Friends for Christmas

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Friends for Christmas
Friends for Christmas by Farnham and Newton Jonn.jpg
Studio album by John Farnham and Olivia Newton-John
Released 11 November 2016
Recorded Playback Recording Studio. Santa Barbara, California, 2016
Genre Pop, Christmas
Label Sony Music Australia
Producer Chong Lim
John Farnham chronology
Two Strong Hearts Live
Friends for Christmas
Olivia Newton-John chronology
Liv On
Friends for Christmas
Hopelessly Devoted: The Hits

Friends for Christmas is a collaborative Christmas album by John Farnham and Olivia Newton-John recorded at Playback Recording Studio in Santa Barbara, California. It was released through Sony Music Australia and produced by Farnham's long-time music director Chong Lim, Released on 11 November 2016 on CD format, as well as for digital download. The album features well-known traditional holiday standards, by mostly American composers.

The album was re-released in 2017 with three additional tracks.


Friends for Christmas is Farnham's first Christmas album in 46 years; when billed as "Johnny" he released the album Christmas Is Johnny Farnham in 1970. It is Newton-John's fourth, the most recent being This Christmas (2012) recorded with her Grease co-star, John Travolta. Farnham and Newton-John promoted the album in Australia in November.[1]

Artists' press statements[edit]

Farnham said: "I have always loved working with Olivia. To record a Christmas album seemed like the right, almost inevitable thing to do. I hope everyone enjoys listening to it as much as we loved recording it together." Newton-John said: "It was such a joy singing these beautiful holiday songs with my favourite singer and good mate John Farnham. The holidays are about family and friends and having this chance to sing these classics with John was pure fun from beginning to end!"[2]

John Farnham and Olivia Newton-John have performed together in concert numerous times, and have released two ARIA number-one albums: Highlights from The Main Event in 1998,[3] from The Main Event Tour, also featuring Anthony Warlow and more recently Two Strong Hearts Live in 2015.[4]

Critical reception[edit]

Cameron Adams and Mikey Cahill from gave the album three-and-a-half stars out of five and said: "In a sea of corporate Christmas albums, this has a welcome quality missing from most: authenticity. First, they’re actual friends and Farnsey insisted on them recording together, eye-to-eye." They added: "Everything here is turned into a duet (and) producer Chong Lim hasn’t done much except capture the voices and add choirs and orchestration to make it as lush as you’d expect."[5]

Samantha Jonscher from The Music gave the album two-and-a-half out of five, writing: "If you are the music programmer for David Jones this Christmas season then this is the Yuletide album for you. The Broadway smiles one imagines plastered across their faces may not be contagious, but the "cheer" will certainly be heard over even the most frantic Christmas eve shopper's pounding, desperate heartbeat."[6]

Track listing[edit]


  1. "Let It Snow" (Sammy Cahn) – 2:35
  2. "It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas" (Meredith Willson) – 2:49
  3. "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas" (Hugh Martin, Ralph Blane) – 4:10
  4. "Santa Claus Is Coming to Town" (John Frederick Coots) – 2:40
  5. "The Christmas Song" (Mel Torme, Robert Wells) – 3:27
  6. "Winter Wonderland" (Felix Bernard, Richard B. Smith) – 2:54
  7. "Baby, It's Cold Outside" (Frank Loesser) – 3:18
  8. "Silent Night" (Joseph Mohr, Franz Xaver Gruber) – 3:11
  9. "White Christmas" (Irving Berlin) – 3:34
  10. "Little Drummer Boy" (Katherine Kennicott Davis) – 4:33
  11. "Silver Bells" (Jay Livingston, Ray Evans) – 2:58
  12. "Hark the Herald Angels Sing" – 2:35
  13. "The First Noel" (Deluxe edition only) - 5:01
  14. "Here Comes Santa Claus" (Deluxe edition only) - 3:08
  15. "One Little Christmas Tree" (Deluxe edition only) - 3:19


Friends for Christmas debuted a number 3 and reached number 1 in its fifth week of charting on 19 December 2016. It became the tenth No. 1 album for Farnham and the fifth for Newton-John.[7]


Region Certification Certified units/Sales
Australia (ARIA)[12] 2× Platinum 140,000^

*sales figures based on certification alone
^shipments figures based on certification alone

Release history[edit]

Country Date Label Edition Format Catalogue
Australia 11 November 2016[13] Sony Music Australia Standard edition CD, digital download 88985387172
Australia 17 November 2017[14] Sony Music Australia Deluxe edition CD, digital download 88985498012

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "John Farnham and Olivia Newton-John are on song with new Christmas album". 16 October 2016. Retrieved 17 October 2016. 
  2. ^ "John Farnham and Olivia Newton-John are Friends for Christmas". auspOp. 17 October 2016. Retrieved 17 October 2016. 
  3. ^ "John Farnham / Olivia Newton-John / Anthony Warlow - Highlights from the Main Event (Album)". Australian charts. Retrieved 23 November 2016. 
  4. ^ "John Farnham and Olivia Newton-John – Highlights from Two Strong Hearts Live (Album)". Australian charts. Retrieved 23 November 2016. 
  5. ^ "Latest Xmas Album Reviews: John Farnham & Olivia Newton John, She & Him, Neil Diamond, R. Kelly, Kylie Minogue". 7 December 2016. Retrieved 16 December 2016. 
  6. ^ "Album Reviews – John Farnham & Olivia Newton-John – Friends For Christmas". The Music AU. 28 November 2016. Retrieved 16 December 2016. 
  7. ^ "Australian Charts: FONJie Has The No 1 ARIA Album". Noise11. 19 December 2016. Retrieved 19 December 2016. 
  8. ^ "ARIA Australian Top 50 Albums". Australian Recording Industry Association. 19 December 2016. Retrieved 17 December 2016. 
  9. ^ "ARIA Australian Artist Albums". Australian Recording Industry Association. 21 November 2016. Retrieved 19 November 2016. 
  10. ^ "ARIA Top 100 Albums 2016". Australian Recording Industry Association. Retrieved 6 January 2017. 
  11. ^ "ARIA End of Year Albums 2017". Australian Recording Industry Association. Retrieved 5 January 2018. 
  12. ^ "ARIA Australian Top 50 Albums". Australian Recording Industry Association. 11 December 2017. Retrieved 9 December 2017. 
  13. ^ "Friends For Christmas". JB Hi-Fi. Retrieved 17 October 2016. 
  14. ^ "Friends For Christmas (Deluxe Edition)". JB Hi-Fi. Retrieved 5 January 2018.