ELO is not a one-hit wonder. But Mr. Blue Sky is a GREAT song.
It’s been a long, dreary winter. But today the sun shines brightly. Since about 1979 the first real day of spring always reminds me of “Mr. Blue Sky” by Electric Light Orchestra (or ELO).
This bouncy ditty is a joyous ode to sunshine and produced in a poppy Beatlesque style by Jeff Lynne, the brains behind ELO since 1971.
I’ve always thought the song sounded like a missing track from The Beatles Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. It’s like the little brother to “A Day in the Life” minus the John Lennon intro. Just all the peppy, poppy McCartney bits. In fact, the entire song sounds like it’s based on the section that begins at 2:22 with these memorable lyrics:
Fell out of bed
Dragged a comb across my head…
String section? Check
Bouncy beat? Double check.
Memorable melody? Triple check.
Dramatic orchestral and piano finish? Quadruple check.
“Mr. Blue Sky” is probably the best Paul McCartney song McCartney never wrote.
The song comes from ELO’s 1977 double-album titled Out Of The Blue that also featured the big radio hits “Sweet Talkin’ Woman” and “Turn to Stone.” Or you can get all these songs and more on “The Essential Electric Light Orchestra.”
There’s more to The Beatles connection that Jeff Lynne’s manic obsession with the band. He was also chosen to produce the only real Beatle’s reunion song from 1994: “Real Love” from Anthology 2. It’s the last time all four Beatles “performed” together.