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"Strange Magic"
Single by Electric Light Orchestra
from the album Face the Music
  • " Showdown (Live)" (UK)
  • "New World Rising" (US)
ReleasedFebruary 1976 (US) [1]
Studio Musicland Studios, Munich
Genre Psychedelia
  • 4:29 (Album version)
  • 4:06 (UK single edit)
  • 3:22 (US single edit)
Label Jet
Songwriter(s) Jeff Lynne
Producer(s)Jeff Lynne
Electric Light Orchestra singles chronology
" Evil Woman"
"Strange Magic"
" Nightrider"
Face the Music track listing
8 tracks
Side one
  1. " Fire On High"
  2. "Waterfall"
  3. " Evil Woman"
  4. " Nightrider"
Side two
  1. "Poker"
  2. " Strange Magic"
  3. "Down Home Town"
  4. " One Summer Dream"

"Strange Magic" is a song written Jeff Lynne and performed by Electric Light Orchestra (ELO). It was released on their 1975 Face the Music album.

Released as a single in 1976, the single was edited in the US, whereas in the UK the song appeared as the album cut minus the orchestral intro. The US single edit can be found on the remastered Face the Music released in September 2006. The song was also included on the band's 1978 The ELO EP. A remastered version was included on the box set Flashback in 2000. The 'weeping' guitar lick was provided by keyboardist Richard Tandy while Jeff Lynne played a 12-string acoustic guitar fed through a phase shifter. The song has been described as psychedelic. [2]

Critical reception

AllMusic's Donald A. Guarisco considered it one of the best tracks on their "breakthrough" album Face the Music, praising Jeff Lynne's skill at "creating ballads that are as memorably hook-laden as his uptempo pop tunes", noting the "stunning intro full of swirling strings, some George Harrison-styled slide guitar riffs". [2] Billboard considered it to be an "easy rocker" with "smooth vocals and skillful string arrangements." [3] Record World said that "an immaculate production by Jeff Lynne maintains the high calibre of the group's recorded work." [4]

Chart performance


Region Certification Certified units/sales
United States ( RIAA) [14] Gold 500,000double-dagger

double-dagger Sales+streaming figures based on certification alone.

Jeff Lynne version

Jeff Lynne re-recorded the song in his own home studio in 2012. It was released in a compilation album with other re-recorded ELO songs, under the ELO name. [15]


  1. ^ "ELO singles".
  2. ^ a b Guarisco, Donald A. "Electric Light Orchestra – Strange Magic – Song Review". AllMusic. Retrieved 26 January 2020.
  3. ^ "Billboard's Top Single Picks" (PDF). Billboard. 6 March 1976. p. 66. Retrieved 13 July 2020.
  4. ^ "Hits of the Week" (PDF). Record World. 6 March 1976. p. 1. Retrieved 6 March 2023.
  5. ^ Kent, David (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970–1992. St Ives, N.S.W.: Australian Chart Book. ISBN  0-646-11917-6.
  6. ^ " Top RPM Adult Contemporary: Issue 4139." RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved 20 July 2014.
  7. ^ " Top RPM Singles: Issue 4116a." RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved 20 July 2014.
  8. ^ "Official Singles Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 20 July 2014.
  9. ^ "Electric Light Orchestra – Awards". AllMusic. Retrieved 15 July 2014.
  10. ^ Whitburn, Joel. "Electric Light Orchestra". Top Adult Contemporary 1961-2001. Menomonee Falls, WI: Record Research Inc. p. 86.
  11. ^ "CASH BOX Top 100 Singles – Week ending MAY 8, 1976". Cash Box. Archived from the original on 2 September 2012.
  12. ^ "The Singles Chart" (PDF). Record World. 29 May 1976. p. 35. ISSN  0034-1622. See last week peak position. Retrieved 17 September 2017.
  13. ^ "The CASH BOX Year-End Charts: 1976". Cash Box. Archived from the original on 25 August 2012.
  14. ^ "American single certifications – Electric Light Orchestra – Strange Magic". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved 28 April 2021.
  15. ^ "Mr. Blue Sky – The Very Best of Electric Light Orchestra". 5 October 2012. Retrieved 28 February 2013.

External links