By Jim Fusco:
Well, “New Bands Week” is over, but I have a hard time letting go…so I bring you yet another new band to the Laptop Sessions acoustic cover songs music video blog!
Tonight I give you a band fronted by a great producer, songwriter, and singer: Jeff Lynne. The band is Electric Light Orchestra (E.L.O.) and the song is “Evil Woman”, a favorite of mine for a long time.
This song is originally done on piano, but I’ve adapted it for acoustic guitar. It’s got great vocals and a great chord progression. I love the way the drums come in- it’s what I miss the most when I play it solo. Many say that Jeff Lynne, as a producer, kind of “over-produces” his music. I actually kind of like it. I love a large chorus of vocals, plus Lynne always throws in some interesting instruments (like a violin) into his songs. And, sure, when he was with the Traveling Wilburys, he had all five members play acoustic guitar. But, to me, that just showed how everyone was participating.
Jeff Lynne not only had a ton of hits with E.L.O., he produced many hit albums. Roy Orbison’s “Mystery Girl” is a stand-out and brought the Lynne co-written song “You Got It” to the world. He even produced the mega-smash album “Full Moon Fever” for Tom Petty, which had classic songs like “Running Down A Dream”, “Free Fallin'”, and “Won’t Back Down”. I think I like Jeff Lynne’s producing style because it’s the style of music I grew up with. I mean, both of the albums I mentioned were from the late 80s. And one of my other favorite albums, “Cloud 9” by George Harrion, is also produced by Jeff Lynne…and also from the late 80s! You can’t go wrong with any of these albums and I have to give a little credit to Jeff Lynne on that.
I hope tonight’s Electric Light Orchestra cover song will be the start of many other E.L.O. songs for the Laptop Sessions music blog. I can’t wait to do “Sweet Talkin’ Woman”, too. That’s another one that’s a bit over-produced, but when it was recorded in the 70s, people were pushing the envelope with the sounds they could create. In the 60s, you only had four or eight tracks to work with. And in the 70s, the technology leaped forward, allowing many more tracks to be used without a reduction in sound quality. Jeff Lynne has always struck me as a technical musician of sorts- he knows the craft of recording a song and applies it to the music he makes and the music he produces for other bands.
“Evil Woman” is also a fun song to do a cover of because of the cool falsetto parts in the chorus. It’s that kind of range that made E.L.O. stand out to me and I’m happy to present my stripped-down version here on the music video blog!
Enjoy tonight’s acoustic cover song music video, and make sure to come back on Wednesday to see my Original Wednesday cover song tribute to Jeff Copperthite’s great new album, “Greenlight”. Aw, heck, why don’t you just come back on Monday and Tuesday, too?