“Xanadu” by Olivia Newton-John & The Electric Light Orchestra

This is the title track from a movie actually, which Olivia Newton-John herself starred in.  Said film is centered on a dance club which itself is called “Xanadu“. Moreover, the name Xanadu itself is more or less a general term which is synonymous with the existence of a utopian paradise. So basically the singer is combining those two concepts into one. It can be said that the club, even though it is never mentioned forthrightly, is presented as sort of an electric paradise on earth. And Olivia is not only celebrating its allure but also, in a roundabout way, espousing the idea of getting lost in its attractiveness.

You can view the lyrics, alternate interprations and sheet music for Olivia Newton-John's Xanadu at Lyrics.org.

“Xanadu” Facts

Writing Duties: Jeff Lynne
Production Duties: Lynne
Primary Vocalist: Olivia Newton
Supporting Vocalist: Lynne
Release: 6th of June, 1980

According to Electric Light Orchestra’s own Jeff Lynne, this classic is his most beloved composition.

“Xanadu” brought both Olivia Newton and Electric Light Orchestra a great deal of success. It flew to number 1 in at least 10 countries, including the United Kingdom and the following places:

  • Austria
  • Belgium
  • Ireland
  • Israel
  • Norway

In America, “Xanadu” made it into the top 10 of the Billboard’s all-important singles chart, the “Hot 100”. Here, it reached made it the eighth position.

Prior to “Xanadu”, had Olivia Newton-John ever collaborated with the band Electric Light Orchestra?

No. “Xanadu” was their first time of working together on a track.

Other Hits that Got to Number 1 in UK in 1980

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