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OLIVIA NEWTON-JOHN


Olivia Newton-John AO, OBE (born 26 September 1948 in Cambridge, United Kingdom) is a British-born, Australian-raised singer and actress. She is a four-time Grammy award winner who has amassed five No. 1 and ten other Top Ten Billboard Hot 100 singles  and two No. 1 Billboard 200 albums. Eleven of her singles (including two platinum) and 14 of her albums (including two platinum and four double platinum) have been certified gold by the RIAA. Many of her singles and albums were successful in multiple formats including Pop, Country and Adult Contemporary. She co-starred with John Travolta in the film adaptation of the Broadway musical, Grease, which became the highest grossing movie musical and one of the most successful film soundtracks in Hollywood history.

Newton-John has been a long-time activist for environmental and animal rights issues. Since having breast cancer in 1992, from which she recovered, she has been an advocate for health awareness becoming involved with various charities, health products and fundraising efforts to eradicate the disease. Her business interests have included launching several product lines for Koala Blue and co-owning the Gaia Retreat & Spa in Australia.
Newton-John has married twice and currently lives with her second husband, John Easterling, in Florida. She is the mother of one daughter, Chloe Lattanzi, with her first husband, actor Matt Lattanzi.

Olivia Newton-John was born in Cambridge, England, to a Welsh-born father, Brinley (“Bryn”) Newton-John, and a German-born mother, Irene Born (who was the eldest child of the Nobel prize winning atomic physicist Max Born). Newton-John is the youngest of three children, following brother Hugh, a doctor, and sister Rona, an actress and cast member of the Benny Hill Show once married to Grease co-star Jeff Conaway. Newton-John’s father was an MI5 officer on the Enigma project at Bletchley Park and was the officer who took Rudolph Hess into custody during World War II. Newton-John’s family emigrated in 1954 to Melbourne, Australia, where her father worked as a Professor of German and became the Master of Ormond College at the University of Melbourne.

At 14, Newton-John formed a short-lived all-girl band, Sol Four, with three classmates and often performed in a coffee shop owned by her brother-in-law. She soon became a regular on local Australian radio and television shows including HSV-7’s The Happy Show where she performed as Lovely Livvy. She also appeared on the Go Show where she met her lifelong friends Pat Carroll and John Farrar. (Carroll and Farrar eventually married.) She entered a talent contest on the television program, Sing, Sing, Sing, hosted by 1960s Australian icon Johnny O’Keefe performing the songs “Anyone Who Had A Heart” and “Everything’s Coming Up Roses.” She won the contest and received a trip to England as the prize. Initially, she was reluctant to go, but her mother encouraged her to broaden her horizons.

Newton-John recorded her first single, “Till You Say You’ll Be Mine” b/w “Forever,” for England’s Decca Records in 1966.  Newton-John was homesick in England because she missed Australia and her then-boyfriend, Ian Turpie, with whom she co-starred in an independently produced Australian telefilm, Funny Things Happen Down Under. Her mother cancelled trips back to Australia that Newton-John would repeatedly book. Newton-John’s outlook changed when Pat Carroll also moved to England. The two formed a duo and toured nightclubs in Europe until Carroll’s visa expired forcing her to return to Australia. Newton-John remained in England to pursue solo work.

Newton-John was recruited for the group “Toomorrow” – the brainchild of American producer Don Kirshner, music director of The Monkees. In 1970, the group recorded an eponymous album and starred in a “science fiction musical” film also named after the group. The project failed and the group was quickly disbanded.

Newton-John released her first solo album, If Not For You, in 1971. The title track, written by Bob Dylan, was her first international hit (No. 25 Pop, No. 1 Adult Contemporary). (“If Not For You” was originally recorded by Beatle George Harrison on his album All Things Must Pass in 1970.) Her follow-up, “Banks of the Ohio,” was a Top 10 hit in England and Australia, but faltered in the U.S. (No. 94 Pop, No. 34 AC).

She was voted Best British Female Vocalist two years in a row by the magazine Record Mirror. She made frequent appearances on Cliff Richard’s weekly show It’s Cliff Richard  and starred with him in the telefilm The Case. In the United States, Newton-John’s career foundered after If Not For You until the release of “Let Me Be There” in 1973. The song reached the American Top 10 on the Pop (No. 6), Country (No. 7),  and AC (No. 3) charts and earned her a Grammy for Best Country Female  and an Academy of Country Music award for Most Promising Female Vocalist. The song also propelled the album Let Me Be There to No. 1 on the Country Albums chart for two weeks.

In 1974, Newton-John represented the United Kingdom in the Eurovision Song Contest with the song, “Long Live Love”. The song was chosen for her by the British public. Newton-John placed fourth at the contest in Brighton behind ABBA’s winning “Waterloo”. (Newton-John would later admit that she disliked the song.) All six song candidates for the contest were recorded by Newton-John and included on her Long Live Love album, her first for the EMI Records label. In North America, this album was released by MCA Records as If You Love Me, Let Me Know, with the six Eurovision songs dropped for four different, more-country-oriented tracks to capitalize on the success of “Let Me Be There.”

The title track was the first single, reaching No. 5 Pop, No. 2 Country  (her best country placement ever), and No. 2 AC. The next single, “I Honestly Love You,” became Newton-John’s signature song. Written by Jeff Barry and Peter Allen , the ballad became her first No. 1 Pop (two weeks) and second No. 1 AC (three weeks) hit (also No. 6 Country) and earned Newton-John two more Grammys for Record of the Year  and Best Pop Female. The success of both singles helped the album reach No. 1 on both the Pop (one week)  and Country (eight weeks) Albums charts.

Newton-John’s country success was reviled by purists who believed a foreigner singing country-flavored pop music did not belong in country music. In addition to her Grammy for “Let Me Be There,” Newton-John was also named the Country Music Association Female Vocalist of the Year in 1974, defeating nominees Loretta Lynn, Canadian Anne Murray, Dolly Parton, and Tanya Tucker , all established country music artists. Newton-John’s win outraged many country artists leading to the formation of the short-lived Association of Country Entertainers (ACE).

Newton-John was eventually supported by most in the country music community. Stella Parton, Dolly’s sister, recorded “Ode To Olivia” and Newton-John recorded her 1976 album Don’t Stop Believin’, in Nashville.  Newton-John and Dolly Parton would eventually form a friendship, and would cover one-another’s songs (Parton performing “Let Me Be There” on her 1976-77 variety show Dolly!, and Newton-John covering Parton’s “Jolene” in 1976).

Encouraged by expatriate Australian singer Helen Reddy, Newton-John left England and moved to the United States. Newton-John topped the Pop (one week) and Country (six weeks) Albums charts with her next album, Have You Never Been Mellow. The album generated two singles – the title track (No. 1 Pop, No. 3 Country,  No. 1 AC)  and “Please Mr. Please” (No. 3 Pop, No. 5 Country, No. 1 AC).

Newton-John’s pop career cooled with the release of her next album, Clearly Love. Her streak of five consecutive gold Top 10 singles ended when the album’s first single, “Something Better To Do,” stopped at No. 13 (also No. 19 Country and No. 1 AC). Although her albums still achieved gold status, she did not return to the Top 10 on the Hot 100 or Pop Albums charts again until 1978.

Newton-John’s singles continued to easily top the AC chart, where she ultimately amassed ten No. 1 singles including a record seven consecutively:


“I Honestly Love You” (1974) – 3 weeks
“Have You Never Been Mellow” (1975) – 1 week
“Please Mr. Please” (1975) – 3 weeks
“Something Better To Do” (1975) – 3 weeks
“Let It Shine/He Ain’t Heavy…He’s My Brother” (1976) – 2 weeks
“Come On Over” (1976) – 1 week
“Don’t Stop Believin'” (1976) – 1 week

She also provided a prominent, but uncredited, vocal on John Denver’s “Fly Away” single, which was succeeded by her own single, “Let It Shine/He Ain’t Heavy…He’s My Brother,” at No. 1 on the AC chart. Newton-John also continued to reach the Country Top 10 where she tallied seven Top 10 singles through 1976’s “Come On Over” (No. 23 Pop, No. 5 Country , No. 1 AC) and six consecutive (of a career nine total) Top 10 albums through 1976’s Don’t Stop Believin’ (No. 30 Pop, No. 7 Country) . She headlined her first U.S. television special, A Special Olivia Newton-John, in November 1976.

By mid-1977, Newton-John’s AC and country success also began to wane. Her Making a Good Thing Better album (No. 34 Pop, No. 13 Country) failed to be certified gold, and its only single, the title track, did not reach even the AC Top 10 or the Country chart. Although the release that same year of Olivia Newton-John’s Greatest Hits (No. 13 Pop, No. 7 Country) became her first platinum album, Newton-John prepared to move her career in new directions.

