Song of the Day #5,159: ‘Twist of Fate’ – Olivia Newton-John

Olivia Newton-John’s film career hit a major bump with just her second movie appearance. She starred as a roller skate-clad muse opposite Michael Beck and Gene Kelly in the 1980 musical Xanadu, a film so bad it led to the creation of the Golden Raspberry Awards.

The glitzy groan-fest has become something of a cult classic since, and even inspired a Broadway musical in 2007 that was nominated for multiple Tonys. But at the time, the film was a massive misstep.

That verdict didn’t apply to its soundtrack, however. The album accompanying Xanadu‘s release went double platinum in the U.S. and spawned a #1 hit in ‘Magic,’ a top ten hit in the title track, and a top 20 hit in the Cliff Richard duet ‘Suddenly.’ I’m on record naming ‘Magic’ as one of my 25 favorite songs, so it has that going for it.

Newton-John did make another film appearance in the early 80s, but first she released Physical, the best-selling album of her career. The 1981 album doubled down on her new sexy image, and its title track was accompanied by a video that was considered racy at the time (how far we’ve come!). ‘Physical’ was a massive hit, spending a then-record 10 weeks at #1.

Physical marked the high point of Newton-John’s music career, as future releases saw diminishing sales and relevance. She released 15 more studio albums but none of them made much of a mark.

She did release one more top five single, though, as part of a film that reunited her with Grease co-star John Travolta. Romantic comedy Two of a Kind was almost as big a flop as Xanadu, but its soundtrack performed well. The song ‘Twist of Fate’ was a big hit, the last of Newton-John’s career.

A more thorough deep dive would get into the inspirational albums Newton-John recorded for fellow cancer sufferers, or the several Christmas albums she has recorded, including one with longtime friend Travolta. But I’ll stick to the highlights, and close out the week with another great song from an artist who will be sorely missed.

[Verse 1]
Do we deserve a second chance?
How did we fall into this circumstance?
We weren’t so straight and narrow
This is much more than we deserve
A higher voice has called the tune
Two hearts that lost the beat will now resume
The gift of life extension
By divine intervention

[Pre-Chorus]
Ooh, ooh, ooh, ooh

[Chorus]
It’s gotta be a strange twist of fate
Telling me that heaven can wait
Telling me to get it right this time
Life doesn’t mean a thing
Without the love you bring
Love is what we’ve found
The second time around

[Verse 2]
Don’t understand what’s going on
Woke up this morning, all the hurt was gone
This is a new beginning
I’m back in the land of the living

[Pre-Chorus]
Ooh, ooh, ooh, ooh

[Chorus]
It’s gotta be a strange twist of fate
Telling me that heaven can wait
And I gotta get it right this time
Life doesn’t mean a thing
Without the love you bring
Love is what we found
The second time around
[Bridge]
Oh-oh
Oh, oh-oh, oh-oh

[Chorus]
It’s gotta be a strange twist of fate
Telling me that heaven can wait
Oh I’m gonna get it right this time
Life doesn’t mean a thing
Without the love you bring
Love is what we found
The second time around

It’s gotta be a strange twist of fate
Telling me that heaven can wait
Oh I’m gonna get it right this time
Life (life) doesn’t mean a thing
(Doesn’t mean a thing)
Without the love you bring
Love is what we found
(What we found)
The second time around

[Outro]
It’s gotta be a strange twist of fate
Telling me that heaven can wait
Life (life) doesn’t mean a thing
Without the love you bring
Love is what we found…

2 thoughts on “Song of the Day #5,159: ‘Twist of Fate’ – Olivia Newton-John

  1. Dana Gallup says:

    Thanks for the look back at someone who was such a presence in our younger years.

  2. Peg says:

    Thanks for giving us a fitting tribute to a special artist

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