Electric Light Orchestra, “Do Ya” from A New World Record (1976): One Track Mind

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The last single by Jeff Lynne’s prior band the Move and the only one to chart in the U.S. (No. 93 on the Hot 100) ends up being the seventh charted single for the group spun off from the Move, his Electric Light Orchestra. Released as part of A New World Record on September 11, 1976, “Do Ya” reached No. 24 in April of 1977.

The Electric Light Orchestra had never rocked harder. At least, not on radio. With its violin/cello players and even a full orchestra supplementing the normal four piece rock band, the remake of “Do Ya” managed to become uniquely ELO. So yeah, a new, symphonic coda was added, but the crunch of the original carried over intact.

By this time, Jeff Lynne had achieved complete mastery of the delicate balance between rock and orchestral arrangements, and even the heavy presence of the Electric Light Orchestra’s patented strings didn’t do anything to take away from the song’s raw, cocksure bent, with Lynne growling and boasting to his target for affections about all the things he’s seen “but never seen nuttin’ like you.”

Interestingly, it was Todd Rundgren who was the first to cover this song (Utopia’s 1975 release Another Live) before Jeff Lynne revisited his own tune with the Electric Light Orchestra. Rundgren was the guy who took a near-hit (“Hello It’s Me”) for his former band (The Nazz) and later made it into a major hit for himself. Jeff Lynne would soon follow the same strategy with “Do Ya,” and got the same results.

S. Victor Aaron

S. Victor Aaron

S. Victor Aaron is an SQL demon for a Fortune 100 company by day, music opinion-maker at night. His musings are strewn out across the interwebs on jazz.com, AllAboutJazz.com, a football discussion board and some inchoate customer reviews of records from the late 1990s on Amazon under a pseudonym that will never be revealed. E-mail him at svaaron@somethingelsereviews .com or follow him on Twitter at https://twitter.com/SVictorAaron
S. Victor Aaron
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