Olivia Newton-John and Electric Light Orchestra – Xanadu (1980)

“Xanadu” (1980) starring Olivia Newton-John was a critical and commercial flop, but had one of the greatest soundtracks of the era with original music by Olevia Newton-John and Electric Light Orchestra. It would go on to have a cult following and be a fan favorite.

A story in tribute to Olivia Newton John

A number of years ago I was living in an old building with four apartments built into it. The building had little to no insulation and the walls and floors between apartments was paper thin and you could hear everything coming from the other apartments. You could hear alarms go off, phones ring, tea kettles whistle, toilets flushing, people having sex, having fights, having make up sex and everything else. Well, being a record collector, the rest of the building could generally hear my music playing all the time, but we worked it out that I didn’t play it after midnight. As a result I never got a noise complaint

Well, it was while living there that, for a time, I got really obsessed with the “Xanadu” soundtrack. A common album in most cheapie bins, it is honestly one of the greatest original movie soundtracks ever recorded, despite the film itself being a hot steaming mess of cheese. Featuring one side by Olivia Newton John, and the other side by Jeff Lynne and Electric Light Orchestra, and the title song, the epic “Xanadu,” being performed by them both, each track is a winner. I’d even say its probably the best work by both artists.

So for weeks, every morning as I was preparing for work, I’d put “Xanadu” on the turn table and go on with my morning rituals singing along with all the songs – “I’m Alive,” “Magic,” “Suddenly,” “Don’t Walk Away”….all of them.

Well, one day after probably the 50th morning in a row of listening to the “Xanadu” album I’m walking to my car in the shared lot and I hear a window open from the second floor and a neighbor sticks her head out and yells at me “FUCKING XANADU? AGAIN????” before slamming the window shut with an abundance of frustration.

Her point was made. I listened to something else the next day. I don’t remember what, but that’s how we remain to be good neighbors But I still love the “Xanadu” soundtrack, and that’s one of my favorite things that has ever been yelled at me.

“Xanadu” today, tomorrow, forever!

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