How Jeff Lynne Wrote A Song In Minutes

via ELO / Youtube

Jeff Lynne, the frontman of Electric Light Orchestra (ELO), has made an indelible mark on the music industry with his talent and creativity. From his early days in bands like The Andicaps and The Chads to his collaborations with musical icons like George Harrison and Tom Petty, Lynne’s musical journey has been nothing short of remarkable.

Crafting a Progressive and Accessible Sound

As ELO emerged in the 1970s, they sought to bring a progressive yet accessible edge to rock music. With a string of successful studio albums, including their fifth release, “Face the Music,” the band garnered widespread acclaim and chart-topping hits. Among these hits was “Evil Woman,” a song that would go on to become one of ELO’s most beloved creations.

A Swift Stroke of Inspiration

Jeff Lynne revealed that the writing process for “Evil Woman” was surprisingly swift and effortless. Drawing inspiration from The Beatles’ “Fixing a Hole,” Lynne crafted the lyrics in a matter of minutes. In an interview with Rolling Stone, he shared, “I wrote this in a matter of minutes. The rest of the album was done. I listened to it and thought, ‘There’s not a good single.’ So I sent the band out to a game of football and made up ‘Evil Woman’ on the spot.”

The Birth of “Evil Woman”

With the band members temporarily occupied, Lynne seized the opportunity to create a standout single for “Face the Music.” The first three chords came to him effortlessly, and he infused the song with a slick and cool R&B vibe. Lynne also incorporated his signature piano solos and a captivating string arrangement, elevating the track to new heights. While the song was inspired by a particular woman in Lynne’s life, he chose to keep her identity a mystery, stating, “She’s appeared a few times in my songs.”

Impact and Legacy

“Evil Woman” became a breakthrough hit for ELO, propelling them to greater recognition and opening doors to more opportunities. However, despite its success, Lynne remained humble, acknowledging that one hit alone does not drastically change one’s life. Nevertheless, the song’s infectious energy and memorable melody continue to resonate with fans and exemplify Lynne’s songwriting prowess.