Don't Bring Me Down

 

Electric Light Orchestra and Jeff Lynne -- Don't Bring Me Down

An in-depth song analysis


Electric Light Orchestra (Original Version)
Electric Light Orchestra (Solo Version)
  • Record Date: March/April 1979
  • Record Location: Musicland Studios, Munich, Germany
  • Written By: Jeff Lynne
  • Produced By: Jeff Lynne
  • Engineered By: Mack
  • Performed By: Jeff Lynne (vocals, guitar, piano, synthesizer), Bev Bevan (drums, percussion), Richard Tandy (grand piano, synthesizer, electric piano, clavinet), Kelly Groucutt (bass, vocals)

    Initially Released On: Discovery LP album (1979 May — UK — Jet JET LX 500)

  • Record Date: Some time between 2001 and 2008
  • Record Location: Bungalow Palace Studio (Jeff Lynne's home studio)
  • Written By: Jeff Lynne
  • Produced By: Jeff Lynne
  • Engineered By: Steve Jay, Ryan Ulyate & Marc Mann
  • Performed By: Jeff Lynne (vocals, guitar, piano, bass, drums, keyboards), Marc Mann (strings), Steve Jay (shakers, tambourine)

    Initially Released On: NHL 12 Xbox 360 and Playstation videogames (2011 September 13 — USA — EA Sports ?)

  • Comments and Observations

    Don't Bring Me Down was recorded at Musicland Studios in Munich, Germany some time early in 1979. Its recording is significant to the band's history because it was not written or recorded in the typical manner. Jeff Lynne wrote the song while in the studio late in the Discovery sessions. He sampled a drum track from a song recorded earlier in the session, slowed it down, and looped it continuously to create a new song. Using this looped beat, Jeff wrote the song on piano in the studio and immediately following created the basic backing track all by himself. Later, Jeff wrote the words and they were added to the song along with the final touches. It is unclear if other band members, if any, were directly involved in the song, although it is likely that Richard Tandy added the keyboard flourishes throughout. Musicland Studios engineer [Reinhold] Mack today declares that he inspired the song by one day telling Jeff to ditch the strings and just have a jam session; the truth of this remains uncorroborated as Jeff, Bev and Richard have never mentioned Mack's involvement at all and have only ever credited Jeff. The song features no strings and is the first ELO song released to not have them included.

    The song was released as a single in England on Jet records on August 24, 1979 with stock number "JET 153" with an unedited version of Dreaming Of 4000 from the On The Third Day album on the B-side. In the USA, it's the eighteenth single release and was released in July 1979, on Jet Records (distributed by CBS) with stock number "ZS9 5060" with the same version of Dreaming Of 4000 on the B-side. It was also released as the final track of side 2 on the Discovery album on May 1979 in the USA and June 1979 in England.

    Official Jet Records press release for release of the UK Don't Bring Me Down singleDon't Bring Me Down is also significant as it is ELO's highest Billboard charting single ever in the USA and is the biggest hit in many other countries as well. In the UK, it is the second highest charting single (with Xanadu as the top single in 1980). It entered the UK chart on September 1, 1979, peaked at #3 on September 22, and spent 8 weeks in the chart. In the USA, it entered the Billboard Hot 100 chart on August 4, 1979, reached #4 for two consecutive weeks on September 8 & 15, 1979, spending 15 weeks in the chart and entered the Cash Box chart on July 28, 1979, reached #4 for two consecutive weeks on September 22 & 29, 1979, spending 17 weeks in the chart. It is ELO's sixteenth Billboard chart single.

    Also of interest, this song features no strings and is the first ELO song ever to not use an orchestra at all. It is unclear why no strings were used. It is well documented that Jeff was getting tired of the requirement for having to use an orchestra on all his songs and the Discovery sessions were the first ELO sessions in which the band's string players were not used in the studio (and they were dismissed from the band shortly after the album's release). It is likely that Jeff completed the backing track and concluded that the song simply didn't need strings, so he never added them to the song. Indeed, Don't Bring Me Down was such a big success for the band that Jeff likely decided at that time that the use of strings would be reduced on all future recordings. And it was.

    Jeff has remained coy about from which song he sampled the drum beat and it might be the case that he doesn't recall himself where it is from. Audio evidence shows and engineer Mack confirm that it was taken from On The Run, recorded earlier for the Discovery album. A sample can be heard HERE that includes a sample Don't Bring Me Down, then a sample from the original On The Run (which is slowed down to match the beat), and finally a blend of the two.

    At the beginning of the song, Jeff can be heard counting in the song (one, two-- one, two, three, four). This appears to be Jeff having a bit of a joke, because a count-in was not actually needed for the song. The song is not actually a live in studio performance by the full band, but rather a song that is fabricated from the sampled drum beat and Jeff himself playing various instruments to make the backing track. The count-in was probably added after the backing track was recorded.