Newton-John’s career soared after starring in the film adaptation of the Broadway musical Grease in 1978. She was offered the lead role of Sandy after a chance meeting with producer Allan Carr at a dinner party held by Helen Reddy in her Los Angeles home. Burned by her Toomorrow experience and concerned that she was too old to play a high school senior (she turned 29 during the later 1977 filming), Newton-John insisted on a screen test with the film’s co-star, John Travolta. The film accommodated Newton-John’s Australian accent by recasting her character from the play’s original American Sandy Dumbrowski to Sandy Olsson, an Australian who vacations and then moves with her family to the United States.

The release of the film was preceded one month by the telecast of Newton-John’s second television special, Olivia. Grease became the biggest box-office hit of 1978 and remained popular enough that it was re-released in theaters on its 20th anniversary in 1998. The soundtrack spent 12 non-consecutive weeks at No. 1 and yielded three Top 5 singles for Newton-John: the No. 1 “You’re The One That I Want” (with John Travolta), the No. 3 “Hopelessly Devoted To You,” and the No. 5 “Summer Nights” (with John Travolta and the film’s cast).

The former two songs were written by Newton-John’s long-time producer, John Farrar, specifically for the film. Newton-John became the second female (after Linda Ronstadt in 1977) to have two singles – “Hopelessly Devoted to You” and “Summer Nights” – in the Billboard Top 5 simultaneously. Newton-John’s performance earned her a People’s Choice award for Favorite Motion Picture Actress. She was also nominated for a Golden Globe as Best Actress in a Musical and performed the Oscar-nominated “Hopelessly Devoted To You” at the 1979 Academy Awards. To this day, the soundtrack still sells several thousand copies per week and often appears on Billboard’s Soundtracks chart.

Newton-John’s transformation in the film from goody-goody “Sandy 1” to spandex-clad “Sandy 2” emboldened Newton-John to do the same with her music career. In November 1978, she released the pop album Totally Hot, which became her first solo Top 10 (No. 7) album since Have You Never Been Mellow. Dressed on the cover all in leather, the album’s singles “A Little More Love” (No. 3 Pop, No. 94 Country, No. 4 AC), “Deeper Than The Night” (No. 11 Pop, No. 87 Country, No. 4 AC), and the title track (No. 52 Pop) all demonstrated a more aggressive and more uptempo sound for Newton-John.

Although the album clearly de-emphasized country, it still reached No. 4 on the Country Albums chart. Newton-John released the B-side, “Dancin’ ‘Round And ‘Round,” of the “Totally Hot” single to Country radio, where it peaked at No. 29 (as well as No. 82 Pop and No. 25 AC), becoming her last charted solo Country airplay single to date.

Newton-John began 1980 by releasing I Can’t Help It (No. 12 Pop, No. 8 AC), a duet with Andy Gibb from his After Dark album, and by starring in her third television special, Hollywood Nights. Later that year, she appeared in her first film since Grease starring in the musical Xanadu with Gene Kelly and Michael Beck. Although the movie was a critical failure, it was ultimately profitable and its soundtrack was certified double platinum.

The soundtrack (No. 4 Pop) boasted five Top 20 singles on the Billboard Hot 100 , including Newton-John’s Magic (No. 1 Pop, No. 1 AC), Suddenly with Cliff Richard (No. 20 Pop, No. 4 AC), and the title-song with ELO (No. 8 Pop, No. 2 AC). Magic was Newton-John’s biggest Pop hit to that point (four weeks at No. 1) and still ranks as the biggest AC hit of her career (five weeks at No. 1). The film has since become a cult classic and the basis for a well-reviewed, Tony-nominated Broadway show that ran for more than 500 performances in 2007–2008.

In 1981, Newton-John released her most successful studio album, the double platinum Physical. The title track, written by Steve Kipner and Terry Shaddick, spent ten weeks atop the Billboard Hot 100, matching the record of most weeks at No. 1 held by Debby Boone’s You Light Up My Life. The single was certified platinum and it ultimately ranked as the biggest song of the decade. (In 2008, Billboard ranked the song No. 6 among all songs that charted in the 50-year history of the Hot 100.) The song even earned Newton-John her only placement ever on the R&B Singles (No. 28) and Albums (No. 32) chart. The Physical album spawned two more singles, Make a Move on Me (No. 5 Pop, No. 6 AC) and Landslide (No. 52 Pop).

To counter the overtly suggestive tone of the title track, Newton-John filmed an exercise-themed video that turned the song into an aerobics anthem (and made headbands a fashion accessory outside the gym). Newton-John became a pioneer in the nascent music video industry by recording a video album for Physical featuring videos of all the album’s tracks and three of her older hits. The video album earned her a fourth Grammy and was aired as an ABC prime time special, Let’s Get Physical , becoming a Top 10 Nielsen hit.

The success of Physical led to an international tour and the release of her second hits collection, the double platinum Olivia’s Greatest Hits Vol. 2 (No. 16 Pop), which yielded two more Top 40 singles: Heart Attack (No. 3 Pop) and Tied Up (No. 38 Pop). The tour was filmed for her Olivia In Concert television special which premiered on HBO in January 1983. The special was subsequently released to video earning Newton-John another Grammy nomination.

Newton-John re-teamed with Travolta in 1983 for the critically and commercially unsuccessful Two of a Kind, redeemed by its platinum soundtrack (No. 26 Pop) featuring Twist Of Fate (No. 5 Pop) , Livin’ In Desperate Times (No. 31 Pop), and a new duet with Travolta, Take A Chance (No. 3 AC). Newton-John released another video package, the Grammy-nominated Twist Of Fate, featuring videos of her four songs on the Two of a Kind soundtrack and the two new singles from Olivia’s Greatest Hits Vol. 2.

The same year, Newton-John and Pat Farrar founded Koala Blue. The store was originally for Australian imports, but evolved into a chain of women’s clothing boutiques. The chain was initially successful, but eventually declared bankruptcy and closed in 1992.  Newton-John and Farrar would later license the brand name for a line of Australian produced wines, confections, and bed/bath products. Newton-John married long-time boyfriend Matt Lattanzi in December 1984. The couple had met four years earlier while filming Xanadu. (They divorced in 1995.)] Newton-John resumed recording in 1985 with the release of the gold Soul Kiss (No. 29 Pop). The album’s only charted single was the title track (No. 20 Pop, No. 20 AC). Newton-John’s pregnancy with daughter Chloe Rose Lattanzi (b. January 1986)  limited her publicity for the album. The video album for Soul Kiss featured videos of only five of the album’s ten tracks, and the album’s second single, Toughen Up, failed to even chart.

After a three-year hiatus to raise Chloe, Newton-John returned with 1988’s The Rumour. The album was promoted by an HBO special, Olivia Down Under, and its first single, the title track, was written and produced by Elton John. Both the single (No. 62 Pop, No. 33 AC) and the album (No. 67 Pop) fizzled as the nearly 40 year-old Newton-John seemed “old” when compared with the teen queens Debbie Gibson and Tiffany ruling the charts at that time.

The second single, the Sandy Linzer/Irwin Levine–penned Can’t We Talk It Over In Bed, did not chart. (Grayson Hugh, the song’s arranger, subsequently released his version of the song as Talk It Over in 1989 and it became a Top 20 Pop hit.) A year later, Newton-John recorded her “self-indulgent” album, Warm and Tender, featuring lullabies and love songs for parents and their children. This album also did not revive her recording career struggling to No. 124 Pop.

Newton-John was primed for another comeback in 1992 when she compiled her third hits collection, Back To Basics – The Essential Collection 1971–1992 (No. 121 Pop), and planned her first tour since her Physical trek ten years earlier. Shortly after the album’s release, Newton-John was diagnosed with breast cancer, forcing her to cancel all publicity for the album, including the tour. (Newton-John received her diagnosis on the same weekend her father died.) Newton-John recovered and has since become a tireless advocate for breast cancer research and other health issues. She has been a product spokesperson for the Liv-Kit, a breast self-examination product. She is co-owner of the Gaia Retreat and Spa in Byron Bay, Australia, which is advertised as “the ideal place to renew, refresh, and restore your mind, body and soul.”

Newton-John’s cancer diagnosis affected the type of music she recorded. In 1994, she released Gaia: One Woman’s Journey, which chronicled her ordeal. This was the first album on which Newton-John wrote all of the songs, encouraging her to become more active as a songwriter thereafter. In 2005, she released Stronger Than Before, sold exclusively in the United States by Hallmark. Proceeds from the album’s sales benefited breast cancer research. The album featured the song Phenomenal Woman based on the poem by Maya Angelou that featured guest vocals from Diahann Carroll, Beth Nielsen Chapman, Delta Goodrem, Amy Holland, Patti LaBelle, and Mindy Smith who were all cancer survivors or whose lives were affected by the disease.

