Magic (Olivia Newton-John song)

"Magic" is a song recorded by English-born 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. It was Newton-John's 25th US chart hit, and her tenth of 12 records which went Gold or higher.

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

"Magic" was also Newton-John's biggest pop hit until "Physical" ruled the Hot 100 for ten weeks beginning in November 1981. 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]

The B-sides vary, depending on the label: "Fool Country" (also from Xanadu but not on the soundtrack) is the B-side of the MCA release; "Whenever You're Away from Me" (with Gene Kelly) is the B-side of the Jet release.

Track listing and formats

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

Credits and personnel

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

Additional personnel


2011 version

"Magic (Peach & DJ Dan Murphy remix)"
Single by Olivia Newton-John featuring Wacci
ReleasedMay 22, 2011
FormatDigital download
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)"

"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

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
Australia (ARIA) Australian Singles Chart 10
Australia (ARIA) Dance Chart 19


See also


  1. Sendejas Jr., Jesse (August 7, 2014). "The '70s' Seven Sexiest Soft-Rock Songs". Houston Press.
  2. "Item Display - RPM - Library and Archives Canada". Retrieved October 16, 2016.
  3. "Did John Lennon love the soundtrack to Xanadu ? | Steve Hoffman Music Forums". September 1, 2013. Retrieved October 16, 2016.
  4. 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.
  5. "Item Display - RPM - Library and Archives Canada". Retrieved October 16, 2016.
  6. "Item Display - RPM - Library and Archives Canada" (PDF). July 26, 1980. Retrieved June 3, 2019.
  7. "SA Charts 1965–March 1989". Retrieved September 5, 2018.
  8. Joel Whitburn's Top Pop Singles 1955-1990 - ISBN 0-89820-089-X
  9. Whitburn, Joel (2002). Top Adult Contemporary: 1961-2001. Record Research. p. 182.
  10. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on October 26, 2014. Retrieved 2015-08-30.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  11. "Item Display - RPM - Library and Archives Canada". Retrieved October 16, 2016.
  12. "Top Selling Singles of 1980 | The Official New Zealand Music Chart". December 31, 1980. Retrieved October 16, 2016.
  13. "Pop Singles" Billboard December 20, 1980: TIA-10
  14. Stimulator signs deal with Macy's for their "Find Your Magic" campaign
  15. "Hot Dance Club Songs". Billboard. Nielsen Business Media, Inc. November 21, 2015. Retrieved November 10, 2015.
  16. Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. "Juliana Hatfield Sings Olivia Newton-John". AllMusic. Retrieved April 23, 2018.
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