    The chorus uses the nonsense word "grroosss" (as it is written in the liner notes) which has caused much confusion and amusement over the years. This word has no meaning and was simply a word that Jeff had made up on the spot as he was recording the vocals. While recording at Musicland Studios in Germany, Mack (according to Jeff) expressed his surprise at Jeff's use of a German word in his lyrics. The German word "Grόί" (written as "grooss" in the standard Latin alphabet) means "greeting" in German. It was totally by accident that Jeff's made up word "grroosss" sounded like the German word, but the decision was made to leave it in the song. Later, upon the song's release, many people misinterpreted this word as "Bruce" as if Jeff were singing the song to an imaginary person named Bruce (which would be odd considering that in the song, he is singing to a female). Somehow the rumor even started that this was a veiled reference in a lawyer for the band named Bruce, which is totally false. In any case, Jeff noted that during live shows, many fans sang the lyric as "Bruce" rather than "grroosss". Shortly afterwards, he began singing it as "Bruce" as well. This new lyric is quite noticeable on the Zoom Tour Live DVD concert. And Jeff sang the lyric as "Bruce" on the new solo version that he recorded in the 2000s, showing that he considers "Bruce" the more correct lyric now. Also of note, in an interview, Mack declared that the original lyric actually was "Bruce" in reference to an upcoming Australian tour, but the decision was made to change it to "grroosss" instead for the record. Mack is probably misremembering a few things here as there was no upcoming Australian tour and no other mention of it ever being "Bruce" originally has ever otherwise been made.

    At the song's end is a sound that many fans have had difficulty identifying over the years. It is confirmed to be a fire door that is slammed at Musicland studios in Germany. It can be heard HERE (with enhancement on the door slam so it can be heard clearly). It is uncertain why the slamming door part was included, but it likely was intended just as an amusing ending to the song and/or the Discovery album, as if the band were finished playing and were immediately leaving the building.

    French made UK singleIn the UK, there was a curious 7" single released that was actually pressed in France. It states "Made In France" on the label and the label is quite different from the standard UK yellow Jet paper label, being a yellowish green silk screen label instead. Because of this, it is often misidentified as a French single. It was pressed in France, but it was made for export to the UK market. Clues to this include the UK stock number of JET 153 (rather than the French JET 503), the UK copyright on the label, the UK picture sleeve, and probably most telling, "U.K." etched into the runout groove of both sides of the single. The versions of the songs on the A and B sides are the same as the LP versions they are taken from (as are all singles for Don't Bring Me Down).

    Some time in the late 2000s, Jeff Lynne re-recorded Don't Bring Me Down. It was first heard in part on the 2008 film, College Road Trip (during the skydiving scene) and it is credited in the film to the Electric Light Orchestra. Clearly it is not the original recording but a whole new recording. A very brief segment of this version was also used in the Reading Is A Fundamental Case episode of the My Name Is Earl TV program in 2008. The full version of the song was finally released officially on the NHL 12 videogame soundtrack in 2011. However, as the song is embedded in the game, it can only be heard while playing the game (although special software has been applied to extract the song and it can be found as a bootleg). It's a fairly faithful recreation of the song, although it misses the door slam at the end of the song. Finally, the full song was released on the 2012 re-record album, Mr. Blue Sky The Very Best Of Electric Light Orchestra.

    Ostensibly this rerecording was done because Jeff felt that he could improve the the song (and other ELO hits that appear on the Mr. Blue Sky The Very Best Of Electric Light Orchestra) using modern recording techniques, stating that when he hears the original recordings, he's not entirely happy with them. Some have suggested that Jeff may have rerecorded it because he does not own the full rights to the original songs. Instead the rights are owned by Sony and when the songs are used in films, ads and other money making ventures, Sony gets most (if not all) of the money. By being able to market his own self-recorded versions, Jeff gets all the money instead. Jeff, however, denies this is the reason for the rerecordings.

    It's not entirely clear if the newer solo version should be credited to Jeff Lynne alone or Electric Light Orchestra. All sources and interviews are very clear that these are Jeff Lynne solo recordings, yet there has been no definitive statement about exactly how the artist for the recordings should be credited. The College Road Trip film credits it to Electric Light Orchestra and the NHL 12 has no known credit. The Mr. Blue Sky The Very Best Of Electric Light Orchestra collection gives only the album's title and does not state the artist anywhere. Other sources such as iTunes credit the artist as Electric Light Orchestra. And Frontiers Records shop originally did not give an artist credit, but revised the artist to Electric Light Orchestra shortly after release. Yet clearly these are solo recordings. Jeff, in interviews, implies that this is to be an Electric Light Orchestra recording as the "group" is now a one-man band and he is the band.

    When the NASA Skylab space station was about to reenter the Earth's atmosphere on July 11, 1979, Don't Bring Me Down was dedicated to it (probably as a publicity stunt by Jet Records). NASA and the song intersected again on July 6, 1996, when the shuttle Columbia mission STS-78 was experiencing an extended stay in space due to bad weather at the landing site. ELO's Don't Bring Me Down was used as the astronaut wake-up call that morning, being an inside joke about their extended flight. The actual wake-up call recording can be heard HERE. Note that the poor sound quality of the clip was common for spaceflight orbit to ground recordings. Curiously, the Jeff Lynne co-written song Free Fallin' was played on the same mission on June 21.

    There is a really nice article at Crawdaddy!, the online music review magazine, that declares ELO's Don't Bring Me Down as the top Don't Bring Me Down song. (There have been several with that title over the years.) It can be viewed HERE.

    Structure and Lyrics

    Below is the structure of the fullest, most complete version of the originally released song as available on the standard issues of the Discovery album. The Jeff Lynne solo version is the exact same arrangement except that it cuts the door slam at the song's end and the "grroosss" lyric is changed to "Bruce".