The following year, Newton-John released a healing CD, Grace And Gratitude. The album was sold exclusively by Walgreens,  also benefitting various charities such as Y-ME National Breast Cancer Organization, and was the “heart” of their “Body – Heart – Spirit” Wellness Collection. The collection also featured a re-branded Liv-Kit and breast-health dietary supplements.

In 2008, Newton-John raised funds to help build the Olivia Newton-John Cancer and Wellness Centre in Melbourne, Australia. She led a three-week, 228 km walk along the Great Wall of China during April joined by various celebrities and cancer survivors throughout her trek. The walk  symbolized the steps cancer patients must take on their road to recovery. Newton-John released a companion CD, A Celebration In Song, the following month in Australia and later worldwide  featuring new and previously recorded duets by “Olivia Newton-John & Friends.

Her “Friends” included Jann Arden, Jimmy Barnes, John Farrar, Barry Gibb, Delta Goodrem, Sun Ho, Richard Marx, Cliff Richard, Melinda Schneider, Amy Sky and Keith Urban. In October, Newton-John helped launch the http://www.liv.com website and teamed with fitness franchise Curves to distribute one million Liv-Aid breast self-examination aids for Breast Cancer Awareness month.

Newton-John’s spirituality also extended to the release of several Christmas albums. In 2000, she teamed with Vince Gill and the London Symphony Orchestra for ‘Tis The Season, sold exclusively through Hallmark. The following year, she released The Christmas Collection, which compiled seasonal music previously recorded for her Hallmark Christmas album, her appearance on Kenny Loggins’ 1999 TNN Christmas special, and her contributions to the Mother And Child and Spirit Of Christmas multi-artist collections. In 2007, she re-teamed with her Grace And Gratitude producer, Amy Sky, for Christmas Wish (No. 187 Pop), which was sold exclusively by Target.

Newton-John’s spiritual, contemplative music was complemented by her pop-oriented releases. In 1998, she returned to Nashville to record Back With A Heart (No. 59 Pop).  The album returned her to the Top 10 (No. 9) on the Country Albums chart. Its only single was a remake of I Honestly Love You produced by David Foster and featuring Babyface on background vocals that charted Pop (No. 67) and AC (No. 18). Country radio dismissed the song, although it did peak at No. 16 on the Country Sales chart. The album track, Love Is A Gift, won Newton-John a 1999 Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Original Song after being featured on the daytime serial, As The World Turns.

Newton-John’s subsequent albums were all released primarily in Australia. Newton-John, John Farnham and Anthony Warlow toured Australia as The Main Event. The live album won an ARIA Award for Highest Selling Australian CD and was also nominated for Best Adult Contemporary Album. She and Farnham performed Dare To Dream at the Opening Ceremony of the 2000 Sydney Olympics. In 2002, Newton-John released (2), a duets album featuring mostly Australian artists including Darren Hayes, Tina Arena, Jimmy Little, Billy Thorpe and Johnny O’Keefe as well as a heartfelt “duet” with the deceased Peter Allen. The same year, Newton-John was inducted into Australia’s ARIA Hall of Fame. 2004 brought the release of Indigo: Women of Song, a tribute album covering songs by The Carpenters, Minnie Riperton, Doris Day, Nina Simone, Joan Baez and others. Newton-John dedicated the album to her mother who died the previous year.

Newton-John acted occasionally since Two of a Kind. She appeared in a supporting role in the 1996 AIDS drama, It’s My Party – her first feature film since Two Of A Kind. In 2000, she appeared in a dramatically different role as Bitsy Mae Harling, a lesbian ex-con country singer, in Del Shores’ Sordid Lives. Newton-John reprised her role for Sordid Lives: The Series which aired one season on the LOGO television network . The series featured five original songs written by Newton-John specifically for the show.

Newton-John’s television work included starring in two Christmas movies, A Mom For Christmas (1990) and A Christmas Romance (1994) – both Top 10 Nielsen hits. Her daughter, Chloe, starred as one of her children in both A Christmas Romance and in the 2001 Showtime film The Wilde Girls. Newton-John guest-starred as herself in the sitcoms Ned and Stacey, Murphy Brown and Bette. In Australia, Newton-John hosted Wild Life, a show about animals and nature – two major interests for Newton-John. She also guest starred as Joanna on two episodes of the Australian series The Man From Snowy River.

After her 1995 divorce from Matt Lattanzi, Newton-John met gaffer/cameraman Patrick McDermott the following year. The couple dated on and off for nine years until he went missing following a 2005 fishing trip off the California coast. Various theories abounded regarding his disappearance ranging from his death by accident or foul play to McDermott staging his disappearance to avoid child support payments to his ex-wife, actress Yvette Nipar. Newton-John, who was in Australia at her self-owned Gaia Retreat & Spa at the time of his disappearance, was never a suspect and refused to comment on any speculation. A US Coast Guard investigation released in 2008 “suggest[ed] McDermott was lost at sea.” Newton-John returned to the tabloid headlines again in 2007 when it was revealed that her daughter was recovering from anorexia. Patrick McDermott has since been seen in a photograph with his hair dyed black, in an apparent bid to alter his appearance, living in a fishing village in Mexico.

Newton-John released another concert DVD, Olivia Newton-John and the Sydney Symphony: Live at the Sydney Opera House, and a companion CD, Olivia’s Live Hits, in January 2008. An edited version of the DVD premiered on PBS station, WLIW (Garden City, New York), in October 2007 and subsequently aired nationally during the network’s fund-raising pledge drives. This was Newton-John’s third live album after the 1981 Japanese release, Love Performance, and her 2000 Australian release, One Woman’s Live Journey.

In June 2008, Newton-John secretly wed John (“Amazon John”) Easterling, founder and president of natural remedy firm, Amazon Herb Company. The couple met 15 years earlier, but only became romantically involved in 2007. (Like Newton-John, this was Easterling’s second marriage.) The couple married alone in a private Incan spiritual ceremony in Cuzco, Peru on June 21 followed nine days later by a legal ceremony on the Jupiter Island beachfront in Florida. There were no guests at either service since the couple preferred to marry simply and privately.

Only Newton-John’s daughter, Chloe, was aware of the nuptials. The couple did not announce their marriage until a July 4 barbecue at Newton-John’s Malibu, California home where guests were surprised with the news. The wedding was confirmed thereafter by HELLO! magazine which published exclusive pictures of both weddings.  In June 2009, Newton-John purchased a new $4.1 million home in Jupiter Inlet.

Newton-John joined Judy Brooks and Roy Walkenhorst as co-host of the health and well-being series, Healing Quest, currently airing on PBS.
Newton-John has been promoting Zamu  with her husband, Easterling. Zamu is an organic drink supplement produced by Amazon Herb which was founded by Easterling.
Newton-John will be featured in UniGlobe Entertainment’s breast cancer docu-drama titled 1 a Minute scheduled for release in 2010. The documentary is being made by actress Namrata Singh Gujral and will also feature breast cancer suriviors Diahann Carroll, Melissa Etheridge, Namrata Singh Gujral, Mumtaz (actress) and Jaclyn Smith as well as William Baldwin, Daniel Baldwin and Priya Dutt. The feature is narrated by Kelly McGillis.

🙂 wikipedia

Albums

Studio albums:

1971 If Not for You
1972 Olivia
1973 Let Me Be There
1974 Long Live Love
1974If You Love Me, Let Me Know
1975 Have You Never Been Mellow
1975Clearly Love
1976 Come on Over
1976Don’t Stop Believin’
1977 Making a Good Thing Better
1978 Totally Hot
1981 Physical

1985 Soul Kiss
1988 The Rumour
1989 Warm and Tender
1994 Gaia
1998 Back with a Heart
2000 ‘Tis the Season (with Vince Gill)
2002 (2)
2004 Indigo: Women of Song
2005 Stronger Than Before
2006 Grace and Gratitude
2007 Christmas Wish
2008 A Celebration in Song

Compilation albums:

1974 First Impressions
1977 Olivia Newton-John’s Greatest Hits
1982 Olivia’s Greatest Hits Vol. 2
1992 Back to Basics: The Essential Collection 1971–1992
2001 Magic: The Very Best of Olivia Newton-John
2002 The Definitive Collection
2005 Gold

Others compilations:

1974: Crystal Lady
1994: 48 Original Tracks
1995: I Honestly Love You – Her Greatest Hits
1998: The Best of Olivia Newton-John
1998: Country Girl
1999: The Great Olivia Newton-John
1999: Love Songs
2001: The Christmas Collection
2003: Love Songs – A Collection

Live albums:

1981 Love Performance
1999 Highlights from The Main Event
2000 One Woman’s Live Journey
2008 Olivia’s Live Hits

Soundtracks:

