September 20, 2006

11 Billboard Top 20 Hits with “Magic” in Their Titles

Since the pop song was invented, its’ creators have often relied on a common and limited vocabulary in both lyrics and title (e.g., “love,” “baby,” and “yeah”). This is probably a smart tactic, introducing a new song by using a familiar sentiment; rarely does a song with a very strange name or lyrics gain public attention (although “Horse with No Name” and “Muskrat Love” spring to mind).

Keeping with this idea of a common lyrical vocabulary, I found 11 songs that all use the word “magic” in their titles. This word seems to have conjured up luck for these songwriters and performers; all 11 songs made it into the Billboard Magazine Top 20 charts.

  • That Old Black Magic—Written by: Harold Arlen/Johnny Mercer; recorded by: Glen Miller, 1943 (1# on Billboard); Margaret Whiting and the Freddie Slack Orchestra, 1943 (#10); Sammy Davis Jr., 1955 (#16); Louis Prima & Keely Smith, 1958 (#18)
  • This Magic Moment—Written by: D. Pomus/M. Shuman; recorded by: The Drifters, 1960 (#14), available on the album The Very Best of the Drifters
  • Puff the Magic Dragon—Peter, Paul & Mary, 1963 (#2), from the album Moving
  • Do You Believe in Magic—Lovin’ Spoonful, 1965 (#9), from the album Do You Believe in Magic
  • Magic Carpet Ride—Steppenwolf, 1968 (#5), from the album Steppenwolf the Second
  • Black Magic Woman—Santana, 1970 (#5), available on the album Black Magic Woman
  • Strange Magic—ELO (Electric Light Orchestra), 1976 (#14), from the album Ole’ ELO
  • Magic—Olivia Newton-John, 1980 (#1), from the album Xanadu
  • Every Little Thing She Does is Magic—The Police, 1981 (#3), from the album Ghost in the Machine
  • You Can Do Magic—America, 1982 (#8), available on the album You Can Do Magic
  • Magic—The Cars, 1984 (#12), from the album Heartbeat City

Plus one magic-related song…

  • Abracadabra—Steve Miller Band, 1982 (#1), from the album Abracadabra

10 Responses to “11 Billboard Top 20 Hits with “Magic” in Their Titles”

  1. David Fogg said:

    Magic Moments – Perry Como Magic Trumpet – Herb Alpert & TJB Magical Mystery Tour – Beatles

    More obscure: The Sun is a Very Magic Fellow – Donovan God is Alive, Magic is Afoot – Buffy Ste. Marie Magic is Moonlight – ???

    Then there’s “witch”: Witchcraft / Bewitched (Bothered and Bewildered) / Ding Dong, the Witch is Dead / Season of the Witch / Witch Doctor

  2. David Fogg said:

    plus: (probably none in Top 20)

    The Magic Touch — Platters A Kind of magic — Queen It’s Magic — Doris Day Magic Time — Van Morrison Magic Bus — The Who Magic Chicken — The Aquabats (!!!) Magic Flea — Count Basie Magic Fingers — Bela Fleck & the Flecktones Magic Johnson — Red Hot Chili Peppers Magic Man — Heart Magic Mirror — Leon Russell Magic Night — Village People Magic Pie — Oasis Magic to Do — Ben Vereen Magic Wind — Earth, Wind & Fire Midnight Magic — Kenny G Mister Magic — Grover Washington Jr. Strange Magic — ELO

  3. Morgen Jahnke said:

    David — Wow! Thanks for all these additions to the list.

  4. Jeff said:

    How about Abracadabra by The DeFranco Family?

  5. Mikey said:

    Heart – Magic Man

  6. Ome Barry said:

    Magic (by pilot)…. Ho ho ho it’s magic! ……

  7. Omar said:

    yay! This is doin me good in life cuz these songs r so awesome!!!!!!!!

  8. Rock God said:

    No its not awesome its Magic

  9. Johan said:

    Do you remember?

    07- This Must Be Magic.

    ABC – from the album Abracadabra 1991