    Electric Light Orchestra (Original Version)
    Lyric sheet from USA Discovery album
    -Drum Intro with Count-In
    -Guitar and Piano Intro
    -Verse 1
       You got me runnin', goin' out of my mind
       You got me thinkin' that I'm wastin' my time
       Don't bring me down, no no no no no, ooh-ee-hoo
       I'll tell you once more before I get off the floor
       Don't bring me down

    -Verse 2
       You wanna stay out with your fancy friends
       I'm tellin' you it's got to be the end
       Don't bring me down, no no no no no, ooh-ee-hoo
       I'll tell you once more before I get off the floor
       Don't bring me down

    -Chorus 1
       Don't bring me down, grroosss
       Don't bring me down, grroosss
       Don't bring me down, grroosss
       Don't bring me down

    -Verse 3
       What happened to the girl I used to know?
       You let your mind out somewhere down the road
       Don't bring me down, no no no no no, ooh-ee-hoo
       I'll tell you once more before I get off the floor
       Don't bring me down

    -Verse 4
       You're always talkin' 'bout your crazy nights
       One of these days you're gonna get it right
       Don't bring me down, no no no no no, ooh-ee-hoo
       I'll tell you once more before I get off the floor
       Don't bring me down

    -Chorus 2
       Don't bring me down, grroosss
       Don't bring me down, grroosss
       Don't bring me down, grroosss
       Don't bring me down

    -Verse 5
       You're lookin' good just like a snake in the grass with no guitar backing
       One of these days you're gonna break your glass with no guitar backing
       Don't bring me down, no no no no no no no no no no, ooh-ee-hoo
       I'll tell you once more before I get off the floor
       Don't bring me down

    -Short guitar and piano bridge #1
    -Verse 6
       You got me shakin', got me runnin' away
       You get me crawlin' up to you everyday
       Don't bring me down, no no no no no, ooh-ee-hoo
       I'll tell you once more before I get off the floor
       Don't bring me down, down, down, down, down, down

    -Short guitar and piano bridge #2
    -Verse 7
       I'll tell you once more before I get off the floor
       Don't bring me down

    -Door slam
    Original Lyric Sheet from Discovery

    Variations

    There are only two known non-live variations of the original Don't Bring Me Down They are:

    -Don't Bring Me Down (Standard Release)
    -Don't Bring Me Down (Edited 18 Greatest Hits LP Version)

    It is somewhat surprising that Don't Bring Me Down was never edited for single release as typically radio stations want shorter songs and at four minutes plus, this song pushes the limits. Perhaps by the late 1970s, the desire for shorter songs had decreased and an edit was no longer necessary. All releases even include the door slam sound at the end, which was unlikely to be heard on radio. The only known variation is an edit, from the 1984 Australian 18 Greatest Hits LP which replaces the last "I'll tell you once more before I get off the floor, Don't bring me down" line of the sixth verse with the same lines of the final verse, cutting everything in-between.

    In addition, there are two versions of the newer Jeff Lynne solo version as first heard in the College Road Trip film and eventually released on the NHL 12 videogame and Mr. Blue Sky The Very Best Of Electric Light Orchestra album. They are:

    -Don't Bring Me Down (Solo Version)
    -Don't Bring Me Down (5.1 Mix Solo Version)
    The performance used in the videogame is complete, however the segment used in the film, has both stereo and 5.1 mixes depending on which audio track and audio equipment is used. The version heard in the film is incomplete and edited for use in the film. What is heard is in the included in the chart below with special notation.

    Song Section Lyric/Part Don't Bring Me Down (Standard Release) Don't Bring Me Down (Edited 18 Greatest Hits LP Version) * Don't Bring Me Down (Solo Version)
    Don't Bring Me Down (5.1 Mix Solo Version)
    Intro Drum Intro with Count-In
    YES
    YES
    *
    YES
    Guitar and Piano Intro
    YES
    YES
    *
    YES
    Verse 1 You got me runnin', goin' out of my mind
    YES
    YES
    *
    YES
    You got me thinkin' that I'm wastin' my time
    YES
    YES
    *
    YES
    Don't bring me down, no no no no no, ooh-ee-hoo
    YES
    YES
    *
    YES
    I'll tell you once more before I get off the floor
    YES
    YES
    *
    YES
    Don't bring me down
    YES
    YES
    *
    YES
    Verse 2 You wanna stay out with your fancy friends
    YES
    YES
    *
    YES *
    I'm tellin' you it's got to be the end
    YES
    YES
    *
    YES *
    Don't bring me down, no no no no no, ooh-ee-hoo
    YES
    YES
    *
    YES *
    I'll tell you once more before I get off the floor
    YES
    YES
    *
    YES *
    Don't bring me down
    YES
    YES
    *
    YES *
    Chorus 1 Don't bring me down, grroosss
    YES
    YES
    *
    YES, but grroosss lyric changed to Bruce. As heard in College Road Trip, this it is preceeded by a repeat of the complete intro.
    Don't bring me down, grroosss
    YES
    YES
    *
    YES, but grroosss lyric changed to Bruce
    Don't bring me down, grroosss
    YES
    YES
    *
    YES, but grroosss lyric changed to Bruce
    Don't bring me down
    YES
    YES
    *
    YES
    Verse 3 What happened to the girl I used to know?
    YES
    YES
    *
    YES
    You let your mind out somewhere down the road
    YES
    YES
    *
    YES
    Don't bring me down, no no no no no, ooh-ee-hoo
    YES
    YES
    *
    YES
    I'll tell you once more before I get off the floor
    YES
    YES
    *
    YES
    Don't bring me down
    YES
    YES
    *
    YES *
    Verse 4 You're always talkin' 'bout your crazy nights
    YES
    YES
    *
    YES *
    One of these days you're gonna get it right
    YES
    YES
    *
    YES *
    Don't bring me down, no no no no no, ooh-ee-hoo
    YES
    YES
    *
    YES *
    I'll tell you once more before I get off the floor
    YES
    YES
    *
    YES *
    Don't bring me down
    YES
    YES
    *
    YES *
    Chorus 2 Don't bring me down, grroosss
    YES
    YES
    *
    YES, but grroosss lyric changed to Bruce *
    Don't bring me down, grroosss
    YES
    YES
    *
    YES, but grroosss lyric changed to Bruce *
    Don't bring me down, grroosss
    YES
    YES
    *
    YES, but grroosss lyric changed to Bruce *
    Don't bring me down
    YES
    YES
    *
    YES *
    Verse 5 You're lookin' good just like a snake in the grass with no guitar backing
    YES
    YES
    *
    YES *
    One of these days you're gonna break your glass with no guitar backing
    YES
    YES
    *
    YES *
    Don't bring me down, no no no no no no no no no no, ooh-ee-hoo
    YES
    YES
    *
    YES *
    I'll tell you once more before I get off the floor
    YES
    YES
    *
    YES *
    Don't bring me down
    YES
    YES
    *
    YES *
    Short guitar and piano bridge #1 Short guitar and piano bridge #1
    YES
    YES
    *
    YES
    Verse 6 You got me shakin', got me runnin' away
    YES
    YES
    *
    YES
    You get me crawlin' up to you everyday
    YES
    YES
    *
    YES
    Don't bring me down, no no no no no, ooh-ee-hoo
    YES
    YES
    *
    YES
    I'll tell you once more before I get off the floor
    YES
    -
    *
    YES
    Don't bring me down, down, down, down, down, down
    YES
    -
    *
    YES *
    Short guitar and piano bridge #2 Short guitar and piano bridge #2
    YES
    -
    *
    YES *
    Verse 7 I'll tell you once more before I get off the floor
    YES
    YES
    *
    YES *
    Don't bring me down
    YES
    YES
    *
    YES
    Door slam Door slam
    YES
    YES
    *
    -