1978 Grease
1980 Xanadu
1983 Two of a Kind

Others soundtracks:

1970: Toomorrow
2000: Sordid Lives
2008: Sordid Lives: The Series

Films:

Funny Things Happen Down Under (1965)
Toomorrow (1970)
Grease (1978)
Xanadu (1980)
Two Of A Kind (1983)
She’s Having A Baby (1988)
Madonna: Truth or Dare (1991)
It’s My Party (1996)
Sordid Lives (2000)

Television movies:

A Mom For Christmas (1990)
A Christmas Romance (1994)
The Wilde Girls (2001)

Television series:

The Man from Snowy River (1994) aka Snowy River: The MacGregor Saga
Sordid Lives: The Series (2008)

Television specials:

A Special Olivia Newton-John (US 1976)
Only Olivia (UK 1977)
Olivia (US 1978)
Hollywood Nights (US 1980)
Let’s Get Physical (US 1982)
Olivia In Concert (US 1983)
Olivia Down Under (US 1988)

Olivia Newton-John  – Gold

Special thanks to Udanax 2 : Thank you, Chris ! 😉 😉 😉

DURAN DURAN


Duran Duran are an English rock band from Birmingham, United Kingdom. They were one of the most successful of the 1980s bands and a leading band in the MTV-driven “Second British Invasion” of the United States. Since the 1980s they have placed 14 in the Top 10 of the UK Singles Chart and 21 in the Billboard Hot 100 and have sold more than 100 million records. While the group were generally considered part of the New Romantic scene, along with bands such as Spandau Ballet, when they first emerged, they later shed this image. The band worked with fashion designers to build a sharp and elegant image that earned them the nickname “the prettiest boys in rock”. The band’s controversial videos-which included partial nudity and suggestions of sexuality- became popular in the early 1980s on the then-new music video channel, MTV. The band were among the first bands to have their videos shot by professional directors with 35 mm film movie cameras, which gave their videos a much more polished look. In 1984, the band were early innovators with video technology in their live stadium shows.

The band was created by Nick Rhodes, John Taylor and Stephen Duffy, with the later addition of Roger Taylor and, after numerous personnel changes, Andy Taylor, and Simon Le Bon (none of the Taylors are related.) The group has never disbanded, but the line-up has changed to include guitarist Warren Cuccurullo from 1989 to 2001, and drummer Sterling Campbell from 1989 to 1991. The reunion of the original five members in the early 2000s created a stir among the band’s fans and music media. Andy Taylor left the band in summer 2006, and London guitarist Dom Brown has since been working with the band as a session player and touring member. A full time replacement guitarist for Andy Taylor so far has not been appointed.

John Taylor and Nick Rhodes formed Duran Duran in Birmingham, UK in 1978, where they would become the resident band at the city’s Rum Runner nightclub, doing jobs such as John working the door, with Nick deejaying for £10 a night, rehearsing and regularly playing at the venue. There were many nearby nightclubs; one “significantly” where bands such as The Sex Pistols and The Clash played gigs was called “Barbarella’s”. They would go on to name the band after the villain from Barbarella, Roger Vadim’s French science-fiction film. The villain, played by Milo O’Shea, is named “Dr. Durand Durand”.

The band’s first singer was Stephen Duffy. Simon Colley soon joined Taylor, Rhodes and Duffy. Colley was the band’s original bass player, as Taylor was the guitarist, at this point. This was the first complete line-up of the band that played live shows. For drums and percussion, an electronic drum machine, belonging to Rhodes, was used. (Colley left the band prior to the addition of A. Taylor.) A few guitarists were subsequently auditioned (for the most part, unsuccessfully) and, as well, a handful of vocalists joined, after Duffy left Duran Duran early in 1979.  Among the handful of vocalists they had, prior to Simon LeBon, was Andy Wickett, who had a major part in the writing of “Girls on Film”, during his tenure with the band, according to A. Taylor’s autobiography. (Wickett is also featured on some of the demos that were presented to EMI.) Further, according to the websites belonging to Wickett and J. Taylor, respectively, Wickett co-wrote an early version of the song that came to be known as “Rio”. Upon Colley’s and Wickett’s departures, they enlisted singer Jeff Thomas and guitarist Alan Curtis, respectively, each for only a relatively brief period of time, before finally settling on A. Taylor, for lead guitar and, later, in 1980, on LeBon for vocals.

The meeting of drummer Roger Taylor, in 1979, with J. Taylor, Rhodes and Wickett at a party, as well as the departure of Colley, led John Taylor to switch to bass. R. Taylor then became their original (human) drummer. It was this lineup (J. Taylor on bass and guitar, along with Rhodes, Wickett and R. Taylor) that made the first-ever Duran Duran studio demo tapes. Guitarist Andy Taylor then came, months later, from Newcastle to audition after responding to an advertisement in Melody Maker, and London vocalist Le Bon was, later, recommended to the band by an ex-girlfriend who worked at the Rum Runner nightclub where the band rehearsed.  The owners of the club, brothers Paul and Michael Berrow, became the band’s management, paying them to work as doormen, disc jockeys and glass collectors when they were not rehearsing.

The group were generally considered part of the New Romantic scene, with other style-and-dance bands such as Spandau Ballet, Japan and ABC.  In 1980, they recorded two demo tapes and performed in clubs around Birmingham and London. In late 1980, when touring as an opening act for Hazel O’Connor, the band attracted critical attention, resulting in a bidding war between the record companies EMI and Phonogram Records.  “A certain patriotism” toward the label of The Beatles led them to sign with EMI in December. However, Nick Rhodes said in a 1998 interview with Deluxe magazine, that the band felt they were “appallingly ripped off” by the EMI contract.

Duran Duran were amongst the earliest bands to work on their own remixes. Before the days of digital synthesizers and easy audio sampling, they created multilayered arrangements of their singles, sometimes recording entirely different extended performances of the songs in the studio. These “night versions” were generally available only on vinyl, as b-sides to 45 rpm singles or on 12-inch club singles, until the release of the compilation Night Versions: The Essential Duran Duran in 1998. Japan may have inspired Duran Duran, at least until 1982’s “Rio”. From hairdos to clothing, from soundscapes to arrangements, David Sylvian’s sense of style and taste in music were imitated and exploited by Duran to a greater commercial success than Japan ever had. At one point, Nick Rhodes’ entire look closely resembled that of David Sylvian, from his features to his vaporous dyed-blond hair, make-up and attire.

From the very beginning of their career together, however, all the band members each had a keen sense of visual style. They worked with stylist Perry Haines and fashion designers such as Kahn & Bell and Antony Price to build a sharp and elegant image, soon outgrowing the ruffles and sashes of the pirate-flavoured early New Romantic look. They have continued to present fashion as part of their package throughout their career. In the 1990s, they worked with Vivienne Westwood, and in the 2000s with Giorgio Armani. The band retained creative control of their visual presentation and worked closely with graphic designer Malcolm Garrett and many others over the years, to create album covers, tour programmes, and other materials.

All five members of the band were photogenic, labelled the “the prettiest boys in rock” by People magazine. Teen and music magazines in the UK latched onto their good looks quickly, and the U.S. soon followed. It was a rare month in the early eighties when there was not at least one picture of the band members in teen magazines such as Smash Hits or Tiger Beat. John Taylor once remarked that the band was “like a box of Quality Street [chocolates]; everyone is someone’s favourite” Duran Duran would later come to regret this early pin-up exposure, but at the time it helped attract national attention. In an interview with Rock Fever Superstars Magazine in early 1988 John Taylor stated:
“We used to be a very chi-chi name to drop in ’79, but then the Fab Five hype started and something went wrong. Something went really wrong. That wasn’t what I wanted.  Not that I didn’t like being screamed at. At one point I really did.”

The band’s first album, Duran Duran, was released on the EMI label in 1981. The first single, “Planet Earth”, reached the United Kingdom’s Top 20 at Number 12. A follow-up, “Careless Memories,” stalled at Number 37. However, it was their third single, “Girls On Film”, that attracted the most attention. The song went to Number 5 in the UK, before the notorious video was even filmed. That video, featuring topless women mud wrestling, pillow fighting and stylized depictions of other sexual fetishes, was made with directing duo Godley & Creme in August. The video was filmed just two weeks after MTV was launched in the United States.  The band expected the “Girls On Film” video to be played in the newer nightclubs that had video screens, or on pay TV channels like the Playboy Channel. Kevin Godley explained the thinking behind it:
“We were very explicitly told by Duran Duran’s management to make a very sensational, erotic piece that would be for clubs, where it would get shown uncensored, just to make people take notice and talk about it.”

