Charlie's 80s Blog

This Day In 80s Music, August 17th

On this day back in 1980: Olivia Newton John was enjoying her 3rd consecutive week at #1 on the U.S. singles charts with ‘Magic’.

‘Magic’ was recorded 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 May 23, 1980. The single was number one on the U.S. 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 U.S. chart hit and her tenth of twelve records which went Gold or higher.

“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 #1. It also reached #4 in Australia and #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 that U.S. chart, and also topped the Canadian AC chart for a week.

John Lennon named “Magic” and “All Over The World” by E.L.O. (also on the Xanadu soundtrack) as two recent songs he liked in a Newsweek interview in September 1980, shortly before his death.

Here is the entire Top 20 on the U.S. Singles chart from this day back in 1980:

1 1 MAGIC –•– Olivia Newton-John (MCA)-13 (3 weeks at #1) (1)
2 5 SAILING –•– Christopher Cross (Warner Brothers)-10 (2)
3 4 TAKE YOUR TIME (Do It Right) (Part 1) –•– The S.O.S. Band (Tabu)-12 (3)
4 7 EMOTIONAL RESCUE –•– The Rolling Stones (Rolling Stones)-7 (4)
5 10 UPSIDE DOWN –•– Diana Ross (Motown)-6 (5)
6 2 IT’S STILL ROCK AND ROLL TO ME –•– Billy Joel (Columbia)-13 (1)
7 6 SHINING STAR –•– The Manhattans (Columbia)-17 (5)
8 3 LITTLE JEANNIE –•– Elton John (MCA)-16 (3)
9 19 LET MY LOVE OPEN THE DOOR –•– Pete Townshend (Atco)-10 (9)
10 12 MORE LOVE –•– Kim Carnes (EMI-America)-12 (10)

11 8 CUPID / I’VE LOVED YOU FOR A LONG TIME (Medley) –•– The Spinners (Atlantic)-14 (4)
12 9 COMING UP (Live At Glasgow) / COMING UP –•– Paul McCartney and Wings (Columbia)-17 (1)
13 17 FAME –•– Irene Cara (RSO)-10 (13)
14 15 MISUNDERSTANDING –•– Genesis (Atlantic)-13 (14)
15 33 GIVE ME THE NIGHT –•– George Benson (Warner Brothers / Qwest)-7 (15)
16 23 TAKE A LITTLE RHYTHM –•– Ali Thomson (A&M)-10 (16)
17 20 INTO THE NIGHT –•– Benny Mardones (Polydor)-10 (17)
18 18 EMPIRE STRIKES BACK (Medley) –•– Meco (RSO)-10 (18)
19 21 JOJO –•– Boz Scaggs (Columbia)-10 (19)
20 25 WHY NOT ME –•– Fred Knoblock (Scotti Brothers)-8 (20)

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