Monday, September 4, 2017

Through Shadows of the Night

Electric Light Orchestra : Telephone Line

 Electric Light Orchestra's "Telephone Line" spent the entire month of September 1977 in the U.S. Top 10. It was the band's biggest hit in the U.S. Made even better by the inclusion of  "Poorboy (The Greenwood)", from 1975's Eldorado, on the B-side. Lynne went though a lot of trouble to get the sound of an America phone ringing in the beginning of the song:

To get the sound on the beginning, you know, the American telephone sound, we phoned from England to America to a number that we know nobody would be at, to just listen to it for a while. On the Moog, we recreated the sound exactly by tuning the oscillators to the same notes as the ringing of the phone.

Jeff Lynne told Rolling Stone about composing the song:

I can remember writing this on an old out-of-tune upright piano. I somehow squeezed this song out of it. I sound really desperate and lonely on this one, and maybe I was. It's about trying to find a girl every night and you just can't get through to her. It was a scenario I thought of, but maybe it was prompted by the fact that I wasn't happy at the time. When I was a kid, I loved the plaintive songs of Del Shannon and Roy Orbison. They wrote songs that were really sad and those were the best. I thought I was writing those sort of songs. People tell me the song gives them a boost, but I never dreamed I was doing that for anybody.

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