The raunchy video created an uproar and was banned by the BBC and heavily edited for MTV. The band unabashedly enjoyed and capitalised on the controversy.  The album peaked in the UK Top Twenty at Number 3. Later in 1981, the band embarked on their first United States club tour, followed by more dates in Germany and the UK. This second tour of Britain coincided with a wave of riots sparked by unemployment and racial tension, including those of Moss Side and Toxteth. The band played an eerily quiet Birmingham the day after the Handsworth riots.Duran Duran began to achieve worldwide recognition in 1982. In May, they released their second album, Rio, which scored four UK Top Twenty singles with “My Own Way”, “Hungry Like The Wolf”, “Save A Prayer”, and the title song “Rio”. A headlining tour of Australia, Japan, and the U.S. was followed by a stint supporting Blondie during that band’s final American tour. Diana, Princess of Wales declared Duran Duran her favourite band, and the band was dubbed “The Fab Five” by the British press.  The Fab Five moniker was an indirect tribute to The Fab Four, one of the many titles bestowed upon The Beatles.

However, the Rio album did not do well in the United States at first. EMI in the UK had promoted Duran Duran as a New Romantic band, but that genre was barely known in the U.S., and Capitol Records (EMI’s American branch) was at a loss about how to sell them. After Carnival (an EP of Rio’s dance remixes) became popular with DJs in the fall, the band arranged to have most of the album remixed by David Kershenbaum. In June 1982, Duran Duran appeared for the first time on American television. They energetically performed “Hungry Like The Wolf” and “Rio” on Dancin’ On Air, the forerunner to the national hit show, Dance Party USA. Michael Nise, executive producer of both shows, recalls how shy the “boys” were, and how they kidded each other about how bad they looked on TV.

Only after it was re-released in the U.S. in November, with heavy promotion as a dance album, did Rio begin to climb the American charts, six months after its European success. MTV placed “Hungry Like The Wolf” and then several other Duran Duran videos into heavy rotation, pushing it and “Rio” into the top twenty on the U.S. charts in early 1983; the seduction ballad “Save A Prayer” also did well.  “The band was a natural for music television,” noted Rolling Stone magazine. “They may be the first rock group to ride in on a video wave.”  In the end, the album peaked at number 6 in the U.S. and remained on the charts there for 129 weeks — almost two and a half years. In 2003, Rio was listed at number 65 in the NME 100 Greatest Albums Of All Time.

The band began 1983 by playing the MTV New Year’s Eve Rock’n’Roll Ball, with “Hungry Like The Wolf” still climbing the charts in the US, and the American reissue of the “Rio” single to follow in March. To satisfy America’s appetite for their music,  the band re-released their eponymous first album in the US in the middle of the year, with the addition of the new single “Is There Something I Should Know?” On its release, this song entered the chart at Number 1 in the UK (a rarity then, and their first chart-topper in their home country), and reached Number 4 on the American charts. During the promotion of this album, Rhodes and Le Bon were MTV guest VJs for a show, during which artist and admirer Andy Warhol dropped by to greet them. “Our first gigs in the United States were crazy and culty,” Rhodes said later. “But when we came back after “Hungry” was a hit, it was mayhem. It was Beatlemania. We were doing a signing of the “Girls on Film” video at a store in Times Square. We couldn’t get out of the store. The cops sealed off the streets.”  Also in 1983, keyboardist Nick Rhodes produced the UK number 1 and US number 5 hit “Too Shy” for the English band Kajagoogoo, and Andy Taylor became the first member of Duran Duran to get married. The band’s main pop rivals were now Culture Club and Wham!.

The band spent the next year as tax exiles, writing songs at a chateau in France in May 1983 where The Tube with Jools Holland filmed a documentary with the band, before flying to Montserrat and then Sydney to record and mix their third album.During the summer they flew back to the UK to perform two concerts,the first on 20 July in front of the Prince and Princess of Wales at london`s Dominion Theatre and 3 days later on 23 july was Duran Duran`s charity concert at Aston Villa football ground 1983. The band was under enormous pressure to follow up the success of Rio, and the recording process took over six months as different band members went through bouts of perfectionism and insecurity.[26] A newly decadent lifestyle and substance abuse issues added complications. In the documentary film Extraordinary World, filmed a decade later, Rhodes described the effect on their sound as “barely controlled hysteria, scratching beneath the surface”.

The new album, Seven and the Ragged Tiger, included the late 1983 hit “Union of the Snake”; following “Hungry Like the Wolf”, “Rio”, “Save A Prayer” and “Is There Something I Should Know”, Duran Duran had had five U.S. Top Twenty hits from three different albums in a single year. The band made music headlines by deciding to release the “Union of the Snake” video to MTV a full week before the single was released to radio, at a time when the industry feared video really might kill the radio star. They followed up with “New Moon on Monday”, which after reaching no 9 in the UK dropped out of the UK charts very promptly, possibly threatening their success. However, their next single “The Reflex”, taken from Seven and the Ragged Tiger and given a significant remix overhaul by Nile Rodgers of Chic fame, became their first number one hit in the United States. “The Reflex” was also their second and final UK number one, and was successful in numerous other countries around the world.

The band embarked on a global tour that continued throughout the first four months of 1984, including their first major stadium dates in America. A film crew led by director Russell Mulcahy followed the band closely, leading to the documentary film Sing Blue Silver and the accompanying concert film Arena.The live album Arena was also recorded during the tour and was released with the new studio single “The Wild Boys”, which went to Number 2 on both sides of the Atlantic. In February 1984, the band appeared on the cover of Rolling Stone magazine and won two Grammy awards in the brand-new Long Form and Short Form music video categories.
During the peak of their popularity in 1984, singer Simon LeBon and bassist John Taylor became heartthrobs for many of their young teenage fans. After the tour, Roger Taylor was married in Naples, Italy, and Nick Rhodes wed in London, famously wearing a pink velvet tuxedo and top hat. At the end of 1984 , the group was featured on the Band Aid benefit single “Do They Know It’s Christmas?” along with other popular British musical acts. Simon Le Bon sang between contributions from George Michael and Sting.

Even with Duran Duran on hold, band members were soon anxious to record new music, leading to a supposedly temporary split into two side projects. John and Andy Taylor wanted to break away from the Duran Duran sound and pursue hard rock material; they collaborated with Robert Palmer and Tony Thompson to form the rock/funk supergroup Power Station, which released two Top 10 singles. Simon Le Bon and Nick Rhodes, on the other hand, wanted to further explore Duran Duran’s atmospheric aspect and formed Arcadia, who released one LP from which the single “Election Day” was released. Roger Taylor was primarily the drummer for Arcadia, but also contributed percussion to the Power Station album. Duran Duran were never the same after this break. According to Rhodes, the two side projects “were commercial suicide… But we’ve always been good at that.” The band was still off balance when they regrouped to contribute “A View to a Kill” to the 1985 James Bond movie of the same name. This single remains the only Bond theme to go to Number 1 on the U.S. charts, and the highest-placed Bond theme on the UK chart where it reached Number 2. It was the last single the band recorded as the original five-piece for twenty years.

As a follow-up to the Christmas 1984 Band Aid single, Duran Duran performed in front of 90,000 people (and an estimated 1.5 billion TV viewers) at the Live Aid charity concert at John F. Kennedy Stadium in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, on 13 July 1985 while their Bond song held the top spot on the American charts. It was not intended to be a farewell performance—the band planned only to take a break after four years of non-stop touring and public appearances—but the original five did not play live together again until July 2003. Their Live Aid set became infamous for Le Bon inadvertently hitting a falsetto note in the chorus of “A View to a Kill”, which he later described as the most humiliating moment of his career.

After releasing three studio albums and one live album in five years, each accompanied by heavy media promotion and lengthy concert tours, the band lost two of its core members to fatigue and tension in 1986. After Live Aid and Arcadia, drummer Roger Taylor retired to the English countryside, suffering from exhaustion. This was originally announced as a one year sabbatical, but it soon became clear that he would not be returning to the band. An official press release was issued in April 1986 confirming his departure. In a 2004 interview with Live Daily, Roger confirmed his reasons for leaving: “I was burned out. I think I was just exhausted. It was a very intense five years. We didn’t stop. It was constant touring, constant writing, recording. We broke internationally, as well–instantly, pretty well. It’s a nonstop schedule, really. I had lost myself somewhere”.

Guitarist Andy Taylor, on the other hand, led the remaining members to believe he would return to work on a new Duran Duran album even as he was signing a solo recording contract in Los Angeles (he eventually released Thunder.) The band resorted to legal measures to get him into the studio, but after numerous delays, they let him go at last. He played on only a few songs on the next album while the disagreements were being settled.

