ELO – Strange Magic

With ELO and Jeff Lynne, you knew you were getting a quality pop/rock song and it would be very catchy.

Strange Magic was written by ELO frontman Jeff Lynne, “Strange Magic” was on Electric Light Orchestra’s fifth studio album Face the Music.

By this time, the band had toned their orchestral sound to make it brighter and more radio-friendly. The strategy paid off, as this song and “Evil Woman” were both big hits.

The song peaked at #14 in the Billboard 100, #42 in Canada, and #38 in the UK in 1976. The album Face The Music peaked at #8 in the ===Billboard album charts and #35 in Canada.

Jeff wrote the song on various pianos in separate places while on tour in England with the band, presumably during the Eldorado tour.

From Songfacts

The song is about a captivating woman, but “Strange Magic” is also a good description for this song’s sonics. Compressed to a tight 3:27 for the single release (it runs 4:29 on the album), the song packs in an intriguing array of harmonies and hooks while integrating the famous ELO string section. The lyric is suitably trippy, and very repetitious, with the title appearing five times per chorus.

The weepy-sounding guitar lick is provided courtesy of Richard Tandy, who was somehow persuaded to take his hands off his various keyboards to pick up a guitar. Normally, Tandy’s array of Moog synth, clavinet, mellotron, and piano was so omnipresent that it led to the stereotype of prog-rock bands having a stack of keyboards onstage.

Some of you movie-music fans may cringe at this, but this song was also used in the 2007 stage production of Xanadu. Fear not, it was not part of the 1980 film soundtrack, although the soundtrack was the least of that film’s problems… or so we’re told.

The Pan-Pacific Auditorium in Los Angeles, California, doubled as the set of “Xanadu.”

Strange Magic

You’re sailing softly through the sun
In a broken stone age dawn
You fly so high

I get a strange magic
Oh, what a strange magic
Oh, it’s a strange magic
Got a strange magic
Got a strange magic

You’re walking meadows in my mind
Making waves across my time
Oh no, oh no

I get a strange magic
Oh, what a strange magic
Oh, it’s a strange magic
Got a strange magic
Got a strange magic

Oh, I’m never gonna be the same again
Now I’ve seen the way it’s got to end
Sweet dream, sweet dream

Strange magic
Oh, what a strange magic
Oh, it’s a strange magic
Got a strange magic
Got a strange magic

It’s magic, it’s magic, it’s magic
Strange magic
Oh, what a strange magic
Oh, it’s a strange magic
Got a strange magic
Strange magic
Oh, it’s a strange magic
Oh, it’s a strange magic

Got a strange magic
Strange magic
Oh, what a strange magic
Oh, it’s a strange magic

Got a strange magic
Strange magic
You know I got a strange magic
Yeah I got a strange magic
Strange magic