By in Music

30-Day Song Challenge, Day 19 - A Song from Your Favorite Album

This is actually very hard for me, as there are so many albums that I love. It’s hard to pick a favorite! I have a favorite band (Keane), a favorite artist (Kate Bush) and a favorite song (“Da Ya Think I’m Sexy” by Rod Stewart--don’t judge!), so you might think I would go with one of those artists. But there are CDs by other people that I like EVERY SINGLE TRACK on ( Private Dancer by Tina Turner, The Fame by Lady Gaga), which is very rare, and there are also albums that I don’t like EVERY track on, but the tracks I do like, I LOOOOOOOVE ( Grace by Jeff Buckley, Back in Black by AC/DC).

Too much goodness to choose from. So, I picked a great album at random--the soundtrack for the 1980 movie Xanadu . It is from one of my favorite films of all time, stars two musical acts that I love (Olivia Newton-John and ELO); features others that I like (The Tubes, Cliff Richards, Gene Kelly); has an amazing variety of music that is ALL good; every song is fantastic--five of the songs cracked the Top 20, two of which made it to number one--and that is for an album that only has TEN SONGS on it.

You guys probably know the biggest hits already, like Olivia Newtin-John’s “Magic” or ELO’s “All Over the World”, but the song I am picking was not released as a single. Still, it was an incredible visual performance in the movie, and amazing blend of old and new styles of music, and unlike many soundtrack songs, including several songs on THIS soundtrack, it actually related to, and even furthered, the storyline.

Ladies and gentlemen, I present: “I Wanna Dance with You / Dancin’” by Olivia Newton John and The Tubes. The song is represented as the brainchild of Danny McGuire (played by Gene Kelly, an actual big band-era singer and dancer who shines just as brightly in this movie as he ever did), and Sonny (Michael Beck, from Warriors), the main character, who contemplate opening a nightclub together to achieve their dreams.

Danny yearns for his lost era of big band, but Sonny knows the modern appeal of rock and roll. In this amazing mash-up, Olivia Newton-John sings an Andrews-Sisters-style ditty, “I Wanna Dance with You”, that is followed by the Tubes’ rowdy “Dancin’”, and then the songs blend in a masterful way. This is the best performance song in the movie, and no doubt is the star of the Broadway version of Xanadu, as well, which opened in 2007 and ran for more than 500 performances (Wikipedia). I’m not the ONLY person who liked it! Watch it here - this is not from the movie, but a great performance of the song from the Midnight Special TV show.

Here's the last one, in case you missed it!

Day 18 – A song that you wish you heard on the radio

Photo of Olivia Newton John by Larry D. Moore

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Ellis wrote on March 13, 2015, 5:28 PM

Thanks AliCanary I enjoyed that mash up....was Cliff Richards known in the US?

FourWalls wrote on March 13, 2015, 9:02 PM

Ellis -- Sir Cliff had a major hit in 1976 in the U.S. with "Devil Woman." He's much, much bigger in the UK than the U.S.

FourWalls wrote on March 13, 2015, 9:04 PM

I know exactly what you mean about LOVING the songs you do love on an album even if you don't like every track. You may remember I trashed "Hotel California," and "Life in the Fast Lane" is in my top three all-time least favorite songs. In all honesty, I don't think that album really "takes off" until "Wasted Time," the last song on side one; however, when it DOES take off, boy does it!!!

That was quite a mash-up -- "If Not For You" meets "White Punks on Dope." Good song.

Ellis wrote on March 13, 2015, 9:36 PM

FourWalls Yeah I know he's well known here but I didn't know he had made it in the US....He's had hits in every decade since the fifties in the UK. Talk about staying

GemOfAGirl wrote on March 14, 2015, 12:22 AM

GREAT album. Much more enjoyable than the movie. (No, not slamming the movie - I don't hate it; I just think that it's merely OK.) That mash-up IS a lot of fun!

AliCanary wrote on March 14, 2015, 3:24 AM

Also, "Suddenly" - his duet with Olivia from the Xanadu soundtrack--was a big hit, too. I think he had a follow-up hit after "Devil Woman", but I can't remember. Something more dance-oriented, it seems like...hang on...oh, yeah, yeah! This one -
That came out when I was a little kid, and I actually had a 45 of it :)

AliCanary wrote on March 14, 2015, 3:30 AM

Ha ha, don't worry--that flick was 20 gallons of silly in a 10-gallon bucket. I still love it to death, though. Probably mostly for sentimental value. Her dresses were so ridiculous, and I wanted them so badly!

AliCanary wrote on March 14, 2015, 3:33 AM

Yep, The Tubes have such a wacky and badass performing style--I like their stuff, and their videos were crazy!

Ellis wrote on March 14, 2015, 9:12 AM

My sister was a fan until the Beatles came along...his early stuff with the Shadows was quite good...maybe a post when I have time...

GemOfAGirl wrote on March 15, 2015, 4:56 AM

I probably would have wanted the dresses if I thought I could look half as good in them! emoticon :smile: