So…we’ve been talking about magic in music. Today we’re going to qualify our “magical” selections.
A. Qualified by Gender
Interesting that each gender thinks that it’s the other who possesses the magic touch. Although first recorded by Fleetwood Mac, it was Santana‘s interpretation of the Peter Green composition that reached #4 on the charts in 1970.
Heart‘s first album, Dreamboat Annie, was recorded and released in Canada (1975) before arriving in the U.S. (1976). It was a very successful debut for the group, providing three Billboard Hot 100 hits. Magic Man (written by the Wilson sisters) peaked at #9.
B. Qualified by Means of Transport
Although Peter Townshend wrote Magic Bus at about the same time as My Generation (1965), The Who did not record the song until 1968. It barely cracked the Top 30 in the U.S. (#25) and Britain (#26) at the time* but has remained a popular concert staple for the band over subsequent decades.
*but reached #6 in Canada!
If you were feeling the need for a little elevation in your magical journey through 1968, Steppenwolf was only too happy to provide the soundtrack for your trip. I’m not sure if this performance of Magic Carpet Ride from The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour qualifies as “live” but it is (at least) oddly entertaining. And, by the way, the song reached #3 in the U.S. and remained on the charts for sixteen weeks.
And now, for…
C. A More Mellow Music Qualification
Musical magic doesn’t doesn’t always have to be edgy. America (folk-rock trio/later duo) proved that in 1982 when they recorded You Can Do Magic and mellowed their way (again) onto the Top Ten charts.
All right… some people really like Barry Manilow. Some people really don’t. I’ll take the middle road here. I’ve found some of his songs mildly annoying and I rather like others. One thing that can’t be argued however… he’s had staying power in the fickle world of popular music. I always had a fondness for Could It Be Magic (#4 in Canada, #6 in the U.S. in 1975). As Manilow explains (below), the credit for this song’s musical magic might have something to do another guy named Chopin.
Of course, you’re saying… what other Barry Manilow song could you like? It’s not impossible, you see… you just need a miracle.
Put on those dancing shoes…