs Magic and Xanadu.
    Slight correction: Jeff Lynne wrote half the soundtrack (including the title song) and Olivia's collaborator at the time John Farrar wrote the other half (including "Magic"). As I mentioned earlier in the thread that was her best musical era for my taste.

  7. #32
    Member Digital_Man's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GuitarGeek View Post
    You've never heard of Xanadu?! Dude, what alternate universe were you living in 1980?!

    I always dug this movie. They used the exterior of the Pan Pacific Auditorium, a closed concert hall that they had hoped would be revived due to it's connection to this movie. Of course, the film flopped, the Pan Pacific stayed closed (and tragically, burned down in the late 80's), and that was that.

    Michael Beck, who played Olivia's lvoe interest in the picture had a funny line about the film. About a year earlier, he had been in a movie you also probably never heard of called Warriors, where he played a member of a street gang traversing hostile territory in NYC, in a bid to make it home to Coney Island. So this how he described the situation: "Warriors opened a lot of doors for me, all of which were slammed shut by Xanadu".

    Oh, and this movie also has what I consider to be one of the ultimate pre-CGI special effects sequences (and by extension, therefore, one of the best EFX sequences PERIOD!):

    Plus how bad can any movie really be that has the Tubes in it? I've never seen it but I typically don't always buy into the negative reputations that some movies get. I like to make up my own mind.
    You can't take a photograph of Uzis on a street corner.

  8. #33
    Insect Overlord Progatron's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pb2015 View Post
    Slight correction: Jeff Lynne wrote half the soundtrack (including the title song) and Olivia's collaborator at the time John Farrar wrote the other half (including "Magic"). As I mentioned earlier in the thread that was her best musical era for my taste.
    Interesting, I stand corrected! And I love that movie, so it's not due to lack of interest that I didn't know that. But is the music for Magic not played by ELO? It sure sounds like it to me.

    As for Michael Beck, I think he was dreadful (he's no Travolta). But the songs, Gene Kelly, and ONJ totally save the film IMO.
    Interviewer of reprobate ne'er-do-well musicians of the long-haired rock n' roll persuasion at: www.velvetthunder.co.uk and former scribe at Classic Rock Society. Only vaguely aware of anything other than music.

    'The best stuff is really when Mick Pointer was a baby, banging on pots and pans. That was their most "out there" stuff.' - JKL2000

  9. #34
    Xanadu wasn’t exactly a dignified exit for Gene Kelly but still, better that than the movie he made just before (Viva Knievel!). Xanadu is pretty awful, actually, in part because so much of it is built around Michael Beck, who as has been previously stated, is terrible. As has been stated by a friend, he’s a “charisma sink,” i.e.: his lack of charisma is so great, it sucks it away from his fellow performers. The film has its moments, though. It does have an enjoyable soundtrack, and those early 80s visual effects are just bursting with period charm. And that scene with the Tubes rules!

    Olivia and I go way back. Way back. “Please Mr. Please” was one of the first records I ever bought, at the tender age of five. But my favorite song of hers has already been mentioned up-thread, “A Little More Love” off of the Totally Hot album, which was the bridge between Grease and Xanadu, and a step beyond the country-pop and adult contemporary that populated her earlier records. I think it’s easily her best vocal performance. She absolutely kills it on this song!



    I was also reminded of her version of Randy Edelman’s “If Love Is Real,” which immediately pre-dated Grease. I’m probably completely destroying my credibility by admitting that I hate Black Sabbath, but I love this, but I’m over 50 and don’t give a f*%$ anymore!



    Not to mention her earlier movie, the ridiculously obscure Toomorrow, which makes Xanadu look like a classic:

    Confirmed Bachelors: the dramedy hit of 1883...

  10. #35
    Member Steve F.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GuitarGeek View Post
    You've never heard of Xanadu?! Dude, what alternate universe were you living in 1980?!
    The one where I could avoid most popular culture as much as possible. Me 'n' the fluffy cloud are still residing there.
    Steve F.