Without a guitarist or a drummer, the three remaining members, Le Bon, Rhodes, and John Taylor had producer (and former Chic guitarist) Nile Rodgers play a few tracks on guitar, and hired Steve Ferrone to play drums while they searched for replacements. Finally in September 1986, Warren Cuccurullo (formerly of Missing Persons and Frank Zappa’s touring band) was hired as a session guitarist. With Le Bon, Rhodes, and Taylor, he recorded the rest of the Notorious album, which was released in October 1986. The black-and-white documentary film Three To Get Ready chronicled the recording of the album, legal tensions, and preparations for the tour.

Although the song “Notorious” went to number 2 in the U.S., number 7 in the UK, and album sales were strong, the band found they had lost much of the momentum and hysteria they had left behind in 1985. In the three years between the release of Seven and the Ragged Tiger and Notorious, many of their teenage fans had grown up, and the music was funkier, more mature, and less “pop”, given the added experience of their work on Arcadia and Power Station and with other musicians. “Skin Trade” and “Meet El Presidente”, the two subsequent singles, made the charts but fared poorly compared to the band’s earlier successes.

Subsequently, Duran Duran struggled to escape the teen idol image and gain critical success with more complex music. The new serious image was not accepted and their popularity began to wane. Rolling Stone said, “In their search for musical maturity, the surviving Durans have lost a good deal of their identity.” Another factor was the band’s dismissal of early managers the Berrow brothers. There was no announcement of the reasons for the decision, but disagreements over money, and the brothers’ involvement in Le Bon’s yachting adventures (they were co-owners of Drum) were thought to have played a part. Whatever the reason, Duran Duran switched managers frequently and undertook periods of self-management in the later stages of their career. In addition, EMI (which fired its president and went through a major corporate restructuring that summer) seemed to have lost interest in promoting the band.

The next album Big Thing (1988) yielded the singles “I Don’t Want Your Love” (number 4 in the US), “Do You Believe In Shame?” and “All She Wants Is” (the last top ten hit in the UK until 1993). The record was experimental, mixing influences from house music and rave music with Duran’s atmospheric synth pop and Cuccurullo’s creative guitar work, as well as more mature lyrics (the juvenile title track notwithstanding).

By the end of 1989 and at the start of the 1990s, New Wave was out, but both grunge and gangsta rap were in. After touring for the album finished, the band regained a five-man membership as Cuccurullo and tour drummer Sterling Campbell were made full members of Duran Duran.

The compilation album Decade: Greatest Hits was released late in 1989, along with the megamix single “Burning The Ground”, which consisted of woven snippets of the band’s hits from the previous ten years. The single came and went with little fanfare, but the album became another major seller for the band. However, the tepid 1990 release Liberty (a retreat from the experimentation of Big Thing) failed to capitalise on any regained momentum, a pattern the band repeated often in their later years. The album entered the UK album chart in the top ten, but faded away quickly. The singles “Violence of Summer (Love’s Taking Over)” and “Serious” were only mildly successful, and the album’s soft rock did not fare well against contemporaries like Alice in Chains and Jane’s Addiction, while Nirvana, Pearl Jam and the grunge revolution were just around the corner. For the first time, Duran Duran did not tour in support of an album, performing on only a handful of club dates and TV shows. Sterling Campbell left the band early in 1991, going on to work with Soul Asylum and David Bowie. The quartet of Le Bon, Rhodes, Taylor, and Cuccurullo would remain intact for six more years. In December 1991, Taylor (then 31) married 19-year-old model/actress Amanda De Cadenet, and she gave birth to his daughter in March 1992.

In 1993, the band released a second self-titled album: this Duran Duran album is known as The Wedding Album (for Nick Egan’s cover art featuring the wedding photos of the band members’ parents) to distinguish it from the 1981 release. Listener demand for leaked single “Ordinary World” forced it onto radio playlists months earlier than planned; it reached Number 3 on the U.S. chart and Number 6 in the UK and won a prestigious Ivor Novello Award award for song writing.  “Come Undone”, a slinky number primarily written by Cuccurullo, made Number 7 in the U.S. and Number 13 in the UK. Both the band and the record label seemed to be caught by surprise by the album’s critical and commercial success (#4 in the UK, #7 in the U.S.). Bassist John Taylor had been considering leaving the band but changed his mind. The band’s largest tour ever, which included stops in the Middle East, the then recently de-embargoed South Africa, and South America, was halted after seven months when Le Bon suffered from strained vocal cords. After six weeks’ recuperation, the band performed intermittently for another five months, including appearances in Israel, Thailand, and Indonesia.

The band’s upswing in momentum, however, was once again swiftly curtailed by the poor showing of the covers album Thank You. The album reportedly originated as a lighthearted tribute to the band’s influences, in the vein of Bowie’s Pin Ups. Some of the tracks were recorded in borrowed and makeshift studios in hotel rooms (with the aid of programmer Mark Tinley) while the band was on tour. The plan was to have an album ready to release soon after the tour was finished, with another studio album to follow quickly afterwards. Original drummer Roger Taylor even returned from retirement to contribute on a few songs. However, conflicts within the band and with Capitol/EMI caused repeated delays; mix after mix was ordered and rejected, and by the time it finally came out in 1995, the band had lost enthusiasm for the project.

Singles from Thank You included covers of Lou Reed’s “Perfect Day” and Melle Mel’s “White Lines (Don’t Don’t Do It)” (with backing vocals from the original artists). In a video interview provided with the album’s electronic press kit, Reed said he considered Duran Duran’s version the best cover ever done of one of his songs.  Still, the critics lambasted the band’s attempts at “911 Is a Joke”, “Lay Lady Lay”, “Ball of Confusion” and “The Crystal Ship”, and the band completed a 1995 summer tour of radio station festivals only under duress.

After that tour’s completion, John Taylor co-founded the B5 Records label and recorded a solo album, founded and toured with the supergroup Neurotic Outsiders, and reunited the Power Station, though the project proceeded without him when he had to withdraw to deal with his divorce from De Cadenet. Finally, after struggling for months to record the next album, Medazzaland, in January 1997, Taylor announced at a Duran Duran fan convention that he was leaving the band “for good”.  His departure reduced the band to two original members (Le Bon and Rhodes) and Cuccurullo, who decided to continue recording under the name Duran Duran.

Freed from some internal writing conflicts, the band returned to the studio to rewrite and re-record many of the songs on Medazzaland. (Taylor’s work remains on only four tracks.) This album marked a return to the layered experimentation of Big Thing, with intricate guitar textures and processed vocals. The track “Out of My Mind” was used as the theme song for the movie The Saint, but the only true single to be released in the United States was the quirky “Electric Barbarella”, which was the first single ever to be sold online.  The video for this single, featuring a sexy robot purchased and played with by band members, had to be censored before airing on MTV, but there was little of the controversy that had surrounded “Girls On Film”. “Barbarella” peaked at #52 in the U.S. in October 1997.  Although Medazzaland was released in the U.S. in October 1997, the album was never released in the UK. “Barbarella” was later released in the UK as a single from the 1998 Greatest compilation album and peaked at #23 on the UK chart in January 1999. The group played a set at The Princess Diana Tribute Concert on 27 June 1998 by special request of her family.

Duran Duran parted ways with Capitol/EMI in 1999, although the label has since used Duran Duran’s back catalogue to release several compilations of remixes and rare vinyl-only b-sides. The band then signed what was intended to be a three-album contract with Disney’s Hollywood Records, but it lasted only through the poorly received 2000 album Pop Trash. This slow-paced and heavy album seemed out-of-keeping with earlier band material.   Rhodes’ intricate production and Cuccurullo’s songwriting and experimentation with guitar sounds and time signatures were not enough to hook the public, and the album did not perform well. The dreamy single “Someone Else Not Me” lasted barely two weeks on the radio, although its video was noted as the first to be produced entirely with Flash animation. While supporting Medazzaland and Pop Trash, Duran Duran toured with bassist Wes Wehmiller and drummer Joe Travers.

In 2000, Le Bon approached John Taylor with a proposal to reform Duran Duran’s classic line-up. They agreed, and after completing the Pop Trash tour fired Cuccurullo by letter. Cuccurullo then announced on his website that he was leaving Duran Duran to resume work with his 1980s band Missing Persons. This announcement was confirmed the next day by the Duran Duran’s website, followed a day later by the news that John, Roger, and Andy Taylor had rejoined. To fulfill contractual obligations, Cuccurullo played three Duran Duran concerts in Japan in August 2001, ending his tenure in the band.