    * missing from the stereo and 5.1 mix heard on College Road Trip.

    Music Charts

    These are the known statistics for the various countries' music charts. If you can fill in the missing information or know of charting information in other countries, please let me know at the email address listed at the bottom of this page.

    Week 1 Week 2 Week 3 Week 4 Week 5 Week 6 Week 7 Week 8 Week 9 Week 10 Week 11 Week 12 Week 13 Week 14 Week 15 Week 16 Week 17 Week 18 Week 19 Week 20 Week 21 Week 22 Week 23 Week 24 Week 25 Week 26 Week 27
    UK Official Top 75 Chart Entry Date: September 1, 1979
    38
    11
    4
    3
    (September 22, 1979)
    5
    10
    20
    36
    USA Billboard Hot 100 Chart Entry Date: August 4, 1979
    41
    18
    14
    6
    5
    4
    (September 8, 1979)
    4
    (September 15, 1979)
    10
    10
    11
    13
    39
    41
    73
    97
    USA Cash Box Top 100 Chart Entry Date: July 28, 1979
    48
    36
    28
    15
    12
    10
    8
    6
    4
    (September 22, 1979)
    4
    (September 29, 1979)
    9
    11
    21
    27
    42
    61
    96
    USA Record World Top 40 Chart Entry Date: August 4, 1979
    Peak of 3
    during a run of 18 weeks on the chart
    Austria Φ3 Austria Top 40 Top 40 Chart Entry Date: October, 1979 Note, these charts were on monthly cycle in 1979, then changed to a twice monthly cycle in 1980
    20
    2
    (November, 1979)
    2
    (December, 1979)
    4
    7
    7
    Canada Chart Entry Date: August 4, 1979
    26
    20
    11
    5
    2
    (September 1, 1979)
    2
    (September 8, 1979)
    3
    3
    6
    11
    17
    25
    Holland Top 40 (De Nederlandse Top 40) Chart Entry Date: August 11, 1979
    26
    14
    8
    5
    (September 1, 1979)
    5
    (September 8, 1979)
    5
    (September 15, 1979)
    7
    13
    21
    31
    38
    Holland Top 50 (Origin unknown) Chart Entry Date: August 11, 1979
    47
    14
    7
    7
    5
    (September 8, 1979)
    5
    (September 15, 1979)
    9
    9
    14
    18
    32
    43
    Germany Top 70 Chart Entry Date: September 24, 1979
    26
    20
    8
    8
    5
    (October 22, 1979)
    5
    (October 29, 1979)
    5
    (November 5, 1979)
    5
    (November 12, 1979)
    7
    9
    10
    13
    13
    17
    21
    25
    28
    34
    35
    44
    49
    39
    50
    64
    70
    67
    70
    New Zealand Top 50 Chart Entry Date: August 19, 1979
    34
    24
    21
    18
    8
    6
    (September 23, 1979)
    7
    6
    (October 7, 1979)
    6
    (October 14, 1979)
    9
    13
    17
    28
    48
    48
    Switzerland Top 15 Chart Entry Date: October 28, 1979
    14
    9
    6
    2
    (November 18, 1979)
    3
    4
    5
    9
    9
    no
    chart
    published
    11
    13

    Releases

    Here are all the known USA and UK releases of the song:

    Don't Bring Me Down (Standard Release)

    Don't Bring Me Down (Edited 18 Greatest Hits LP Version)

    Don't Bring Me Down (Time Tour)

    E.L.O. Megamix (featuring a Don't Bring Me Down sample)

    Don't Bring Me Down (Heartbeat '86, March 15 1986)

    Don't Bring Me Down (Balance Of Power Tour)

    E.L.O. Mega-Hits (featuring a Don't Bring Me Down sample)

    ELO Remix - 40 Principales (featuring a Don't Bring Me Down sample)

    Don't Bring Me Down (VH1 Storytellers, April 20, 2001)

    Don't Bring Me Down (Los Angeles, May 2001)

    Don't Bring Me Down (5.1 Mix - Los Angeles, May 2001)

    Don't Bring Me Down (Solo Version)

    Don't Bring Me Down (5.1 Mix Solo Version)

    Don't Bring Me Down (Bungalow Palace - March 2011)

    Tours

    Don't Bring Me Down was played on all tours following its release.

