Craig Allen’s Fun Facts: “Sweet Talkin’ Woman” by ELO
The "Electric Light Orchestra" formed in Birmingham, England in 1970.
Original members were the songwriters and multi-instrument playing Jeff Lynne, and Roy Wood...along with drummer Bev Bevan. Many would come and go over the years...
The band was formed to take advantage of Lynne's and Wood's talents...and their desire to form a rock band that would play modern rock and pop songs...with a classical feel.
The idea was to take rock music in a direction that would "pick up where the Beatles left off."
When Roy Wood left the band in 1972, Jeff Lynne became the band's leader. He would go on to write just about every one of the band's original songs...along with producing and arranging every album!
"Sweet Talkin' Woman," our spotlight song, was almost a ...dead end! READ ON!
It was recorded at Musicland Studios in Munich, Germany, in the summer of 1977.
Yes, it ended up on ELO's very successful "Out Of The Blue" double album (my vintage 8 track)....but only after some major changes!
"Sweet Talkin' Woman" was originally known as "Dead End Street."
It was DONE, Jeff Lynne explaining: "I'd done all the words and everything, finished it."
He continues: "I came down the next day in the studio, and I went: 'I hate that. Let's rub all the vocals off.'"
So, the engineer erased all the vocal tracks...leaving just the music track.
Where does this leave ELO's Jeff Lynne?
"Sitting up in the hotel...working at night, just trying to think of a new tune and new words, which I did." And, "I tried it the next day...and there they worked."
Lynne concludes: "So, it was a good job...but it also meant changing the arrangement slightly. So, a lot of pairs of scissors were used that day."
It was worth all the work, as the song saved from oblivion went on to be a #17 hit on the Hot 100 chart in early 1978!
While Jeff Lynne says that he rewrote all the lyrics, that's not technically true...as the line "I've been livin' on a dead end street" is sung in the opening of the third verse.
Now, you know where it came from...and you'll notice it every time you hear the song!
Want more "Fun Facts?"
If you have a single (also known as a "45") copy of "Sweet Talkin' Woman," it may sound a little...different.
It seems that the USA single is about 10 seconds shorter than the British single...as its a slightly faster mix!
What's unknown is...was the recording purposely edited to shorten it...thus getting it more radio airplay.
OR...is it a simple error of the tape machine running slightly off speed? (My guess would be scenario #2).
When it came to supporting the "Out Of The Blue" album, its is said that the promotional billboard was the most expensive ever (at that time), on Sunset Boulevard in Los Angeles!
On their 1978 "Out Of The Blue" tour, to open the concert, ELO emerged from a giant spaceship...with lots of fans saying that it looked more like a giant...hamburger!
You can't make this stuff up!
Enjoy "Sweet Talkin' Woman" on New Jersey 101.5, and here at nj1015.com.
I think I'll go get a burger...