Friday, July 27, 1979

Electric Light Orchestra “Don’t Bring Me Down” charted

Don’t Bring Me Down

Electric Light Orchestra

Writer(s): Jeff Lynne (see lyrics here)

First Charted: July 27, 1979

Peak: 4 US, 4 CB, 3 HR, 5 RR, 2 CL, 3 UK, 11 CN, 6 AU, 2 DF (Click for codes to singles charts.)

Sales (in millions): 2.0 US, 0.25 UK

Airplay/Streaming (in millions): 2.0 radio, 30.7 video, 204.01 streaming


Click on award for more details.

About the Song:

“Don’t Bring Me Down” might be Jeff Lynne’s “greatest recorded legacy” UCR as well as his “most concise and representative musical statement.” UCR The song is “pure, vintage Lynne in a way that maybe no other ELO hit can claim.” UCR “You can hear a Jeff Lynne song from a couple miles down the road: It’s all in the bass drum…‘Don’t Bring Me Down’ has got those drums, and oddly enough, that’s about all it has.” UCR

This was the band’s first song that didn’t use strings “and by the Electric Light Orchestra’s ornate arrangement standards, it’s positively rudimentary.” UCR It is ironic that the group which can be summed up as “pop music with strings” AMG got its biggest American hit with a string-free song. It was “powerful enough for rock fans but dance-friendly enough for the disco set.” AMG

Lynne wrote this late in the sessions for the 1979 Discovery album. He wrote the song on piano and for the backing track he slowed down and looped the drums from an earlier song called “On the Run” WK “to create the tune’s trademark beat.” UCR It’s unknown if any other band members played on the track. Finally, he added lyrics “about a girl who thinks she’s too good for the guy she’s with.” SF

The song also included repeated use of the nonsense word “groose.” It was originally just a place-keeper word, but stayed in. SF Some fans though he was singing “Bruce” and, for fun, he has actually sung it that way in live performances. SF He was also informed by German engineer Reinhold Mack that “gruss” means “greetings” in Germany. SF


First posted 7/15/2022; last updated 7/22/2022.

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