Juliana Hatfield Sings Olivia Newton-John

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Juliana Hatfield Sings Olivia Newton-John
Julianahatfieldsonj.jpg
Studio album by
ReleasedApril 13, 2018
StudioQ Division Studios (Somerville, Massachusetts)[1]
GenreAlternative rock · Indie rock
Length51:54
LabelAmerican Laundromat
ProducerJuliana Hatfield
Juliana Hatfield chronology
Pussycat
(2017)
Juliana Hatfield Sings Olivia Newton-John
(2018)
Weird
(2019)

Juliana Hatfield Sings Olivia Newton-John is the sixteenth studio album by American singer-songwriter Juliana Hatfield. It was released on April 13, 2018, by American Laundromat Records. It's a tribute album to Australian singer Olivia Newton-John, in which Hatfield covers thirteen songs sung by Newton-John, most of them originally released as singles. From every sale of the album, one dollar will be donated to the Olivia Newton-John Cancer Wellness & Research Centre, Newton-John's own cancer treatment organization.[2]

Background and development[edit]

"I have never not loved Olivia Newton-John. Her music has brought me so much pure joy throughout my life. I loved her when I was a child and I love her still. Her voice and her positive energy and her melodies have stood the test of time and they give me as much pleasure now as they ever did. Listening to her is an escape into a beautiful place. She has inspired me so much personally and I just wanted to give something back; to share some of these tremendous songs, reinterpreted, with love, by me."

– Hatfield on recording Juliana Hatfield Sings Olivia Newton-John.[3]

Hatfield started considering making an album of Olivia Newton-John songs after she purchased a ticket to see her concert (which was postponed later due to Newton-John's cancer diagnosis). The singer declared she "approached [the songs] from a serious place" and recorded the album "for myself and for other people who love her [Newton-John]", which she considers a personal musical idol since childhood. She also wanted to do "something more light and positive" after her previous release, Pussycat, which, according to her, has much negativity and helplessness feelings. Most of the songs covered on Juliana Hatfield Sings Olivia Newton-John were originally released by Newton-John in five specific albums Hatfield owned when she was a girl, that were "very big in [her] life": Don't Stop Believin' (1976), Grease (1978), Totally Hot (1978), Xanadu (1980) and Physical (1981). Hatfield stayed closer to the original recordings in most songs, since she didn't want to disrespect them and "there was no need for mess up too much", but sometimes took some liberties to adapt them to her own style, most notably on "Totally Hot", "Dancin' 'Round and 'Round" and "Make a Move on Me". The singer considered the recording process "really challenging" and "pretty complex", and even considered to quit it occasionally.[2][4][5]

Hatfield also worked on a version of "Suddenly", which she was planning to sing with another singer, but put it aside after she considered it became too complicated. She wanted to cover "Never Enough" as well, but forgot the song when she was recording the album.[5]

Release and promotion[edit]

Juliana Hatfield Sings Olivia Newton-John was released on April 13, 2018, with orange cassette, yellow cassette, CD, translucent orange vinyl and pink vinyl editions.[3] To promote the album, Hatfield released accompanying music videos for the songs "A Little More Love" and "Physical" on January 31 and March 1, 2018, respectively.[6][7] The singer also did an one-off concert on April 6, 2018 in Somerville, Massachusetts, where she performed most of the songs from the album.[8] Juliana Hatfield Sings Olivia Newton-John release also coincided with the limited-edition vinyl reissue of Hatfield's debut album Hey Babe.[5]

Reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
SourceRating
Metacritic65/100[9]
Review scores
SourceRating
AllMusic4/5 stars[10]
Under the Radar7/10 stars[11]
Albumism5/5 stars[12]

At Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating out of 100 to reviews from mainstream critics, Juliana Hatfield Sings Olivia Newton-John received an average score of 65, based on 4 reviews, which indicates "generally favorable reviews".[9] Newton-John herself praised Hatfield's renditions.[5] Allmusic writer Stephen Thomas Erlewine felt the album is "simply a love letter" and a "testament to the power of fandom." He also praised Hatfield's musical skills, stating that she "is a sharp record-maker, understanding when to let harmonies pile up and when to let analog keyboards set the tone, a gift that turns [the album] into a sumptuous aural pleasure."[10] Ian Rushbury from Under the Radar rated the album 7 out of 10, calling Juliana Hatfield Sings Olivia Newton-John a "great piece of work" and "a really strong collection of songs that just happen to come from an unlikely source."[11] Ross Horton of The Line of Best Fit wrote that "Hatfield shows such a love for the source material on what is essentially a tribute/covers album that the songs seem like they were written for her. [...] The song selection here is fantastic, and what she does with the originals is a complete revelation."[13] Newsday's Glenn Gamboa described the album as "a match made in female-rocker heaven", which "serves as a reminder of the barriers the Aussie singer broke through in the ’70s."[14] Spill Magazine writer Aaron Badgley opined that "the album would have benefited from Hatfield putting her own distinct spin on some of the songs" but it is, "overall, a sincere tribute from one artist to another."[15]

Track listing[edit]

All songs produced by Juliana Hatfield.

