Fact: I have never actually sat down to watch the roller skating musical fiasco that is 1980’s Xanadu. I have seen bits and pieces and scenes from it, often with my older sister, years and years ago, but I have no real recollection of anything other than light and colors flowing behind roller skating muses. I understand that the film is supposed to be an abysmal mess, but I like to remember it as a soft-focussed, neon-tinted piece of 80’s kitsch.
Fact: I don’t care how bad the movie is, the theme song by Olivia Newton-John and Electric Light Orchestra is pure pop bliss. The soaring synth opening…the roller-disco bass line…the soothing coos of Olivia Newton-John…it’s like some sort of bouncy, radio-friendly disco-prog. Easily consumable pop candy. Aural junk food. Bubble gum. But goddamnit, it puts a smile on my face.
Fact: I have no idea what the rest of the Xanadu soundtrack sounds like. I’ve never listened to it. As far as I’m concerned, just throw the title track on a loop for an hour and bob your head along. Close your eyes and envision the smoky dance floor. Picture the lights in your head. Feel the skates on your feet. Let the Top 40 spunk of ELO and ONJ take you away. Now dance!
Fact: When I was in grade school (1st or 2nd grade maybe), I had a dubbed mixtape with “Xanadu” on it. My sister’s record had a scratch towards the end of the tune that made a 5-second section jump back and repeat itself. To this day, the song still sounds wrong to me if that doesn’t happen.
I will leave the floor open to anyone who wants to jump in with another confession.
From a bunker somewhere in Central Texas, Thomas H. Williams spends most of his time with his wife, his two sons, and his increasingly neurotic dog. He listens to a lot of music, drinks a lot of excellent beers, and gets out from time to time. For even more shenanigans, visit heavenisanincubator.blogspot.com.