    Only the live performance from the PBS performance for the aborted Zoom tour has been officially released. Performances of from the Time and Balance Of Power tours have not been officially released, although they have been bootlegged from various sources.

    Both the Time and Balance Of Power tours, as well as the Heartbeat '86 charity concert, used the same alternate arrangement of the song. In the show setlists, it was the next to last song performed with a long drum intro to get the crowd worked up. Verse 4 was replaced with a guitar solo. Verse 5 was followed with three "I'll tell you once more before I get off the floor, don't bring me down" lines before ending the song and completely cutting the short piano bridge sections. In addition to these song changes, on the Time tour, Kelly sang harmony vocals throughout the song. On the Balance Of Power tour, bassist Martin Smith sang all harmony vocals.

    For all performances (except for a few early Time tour performances) the song was interrupted by an audience participation section. For this section, Jeff stopped singing on the last part of verse 5 ("no, no..." to "don't bring me down"), allowing the audience to sing it. Following this last part, Kelly Groucutt on the Time tour and Jeff on the Balance Of Power tour tried to get the audience to sing it louder and they played it again. Claiming he was not satisfied with the audience's performance, Jeff (on all tours) again tried to get the audience to sing even louder and the band played the part again. Satisfied, the song continued with verse 5's "no no no no no no no no no no" line.

    The arrangement for the aborted Zoom tour and the Storytellers performance was another completely different arrangement. This time, Rosie Vela sang all harmony vocals throughout. Verse 4 was replaced with a guitar solo and an additional "I'll tell you once more before I get off the floor, don't bring me down" line was added after the guitar solo. The "Don't bring me down, no no no no no no no no no no, ooh-ee-hoo" line of verse 5 used a very different rock-a-billy type of beat and guitar bit that seemed to take many fans by surprise. The first guitar and piano bridge was extended greatly, with significant piano contributions from Richard Tandy. And finally an additional "I'll tell you once more before I get off the floor, don't bring me down" line was added to the song's end.

    Also of note, all live performances of the song changed the "ooh-ee-hoo" sections in the verses to "ooh-ooh-hoo".

    Pictures

    UK 7-inch vinyl single (Jet JET 153) [small center hole] UK 7-inch single (Jet JET 153) [scored center hole] UK 7-inch single (Jet JET 153) [large center hole] UK 7-inch vinyl single (Jet S JET 153) [alternate label] UK 7-inch single (Jet JET 153) [French hybrid]
    UK 7" vinyl single * Jet * JET 153
    (small center hole)
    UK 7" vinyl single * Jet * JET 153
    (scored center hole)
    UK 7" vinyl single * Jet * JET 153
    (large center hole)
    UK 7" vinyl single * Jet * S JET 153
    (alternate label)
    UK 7" vinyl single * Jet * JET 153
    (French hybrid)
    UK 7-inch promo single (Jet JET 153) UK 12-inch single (Jet JET 12-153) USA 7-inch single (Jet CBS ZS9 5060) USA 7-inch promo single (Jet CBS ZS9 5060) UK Discovery LP (Jet JET LX 500)
    UK 7" vinyl promo single * Jet * JET 153 UK 12" single * Jet * JET 12-153 USA 7" vinyl single * Jet * CBS ZS9 5060 USA 7" vinyl promo single * Jet * CBS ZS9 5060 UK Discovery album * Jet * JET LX 500
    USA 7-inch single (Golden Oldies Jet CBS ZS8 5153) USA 7-inch single (Golden Oldies Jet CBS ZS8 5153 alternate label) USA 7-inch single (Collectibles Jet CBS ZS8 5153) Argentina 7-inch single (Epic 40.208) Canada 7-inch single (Jet JET ZS9 5060)
    USA 7" vinyl single * Golden Oldies Jet * CBS ZS8 5153 USA 7" vinyl single * Golden Oldies Jet * CBS ZS8 5153 (alternate label) USA 7" vinyl single * Collectibles Jet * CBS ZS8 5153 Argentina 7" vinyl single * Epic * 40.208
    Image used with kind permission of Jon Lock
    Canada 7" vinyl single * Jet * JET ZS9 5060
    Canada 7-inch single (Columbia E4-1058) France 7-inch single (Jet JET 503) [red label] France 7-inch single (Jet JET 503) [silver label] Germany 7-inch promo single (Jet JET S 503) Germany 7-inch single (Jet JET S 503)
    Canada 7" vinyl single * Columbia * E4-1058 France 7" vinyl single * Jet * JET 503
    (red label)
    France 7" vinyl single * Jet * JET 503
    (silver label)
    Germany Promo 7" vinyl single * Jet * JET S 503
    Image used with kind permission of Jon Lock
    Germany 7" vinyl single * Jet * JET S 503
    Italy 7-inch single (Jet JET 503) Japan 7-inch single (Jet 06SP 414) Malaysia 7-inch single (JBR JBRE 223) Mexico 7-inch single (Epic MEX-71779) New Zealand 7-inch single (Jet JS 009)
    Italy 7" vinyl single * Jet * JET 503
    Image used with kind permission of Jon Lock
    Japan 7" vinyl single * Jet * 06SP 414 Malaysia 7" vinyl single * JBR * JBRE 223
    Image used with kind permission of Jon Lock
    Mexico 7" vinyl single * Epic * MEX-71779
    Image used with kind permission of Jon Lock
    New Zealand 7" vinyl single * Jet * JS 009
    Image used with kind permission of Jon Lock
    Poland flexi-disc (Tanpress R-1013) Spain 7-inch single (Jet JET 153) [stock] Spain 7-inch single (Jet JET 153) [promo] South Africa 7-inch single (Jet SSC 1896) Spain 7-inch 40 Principales single (Epic MELP 3006)
    Poland flexi-disc single * Tanpress * R-1013
    Image used with kind permission of Malcolm M. Henderson
    Spain stock 7" vinyl single * Jet * JET 153
    Spain promo 7" vinyl single * Jet * JET 153 South Africa 7" vinyl single * Jet * SSC 1896
    Image used with kind permission of Jon Lock
    Spain ELO Remix - 40 Principales 7" promo single * Epic * MELP 3006 [1990]
    NHL12 XBox game NHL12 Playstation game Mr. Blue Sky The Very Best Of Electric Light Orchestra album with solo version
    NHL12 XBox game containing newer solo version NHL12 Playstation game containing newer solo version Mr. Blue Sky The Very Best Of Electric Light Orchestra album containing newer solo version

