The Story of Electric Light Orchestra’s “EVIL WOMAN” (1975)

elo-evil-womanSymphonic/progressive rock is my guilty pleasure and to people who know me it would come as no surprise that I am a HUGE fan of Jeff Lynne and Electric Light Orchestra. Records such as “Out of the Blue”, “Face the Music” and “Eldorado” have always been an inseparable part of my life. There is just something so magical about the music of ELO – immensely uplifting, spirited, incorporating elements of modern rock, classical music, friendlier pop-sounds, piano, string instruments, keyboards…It’s all mixed up in a perfect (at least to me)  symphonic rock extravaganza.

“Evil Woman” is one of the songs that stood out to me the most throughout the years. The playful tune features one of the most striking and instantly recognizable intros of all time. From start to finish, this song is just begging you to get on the dance-floor and loosen up for a while. The funky beat, emphasized by ELO’s signature piano, strings and drums formula, turned this song into one of their most glorious works.

“Evil Woman” was released in 1975 as a single from their album “Face the Music”. The song became the band’s ticket to worldwide stardom as it conquered the charts in Italy, Netherlands, Canada, Ireland and other countries.

It takes time and a lot of thought to craft a timeless piece of art but that was definitely not the case with Jeff Lynne and “Evil Woman”. The recordings for “Face the Music” were already completed but Jeff wasn’t ready to wrap things up just yet. In about 30-minutes, “Evil Woman” was ready, becoming one of the quickest he had ever written. Despite initial intentions to have it as a mere filler track for the album, the song was apparently too good to be overlooked by fans. Writing a career-defining song in just 30 minutes is an accomplishment not many artists could achieve. But then again, Jeff Lynne is not your ordinary musician and he will never be.

“You made a fool of me, but them broken dreams have got to end…” turned into one of the most exciting opening lines in the history of music.  The lyrics aren’t hard to read and are perfectly summarized in the title – “Evil Woman”. She manipulated him, played with his body and heart, destroyed the virtues the Lord gave her and made a complete full of himself. He will always come to her when she cries because he loves her that much but at the end of the day, she is just using him. Many people have been in a similar situation, regardless of the gender or type of relationship. It’s a pity how cruel someone can be only to achieve his/her selfish desires. Interestingly, the lines “There’s a hole in my head where the rain comes in” were written as a tribute to The Beatles‘ song “Fixing a Hole”.

In 2012, Jeff Lynne released a compilation of his own re-recordings of ELO hits, titled Mr. Blue Sky: The Very Best of Electric Light Orchestra”. It was only natural for “Evil Woman” to get its deserving place on that release. The new version of the song received praises from fans for its stripped-down, back-to-the-roots sound and excelled production quality.

“Evil Woman” Live

Jeff Lynne’s ELO Performed Evil Woman & Mr. Blue Sky at 2015 Grammys Award ft. Ed Sheeran

“Evil Woman” Lyrics

You made a fool of me, but them broken dreams have got to end.

Hey woman, you got the blues, cos’ you ain’t got no one else to use.
There’s an open road that leads nowhere, so just make some miles
between here and there.
There’s a hole in my head where the rain comes in,
You took my body and played to win,
Ha Ha woman it’s a crying shame,
But you ain’t got no one else to blame.

[CHORUS]
E-evil Woman, E-evil Woman, E-evil Woman, Evil Woman

Rolled in from another town,
Hit some gold too hot to settle down,
But a fool and his money soon go separate ways,
And you found a fool lyin’ in a daze,
Ha Ha woman what you gonna do,
You destroyed all the virtues that the Lord gave you,
It’s so good that you’re feeling pain,
But you better get yourself on board the very next train.

[CHORUS:REPEAT]

Evil woman how you done me wrong,
But now you’re tryin’ to wail a different song,
Ha Ha funny how you broke me up, you made the wine now you
drink the cup,
I came runnin’ every time you cried,
Thought I saw love smilin’ in your eyes,
Ha Ha very nice to know, that you ain’t got no place left to go.

[CHORUS:REPEAT]


References:
Lyrics retrieved from http://www.azlyrics.com/lyrics/electriclightorchestraelo/evilwoman.html
“Evil Woman” SongFacts page: http://www.songfacts.com/detail.php?id=6714
P.S. I don’t own any audio or visual material used in this publication. All the rights and credits go to the owners and/publishers.
The publication expresses my personal opinion and in no way is trying to make a generalized statement. Please be kind and considerate when you read and/or comment.
Cheers~

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