|'XANADU' Promos Maximal'
BILLBOARD, August 2, 1980 by ED HARRISON
LOS ANGELES- By the time 'Xanadu' has it's national premiere Aug. 8th, MCA Records President Bob Siner
figures that everyone in the U.S. will have heard of 'Xanadu' six to eight times.
This couple with what will probably amount to four charted singles including Olivia Newton-John's No.1 'Magic'
has created an awareness of the film and soundtrack 'unparalleled' in MCA history.
Since Newton-John's ABC-TV special in February on the night of the Academy Awards 'which gave the public a
taste and exposure and started the ball rolling. MCA has followed with an extensive merchandising campaign,
various television appearances by Newton-John on both talk and variety music shows, a Newton-John NBC Radio
Network special, a documentary on the making of 'Xanadu' and the forthcoming opening of 'Xanadu' boutiques in
New York which will sell dresses modeled after those worn in the film.
In addition to 'Magic' and the Electric Light Orchestra's top 20 'I'm Alive', the second ELO tune, 'All Over The
World', entered last week's Hot 100 at 61. Newton-John's follow-up of the title track comes this week. Already
plotted is her third single, 'Suddenly', a duet with Cliff Richard.
'We could have come with a double package,' notes Lee Kramer, Newton-John's manager, 'but we felt the market
would be resistant to a $15.98 album.'
With 10 tracks on the 'Xanadu' soundtracks and six singles to be released, all 'B' sides will contain music from the
film but not included on the soundtrack.
Kramer credits the success of the pre-film awareness to teamwork between MCA and his management team as
well as similar merchandising ideas between him and Siner. 'We didn't initially ship 6,000 standups,' says Siner,
'Our salesmen keep running through the stores.'
Vice president of creative services George Osaki designed the 'Xanadu' campaign, giving it an international look.
The film opens in the UK in mid-October, in Australia in August and the remainder of the English speaking
countries in October.
Premiers are slated for London, Sydney, Melbourne, Paris and Munich but not in the US because Kramer feels
that at this stage it's a waste of money. 'The film stands on it's own without the hype and spending of $600,000,'
The 'Xanadu' single is currently a top 10 record in England, Norway, Holland, Belgium, Germany and Sweden.
Meanwhile, Kramer says that 'Grease took Newton-John's career to new stages. 'Her milkshake and whitebread
image is an insult to someone with pipes,' says Kramer. 'Visually she had to grow with the times. She's grown up
and her look is parallel with the times. If she appears to be ballsier it's because the world is.'
Kramer hints at a 'limited' Newton-John tour next year playing relatively small halls at an inexpensive ticket prices
because she attracts a family audience.