Album: Xanadu Soundtrack (1980)
Charted: 32 1

Songfacts®:

  • Written by Olivia Newton-John's longtime producer John Farrar, this song appeared on the soundtrack to the movie Xanadu, which she starred in along with Gene Kelly. The song deals with destiny and faith, and it's easy-going melody and clear vocals proved much more accessible than the movie: while the film floundered, this song was a huge hit, staying at #1 on the Hot 100 for four weeks and on the Adult Contemporary chart for five weeks during the summer of 1980. The next year, Newton-John had an even bigger hit with "Physical."
  • "Magic" became the first word to serve as both the title of a chart-topping hit and the name of an artist behind a leading song after the Canadian band Magic! topped the Hot 100 in July 2014 with "Rude." (Exclamation point excluded).
  • Remarkably, this is the only song with the word "Magic" in the title to hit #1 on the Hot 100. The two that came closest: "Puff The Magic Dragon" by Peter, Paul and Mary and "Magic Stick" by 50 Cent, which each hit #2.
  • According to Farrar, this song took a while to record and about three days to mix.
  • This was performed on the Season 1 finale of Glee, "Journey to Regionals," by a rival group at the Regionals competition. Newton-John appeared as one of the celebrity judges.
  • Shortly before his death in 1980, John Lennon told Newsweek he enjoyed this song and "All Over The World," a Xanadu track by ELO.

Comments: 6

  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn July 26th 1980, Olivia Newton-John performed "Magic" on the NBC-TV program 'The Midnight Special', she was also the show's guest host...
    At the time of this appearance on 'TMS' the song was at #2 on Billboard's Hot Top 100 chart; the next day it moved into the #1 position, and stayed there for 4 weeks...
    (See the 2nd post below).
  • Ken from Louisville, KyThe song tells the story about the movie. Olivia plays a young man's "muse", his fantasy woman, who has magically come to life to help him achieve his dreams. She says she has always been with him - in his mind - and always will. Incidentally, the actor who played the young man was Michael Beck, who had a major role in the 1979 movie "The Warriors". He sometimes joked that "The Warriors" launched his career, but "Xanadu" just about ended it!
  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn February 8th, 1982, Olivia Newton-John performed "Magic" on her own ABC-TV special 'Let's Get Physical'...
    Two years earlier May 18th, 1980 it entered Billboard's Hot Top 100 chart at position #74; and on July 27th it peaked at #1 (for 4 weeks) and spent 23 weeks on the Top 100 (and for 9 of those 23 weeks it was on the Top 10)...
    And on July 13th, 1980 it reached #1 (for 5 weeks) on Billboard's Adult Contemporary Tracks...
    In Canada it peaked at #1 on the RPM Top Singles and RPM Adult Contemporary charts...
    It was composed by John Farrar; who also wrote her #1 records "Have You Never Been Mellow" and "Hopelessly Devoted To You" (plus penned her duet record with John Travolta, "You're The One That I Love", it also peaked at #1).
  • Esskayess from Dallas, TxI played this song and 'Xanadu' to death during the summer and fall of '80. Still love both.
  • Xav from Chicago, IlConsidering two-hit wonder group Pilot's song "Magic" was used by AT&T (with commercials featuring Julia Louis-Dreyfus), I knew some company would eventually get around to commercializing this one. At least those ubiquitous Macy's ads might introduce the song to a new generation whose PARENTS aren't even old enough to remember how huge this song was in 1980.
  • Paul from Detroit, MiA beautiful song and my favorite by Olivia. Why don't AC stations ever play her songs anymore? They are timeless and she had so many huge hits.
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