Throughout 2001, 2002 and 2003, the band worked on writing new material, initially renting a house in St. Tropez where sound engineer Mark Tinley built a recording studio for their first serious writing session. They then returned to London to do some self-financed work with various producers (including old friend Nile Rodgers) and search for a new record deal. It proved difficult to find a record label willing to gamble on the band’s comeback, so Duran Duran went on tour to prove the drawing power of the reunited band. The response of the fans and the media exceeded everyone’s expectations. The band played a handful of 25th-anniversary dates in July 2003. Tickets sold out for each show within minutes, and celebrities turned out en masse for reunion shows booked at small venues the band had played on their first trip to America in 1981. In August, the band were booked as presenters at the 2003 MTV Video Music Awards, only to be surprised with a Lifetime Achievement Award. They also received a Lifetime Achievement award from Q Magazine in October, and the equivalent Outstanding Contribution award at the BRIT Awards in February 2004.

The pace picked up with a sold-out tour of America, Australia and New Zealand. The band played a full concert at a private tailgate party at Super Bowl XXXVIII, their performance of “The Wild Boys” broadcast to millions during the pre-game show. A remix of the new track “(Reach Up for the) Sunrise” was released on the Queer Eye for the Straight Guy TV show soundtrack in February, while the Queer Eye guys (the modern “Fab Five”) hailed Duran Duran as “the first metrosexuals”. Duran Duran then celebrated their homecoming to the UK with fourteen stadium dates in April 2004, including five sold-out nights at Wembley Arena. The British press, traditionally hostile to the band, accorded the shows some very warm reviews. Duran Duran brought along bands like Scissor Sisters, and Goldfrapp, as opening acts for this tour. The last two shows were filmed, resulting in the concert DVD Duran Duran: Live From London which was released in November.

Finally, with more than thirty-five songs completed, the band signed a four-album contract with Epic Records in June, and completed the new album, now entitled Astronaut, with producer Don Gilmore. The album was released in October 2004 and entered the UK charts at Number 3 and the U.S. charts at Number 17. The first single was “(Reach Up for the) Sunrise”, which reached Number 1 on the Billboard U.S. Dance Chart in November and peaked at number 5 on the UK singles chart, Duran Duran’s highest chart position since “A View To a Kill” in 1985. A second single, “What Happens Tomorrow”, debuted at #11 on the UK charts in February. After a world tour in early 2005, Duran Duran headlined the massive Live 8 concert, Rome on 2 July 2005 in the Circus Maximus.

In early 2006, Duran Duran covered John Lennon’s song “Instant Karma!” for the Make Some Noise campaign sponsored by Amnesty International. Their version later appeared on Instant Karma: The Amnesty International Campaign to Save Darfur as an iTunes exclusive bonus track. They also performed at two high profile events — the Nobel Prize Awards and the 2006 Winter Olympics in Turin, Italy. After a couple of weeks of songwriting in Northern California, the band began working with producer Michael Patterson in London, and continued intermittently for the next several months. At one point, they reported having fifteen tracks nearly complete for an album tentatively titled Reportage, but no further news emerged from the band for months afterward. In September, the band held meetings in New York City with Justin Timberlake and producer Timbaland with an eye to a potential collaboration and were soon reported to have completed three songs with the producer, including a duet with Justin Timberlake.

On 25 October 2006, Andy Taylor parted ways with Duran Duran for the second time. In an official announcement on their website, Duran Duran stated that an “unworkable gulf” had developed between them and Taylor and that “we can no longer effectively function together”. It was noted by Andy Taylor in his book “Wild Boy” that tensions had arisen between the group’s management and himself, and he was also diagnosed with clinical depression connected with the death of his father. Dom Brown, who had previously toured with the band, took over guitar duties and has been performing with them since. After Taylor’s departure, the band scrapped the Reportage album and wrote and recorded a new album which included the Timbaland tracks. Dom Brown is the featured guitarist.

In July, the band performed twice at Wembley Stadium, at the Concert for Diana and at Live Earth concert, London. On 25 September, the Timberlake collaboration “Falling Down” was released as a download single on iTunes, and the band announced that they would play nine shows at the Ethel Barrymore Theatre on Broadway to launch the album Red Carpet Massacre. The album launch was later extended to incorporate a show in London on 3 December 2007 and one in Dublin on 5 December 2007.

In May 2008, they toured the US leg of their 2008 world tour and were supported by fellow British quintet Your Vegas.In June 2008, they played the Louvre in Paris in a fundraising effort that contributed to the restoration of a magnificent Louis XV drawing room. Guests dined, privately viewed some of the museum’s artworks, then attended a performance by the band in the I.M. Pei-designed Pyramid du Louvre. The group’s performance marked a first for both the band members and the 18th century museum (which had never before allowed a rock concert to occur anywhere within the grounds or buildings).

On 2 July in Paris, Mark Ronson performed a unique live set with Duran Duran for an exclusive, invite-only performance. Together, they showcased specially re-worked versions of some of Duran Duran’s classic hits re-created by Ronson, along with tracks from the band’s new album, Red Carpet Massacre. Simon Le Bon also performed songs from Ronson’s latest album, Version, as one of Ronson’s featured guest vocalists.Unlike the band’s previous album Astronaut, Red Carpet Massacre sold poorly and received mixed responses from the music press.In 2008 Rio was included in the Classic Albums series.

In the beginning of February 2009, Duran Duran started working on their 13th album. Band members have said that the next album will be a return to their roots. Guitarist Dom Brown has been said to have a bigger role in the creation of the album. In March 2009, Roger Taylor said on the band’s website that they had “20 really great ideas” for songs and would be working with producer Mark Ronson. Ronson invited Kaiser Chiefs drummer, Nick Hodgson, to join and co-write some music. Later on the same month, Simon Le Bon announced through their official blog that the band is “now free from Sony Music”, perhaps indicating that Duran Duran are without a record label once more.

In April 2009, Mark Ronson commented that the new music will have the “energy” and “vibe” of the band’s early work and that “as a Duran fan I’d be excited to hear it”. John Taylor said in an April blog on the band’s website that “Mark seems intent on delivering the DD album the fans have wanted for years. One that has the drive and freshness of the first few albums, that is quintessentially hip, without sacrificing any of the hard-earned personality and character of the musicians, something which sadly was lost when Timbaland and Timberlake were in the house. So Mark has me playing, and Roger playing, and Nick playing, hotter and harder than we have in years”. In a phone interview in April 2009, Roger Taylor said he was hopeful new material would be played at select summer shows and that a new single or EP would be released in Summer 2009 and a full album in Q1 2010. The band headlined the Lovebox Festival in London in the middle of July. They are also playing select shows throughout the US.

Although they began their career as “a group of art school, experimental, post punk rockers”, the band’s quick rise to stardom, polished good looks, and embrace of the teen press, almost guaranteed disfavour from music critics. During the 1980s, Duran Duran were considered the quintessential manufactured, throw-away pop group. However, according to the Sunday Herald, “To describe them, as some have, as the first boy band, misrepresents their appeal. Their weapons were never just their looks, but self-penned songs.” As Moby said of the band in his website diary in 2003: “… they were cursed by what we can call the ‘Bee Gees’ curse, which is: ‘write amazing songs, sell tons of records, and consequently incur the wrath or disinterest of the rock obsessed critical establishment’.”

Several of the band’s contemporaries including The Bangles, Elton John, Kylie Minogue, Paul Young and even The Monkees, have named themselves fans of the band’s stylish, uplifting pop. Le Bon described the group as “the band to dance to when the bomb drops”.  Successors like Barenaked Ladies, Beck, Jonathan Davis of Korn, The Bravery, Gwen Stefani, Britney Spears and Pink have all cited Duran Duran as a key band in their formative years. Singer Justin Timberlake has openly admitted to being one of their biggest fans. The newest crop of performers to name Duran Duran as influences include Dido, Franz Ferdinand, Panic! at the Disco, Lostprophets (who took their name from the title of a Duran Duran bootleg tape), Goldfrapp and Brandon Flowers of The Killers, who said, “Nick Rhodes is an absolute hero of mine — their records still sound fresh, which is no mean feat as far as synths are concerned”.

Nick Rhodes has directly lent his production techniques to Kajagoogoo album White Feathers and its Number One single “Too Shy”, and to The Dandy Warhols album Welcome to the Monkey House. The band’s music has been used by several hip hop artists, most notably Notorious B.I.G., who sampled Duran Duran’s 1986 single “Notorious”. Numerous bands have covered their music on record and in concert.

Jennifer Aniston has called herself a “Duran Duran freak” during interviews and even waited for the band after their concert with a rose when she was a teenager. Renee Zellweger has been spotted at several of their concerts and coyly admitted during an interview in 2005 while promoting her movie Cinderella Man to liking them as a kid. Christina Applegate was seen attending their 2003 concert at The Roxy in Los Angeles and said she has been a fan of theirs since she was 11-years-old and is such a devoted fan she even invited John Taylor to play her ex boyfriend on an upcoming episode of her hit series Samantha Who?. Drew Barrymore calls them her favorite band and even admitted to having a crush on the entire band, especially Simon LeBon and John Taylor. Rose McGowan told Teen People magazine in 2006 that she was obsessed with Duran Duran when she was only 10 and talked about having lunch and dinner with Nick Rhodes, but has confessed John Taylor was the man of her dreams. Hilary Swank told a reporter after the 2005 Academy Awards that John Taylor was among her first crushes.

