Olivia Newton-John: Video Gold 1 kicks off its anthology of 19 music videos with three shorts spun from Newton-John's 1979 Totally Hot album. "Deeper Than the Night," "A Little More Love," and "Totally Hot," all directed by Alan Metter, are buoyant mini-productions. The first two are anchored by scenes of Newton-John singing in the studio and posing for publicity shots, the last video more playful as the smashing blonde turns heads on the street and dances with a hunky fellow cast as a shutterbug. The next 13 shorts, amazingly, were originally included on the video collection Physical; 10 of those are tied to tracks on Newton-John's 1981 album of the same name. (Among the other three is a post-Grease take on Newton-John's hit from that movie, "Hopelessly Devoted to You." Unfortunately, it doesn't work as a sincere performance by a mature woman, as presented here. It's hard not to hear the song, instead, as intended: A schoolgirl's sigh from a nostalgic comedy.)
Of the Physical-based (the album, that is) material, the famous video of the same name still looks clever, with Newton-John playing a sleek, aerobics devotee inspiring a lot of chubby men to exercise by jumping on them, talking into their ears, etc. A surreal streak runs through a few shorts, especially "Recovery," in which the singer rides a horse through a desert, encounters a cage full of men in tuxedoes (what a warm shoot that must have been), and wanders through a painting. The final three performances, all live and all from the Olivia in Concert video, feature some of Newton-John's best material, including the country-flavored hits "Let Me Be There" and "If You Love Me, Let Me Know."