Sunday, February 7, 2010
ROCK Sex: 'I'll Tell You Once More Before I Get Off the Floor'
ROCK Sex gives you the lowdown with no letdown.
"Don't Bring Me Down" was accidently the biggest smash hit ELECTRIC LIGHT ORCHESTRA ever had.
Leader Jeff Lynne melded together a lot of influences in this throwaway song that became a perennial classic. The tune was created off -the-cuff in a German studio and the spare metallic drum loop hearkens to the influence of Kraftwerk. The "downdowndadowndown" ad lib at the end recalls a similar one from "Who's been Here" (1961) by Commonwealth Jones, actually a psuedonym for young Rockabilly firebrand Ronnie Dawson. The bassline recalls "I Can't Take No More" (1970) by Atomic Rooster. There is a quiet structural similarity to "You Can't Do That" by The Beatles, particularly in the boogie vamp at 2:55. Some of the harmonies on the chorus sound like The Bee Gees who were then at the height of their fame. And the "Oo-ee-hoo" recalls Little Richard/Paul McCartney.
Jeff threw in a made-up word, "grroosss", for harmony. Since it was done in Germany it was first mistaken for a similar German word for 'greeting'. But everyone else in the world mishead it as "don't bring me down, Bruce", which Jeff cheekily sings now in concert.
ELO -"Don't Bring Me Down" (1979)
THE DAZZ BAND was inspired to their name by the song "Dazz" ('disco jazz') by Brick. For this great hit they also adopted Devo's robotic funk and just may have borrowed the signature "oo-ee-hoo" from Jeff:
THE DAZZ BAND -"Let It Whip" (1982)
Recently the ELO song has been covered by OK GO and The New Pornographers.
The Dazz Band song was covered by Boyz II Men and SR-71. Sadly, I couldn't find the Cantonese version by George Lam of Hong Kong!