The Three Best Songs: ELO

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Jeff Lynne And Co.

ELO's Jeff Lynne (L) with Tom Petty and Dhani Harrison (Photo by Frank Micelotta/Getty Images)

For most American teenagers, turning on to [lastfm link_type="artist_info"]Electric Light Orchestra[/lastfm] in 1975 was just about right on time. Even though they’d put out four albums previously, it wasn’t until Face The Music that most of us has even heard of them.

Of course, it was “Evil Woman” that caught our attention. That huge orchestral chord, [lastfm link_type="artist_info"]Jeff Lynne[/lastfm]‘s lament of the fool, and [lastfm link_type="artist_info"]Richard Tandy[/lastfm]‘s piano riff combined to make for an absolutely perfect pop tune. To this day, I can remember sitting in my mom’s office in the front of the house, listening to the song on Top 40 radio, the snow crashing down outside, hoping for a day off from school tomorrow.

Even though it takes far too long to get to the nougat in the middle — that would be the unmistakable guitar riff — “Fire on High” is one of the most intriguing instrumentals in the rock and roll canon. Remember when it was the theme song for CBS Sports Spectacular?

I’m a middle-era ELO guy — from Face the Music to Out of the Blue — so, even though I can almost listen to “Don’t Bring Me Down” for the shear disco fun of it, I’m partial to “Sweet Talkin’ Woman.”

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ewaz0Fzewns

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