    Cover Versions


    Use in Movies and TV Programs

    Electric Light Orchestra - Don't Bring Me Down

    Electric Light Orchestra - Don't Bring Me Down (Solo Version)

    Sheet Music

                  
    Sheet music as published in the USA.

    Promotional Videos and TV Performances

    Don't Bring Me Down promo video version #1
    Don't Bring Me Down promo video version #2
    There was a Don't Bring Me Down video produced, showing the band performing the song in a crystal city and featuring reddish overtones over the entire video. The video starts with a cartoon of a majorette dancing to the drum intro. It then shows a marquee that spells out the name of the song, for which each letter is changed to a star on the beats of the song. Then it shows a cartoon of a glowing neon hotdog (yes, a hotdog!) over footage of the band playing the song. This fades and most of the rest of the video is of the band alone, performing on stage, however because the song has no string elements, the three string players are playing madly on various keyboard instruments instead. The set features the same large crystals as seen in the Confusion video. Briefly, during the song's third verse ("What happened to the girl...") the cartoon of the majorette is shown again. And on the beginning of verse five ("You're looking good...") the neon hotdog is shown again. Just after the end of the fifth verse, the view changes to a cartoon of the ELO spaceship flying out the window of a hall full of jukeboxes, followed by it flying out of the image of an eye towards the camera. From verse six to the end of the song, more footage of the band playing on the soundstage is shown. At the very end of the song-- the final echoes and the door slam part-- the view changes to a burning fire that engulfs the screen and the Discovery album title text is shown. Although not explicit, the video seems to invoke a sense of fire and brimstone hellishness, with its heavy red tint and the fire shown at the end. Perhaps this is intentional given that the song's lyrics are about "don't bring me down" as in down to hell. This Don't Bring Me Down promo video can be seen HERE.

    There is another version of this Don't Bring Me Down video that was used as part of the Discovery video bonus feature on the Out Of The Blue Tour - Live At Wembley video and DVD releases. This version uses the same basic footage at the standard album version, but it has an even deeper red overtone, applied to the point of oversaturation. Also, the end of the video stops showing the band performing on stage and instead uses different footage to show the films credits. From verse six onwards, the view changes to a close-up of the hands holding the spaceship from the cover of the Discovery album while the Discovery promo movie's credits roll. The video ends with a brief view of the Discovery album cover, the Jet log, and then a copyright notice of "1979 C.B.S. INC." This Don't Bring Me Down promo video can be seen HERE.

    The music video was aired on the UK's Top Of The Pops on a September 6, 1979 episode; on the September 20, 1979 episode of the same show, the song was played while dance troupe Legs & Co. danced to it. The band played this song live on television during the Heartbeat '86 stage performance that was broadcast in the UK. The VH1 Storytellers and PBS Zoom Tour Live performances were also filmed and broadcast in the USA.

    Fan Comments

    Enter comments only about this song. (Inappropriate comments will be removed.)


    fucking neon hotdog. WHY THE HELL?

    Artwork by Lynnette Johansson for Don't Bring Me Down
    -Fan artwork by Lynnette "Cicky" Johansson

    Tell the world what you think of Don't Bring Me Down. What do you think of ELO not using strings in this song?

    Quotations

    Don't Bring Me Down (Standard Release)
    The drum beat for Don't Bring Me Down was taken from a slowed down part of the drum track for the instrumental bridge of On The Run, which Jeff Lynne looped and enhanced.

