You Can Do Magic (song)

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"You Can Do Magic"
Single by America
from the album View from the Ground
B-side"Even the Score"
ReleasedJuly 6, 1982 (1982-07-06)
RecordedMarch 1982
StudioAbbey Road Studio 2, London
GenreSoft rock,[1] pop rock
Songwriter(s)Russ Ballard
Producer(s)Russ Ballard
America singles chronology
"You Can Do Magic"
"Right Before Your Eyes"
Music video
"You Can Do Magic" on YouTube

"You Can Do Magic" is a song by singer-songwriter Russ Ballard that was recorded as a 1982 single by folk rock duo America from their album View from the Ground.

The song was one of two Ballard compositions on View from the Ground, the other being "Jody". Ballard wrote both songs specifically for America at the behest of Rupert Perry, A&R vice president for Capitol Records. Ballard also produced the tracks marking a return to record production after a four-year hiatus; although Ballard had earlier hits as a songwriter, "You Can Do Magic" was his first major hit credit as a producer.[2]

"You Can Do Magic" proved a solid comeback vehicle for America whose last Top 40 hit—"Today's the Day"—had occurred in 1976; the second of two subsequent appearances on the Hot 100 was in 1979. "You Can Do Magic" returned America to the Top 40 in August 1982 with the track reaching No. 8 that October,[3] and holding that position for five weeks. The popularity of "You Can Do Magic" was paralleled by the success of the parent View From the Ground album which rose to No. 41 on Billboard's listing of the top 200 albums, the first time an album by America as a duo (rather than the original trio) had appeared in that chart's upper half.

International chart placings for "You Can Do Magic" include No. 30 in Australia,[citation needed] No. 37 in Canada,[4] No. 20 in Ireland,[citation needed] No. 27 in Italy,[citation needed] No. 12 in New Zealand,[citation needed] and No. 59 in the UK.[5]

The success of "You Can Do Magic" led to America recording their 1983 album Your Move with Russ Ballard as producer. A re-recording of the song later appeared on the band's 1994 album, Hourglass.

Chart performance[edit]

Music video[edit]

The music video opens up with a gloved hand throwing glitter, which then pixelates into the band performing the song, amidst a cloudy background. Some shots feature a set of hands flipping cards (referencing the classic magic trick). On 17 July 2019, the video was officially uploaded on YouTube.[citation needed]


Backing musicians
  • Russ Ballard – acoustic, electric and bass guitars, keyboards and backing vocals
  • Chuck Kirkpatrick - additional backing vocals
  • Willie Leacox - drums

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "200 Greatest Soft Rock Songs".
  2. ^ Billboard Vol. 94 No. 40 (October 9, 1982) p.33
  3. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2004). The Billboard Book of Top 40 Hits. Billboard Books. p. 27. ISBN 978-0-8230-7499-0.
  4. ^ America, "You Can Do Magic" Canadian Chart Positions Retrieved March 30, 2015
  5. ^ "America singles charts history". Official Charts. The Official Charts Company. Retrieved 18 February 2015.
  6. ^ RPM 50 Singles
  7. ^ RPM Contemporary Adult
  8. ^ "The Irish Charts – Search Results – You Can Do Magic". Irish Singles Chart. Retrieved July 16, 2019.
  9. ^ NZ Top 40 Singles Chart, 28 November 1982
  10. ^ "Talent in Action : Top Pop Singles". Billboard. Vol. 94, no. 51. December 25, 1982. p. TIA-20.