The MTV cable channel and the band were launched at about the same time, and each had a hand in propelling the other to greater heights. MTV needed showcase videos with charismatic performers. Les Garland, senior executive vice president at MTV, said “I remember our director of talent and artist relations came running in and said, “You have got to see this video that’s come in.” Duran Duran were getting zero radio airplay at the time, and MTV wanted to try to break new music. “Hungry Like the Wolf” was the greatest video I’d ever seen”. The band’s video work was influential in several ways. First, Duran Duran filmed in exotic locales like Sri Lanka and Antigua, creating memorable images that were radically different from the then-common low budget “band-playing-on-a-stage” videos. Second, rather than simply playing their instruments, the band participated in mini-storylines (often taking inspiration from contemporary movies: “Hungry Like The Wolf” riffs on Raiders of the Lost Ark, “The Wild Boys” on The Road Warrior, etc.). Videos were obviously headed in this direction already, but Duran Duran led the trend with a style, featuring quick editing, arresting graphic design, and surreal-to-nonsensical image inserts, that drew attention from commentators and spawned a wealth of imitators.

Duran Duran were among the first bands to have their videos shot with a professional movie camera on 35 mm film, rather than on videotape with cheaper video cameras, making them look superior to many of the quickly and inexpensively shot videos which had been MTV staples until then. MTV provided Duran Duran with access to American radio markets that were unfriendly to British music, New Wave music, or “anything with synthesisers”. Because MTV was not available everywhere in the United States at first, it was easy to see a pattern: where MTV went, listener demand for Duran Duran, Tears for Fears, Def Leppard and other European bands with interesting videos went through the roof.

The band’s sun-drenched videos for “Rio”, “Hungry Like The Wolf” and “Save A Prayer”, and the surreal “Is There Something I Should Know?” were filmed by future movie director Russell Mulcahy, who made eleven videos for the band. Duran Duran have always sought out innovative directors and techniques, even in their later years when MTV gave them little airplay. In addition to Mulcahy, they have had videos filmed by influential photographers Dean Chamberlain and Ellen von Unwerth, Chinese director Chen Kaige, documentary filmmaker Julien Temple, and the Polish Brothers, among others. According to Nick Rhodes, “Video is to us like stereo was to Pink Floyd”.

In 1984, the band introduced video technology into their live stadium shows by being among the first acts to provide video screens above the stage. They have recorded concerts using IMAX and 360 degree panoramic “immersive video” cameras, with 10.2 channel audio. In 2000, they experimented with augmented reality technology, which allowed three-dimensional computer-generated images to appear on stage with the band. They appeared on several century-end video countdowns: The MTV “100 Greatest Videos Ever Made” featured “Hungry Like The Wolf” at #11 and “Girls On Film” at #68, and the “VH1: 100 Greatest Videos” listed “Hungry” at #31 and “Rio” at #60. MTV named “Hungry” the fifteenth of their most-played videos of all time.

The band has released several video compilations, starting with the self-titled “video album” Duran Duran, for which they won a Grammy award, up to the 2004 two-disc DVD release Greatest, which included alternative versions of several popular videos as Easter eggs. In addition to Greatest, the documentary Sing Blue Silver, and the concert film Arena (both from 1984) were released on DVD in 2004. Live From London, a concert video from one of their sold-out 2004 reunion shows at Wembley Arena, was released in the fall of 2005.

Other video collections, concert films, and documentaries remain available only on videotape, and Duran Duran have not yet released a collection which includes all their videos. The band has said that a huge amount of unreleased concert and documentary footage has been filmed over the years, which they hope can be edited and released in some form in the near future. The video for “Falling Down” was released in October 2007.

wikipedia

Discography

Duran Duran (1981)
Rio (1982)
Seven and the Ragged Tiger (1983)
Arena (1984)
Notorious (1986)
Big Thing (1988)
Liberty (1990)
Duran Duran (The Wedding Album) (1993)
Thank You (1995)
Medazzaland (1997)
Pop Trash (2000)
Astronaut (2004)
Red Carpet Massacre (2007)

Duran Duran – DJ Mixes Vol. 1

1. Girls On Film(Hot Tracks Mix)
2. Planet Earth(Hot Tracks Mix)
3. Save A Prayer(DMC Mix)
4. Violence Of Summer(Hot Tracks Mix)
5. Too Much Information(Hot Tracks Mix)
6. All She Wants Is(Hot Tracks Mix)
7. White Lines(Ultimix)
8. Notorious Le Freak Medley(Zyx Mix)
9. All She Wants Is(Disconet Mix)
10.A View To A Kill(Art Of Mix)
11. Duran Mega Mix(DMC Mix)

Duran Duran – DJ Mixes Vol. 2

1. Wild Boys(Remix 2000)
2. The Reflex(Come As You Are Remix)
3. Girls On Film(Digital Mix)
4. Too Much Information(Techno 7 Mix)
5. Electric Barbarella(All Fired Up Mix)
6. The Chauffeur(Y2K Mix)
7. Burning The Ground
8. The Reflex(Reflexion Mix)
9. Decadence(Extended Version)
10. Too Much Information(Trance Mix)
11. Electric Barbarella(Internet Only Mix)
12. Violence Of Summer(French Mix)
13. The Knock Out Mix(Megamix 89)

Duran Duran – Mixed Up :  Strange Frequency

1. White Lines(Digital Mix)
2. Planet Earth(Digital Mix)
3. Girls On Film(Digital Mix)
4. A View To A Kill(Scenic Mix)
5. I Don’t Want Your Love(Curiosity Mix)
6. All She Wants Is(Curiosity Mix)
7. Too Much Information(Digital Remix)
8. Come Undone(Les Massangale & Mark Roberts Mix)
9. White Lines(Warren Kommission Sanford Mix)
10. Electric Barbarella(Digital Remix)
11. Decadence(New Decade Mix)

Duran Duran – Ultra Rare Trax

1. Notorious(Disconet)
2. I Don’t Want Your Love(Prime Cuts)
3. Save A Prayer(DMC)
4. A View To A Kill(Art Of Mix)
5. Duran(Megamix)
6. All She Wants Is(Hot Tracks)
7. Skin Trade(Parisian Mix)
8. Drowning Man(12″ Mix)

.

.

Duran Duran – Voices / Another Sound

1. Wild Boys(Remix Asap & PM Project)
2. The Reflex(Come As You Are Mix)
3. Come Undone(Churban Remix)
4. Drowning Man(D-Reamix)
5. Save A Prayer(DMC Remix)
6. Too Much Information(Trace 7 Mix)
7. Girls On Film(Europa Mix)
8. Electric Barbarella(All Fired Up Mix)
9. I Don’t Want Your Love(Big Mix)
10. Decadence(Extended Mix)
11. Love Is Like Oxygen(By Techno)

 



Since it takes us time to set up the blog why not check out some of the great other blogs out there?

First blog which I would like to mention as blog of the week is:

DreamTimeMix

This guy makes unbelievable good remixes of classics from the 60’s till today’s!

Check it out @:

http://dreamtimemix.blogspot.com

Now on Facebook aswell!


OK

The latest addition to the blogosphere & the www is the creation of a facebook page.

All in testing stage, to see if we will benefit from it or not.

Check the facebook page out @:

http://www.facebook.com/pages/Wonderful-70s-80s-Music-Forum-v30/194848027058?ref=ts


According to people who know a thing or two about music, this is a very rare promo cd single of the fine young cannibals classic:  she drives me crazy. Please enjoy!

fy1fy2

Fine Youg Cannibals – She Drives Me Crazy (Promo CD-Maxi)

http://sharebee.com/bffa12ad

Enjoy!


diana_10

Diana Ross feat. Michael Jackson -Eaten Alive (12” Maxi Sin
320kbps High quality

Side A: Eaten Alive (Extended Version) – (5:45)
Side B: Eaten Alive (Instrumental Dub) – (5:45)

http://rapidshare.com/files/84796540/DEA85.rar

Pass: dulfer

Dan (Devirto) to the rescue!


I’m very glad that my brother Dan is willing to help me to set up the blog, he’s done an outstanding job on his! So here’s hoping that he will be able to make this blog intersting aswell!

Watch the blog evolve in the future!

Dirk 🙂


Just read that Aerosmith seem to have issues and app Steve Tyler walked away from the band.

Rumour is that the band will continue but with a new singer!

That sucks BIG TIME!

Dirk

Set up some basics…


Set up some basics & added a few blogs of forum friends. This is all testing, hope for some help in setting the blog up.

Admin