Sunday, October 19, 2008

Electric Light Orchestra - Don't Bring Me Down

(Jet, 1979)

WOE unto any fun-hating joker out there who has the stones to poo-poo this scorcher, this perennial radio fave, this karaoke show-stopper, this finest of all Electric Light Orchestra moments. And the fact that it is the best of the band’s catalog is sorta funny, because “Don’t Bring Me Down,” despite the typical fancypants production touches from Jeff Lynne, isn’t very representative of ELO’s general sound before the Discovery LP: it’s a sweaty, strings-free, non-cerebral, glammy stomp that runs far away from the group’s standard outer-space orchestro-rock. Thundering drums and occasional handclaps provide the rhythmic bed for the deep-bottomed, synthy heaviness Jeff & Co. are laying down in devastatingly PERFECT dancefloor-pop fashion. Lynne’s massed vocals are at their finest, and the expertly-deployed falsetto earns the ultimate praise of being deemed Bee Gee-worthy. Sure, I like the six-minute strings-n-synth prog workouts on earlier records (got no beef with rockin’ ELOldie “Dreaming of 4000” on the B), dig as well the tech-conscious ballads and radio-ready nuggets on those discs, but can only stand up and shout to the world that I LOVE this song. Simply everything a HIT oughta be. Propose to me a better non-booze mood corrective than “Don’t Bring Me Down” and LIAR-FRAUD-CHARLATAN is what I’ll call you, Jack.

1 comment:

Hit Dog said...

Also in the Bonus Points column: made-up words! Groooossssseee!