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    www.cuneiformrecords.com

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    “Remember, if it doesn't say "Cuneiform," it's not prog!” - THE Jed Levin

    Any time any one speaks to me about any musical project, the one absolute given is "it will not make big money". [tip of the hat to HK]

    "Death to false 'support the scene' prog!"

    please add 'imo' wherever you like, to avoid offending those easily offended.

  11. #36
    Member Rajaz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pb2015 View Post
    Slight correction: Jeff Lynne wrote half the soundtrack (including the title song)
    Jeff re-recorded the title song with his own vocals (instead of Olivia's original that I prefer IMHO) and gave it a whole different feel, but it's ELO all the way.

  12. #37
    Quote Originally Posted by Steve F. View Post
    The one where I could avoid most popular culture as much as possible. Me 'n' the fluffy cloud are still residing there.

    And thus my image of you in bell bottoms and rollerskates, tearing it up on the skating rink in between Random Radar office meetings, is crushed now and forever.
    If you're actually reading this then chances are you already have my last album but if NOT and you're curious:
    https://battema.bandcamp.com/

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  13. #38
    Member Steve F.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by battema View Post
    And thus my image of you in bell bottoms and rollerskates, tearing it up on the skating rink in between Random Radar office meetings, is crushed now and forever.
    What a great image. Thank you.
    Steve F.

    www.waysidemusic.com
    www.cuneiformrecords.com

    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

    “Remember, if it doesn't say "Cuneiform," it's not prog!” - THE Jed Levin

    Any time any one speaks to me about any musical project, the one absolute given is "it will not make big money". [tip of the hat to HK]

    "Death to false 'support the scene' prog!"

    please add 'imo' wherever you like, to avoid offending those easily offended.

  14. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by Progatron View Post
    But is the music for Magic not played by ELO? It sure sounds like it to me.
    According to Wiki:

    Personnel
    Olivia Newton-John – lead and backing vocals
    John Farrar – electric guitars, electric piano, synthesizers and backing vocals
    David Hungate – bass
    Carlos Vega – drums and percussion
    Strings arranged and conducted by Richard Hewson
    David J. Holman – engineering and mixing

  15. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rajaz View Post
    Jeff re-recorded the title song with his own vocals (instead of Olivia's original that I prefer IMHO) and gave it a whole different feel, but it's ELO all the way.
    Where does this appear?

  16. #41
    Insect Overlord Progatron's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Roth View Post
    Where does this appear?
    Interviewer of reprobate ne'er-do-well musicians of the long-haired rock n' roll persuasion at: www.velvetthunder.co.uk and former scribe at Classic Rock Society. Only vaguely aware of anything other than music.

    'The best stuff is really when Mick Pointer was a baby, banging on pots and pans. That was their most "out there" stuff.' - JKL2000

  17. #42
    Moderator Sean's Avatar
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    "But is the music for Magic not played by ELO? It sure sounds like it to me."

    The first side of the record is all ONJ tunes played by some of the best studio cats of the day. Side two is the ELO side. I play in an ELO tribute and have peeled apart dozens of ELO tunes. Jeff Lynne never wrote anything quite as harmonically compelling as "Magic". "Xanadu" is obviously one of his and has some of his fave musical moves in it.

    The remake of "Xanadu" sounds like he threw it in the Wilbury's blender. It's OK-ish but lacks the, err, magic of the original.

  18. #43
    Member dropforge's Avatar
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    If someone says they've "never heard of" Xanadu...don't believe 'em.

  19. #44
    Member Digital_Man's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dropforge View Post
    If someone says they've "never heard of" Xanadu...don't believe 'em.
    Especially if they are a Rush fan.
    You can't take a photograph of Uzis on a street corner.

  20. #45
    Quote Originally Posted by Digital_Man View Post
    Especially if they are a Rush fan.
    Or Orson Wells
    "Don't look here. The joke's in your hand."

