This past weekend, I made friends watch Xanadu for the first time. I also remembered how great and terrible and 80s the soundtrack is, and I can’t stop listening to it.
I’ve been pretty obsessed with Olivia Newton John’s “Magic” for the past few weeks in anticipation of introducing people to Xanadu. I’ve gchatted coworkers the videos. I’ve listened to this song for entire hours. It’s like a hypnotic, glittery, fringed disaster and I love every bit of it. I just hit that replay arrow again and again until my ears start ringing and decide enough is enough.
Olivia Newton John has also performed this song a lot and I thank her for it. It’s time to look at the many times ONJ has performed this song and how great and magical every performance is.
A Very Specific List Ranking Olivia Newton John’s “Magic”:
In this first video, Olivia Newton John is wearing a gold pantsuit, because she is an elegant lady in the later years of her career, but she still BRINGS IT.
Long, wide red pants and the weirdly feathered hair means it’s the 80s in Australia (because the 70s was just arriving there, right?). Not the best version of the song, but hinting at greatness.
ONJ has a sassy pink neckscarf and short shorts and boots. This will be a running theme. The magical floodgates are beginning to open.
The “Physical” haircut has happened and so has some bedazzled short-sleeved bodices with headbands and short shorts, which is a definite turning point in these performances. Bonus: ONJ’s dedication to singing directly to you, the viewer.
Look at this red number. Do you even see it? It’s like a Dolly Parton reject dress with a cheerleader skirt. This isn’t even the best yet, but with that hair and those sequins, it is so close. Bless you, Olivia Newton John.
This is labelled as the “best” version. Monochromatic outfit, check. Fringe, check. Shine, check. Cowboy boots, check. We’ve done it, we have indeed found the best version of a full performance. She also points and jumps a lot, so that’s how you know she was feeling it. You know what? You’re feeling it too.
Finally, this is a montage of all the times she’s performed this. This is the absolute best part of the internet. You’re welcome.