Xanadu (Olivia Newton-John and Electric Light Orchestra song)

"Xanadu" is the title song from the soundtrack album Xanadu, and is the title song from the 1980 film of the same name. The song is performed by the Electric Light Orchestra (ELO) and Olivia Newton-John. Newton-John sings the primary vocals, with ELO lead singer Jeff Lynne adding "parenthetic" vocals in the style of their other songs on the Xanadu soundtrack, along with ELO providing the instrumentation. It is Jeff Lynne's favourite song of all that he has written.[1]

"Xanadu"
One of UK releases with pink vinyl
Single by Olivia Newton-John and Electric Light Orchestra
from the album Xanadu
B-side
  • "Fool Country" [Olivia Newton-John] (UK)
  • "Whenever You're Away from Me" [Olivia Newton-John, Gene Kelly] (US),
ReleasedJune 6, 1980 (UK)
July 1980 (US)
Format7-inch single
Recorded1979
StudioMusicland, Munich
GenrePost-disco, pop
Length3:28
LabelJet (UK)
MCA (US)
Songwriter(s)Jeff Lynne
Producer(s)Jeff Lynne
Electric Light Orchestra singles chronology
"I'm Alive"
(1980)
"Xanadu"
(1980)
"All Over the World"
(1980)
Olivia Newton-John singles chronology
"Magic"
(1980)
"Xanadu"
(1980)
"Suddenly"
(1980)

The single reached number one in several countries, and was the band's only UK number one single,[2] when it peaked there for two weeks in July 1980. It was certified as "silver" by the British Phonographic Industry.[3] The song peaked at number eight on the Billboard Hot 100 in the US.[4]

The music video also appears in the Friends episode "The One Where Rachel and Ross... You Know".

Chart performance

Personnel

Olivia featuring Paula version

"Xanadu"
Single by Olivia featuring Paula
Released4 December 1995
FormatCD
Recorded1995
GenreDance
LabelMDS
Songwriter(s)Jeff Lynne

In late 1995, two Australian dance performers released versions of the song. Sydney singer Olivia Featuring Paula (on the MDS label) released a dance version first, followed by Kirsty K. (on Central Station Records). Both versions charted on the ARIA Singles and Dance Charts in the first half of 1996.[29]

Chart performance (Olivia featuring Paula version)

Chart (1996) Peak
position
Australia (ARIA)[30] 55

Kirsty K. version

"Xanadu"
Single by Kirsty K.
ReleasedDecember 1995
FormatCD
Recorded1995
GenreDance
Length3:30
LabelCentral Station
Songwriter(s)Jeff Lynne

Chart performance (Kirsty K. version)

Chart (1996) Peak
position
Australia (ARIA)[31] 71

New Electric Light Orchestra version

In 2000, ELO's Jeff Lynne re-recorded the song, with his own vocals, for the box set Flashback and the All Over the World compilation. Though it was billed as an ELO selection, the song was recorded by Lynne with Marc Mann on keyboards, but with no input from his former bandmates.

Sharleen Spiteri version

"Xanadu"
Single by Sharleen Spiteri
from the album The Movie Songbook
ReleasedFebruary 2010 (2010-02)
FormatCD single, digital download
Recorded2009
GenrePop
Length3:34
LabelMercury, Universal
Songwriter(s)Jeff Lynne
Producer(s)Sharleen Spiteri
Sharleen Spiteri singles chronology
"It Was You"
(2008)
"Xanadu"
(2010)

In 2009, Scottish singer-songwriter Sharleen Spiteri recorded the song for a second studio album titled The Movie Songbook which was released on March 1, 2010 worldwide. Xanadu was released as the lead single from the album in February 2010 and has so far made the BBC Radio 2 C-List.[32]

Chart performance

Chart (2010) Peak
position
UK (Official Charts Company)[33] 71

Other cover versions

Karin Glenmark recorded the song in Swedish with lyrics by Ingela "Pling" Forsman, and released it as a single in 1980.[34] Her version chartered at Svensktoppen for 10 weeks between October 26-December 21, 1980.[35] 1980 also saw the release of Swedish language-recordings by Ingmar Nordströms,[36] Flamingokvintetten[37] and Wizex.[38]

British indie artist Dev Hynes, under his alias Lightspeed Champion, did his own rendition of "Xanadu" as a B-side to his single "Tell Me What It's Worth".

