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Reviews: Olivia Newton John: Come On Over

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Reviews: 3

Review by analogue December 6, 2011 (2 of 2 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:
Olivia Newton John......she of the gorgeous visage...the alluring eyes, flowing eye candy. But this belies the fact that she actually had a terrifc voice and was/is a very good singer. She can hit the highs in the treble region and overall her voice has great presence.

This fact is very much highlighted on this new shm sacd. This album has long been reknown for its excellent recording. Its more than obvious that a great studio space was used for the recording and that the tech's were very astute in their profession. And while I cant deny that this 1976 album sports the somewhat dated mid 70's studio production values..especially with the string section..I also have to admit its a good disc with surprising low end and mid range information. Sort of like a good vinyl record with slightly better up top information. And the star of this disc is the voice of Olivia Newton John.

Yes.....I know at this point she was into country music and to be sure there is alot of country flavoured tracks here.....but also some experimenting with pop sounds and more traditonal tracks like Greensleeves. Her cover of the Beatles Long and winding road is a standout track......not done schmaltzy or overly dramatic. Its rather sad, introspective and she holds herself back a tad so as not to overdo her performance. Just a beautiful vocal performance where she changes the vocal structure for maximum range. The title track is also great. Another standout is Pony Ride.....strong vocals and piano. Her voice is slightly holograghic and lifelike many times throughout this album. A floating quality. Great recording.
Actually the recording is so good you can actually hear her tongue clicking in her mouth on several occasions. Also the strain in her throat is heard as well.

The instruments are recorded very well...especially the bass. Acoustic guitars are great sounding. There is air throughout the disc....especially in her voice which has nice bloom to it. I would imagine a secondary tape source was used to create this disc........probably a tape copy used for the vinyl record way back in the day. The tapes are ever so slightly louder sounding that the absolute best shm sacd;s. Regardless the sonics on this shm sacd are very, very good and I am happy with the purchase.

As I said earlier..the star of this disc is the vocals of Ms. John which are rendered beautifully here from start to finish.
I was actually surprised at how good a singer John really is. She's not just a very pretty face.....the gal can really belt them out.
This disc was also mastered by a Japanese Tech and I am happy about this as they almost always do the very best work on these shm sacd;'s.

Highly recommended.

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Review by compassionateman March 4, 2012
Performance:   Sonics:
A big hit album in Japan but an under-performer in the US where she was huge at the time, probably explains Come On Over being Olivia Newton-John's first SA CD release. It's not my favourite album of hers. She was only 27 when this was first released and really should have been producing livlier fare than Greensleeves and The Long And Winding Road.

Come On Over has had a fair few CD outings and has never sounded bad. It's far too well recorded and produced for that. This one, of course, is the best yet. It has a warm, vinyl like quality which really draws you in. I was 13 when the original vinyl album was released and never had the benefit of a high-end record deck so I didn't spend too much time getting to know it, generally preferring the perkier follow up, Don't Stop Believin'.

It wasn't until I got the first CD edition in 1986 (a bare-bones MCA pressing) that I really began to appreciate it's subtle beauty. Suddenly, previously dismissed tracks like Pony Ride and Small Talk And Pride sprang into life. This feeling obviously intensifies with this 2011 SA CD version. Olivia, always an under-rated vocalist, really sounds like she's singing these songs directly into your ear and the arrangements and production, by John Farrar, are suitably lush.

Highlights include Olivia's take on Dolly Parton's Jolene, a smash in Japan but not released as a single anywhere else. It's far more melody reliant than Dolly's original, and divides people's opinions as to whether it's superior to Parton's version. I've always loved it, not least because it's one of the few upbeat tracks on COO. Here it truly shines, though as someone once said, Olivia would appear to be 'Jolene' herself, rather than the woman singing the song!

The title track, a cover from the Bee Gees Main Course album, was the only single released in the US and UK is similarly successful featuring a stunning, husky vocal from ONJ, and Gary Benson's 1975 minor hit, Don't Throw It All Away, is majestic in Olivia's hands. Much covered It'll Be Me was a funkier taste of what was to come on albums a couple of years down the line and Olivia adapts well to the changes.

The sleeve artwork is gorgeous, reproduced in a fold-out cardboard display featuring the picture inner too. Another plus!

So, is Come On Over worth your time? I'd say tentatively yes. It's not her best work but it is quite lovely and her voice is surely at it's peak here. The SA CD upgrade is an expensive one but I'm glad I got it. There's no 5.1 mix, but I doubt this album would benfit much from it anyway.

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Review by Solo man September 17, 2014 (1 of 1 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:
First off, Olivia Newton John is a beautiful woman inside and out. If you are contemplating buying this but just can't pull the trigger, I hope this helps. The imaging on this SHM SACD is fantastic and sounded as if Olivia was front and center with the instruments not too far back in the distance; like it is with most focused vocal recordings. The strings and piano are represented fairly good but not up as high as some recordings because her voice is mostly showcased without being overly controlling.

In my opinion, Olivia's vocals are strongly showcased in this SACD. Most fans of Olivia reminisce of her higher tones and her magnificent vebrato . As you already know there is a danger with singing this way because it can get pitchy and the control of breath can get out of hand. Why do I mention this because I found that her strong vebrato was not choppy but smooth and heard very little sibilance in her higher tones which can get fatiguing. The song " The Long And Winding Road" sounded so clean and you hear her control without pushing too far. This song alone ends the album so nicely that you walk away showing respect to that beautiful voice of hers.

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