“And if all your hopes survive
your destiny will arrive…”
I remember being obsessed with Olivia Newton John’s album Physical in Second grade. I don’t know exactly why, but it was what I wanted the most that year for my birthday, and I got it. She always looked so perfect: the braided headband that never messed up her feathered hair, her lilting voice. I was clunky and awkward and plain. No one would mistake me for perfect. I also remember not being aware of Xanadu when it was released in 1980, but I was aware of “Magic,” because I heard it on the radio, and it’s retained its hold on me all of this time. Laugh at the movie if you want (man falls in love with one of the nine Muses, and she helps him create a hugely popular roller disco, with some assists from Gene Kelly.) But it’s not so easy to dismiss: Kelly reminds the younger generations that he moved like no one else, and this song, along with what ELO serves, is pure pop candy. I hope no one decides this movie needs to be remade; there is something sweet and naive in it, with no real darkness, and I want it to stay that way.
(Song recommendation by Sarah Nichols)