Friday, January 4, 2013

Waiting for the Operator on the Line

The dreary late 70's found the pop music scene in a real funk.  Pre-punk, post-Beatles, and the very last days of the vanished 45rpm 7" single.  From that bleak period there were a few real gems to be heard on top 40 radio.  One of my favorites is the Electric Light Orchestra's Sweet Talking Woman.  Jeff Lynne managed to combine the unusual chords and vocal harmonies of the Beatles with a Motown influence and his usual violin flourishes.   I am not the world's biggest ELO fan but this song really floats my boat.


Who Am Us Anyway? said...

This is genuinely great (as is ye olde Señor Sky de aqua)

One of the things that kills me in a good way is how the slightly troubling super high-pitch response in the initial call 'n response "slow down (slow down) sweet talking woman (slow down)" resolves in the end & to my relief 3 registers lower. "Slow down!" it's a nice trick!

You know the late 70s were fine by me. It was the mid 70s (my college years) that, with the exception of Dylan (Blood on the Tracks in '75) & the Kinks, dreared me almost to death. By '77 - '78 all was well again for me (Ramones, Talking Heads,
Clash, Costello, Pretenders, Tom Petty, & on like that) but I never clued into ELO at all. When the first Traveling Wilburys album came out I was actually all, "Who's this Jeff Lynne guy? He's pretty damn good, and the name seems vaguely familiar but ..."

Also ahead of its time: "Insufficient Data Coming Through!"

Mister Pleasant said...

Mr Anyway, you are right about the late 70s. Once disco began to die all of that great New Wave and Punk music began to hit the airwaves. My mind ain't as good as it used to be about remembering the sequence of things in the far-removed past.

And that bridge section with the high "she's gone so long, where could she be" is just about the loveliest thing ever.