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"Could It Be Magic" is a song with lyrics written by Adrienne Anderson and music composed by Barry Manilow, based on chord and melodical progressions of Frédéric Chopin's Prelude in C Minor, Opus 28, Number 20. Initially released in 1971, it was later rerecorded, given an album release in 1973 and a single release in 1975. This became one of Manilow's first hits. The song has been covered by a number of other artists over the years, most successfully by Donna Summer in 1976 and by Take That in 1992.

Barry Manilow versionEdit

As Manilow had only composed or arranged commercial jingles up to that point, he was unproven as a pop-song arranger, and thus, he was not permitted to arrange the original backing track himself upon its first release in 1971.[1] Instead, this early version of the song was produced under the hand of Tony Orlando and recorded by Featherbed, a "ghost" group consisting of session musicians.

Originally released on the Bell Records label, the composer hated the Tony Orlando arrangement so severely (see Sweet Life) that, as Manilow has said in numerous subsequent interviews, he was appreciative of the fact that the song went nowhere on the charts. However, he has been quoted in recent years as having somewhat softened his opinion of the track, saying it's "kind of catchy".

Featuring a bubblegum pop beat, cowbells and a "Knock Three Times" feel, the chorus is the same, but the original verse lyrics have nothing to do with the hit version Manilow himself released in 1973.

That year, Manilow would come to be signed to Bell Records in his own right, immediately after which a completely reworked version with Manilow's own arrangement was included on his debut album, Barry Manilow I, released that fall. Six months later, former Columbia Records president Clive Davis would take over Bell Records and merge it into Arista with all the other Columbia Pictures-owned labels such as Amy, Mala, Colpix, and Colgems, to name a few.

Most of the artists at Bell were dropped during the merger, but due to the song's popularity, Manilow was brought over to Arista in the spring of 1974 and "Could It Be Magic" was released as a single a year later—a full two years after it had been originally recorded, where it reached number 6 in the United States.

The lyric "Sweet Melissa" is a tribute to singer Melissa Manchester, Manilow's then-Arista label-mate.

The song was remixed in 1993 using the original orchestration of brass and strings combined with new drums, bass and synthesizers, and was included on the album Greatest Hits: The Platinum Collection. An extended remix of the 1993 version was issued as a promotional 12" single and included on the 12" single of "I'd Really Love to See You Tonight".

Chart performanceEdit

Weekly chartsEdit

Template:SinglechartTemplate:SinglechartTemplate:SinglechartTemplate:Singlechart
Chart (1975) Peak
position
Ireland 18
UK 25
US Cash Box Top 100 7

Year-end chartsEdit

Chart (1975) Rank
Canada[2] 41
US Billboard Hot 100[3] 37
US Cashbox[4] 36

Donna Summer versionEdit

Template:Infobox single Just seven months after Manilow's original version was released as a single, American singer Donna Summer recorded a disco version of the track and included it on her third studio album, A Love Trilogy, and took it to number three on the US Dance chart in 1976.[5] The song also entered the UK singles chart where it stayed for seven weeks (peak point #40)

Track listingEdit

US 7" single (Oasis OC 405) / Canada 7" single (Oasis OC 405X)
  1. "Could It Be Magic" – 3:15
  2. "Whispering Waves" – 4:50
UK 7" single (GTO GT 60)
  1. "Could It Be Magic" – 3:15
  2. "Whispering Waves" – 4:50
Germany 7" single (Atlantic ATL 10 775)
  1. "Could It Be Magic" – 5:20
  2. "Come With Me" – 4:20
Netherlands 7" single (Groovy GR 1219)
  1. "Could It Be Magic" – 3:15
  2. "Whispering Waves" – 4:50
France 7" single (Atlantic 10.770)
  1. "Could It Be Magic" – 4:13
  2. "Whispering Waves" – 4:15
Italy 7" single (Durium DE 2873)
  1. "Could It Be Magic" – 3:15
  2. "Whispering Waves" – 3:35

ChartsEdit

Chart (1976) Peak
position
Austrian Singles Chart[6] 14
Dutch GfK chart 5
Dutch Top 40 2
German Singles Chart[7] 23
Italy 3
UK Singles Chart[8] 40
US Billboard Hot Soul Singles[9] 21
US Billboard Hot 100[9] 52
US Billboard Hot Dance Club Play 3

Template:Clear

Take That versionEdit

Template:Infobox single Produced and remixed by The Rapino Brothers, English boy band Take That released their cover version, based on Donna Summer/Giorgio Moroder's up-tempo arrangement of the track, on November 30, 1992[10] as the final single from their debut album Take That & Party. The song does not appear on the cassette version of the album but was issued as a cassette single. It peaked at number three on the UK Singles Chart and was featured in that year's Only Fools and Horses Christmas special "Mother Nature's Son" in the background of one of the scenes.

The song won Best British Single at the 1993 Brit Awards.

During The Ultimate Tour in 2006, former member Robbie Williams appeared on a hologram with a pre-recorded section of his vocals.[11] Gary Barlow sings lead vocals since Take That's reformation.

The song has received a Silver sales status certification and has sold over 345,000 copies in the UK.

Music videoEdit

The music video shows a young woman leaving a garage before the lights are turned back on and Take That perform the song with many other dancers. The music video was filmed at Bray Studios, Water Oakley, Windsor, Berkshire in 1992.

