Additional personnel: Fee Waybill, Roger Steen, Bill Spooner, Michael Cotten.
Recording information: Musicland Studios, W. Germany.
Hollywood never learns. Hot on the heels of box-office failures Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band and Can't Stop the Music, comes the roller-skating Olivia Newton John in Xanadu. This soundtrack is fluff stuff to be sure, but some pearls float amongst the mire. Lead-off "Magic" remains a fine single. "Suddenly," a duet ONJ ekes out with British luminary Cliff Richard, seems better than most love themes. The sudden appearance of the Tubes almost saves the doomed swing/rock hybrid "Dancin," but the two styles should never meet. The second half glows from the Electric Light Orchestra, soaring at its commercial height, escaping this crippling fairy tale fairly untarnished with three more hit bits: "I'm Alive," "All Over the World," and the Olivia Neutron Bomb showcase title track. "Don't Walk Away" and "The Fall" stand as two of Jeff Lynne's finest, thus the flip nukes the front which should stay stuck to the theater floor. Listening to this soundtrack may beat watching the actual film, but know that if you didn't dig Xanadu when it came out, the platter gains nothing through time. ~ Doug Stone