    "Jeff Lynne: 'On Don't Bring Me Down, I did all that. I did the whole backing track and everything in about two hours. And I wrote the words in about twenty minutes. Put 'em all down, finished the whole record in a day. But my job... played all the instruments meself.' Bev Bevan: 'The beginning of Don't Bring Me Down, I thought, What on earth is he playing there. Y'know, he's got my old... one of my old drum tracks and he's in there messing around with it, pounding this thing out on the piano. And it ended up being one our favorite ever ELO tracks.' Jeff Lynne: Made a big long loop so that it went, BOM! BAH! BOM! BOM! BAH! And then just played that about four times and then recorded about four minutes of it on the twenty four track. And that's when I started pounding the piano along with it. It's a ghost drummer on that one.'"
    Jeff Lynne and Bev Bevan (August 8, 1980 - The ELO Story radio show)

    "Don't Bring Me Down, I actually love that. [unintelligible] That's a great thing to play [in concert]."
    Bev Bevan (1986 - British radio interview by Paul Sexton)

    "By September, exceptional public demand ensured that Don't Bring Me Down (Jet 153) was the next single, and as ever, with an eye on the main chance, Jet advertised its forthcoming release in the press dedicating it to Skylab, NASA's space station which was about to fall back to Earth! The B-side was Dreaming Of 4000 from Third Day [sic], and neither side was edited. Once again, there was a 12-inch released (Jet 12 153), and it featured the same sleeve as the 7-inch, which was a detail of the Arab boy running through the desert, taken from the LP's inner gatefold. The only differences were different coloured writing (the title on the 7-inch is in red, but it's lilac on the 12-inch), and the live photo of the band on the reverse is larger on the 7-inch than on the 12-inch, as you might have expected. The 12-inch also has a border around both the photo and the edge of the sleeve, which the 7-inch doesn't have. Both sleeves spell Hugh's surname wrongly! Despite the 12-inch not being extended, sales of it no doubt helped the track quickly to reach No.3 (ELO's biggest hit ever under their own steam), again remaining in the charts for nine weeks. The 7-inch is worth about £3, and the 12-inch about £5-6."
    Unknown (1992 - Face The Music fanzine #11)

    "Wishing's delicate synth outro floats off gently into the distance, leaving us totally unprepared for the crashing interruption of Don't Bring Me Down, the song that bursts unannounced through the disco door in size ten bright red Doctor Martens, and then proceeds to trample all over the other songs, cowering in the corner wearing their nice new party dresses. The mindless, if likeable drum loop, coupled with obligatory radio-friendly singalong chorus and novelty hood of 'groooos' (apparently Norwegian for, erm, gross!), made this ELO's highest placed chart single ever, and a surefire concert favourite. What is often overlooked is that it's also the first ELO song not to feature strings. This fact was not lost on Jeff Lynne, who ensured that every ELO album from this point on would feature a rocker as its closing track (before of you get smart, Hold On Tight is the last track on Timem as Epilogue is just that-- an epilogue!)."
    Unknown (1992 - Face The Music fanzine #11)

    "Perhaps [Jeff had] noticed that Don't Bring Me Down, their first record with no strings had become their biggest hit; but for whatever reason he called a band meeting at his Midlands home that summer. By the end of that afternoon, Hugh and Melvyn were no longer in the band, and Mik would henceforth only be used on tours and video appearances."
    Andrew Whiteside (1992 - Face The Music fanzine #13)

    "As with Three Light Years, an EP was originally scheduled to promote the Four Light Years set, and it was even advertised in the press. It comprised of four tracks, namely Don't Bring Me Down, Telephone Line, Mr. Blue Sky and Across The Border. Sleeve artwork was designed (eventually used practically unaltered for the Here Is The News/Ticket To The Moon 7-inch) and it was even give a catalogue number (Jet ELO EP2) before being unaccountably withdrawn. I don't know if any copies leaked out, but if so, the owner could name their price."
    Unknown (1992 - Face The Music fanzine #13)

    "With the song Don't Bring Me Down Jeff had abandoned the original E.L.O. concept for the first time, as it didn't include any strings. This single however became the biggest hit for the group. Jeff: 'On Don't Bring Me Down I did all that, did the whole backing track and everything in about two hours and wrote the words in about 20 minutes and finished the whole record, mixed it the same night and it was finished, you know, within a day! And it was the biggest hit we ever had.' It was one of the few songs Jeff wrote in the studio..."
    Patrik Guttenbacher, Marc Haines, & Alexander von Petersdorff (1996 Unexpected Messages)

    "We weren't singing 'Bruce', no. We were actually singing 'groos' which I don't know what it meant. At the time, I just said it. I was singing the lead vocal and there was a hole and I went, 'groos.' And when we got to the end of the track, Mack, the engineer said, 'How did you know that?' And I said, 'What?' And he said, 'Groos.' He said it means 'greetings' in German. And I went, 'Oh, that's good. Well let's keep it in.' Because it sounded like a daft word and it means 'greetings' so... Anyway, as soon as we got on the road with it, everybody's singing 'Bruce' I ended up singing 'Bruce' as well. [The door closing at the end of the song is] just a metal fire door in the studio in Musicland. It's a big heavy, y'know, heavy thing. And it seals the building off, y'know, completely off from any fire. Yeah, that's one of quite a few [that uses a drum loop from another song] actually. It is a mystery [what song was used for the drum loop in Don't Bring Me Down] to me. I've forgotten how I looped that one. I remember winding the tape 'round like two mike stands and somebody with a pencil... just to get the right length at, uh, at fifteen. I remember doing it. I've done loads of loops like that, y'know, before the days of ProTools and stuff. Y'know, you used to have to improvise a lot on techniques."
    Jeff Lynne (circa late 1990s or early 2000s - Off The Record interview with Uncle Joe Benson)

    "No, kids, Lynne's not singing 'Bruce' in the backing vocals for the [Discovery] album's inspired rocker Don't Bring Me Down. 'No,' [says Jeff Lynne,] 'it's groos-- just a word I made up in the studio to fill up this hole. Everybody loved it so I left it in. Mack-- our great engineer at Musicland-- said, How'd you know that? He told me that groos sounded just like the German word for Greetings. But everyone heard it as Bruce and at all the shows I ended up singing it that way too.'"
    David Wild (2000 liner notes for Flashback)

