Eurovision 1974: The United Kingdom’s Olivia Newton-John in focus

‘If Not For You’ and ‘Banks Of The Ohio’ were just two of the songs that had turned Olivia Newton-John into a chart regular, when she was asked to represent The United Kingdom at the Eurovision Song Contest 1974.

On February 23 1974, Olivia performed six songs on the BBC show, Clunk Click, with it being no secret she wanted to take the runner up Angel Eyes to Brighton. Instead the carnival like oompah pah Long Live Love won the show. The song reached number 11 in the British charts, but at Eurovision, it was dwarfed by the might of Abba and Waterloo, ending equal fourth, with fellow Brit, Ireen Sheer for Luxembourg and Romuald representing Monaco.

Long Live Love – opinion from fans

In order to find out what Eurovision fans today think of this British entry from 1974, we asked our Eurovision Fan Panel. It includes team members as well as fans from all over the world.

 Michael O – I’ve always been a fan of Olivia’s and although this is far from her best song, this was the type of song we were sending to Eurovision in the early seventies. Olivia gave it her all and I still sing a long when it plays on one of her many greatest hits compilations. Not a winner by any means, but sung by an artist with true star quality.

Pascal W. – Not one of the UK’s best songs, not one of their worst. The song’s intro could as well be from a 19th century operetta. She has an amazing voice and should have gotten a better song to show off her talent a bit more. But well deserved 4th place.

Ashleigh K. – This isn’t actually a bad song. I liked it more than I thought that I would but good god, those backing singers were awful and they were so loud that during the chorus I could barely hear Olivia’s voice.

Vance T. – I love this one. Though it’s not as awesome as the other Olivia Newton-John songs that I’ve heard before, it’s still awesome.

Alvaro S – 1974 that year we had Abba, Olivia Newton-John and the legend Gigliola Cinquetti. Long live love was not strong enough to win the contest. And it is not that it is bad per se, but it is forgettable compared to the other competitors. It seems to me that the UK did not want to take risks in 1974 sending an average song. With the chosen entry she had, Olivia Newton-John actually did a good job bringing the song to a top 5.

Paul K. – 1974 was a good year for Eurovision! They had ABBA and Olivia Newton John, as well as a great stage. This song is what i would call a quality classic! She is so talented and amazing and this song reflects it. If I’m not mistaken, she came around 2nd? I hope that’s correct otherwise, whoops! But anyway I give this a solid 8/10! They should just bring her back to eurovision and they might get some decent points again

Josef S. – This song sounds very “oldies” but I love those old songs in general. Olivia Newton John is also one of my favourite singers so another points for UK here. And the blue dress Olivia and her backing vocalists wore during their performance are also classy. In general I would label it as “a feel-good song”. One I can imagine listening on repeat from time to time in my Eurovision playlist.

William S. – Long Live Love, is one of those eternal classics that will remain in certain people’s minds forever. Olivia sang this song with such flare and professionalism. I prefer her national final song Have Love, Will Travel to this one, but this was a well deserved placing for the UK.

Alexander S. – In 1974 United Kingdom chose the big star Olivia Newton-John. In my view, the song is a bit cheesy. Her clothing is worth a look….no complaints about her performance either, but the song is so weak.. Eventually she got the fourth place and the eleventh place on UK and Australian charts. Last to say, she is still performing and releasing albums. Long live Olivia

Gunec Y. – I’ve been a huge fan of Olivia Newton John since her appearance in Grease. I’ve found out about her Eurovision entry only a couple of years ago. Of course the song captured my heart reminding me of my childhood tunes. Olivia’s professional and relaxed attitude and her star light was no surprise, it’s in her DNA.

Steve P. – Not long before her starring role in hit movie Grease brought her to the world’s attention, the BBC asked Olivia to represent the host country. The lyrics refer to the ‘Sally Annie’ band. This provides a clue that the song chosen for her by the British public has a marching band style melody and arrangement. Olivia’s delivery was suitably chirpy and commendably professional given the rumours that she hated the song! The lyrics are a bit twee for my taste, but the sing-a-long quality of the tune saves the day.

Charlotte J. – I adore Ms. Newton-John, but I am having a hard time connecting to this song. I mean, I love that it’s happy and fresh and I enjoy listening to it. Afterwards, it’s however gone from my head again. I don’t feel any connection to it.

Below you can relive the April 6 1974 performance of Long Live Love, the U.K entry from Olivia Newton-John.

Olivia Newton-John – a mini biography

Straight after Eurovision, Olivia started to find success in America and Canada, while her star descended a little at home.  However in 1978 she starred in the movie Grease where her duets with John Travolta returned her to the top of the charts worldwide. After reaching number 2 with Hopelessly Devoted To You, Olivia secured herself as the best selling female artist of the seventies.

In the eighties she had a big hit with Magic from the movie Xanadu, and in 1981 scored the biggest song of the decade in the U.S.A with Physical. In total Olivia has released 73 singles and 55 albums. Sadly Olivia was stricken by cancer in 1992. She recovered but the disease continues to return to this day. She has a cancer research facility, in her second home, Australia, which takes her name.

There is no doubt that Olivia is one of the biggest stars ever to compete at Eurovision.

Read more in the news archive

Liked what you've read? Subscribe to our Eurovision news!