Juliana Hatfield covered the song on her album Juliana Hatfield Sings Olivia Newton-John.[39]

References

  1. "Jeff Lynne interviewed by Simon Mayo in November 2017". YouTube. Retrieved February 15, 2018.
  2. "1980 Top 40 Official UK Singles Archive - 12th July 1980". Offfical Charts Company. Retrieved March 5, 2013.
  3. "British single certifications – Xanadu". British Phonographic Industry. Select singles in the Format field. Type Xanadu in the "Search BPI Awards" field and then press Enter.
  4. "Electric Light Orchestra - Awards". AllMusic. Retrieved March 5, 2013.
  5. Kent, David (1993). Australian Chart Book 19701992. St Ives, NSW: Australian Chart Book. ISBN 0-646-11917-6.
  6. "Austriancharts.at – Olivia Newton-John & Electric Light Orchestra – Xanadu" (in German). Ö3 Austria Top 40.
  7. "Ultratop.be – Olivia Newton-John & Electric Light Orchestra – Xanadu" (in Dutch). Ultratop 50.
  8. "Xanadu in Canadian Adult Contemporary Chart". Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved July 12, 2013.
  9. "Xanadu in Canadian Top Singles Chart". Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved July 12, 2013.
  10. Stichting Nederlandse Top 40. "Top 40-lijst van week 31, 1980". Top40.nl. Retrieved October 17, 2016.
  11. Hawtin, Steve. "Song artist 171 - Electric Light Orchestra". Tsort.info. Retrieved May 2, 2013.
  12. "Offiziellecharts.de – Olivia Newton-John & Electric Light Orchestra – Xanadu". GfK Entertainment Charts. Retrieved February 13, 2019.
  13. "Xanadu in Irish Chart". IRMA. Archived from the original on June 3, 2009. Retrieved July 10, 2013. 1st result when searching "Xanadu"
  14. Lee Zhito, ed. (1980). "xanadu"+"israel"+"billboard" Billboard, September 6, 1980. Nielsen Business Media, Inc. ISSN 0006-2510. Retrieved July 10, 2013.
  15. Lee Zhito, ed. (1980). "xanadu"+"japan"+"billboard" Billboard, November 15, 1980. Nielsen Business Media, Inc. ISSN 0006-2510. Retrieved July 10, 2013.
  16. "Nederlandse Top 40 – Olivia Newton-John & Electric Light Orchestra" (in Dutch). Dutch Top 40.
  17. "Dutchcharts.nl – Olivia Newton-John & Electric Light Orchestra – Xanadu" (in Dutch). Single Top 100.
  18. "Charts.nz – Olivia Newton-John & Electric Light Orchestra – Xanadu". Top 40 Singles.
  19. "Norwegiancharts.com – Olivia Newton-John & Electric Light Orchestra – Xanadu". VG-lista.
  20. John Samson. "South African Rock Lists Website - SA Charts 1969 - 1989 Acts (E)". Rock.co.za. Retrieved April 29, 2013.
  21. "Swedishcharts.com – Olivia Newton-John & Electric Light Orchestra – Xanadu". Singles Top 100.
  22. "Swisscharts.com – Olivia Newton-John & Electric Light Orchestra – Xanadu". Swiss Singles Chart.
  23. "ELO". Wweb.uta.edu. Retrieved October 17, 2016.
  24. "Charts". Wweb.uta.edu. Retrieved October 17, 2016.
  25. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on October 6, 2014. Retrieved April 25, 2014.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  26. "Item Display - RPM - Library and Archives Canada". Collectionscanada.gc.ca. Retrieved October 17, 2016.
  27. "100 Top Hits of 1980" (PDF). Charismusicgroup.com. Retrieved October 17, 2016.
  28. "UK Singles of the Year" (PDF). Record Mirror. London: Spotlight Publications. December 27, 1980. p. 30. Retrieved June 13, 2016.
  29. Ryan, Gavin (2011). Australia's Music Charts 1988–2010. Mt. Martha, VIC, Australia: Moonlight Publishing.
  30. "The ARIA Australian Top 100 Singles Chart – Week Ending 03 Mar 1996". Imgur.com (original document published by ARIA). Retrieved July 31, 2017. N.B. The HP column displays the highest peak reached.
  31. "The ARIA Australian Top 100 Singles Chart – Week Ending 25 Feb 1996". Imgur.com (original document published by ARIA). Retrieved July 21, 2017. N.B. The HP column displays the highest peak reached.
  32. - 17:05. "Radio 2 - Playlist". BBC. Retrieved March 19, 2010.
  33. "Sharleen Spiteri". Official Charts Company. Retrieved July 12, 2013.
  34. "Svensk mediedatabas". Retrieved May 29, 2011.
  35. "Svensktoppen". 1980. Retrieved May 29, 2011.
  36. "Svensk mediedatabas". Retrieved May 29, 2011.
  37. "Svensk mediedatabas". Retrieved May 29, 2011.
  38. "Svensk mediedatabas". Retrieved May 29, 2011.
  39. Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. "Juliana Hatfield Sings Olivia Newton-John". AllMusic. Retrieved April 23, 2018.
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