Magic Dance

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"Magic Dance"
Single by David Bowie
from the album Labyrinth
B-side "Within You"
Released 1986
Format 12" single
Recorded 1986
Genre Pop rock, synthpop[1]
Length 5:13 (Album Version)
4:00 (Single Version)
Label EMI America
V-19217
Producer(s) David Bowie, Arif Mardin
David Bowie singles chronology
"Underground"
(1986)
"Magic Dance"
(1986)
"When the Wind Blows"
(1986)

"Magic Dance" is one of the featured songs performed by David Bowie in the 1986 Jim Henson movie, Labyrinth. It is also credited as "Dance Magic" in some instances.

This song is a dance number which momentarily takes the focus away from Sarah (Jennifer Connelly) to observe the goings on in the castle at the centre of the labyrinth. Jareth, played by Bowie, amuses himself by singing to Toby. The lyric 'What kind of magic spell to use?' possibly refers to the search for a spell that will cheer up a crying Toby. The answer they discover is 'Magic Dance'.

The song then begins with a simple dance beat, while a series of questions and answers between Jareth and the goblins presented in call-response form are layered over. Seeing that the goblins are still confused, Jareth provides further explanation in the form of an '80s dance/rock sequence. The goblins all sing along with Jareth, recounting multiple spells, and ultimately choosing a form of "magic dance".

The song lyrics makes reference to the 1947 movie The Bachelor and the Bobby-Soxer starring Cary Grant: "Hey, You remind me of the Man / Babe, What Man / Babe, The Man / Babe with the Power....".

The song appears in different forms in the film and on the soundtrack. Both versions use the same basic song and recordings made in the studio, but vocal tracks for the film and soundtrack were recorded apart from each other. In addition, the song is shortened in the film, fading out mid-way through.

The song also appears in a reprise medley with "Underground" at the end of the film.[2]

The single wasn't available in all markets around the world. The main single, only released on 12" was released in the US, Spanish and Italian markets, among others. The single was never released commercially in the UK until the digital download in early 2007.

Track listing[edit]

12": EMI America / V-19217 (US)[edit]

  1. "Magic Dance" (A Dance Mix) – 7:06
  2. "Magic Dance" (Dub) – 5:22
  3. "Within You" – 3:28

Download: EMI / i19217 (US)[edit]

  1. "Magic Dance" (Single Version) – 4:00
  2. "Magic Dance" (12" Version) – 7:06
  3. "Magic Dance" (Dub) – 5:22
  4. "Magic Dance" (7" Version) – 4:39
  • released in 2007
  • the "7" Version" is an edit of the 12" version
  • "12" Version" same as "A Dance Mix"

References[edit]