PersonnelEdit

Track listingsEdit

UK 12" vinyl (74321 12313 1)(Limited Edition w/ poster sleeve)
  1. Deep In Rapino's Club Mix – 5:56
  2. Take That Club Megamix – 7:03
  3. Mr. F. Mix – 6:18
UK 7" vinyl (74321 12313 7)
  1. Rapino Radio Mix – 3:30
  2. Take That Radio Megamix – 4:38
UK cassette (74321 12313 4)
  1. Rapino Radio Mix – 3:30
  2. Take That Radio Megamix – 4:38
UK CD single (74321 12313 2)
  1. Rapino Radio Mix – 3:30
  2. Deep In Rapino's Club Mix – 5:56
  3. Acapella – 3:12
  4. Ciao Baby Mix – 7:19
  5. Rapino Dub – 3:44
  6. Paparazzo Mix – 5:27
  7. Deep In Rapino's Dub – 5:57
  8. Club Rapino Mix – 3:43
EU CD single (74321 12735 2)
  1. Rapino Radio Mix – 3:30
  2. Deep In Rapino's Club Mix – 5:56
  3. Ciao Baby Mix – 7:19
  4. Paparazzo Mix – 5:27
Japanese CD single (TAKE8)
  1. Rapino Radio Mix – 3:30
  2. Take That Radio Megamix – 4:38

ChartsEdit

Chart (1992–93) Peak
position
Australia (ARIA Charts)[12] 30
Belgium (Ultratop 50) (Flanders)[13] 8
Belgium (Ultratop 50) (Wallonia)[13] 9
Europe (Eurochart Hot 100)[12] 9
France (SNEP)[12] 42
Germany (Media Control AG)[12] 37
Ireland (IRMA)[14] 3
Sweden (Sverigetopplistan)[12] 30
UK Singles (Official Charts Company)[15] 3
Year-end chart (1992) Rank
UK Singles (Official Charts Company) 37
Year-end chart (1993) Rank
Australian Singles Chart[16] 139
Belgian (Flanders) Singles Chart[17] 67
Europe (Eurochart Hot 100)[18] 83

CertificationsEdit

Country Certification Date Sales certified
UK Silver 1 January 1993 345,000[19]

Other official versionsEdit

  • Album version (4:28)
  • Live version (5:34)

Other notable versionsEdit

  • The Shirelles also recorded a version that was released on a bootleg album in the late 1970s.
  • A jazz version of the tune was arranged into a trio setting by Filipino pianist/arranger Bobby Enriquez, then performed during a summer tour of Japan in 1982. A recording of the piece is on the album, "Bobby Enriquez: Live! In Tokyo." GNP Crescendo GNPD-2161
  • A house remix of the song appears as the penultimate track on Hed Kandi: Disco Heaven 01.05, credited to "Andrea T. Mendoza & Tibet feat. Ife Corcoran".[20]
  • The song was recorded in Dutch by the singer Rob de Nijs, called Ontmoeting. The text was written by his former wife Belinda Meulendijk, and was released as a single in 1986. It was taken from the album Vrije val.
  • The Dutch group Lucifer also recorded the track in 1975, even before Donna Summer recorded hers. This version does not contain the Chopin-preludium, but instead has a falset-ladyvoice from Margriet Eshuys and mandolines.
  • It was covered by The Puppini Sisters on their album The Rise and Fall of Ruby Woo.
  • In 1993 British top-producer Trevor Horn remixed the song with Barry Manilow, who re-recorded his vocals. The release was only available on a promotional 12" single, "ARISTA-COULD1993."
  • Abigail's rendition of the song was available only as a 12-inch single, released in 1993. The B-side, "This Is A Dream" is a high upbeat dance music with the lyrics "This Is A Dream" will appear every so often in the song.
  • French singer Alain Chamfort released a French-language version of the song under the title "le temps qui court" in 1975.
  • Chamfort's version was later covered by boy band Alliage in 1997. Their version peaked at number 13 in France and number 32 in Belgium (Wallonia).[21] This version was covered by Les Enfoirés in 2006, reaching number four in France, number two in Belgium (Wallonia) and number 19 in Switzerland.[22]
  • Mexican female trio Pandora released a Spanish-language version of the song under the title "Puede ser genial" in 1992, with the backing vocals of the Venezuelan singer Ricardo Montaner.
  • In 2007, Lazlo Bane covered the song on the album Guilty Pleasures.
  • Regine Velasquez performed the song for her live album, Regine Live: Songbird Sings the Classics.
  • Leona Lewis, Eoghan Quigg, Joe McElderry and Mary Byrne performed this song on the third, fifth, sixth and seventh series of The X Factor's British version, respectively. Lewis and McElderry eventually won their respective series.
  • The Australian boy band Human Nature (band) released a version of the song performed as a medley with another Manilow hit, Mandy (English and Kerr song), on their 2010 LP Vegas: Songs from Sin City. Manilow himself is featured on the track.
  • Color Theory released a synthpop version of the song, along with a remix of by Norwegian producer Lyder Janøy, on his EP "Adjustments Pt. 2" in 2014.
  • In 2013, Barry Manilow performed his piano ballad version of the song for BBC Children in Need Rocks. After the first chorus, Manilow shouted "Come on then fellas!" and was joined by Robbie Williams and Gary Barlow of Take That. Together, they performed the up-tempo arrangement of the song, featuring Williams and Barlow on lead vocals for the verse. Manilow sang lead vocals on the chorus, with Williams and Barlow on backing vocals. It was the first time in 19 years that Williams and Barlow had performed the song together.

ReferencesEdit

External linksEdit

Template:Barry Manilow singles Template:Take That

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