Making a Good Thing Better

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Making a Good Thing Better
Studio album by Olivia Newton-John
Released 1977
Recorded 1977
Genre Adult contemporary, country, musical
Label MCA
Producer John Farrar
Olivia Newton-John chronology
Don't Stop Believin'
(1976)
Making a Good Thing Better
(1977)
Olivia Newton-John's Greatest Hits
(1977)

Making a Good Thing Better is an album by Olivia Newton-John, released 1977.

Reception[edit]

The album peaked at No. 34 Pop and No. 13 Country. It was Newton-John's first album not to reach the Country Top 10. The album also ended Olivia's streak of six consecutive gold albums from 1974's "Let Me Be There" through 1976's "Don't Stop Believin'." It was a different story in the Netherlands, where it became her fourth chart-topping album.

Newton-John was in a dispute with MCA records at the time of the recording and was in negotiations to be released from MCA, thus the label did not promote the album. At the time, Newton-John sued for her release from MCA, claiming they had not promoted her music, resulting in diminished chart placement. She attempted to promote the album and single, appearing on the cover of Us Weekly on 23 August 1977 and making a promotional clip of the song that aired on NBC's "The Midnight Special".

Olivia Newton-John went on to sign on to do the movie Grease, and came to agreement to stay with MCA Records, though her recordings from the movie were on RSO Records.

Singles[edit]

The soul-sounding title track was the album single (with "Don't Cry For Me, Argentina" and "Sad Songs") reaching a shockingly low No. 87 on the Pop chart and No. 20 on the Adult Contemporary chart. It was Newton-John's first single not to reach the AC Top 10 since 1972's "What Is Life". The cover art is the same as what was re-issued for 2005's "Gold" CD. The original album featured a gatefold cover similar to her Greatest Hits packages, though only one vinyl LP album was contained inside.

Track listing[edit]

Side One

  1. Making a Good Thing Better
    (Pete Wingfield)
    Drums and Percussion: Jeff Porcaro
    Electric Guitars: John Farrar, Jay Graydon
    Strings Arranged and Conducted by James Newton-Howard
  2. Slow Dancing
    (Jack Tempchin)
    Drums: Jeff Porcaro
    Bass: Lee Sklar
    Piano: Greg Mathieson
    Acoustic Slide Guitar: John Farrar
    Acoustic Guitar: Jay Graydon
    Strings Arranged and Conducted by James Newton-Howard
  3. Ring of Fire
    (June Carter - Merle Kilgore)
    Drums and Percussion: Jeff Porcaro
    Bass: Lee Sklar
    Harmonica: Tommy Morgan
    Fiddle: Byron Berline
  4. Coolin' Down
    (John Farrar)
    Drums and Percussion: Jeff Porcaro
    Bass: Lee Sklar
    Strings Arranged and Conducted by James Newton-Howard
  5. Don't Cry for Me Argentina (from the opera Evita)
    (Composed by Andrew Lloyd Webber - Lyrics by Tim Rice)
    Orchestra Arranged and Conducted by Peter Meyers

Side Two

  1. Sad Songs
    (Billy and Bobby Alessi)
    Drums and Percussion: Jeff Porcaro
    Bass: Lee Sklar
    Electric Guitar: Jay Graydon
    Strings Arranged and Conducted by James Newton-Howard
  2. You Won't See Me Cry
    (Joe Falsia - Stephen Sinclair)
    Drums: Jeff Porcaro
    Bass: Lee Sklar
  3. So Easy To Begin
    (Jules Shear)
    Drums: Jeff Porcaro
    Bass: Lee Sklar
    Strings Arranged and Conducted by James Newton-Howard
  4. I Think I'll Say Goodbye
    (Jim Rushing - Marshall Chapman)
    Drums: Jeff Porcaro
    Bass: Lee Sklar
  5. Don't Ask A Friend
    (Olivia Newton-John)
    Drums: Jeff Porcaro
    Bass: Lee Sklar
    Strings Arranged and Conducted by James Newton-Howard
  6. If Love Is Real
    (Randy Edelman)
    Drums and Percussion: Jeff Porcaro
    Bass: Lee Sklar
    Harmonium: Randy Edelman