Sunday, January 4, 2015

"You Can Do Magic" by America

Top 10 Alert!
Song#:  1126
Date:  07/31/1982
Debut:  74
Peak:  8
Weeks:  20
Genre:  Soft Rock

Pop Bits:  This trio had a streak of six Top 10 hits in the early 70s including the #1's "A Horse with No Name" (1972) and "Sister Golden Hair" (1975). Their fortunes dwindled as the decade wore on and one of the members left in 1977 leaving America as a duo. They forged on to little success until this song from their album "View from the Ground" got them back in the Top 10 (#5 AC) for the first time since "Sister Golden Hair." Written specifically for the duo by Russ Ballard (who also produced the song), it was a significant comeback for them. Unfortunately it would be short-lived as it ended up be their final Top 10 pop chart hit.

ReduxReview:  Ballard knew exactly what he was doing when he came up with this tune for the duo. It fit them perfectly and recalls the sound of their 70s heyday hits. It's a brilliant tune with a great groove and an addictive chorus replete with do-do-do's. America did some sweet soft rock back in the day, but for me this one is at the top o' tha heap.

ReduxRating:  9/10

Trivia:  The trio all met while attending the same high school in London. Consisting of one true Englishman (Dewey Bunnell) and two Americans (Dan Peek and Gerry Beckley), they released their self-titled debut album in the UK in 1971 where it was a modest seller. Looking for a tune to help boost the album's US potential, a song Bunnell had written called "Desert Song" morphed into their first #1 hit "A Horse with No Name." The song quickly got added to the album, which also reached #1. The song's performance got the trio a Grammy nod for Best Pop Vocal Performance and they won the award for Best New Artist.



  1. 8/10 for me, glad to see you really like this song a lot, I was happy to see America return to the Top 10 with this song as it is one of their best tunes, also what are your ratings on their 1970's hits.

    Here are my ratings for their Top 40 singles

    "A Horse With No Name" 5/10
    "I Need You" 7/10
    "Ventura Highway" 8/10
    "Don't Cross The River" 5/10
    "Tin Man" 8/10
    "Lonely People" 8/10
    "Sister Golden Hair" 9/10
    "Daisy Jane" 7/10
    "Today's The Day" 7/10

    1. I'd rate them similar to what you have except I'd bump up "Horse" because it is so dang catchy. I'll have to explore their catalog sometime. I know little about them besides the hits.

    2. I haven't heard a whole of their stuff outside of their hits but I wish their album track "Don't Let It Get You Down" was the follow up single to "Today's The Day", it's an uptempo song sung by Dewey Bunnell.