American Top 40 PastBlast, 1/10/81: Olivia Newton-John and Cliff Richard, “Suddenly”

Sometime in the latter half of 80 I saw Xanadu in a theater.  I recall that the reviews I’d read in advance of going weren’t especially favorable. And yeah, well, an epic it was not. Greek gods, goddesses, and muses, all working toward opening a nightclub in the immediate post-disco era? Gene Kelly was always one of my mom’s favorites, but I can’t imagine this was one of his better roles.

On the other hand, the soundtrack was a commercial smash and of great personal interest. ON-J and ELO were among my favorite artists at the time, and to have them working more or less jointly? Yes, please. “Magic” was one of my three top songs of the year.  “All Over the World” was fantastic. And the title song, featuring both Olivia and Jeff & Co., didn’t disappoint in the least.

“Suddenly,” the fifth and final single to be released from Xanadu, is hanging out at #21 on this show, one shy of its peak. I was a junior in high school then and this duet was another one I really, really liked; if I’d been dating someone at the time and there’d be a roller rink nearby (those are two mighty big ifs), I could easily see “slow skating” to this, in honor of the movie, if nothing else.

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