Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Cusp Song of the Day: Could It Be Magic

A lyric from this song is the title of Chapter 3: Along with Pilot’s “Magic,” Barry Manilow’s “Could It Be Magic” plays on the radio at Arthur Treacher’s during Karen and Patrick's first date. One reference to magic might be a fluke. But two? He must be the one!

The year 1975 was huge for Manilow, who had four hits: "Mandy" (number 1), "It's a Miracle" (number 12), "Could It Be Magic" (number 6) and "I Write the Songs," which hit the charts late in the year and rose to number 1 in January of 1976. 

In a long-lost article I read back in the '70s, Manilow discussed writing "Could It Be Magic," saying he felt it pour out of him. Playing it back, he was overcome with how great it was, until he realized that it completely ripped off Chopin's "Prelude in C Minor," which he had been playing prior to sitting down to compose. At first he was disappointed by his lack of originality, but ultimately decided to go with it, even opening the single with a segment from the classical piece. One version has just 13 seconds, but the longer version starts with 53 seconds and really shows Chopin's contribution to pop history. 

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