Magic (Olivia Newton-John song)

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Magic Front.jpg
Picture sleeve of the US and Australasian releases (MCA Records)
Single by Olivia Newton-John
from the album Xanadu
  • "Fool Country" (US)
  • "Whenever You're Away from Me" (with Gene Kelly) (UK)
Released23 May 1980
StudioMusicland Studios, Munich
Songwriter(s)John Farrar
Producer(s)John Farrar
Olivia Newton-John singles chronology
"I Can't Help It"

"Magic" is a song recorded by Australian singer Olivia Newton-John for the soundtrack to the 1980 film Xanadu. Written and produced by John Farrar, it was released as the lead single from the soundtrack on 23 May 1980. The single was number one on the US Billboard Hot 100 for four weeks beginning on August 2, 1980. On August 30, it was displaced from the top by "Sailing" by Christopher Cross.

Billboard magazine ranked "Magic" as the third most popular single of 1980, behind only "Call Me" by Blondie and "Another Brick in the Wall, Part II" by Pink Floyd. In Canada, the single spent two weeks at number one. It also reached number four in Australia and number 32 in the United Kingdom. The single also became Newton-John's biggest Adult Contemporary hit to date, spending five weeks at the top of the US chart, and also topped the Canadian AC chart for a week.[2]

John Lennon named "Magic" and "All Over the World" as two recent songs he liked in a Newsweek interview in September 1980, shortly before his death.[3]

In a lawsuit involving the use of the song in a high school musical performance, the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals described the song as follows:

"Magic" was an original song in the 1980 musical movie fantasy "Xanadu." Olivia Newton-John played Kira, a muse descended from Mount Olympus, who encourages and inspires the male protagonist, Sonny, to pursue his dream of opening a fantastical nightclub, Xanadu. "Magic" plays during their first encounter, reprises first when Kira must return to Olympus, and then again when Kira seemingly reappears as a Xanadu waitress. It is thus used as a vehicle of inspiration for pursuit of one’s dreams and love.[4]

Both U.S. and U.K. B-sides also appear in Xanadu:

  • U.S.: "Fool Country" is one of three single B-sides to appear in the film but not on the soundtrack album. This is featured in the nightclub grand opening segment following the movie title track and before its reprise.
  • U.K.: "Whenever You're Away From Me" (with Gene Kelly), also appears as the B-side of the U.S. "Xanadu" single.

Track listing and formats[edit]

U.S. 7-inch vinyl single (MCA)

  1. "Magic" – 4:25
  2. "Fool Country" – 2:29
  • U.K. 7-inch vinyl single Jet
  1. "Magic" – 4:25
  2. "Whenever You're Away from Me" – 4:22


  • Olivia Newton-John – lead and backing vocals
  • John Farrar – electric guitars, electric piano, synthesizers and backing vocals
  • David Hungate – bass
  • Carlos Vega – drums and percussion

Additional personnel


Certifications and sales[edit]

Region Certification Certified units/sales
Australia (ARIA)[17] Platinum 100,000^

^ Shipments figures based on certification alone.

2011 version[edit]

"Magic (Peach & DJ Dan Murphy remix)"
Single by Olivia Newton-John featuring Wacci
ReleasedMay 22, 2011
GenreElectropop, dance-pop
Songwriter(s)John Farrar
Producer(s)DJ Dan Murphy, Steve Peach
Olivia Newton-John featuring Wacci singles chronology
"Help Me to Heal"
"Magic (Peach & DJ Dan Murphy remix)"
"When You Wish upon a Star"
Music video
"Magic (Peach & DJ Dan Murphy remix)" on YouTube

"Magic (Peach & DJ Dan Murphy remix)" is a remix of the 1980 song. In May 2011, the song was remixed by two Australians, DJ Dan Murphy and Steve Peach, to create a dance version. Olivia went back to the studio to re-sing the vocals. The version was sponsored by WACCI, a humanitarian group.

Everybody who worked on the project volunteered their time, with all proceeds being donated to Olivia's charity, the Olivia Newton-John Cancer and Wellness Centre.

Olivia was presented the world premiere of the song on Australian Dancing with the Stars on Sunday May 22, 2011. The song was released exclusively on Australian iTunes, also on Sunday May 22.

Music video[edit]

A video was shot for the new remix in Sydney in an attempt to break the Guinness Book World Record for largest cast in a music video by featuring 350 people. Newton-John does not appear in the video, which was directed by DJ Dan Murphy.


Chart (2011) Peak
Australia (ARIA) Singles Chart 79


See also[edit]


  1. ^ Sendejas Jr., Jesse (7 August 2014). "The '70s' Seven Sexiest Soft-Rock Songs". Houston Press.
  2. ^ "Item Display - RPM - Library and Archives Canada". Retrieved 16 October 2016.
  3. ^ "Did John Lennon love the soundtrack to Xanadu ? | Steve Hoffman Music Forums". 1 September 2013. Retrieved 16 October 2016.
  4. ^ Tresóna Multimedia, LLC v. Burbank High School Vocal Music Association et al, March 24, 2020, 17-56006, Page 20 (Retrieved May 26, 2020)
  5. ^ Kent, David (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970–1992. St Ives, NSW: Australian Chart Book. p. 217. ISBN 0-646-11917-6.
  6. ^ "Item Display - RPM - Library and Archives Canada". Retrieved 16 October 2016.
  7. ^ "Item Display - RPM - Library and Archives Canada" (PDF). 26 July 1980. Retrieved 3 June 2019.
  8. ^ "SA Charts 1965–March 1989". Retrieved 5 September 2018.
  9. ^ Joel Whitburn's Top Pop Singles 1955-1990 - ISBN 0-89820-089-X
  10. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2002). Top Adult Contemporary: 1961-2001. Record Research. p. 182.
  11. ^ "Top 100 1980-08-16". Cashbox Magazine. Retrieved 2015-08-30.
  12. ^ Steffen Hung. "Forum - Top 100 End of Year AMR Charts - 1980s (ARIA Charts: Special Occasion Charts)". Archived from the original on October 6, 2014. Retrieved 2016-10-16.
  13. ^ "Item Display - RPM - Library and Archives Canada". Archived from the original on 25 April 2016. Retrieved 16 October 2016.
  14. ^ "Top Selling Singles of 1980 | The Official New Zealand Music Chart". 31 December 1980. Retrieved 16 October 2016.
  15. ^ "Pop Singles" Billboard December 20, 1980: TIA-10
  16. ^ "Billboard Hot 100 60th Anniversary Interactive Chart". Billboard. Retrieved 10 December 2018.
  17. ^ "Billboard Vol. 94, No. 23: Majors Flight Economics with Quirky Rock Originals". Billboard. 6 December 1982. p. A-NZ 8. Retrieved 10 November 2021.
  18. ^ Stimulator signs deal with Macy's for their "Find Your Magic" campaign
  19. ^ "Hot Dance Club Songs". Billboard. Nielsen Business Media, Inc. 21 November 2015. Retrieved 10 November 2015.
  20. ^ Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. "Juliana Hatfield Sings Olivia Newton-John". AllMusic. Retrieved 23 April 2018.

External links[edit]