    - Public Restroom Wall

  21. #46
    Quote Originally Posted by ronmac View Post
    Or Orson Wells
    Or Samuel Taylor Coleridge.
    Confirmed Bachelors: the dramedy hit of 1883...

  22. #47
    Member dropforge's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Progbear View Post
    Or Samuel Taylor Coleridge.
    Or https://www.discogs.com/artist/4993974-Xanadu-17

  23. #48
    Quote Originally Posted by Steve F. View Post
    Well…. from Wikipedia

    “ Georgina Emma Mary Born, OBE FBA is a British academic, anthropologist, musicologist and musician. As a musician she is known as Georgie Born and for her work in Henry Cow and with Lindsay Cooper.

    Born was born in Wheatley, Oxfordshire, the granddaughter of the physicist and Nobel laureate Max Born, daughter of the pharmacologist Gustav Born and Ann Plowden-Wardlaw, stepdaughter of American theatre director and writer George Mully, and cousin of the pop singer Olivia Newton-John.”
    Apparently as youngsters they even knew and spoke quite frequently as relatives, seeing how both family branches were "auteurs" and consequently with intellectual/academic as well as artistic credit to the fore.

    When Born gave a lecture on 'The question of postmodernist traits of fine-versus-popular arts' at the University of Bergen in approx. 1999 (a joint venture of the institutes of Sociology, Social-Anthropology and the Grieg Academy/conservatory), she eventually decried postmodernist approach to creative arts and to much buzz indeed referred to the phenomenon of her cousin as point of interpretation. This was in itself very interesting, as most attendees seemingly were a) never aware or acquainted with Born's own musical merits, or b) if they were, didn't know a thing about her relation to Olivia Newton-John. A student fellow of mine who spoke to Born after the lecture, asked her about Newton-John's incessant charm and smile and got the response that it was all genuine and just the feat of a "[...] good soul".

    I'll -never- forget when my dad brought the Xanadu cassette to the car-stereo after buying it at a gas-station stopover during one of our endless holiday drives. I believe it must have been Christmas 1980, because he kept the windows closed due to cold air. He unwrapped it tepidly yet decidedly from a slick plastic covering exactly similar to how his move was on opening another pack of Marlboros and duly filled the coupé with toxic smog as well as sound as loud as shit, and then the three of us innocent others would have to sit and take it throughout the ride. And then he kept rewinding the bloody thing to simply repeat that one damn tune, as he'd heard it on the radio and wanted it for himself. And still I keep recalling it with at least some level of emotive fallacy now that Newton-John is gone and my dad's soon to go.

    The film (Xanadu) was certainly dreadful, and the other tracks on that album weren't even near the sheer effect of gladness once I got to hear the rest. Typically, of course, when I started digging into ELO's back catalog as a record-collecting teenager myself, I got the vinyl (for £ 2, IIRC). And soon sold it. Truly terrible. I only keep the 1979 Greatest Hits of ELO nowadays, although that one's an absolute killer anthology of songs.

    But I've still got fond memories of Olivia's smile and thought the saddest of her passing. She went through bounts of fights with breast cancer in her adult life, IINM.
    "Improvisation is not an excuse for musical laziness" - Fred Frith
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  24. #49
    Quote Originally Posted by dropforge View Post
    No takers for Dave Dee Dozy Beaky Mick and Titch? Shame on you all.

  25. #50
    Quote Originally Posted by Jerjo View Post
    RIP to a good person who did a lot in the last couple decades to raise funds and awareness for cancer.

    I could not MEH hard enough in regards to her music but hey, she brought a lot of joy to people who like insipid pop. I'd rather hit my balls with a ball peen hammer than watch Grease. In regards to the album covers, she was fine but Ronstadt was in a class by herself.
    Just the first notes of "You're The One I Want" has me racing for the off switch but I stop short of hammering my goolies.

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