No.TitleWriter(s)Length
1."I Honestly Love You"Jeff Barry, Peter Allen3:24
2."Suspended in Time"John Farrar3:56
3."Have You Never Been Mellow"Farrar3:33
4."A Little More Love"Farrar3:39
5."Magic"Farrar4:27
6."Physical"Steve Kipner, Terry Shaddick3:44
7."Totally Hot"Farrar4:30
8."Don't Stop Believin'"Farrar3:54
9."Please Mr. Please"Bruce Welch, John Rostill3:26
10."Hopelessly Devoted to You"Farrar2:50
11."Xanadu"Jeff Lynne3:26
12."Dancin' 'Round and 'Round"Adam Mitchell2:49
13."Make a Move on Me"Farrar, Tom Snow3:42
14."I Honestly Love You" (Reprise)Barry, Allen4:43
Total length:51:54

Bonus single[edit]

Bonus single cover.

A bonus 7-inch vinyl single was also released on the same day of the album by American Laundromat. With a cover art illustration by Paul Westerberg depicting Newton-John during her Toomorrow days, it presents two additional cover songs not featured on the album.[3]

All songs produced by Hatfield.

No.TitleWriter(s)Length
1."Deeper Than the Night"Snow, Johnny Vastano3:33
2."Heart Attack"Kipner, Paul Bliss2:28
Total length:6:01

Personnel[edit]

Credits adapted from the album's liner notes.[1]

Charts[edit]

Chart (2018) Peak
position
US Independent Albums (Billboard)[16] 38
US Heatseekers Albums (Billboard)[17] 15

Release history[edit]

Region Date Formats Label Ref.
United States April 13, 2018
American Laundromat Records [3]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Juliana Hatfield Sings Olivia Newton-John (Liner notes). Juliana Hatfield. American Laundromat Records. 2018. B078Y2PJ8Z.CS1 maint: others (link)
  2. ^ a b Wasylak, Victoria (April 5, 2018). "Juliana Hatfield has no time for your sexist bullshit". Vanyaland. Retrieved May 12, 2018.
  3. ^ a b c d "Juliana Hatfield Sings Olivia Newton-John". American Laundromat Records. Archived from the original on May 6, 2018. Retrieved May 6, 2018.
  4. ^ Ham, Robert (March 12, 2018). "Juliana Hatfield on Her Olivia Newton-John Covers Album: 'I Wanted to Escape From All the Horrible Negativity'". Billboard. Retrieved May 12, 2018.
  5. ^ a b c d Chiu, David (April 12, 2018). "Juliana Hatfield Brings the 'Magic' to Her Olivia Newton-John Covers Album". PopMatters. Retrieved May 12, 2018.
  6. ^ "Juliana Hatfield – A Little More Love (Official Video)". Youtube. Retrieved May 12, 2018.
  7. ^ "Juliana Hatfield – Physical (Official Video)". Youtube. Retrieved May 12, 2018.
  8. ^ "Juliana Hatfield – Tickets – ONCE Ballroom – Somerville, MA – April 6th, 2018". Once Somerville. Archived from the original on April 8, 2018. Retrieved May 12, 2018.
  9. ^ a b "Juliana Hatfield Sings Olivia Newton-John by Juliana Hatfield Reviews and Tracks". Metacritic. Retrieved May 6, 2018.
  10. ^ a b Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. "Juliana Hatfield – Juliana Hatfield Sings Olivia Newton-John". AllMusic. Retrieved May 6, 2018.
  11. ^ a b Rushbury, Ian (April 20, 2018). "Juliana Hatfield: Sings Olivia Newton-John (American Laundomat) Review". Under the Radar. Retrieved May 6, 2018.
  12. ^ Walters, Grant. "'Juliana Hatfield Sings Olivia Newton-John' Illuminates the Legend's Timeless Songcraft". Albumism. Retrieved April 17, 2018.
  13. ^ Horton, Ross (April 22, 2018). "Juliana Hatfield's muse becomes reborn on …Sings Olivia Newton-John". The Line of Best Fit. Retrieved May 6, 2018.
  14. ^ Gamboa, Glenn (April 11, 2018). "'Juliana Hatfield Sings Olivia Newton-John' review: Loving tribute". Newsday. Retrieved May 6, 2018.
  15. ^ Badgley, Aaron. "Spill Album Review: Juliana Hatfield – Juliana Hatfield Sings Olivia Newton-John". Spill Magazine. Retrieved May 6, 2018.
  16. ^ "Juliana Hatfield Chart History – Independent Albums". Billboard. Retrieved May 6, 2018.
  17. ^ "Juliana Hatfield Chart History – Heatseekers Albums". Billboard. Retrieved May 6, 2018.

External links[edit]