Yoan Gouffran’s winner condemned Villa to their third straight Premier League defeat after Newcastle claimed the points.
Christian Benteke’s fifth goal of the season looked to have rescued a draw after a first-half no-show before Gouffran struck 17 minutes from time.
The excellent Hatem Ben Arfa opened the scoring for Newcastle in the first half as Villa failed to get to grips with their lively visitors.
It was a timid outing with Villa ragged as Moussa Sissoko and Ben Arfa ran the show for the Magpies.
Paul Lambert recalled Antonio Luna, Brad Guzan and Matt Lowton from the 3-0 League Cup win over Rotherham with £7m new-boy Libor Kozak on the bench.
Yohan Cabaye started for the Magpies, for the first time since failing to secure a move to Arsenal, and Loic Remy was handed a full debut.
Mathieu Debuchy conceded an early corner, denying a flying Gabby Agbonlahor, in a disjointed start for the hosts.
The visitors settled well and Papiss Cisse’s run on goal was halted by an offside flag before his 25-yard volley was easily claimed by Guzan.
But they were warning signs for Villa with Sissoko the pick for the visitors as he dominated the middle.
And the visitors went ahead on 18 minutes when Karim El Ahmadi lost possession to Remy, who crossed for Ben Arfa to sweep in from close range after Cisse failed to connect.
Fabricio Coloccini blocked Andi Weimann’s effort but it was a rare moment in a tepid opening 30 minutes for the hosts, made worse when Jores Okore limped off after a tangle with Remy to be replaced by Ciaran Clark.
And the defender nearly levelled on 41 minutes when Tim Krul missed Matt Lowton’s cross but Clark could only fire into the sidenetting.
But Magpies could have grabbed a second in first half stoppage time when Sissoko’s delicious chip found Cabaye and the Frenchman’s volley flew wide.
But Villa emerged energised after the re-start and Agbonlahor should have levelled on 55 minutes.
Lowton found Weimann scampering down the left but Agbonlahor could only turn his far post cross wide from six yards with the goal gaping.
Villa improved from their first-half no show and they finally levelled on 67 minutes when Benteke crashed in a header from Ashley Westwood’s cross.
Seconds before Kozak had replaced El Ahmadi for his debut with Villa switching to 4-4-2 with Weimann and Agbonlahor wide.
Newcastle were rocking but won it on 73 minutes when substitute Gouffran smashed past Guzan after the keeper had parried Ben Arfa’s strike.
It revitalised the Magpies as Cisse headed wide and Cheick Tiote forced Guzan into a low stop with 10 minutes left. Fabian Delph fired wide in reply but there was no late rally.