    "I looped two bars of drumming taken from a different song on Discovery (you'll have to guess which one) and then I overdubbed eight grand pianos, a cement mixer, and two crates of Newcastle Brown Ale and that got the ball rolling."
    Jeff Lynne (2000 - Flashback)

    "It's a great big galloping ball of distortion. I wrote it in the studio at the last minute, 'cos I felt there weren't enough loud ones on the [Discovery] album. This was just what I was after."
    Jeff Lynne (2001 - Discovery Remaster)

    "One of their biggest hits, Don't Bring Me Down, struck a death-knell for the band by having, gasp, no strings attached. Soon after the album, the string players were abruptly dismissed with a letter signed by all the other members of the band."
    Jim Irvin (August, 2001 - The Bullring Variations article in Mojo)

    "Don't Bring Me Down (the first ELO single not to feature strings and producers favourite for sampling) became the group's biggest single hit (No 3 in the USA and No 4 in the UK in August 1979)."
    Author Unknown (March 31, 2003 - website only expanded liner notes for ELO 2 remaster CD)
    Editor's note: Actually the chart positions are reversed. It was #4 in the USA and #3 in the UK.

    "Discovery, released in 1979, was ELO's most successful album worldwide and produced yet more hits, including... Don't Bring Me Down, the first ELO song not to feature strings."
    Rob Caiger (2003 liner notes for The Collection)

    "Don't Bring Me Down, perhaps the band's most memorable song, was also distinguished because it was their first hit that didn't use a string section."
    Jaan Uhelszki (April 1 2003 liner notes for The Essential Electric Light Orchestra)

    "No, Don't Bring Me Down wasn't by Roxy Music..."
    Dom Passantino (October 24, 2005 - Stylus online magazine)

    "ELO's Jeff Lynne made three of the most over-the-top enjoyable radio hits of the 1970s: Evil Woman, Don't Bring Me Down and Turn to Stone."
    Peter Relic and Brian Hiatt (November 17, 2005 - Rolling Stone issue #967)

    "The band's biggest hit has also created an enduring controversy that rages to this day on internet message boards: what, exactly, does Lynne say after he's sung 'Don't bring me down? It sounds like 'Bruce, some say it's 'gross, but the answer seems to be that it's the German word Grss [sic], from the expression of greeting, 'Grss dich.' It's an in-joke, apparently."
    David Cheal (December 8, 2005 - The Daily Telegraph)

    "Don't Bring Me Down is Jeff and Richard and a drum tape loop."
    Rob Caiger (July 3, 2006 - Showdown mailing list)

    "[The Doctor Who episode] Love and Monsters raised the question, what are ELO singing in the chorus of Don't Bring me Down, that funny little word in the middle? Sounds like 'Grooss'. As sung by Elton and Mr Skinner and the stalwarts (deceased) of LINDA. Well, one of ELO's managers saw the episode, heard the podcast, and got in touch. It is, indeed, grooss. He says it wasn't supposed to mean anything until the band's German studio engineer told them after the recording session that it was slang for 'All Right!' And just to confuse things, after that they also started singing 'Bruce!' in concerts. So there you go."
    Russell T. Davies (October 11, 2006 - Doctor Who Magazine #374)

    "I wouldn't say Don't Bring Me Down was [a disco song]."
    Jeff Lynne (April 19, 2010 - interview on K-Earth 101FM)

    "Well, Don't Bring Me Down for example [sounds great on the radio]. I mean it's the ultimate, isn't it. When that comes on, you think, 'Wow!' It's dynamism all the way through, isn't it."
    Steve Wright (October 5, 2012 - Steve Wright In The Afternoon BBC Radio)

    "Don't Bring Me Down [is an attempt at a] big, nasty rock and roll song. I think it came off because it is a big, nasty rock and roll song."
    Jeff Lynne (October 9, 2012 - L.A. Weekly)

    "[Don't Bring Me Down is] basically a snare that's just crushed to death by a UREI [1176]. That's as flat as I could have it without it blowing up or becoming a fuzz box. That's how I did it in the first place, and I did the same method on the new version. On the original record, that was actually a drum loop from a different song. I just took two tracks of drumming-- bass drum and snare, with a bit of leakage on the hi-hat-- put it on the 2-track machine and did the old trick, wound it round a mic stand and my old pencil. I think it was two bars long. Recorded that onto the 24-track, and then I was ready to go. [...] Believe it or not, I think that had eight pianos on it, all doing the same note. God knows what I was expecting to happen. It just gets eight times louder! If you turn it down, it's still only one piano. It doesn't track like a guitar [recorded with multiple passes], because a guitar bends a bit. You can slightly knock it out of tune, and you get this big chorus effect. A piano doesn't do that, of course, until you bang it out of tune."
    Jeff Lynne (November 1, 2012 - Mix online magazine)

    "Songs such as Strange Magic, Do Ya, Mr. Blue Sky and Don't Bring Me Down have permanently fused with the very fabric of pop culture."
    Chaz Lipp (November 1, 2012 - The Morton Report)

    "[Fans were singing 'Bruce'] all the years we were playing [Don't Bring Me Down] on stage, you know, and I've gone to all the trouble to make it 'grroosss' because it meant 'greetings' in German and I didn't know, I just made this word up. And the engineer said, 'Wow, that's... How's you know that word?' I said, 'I didn't know it.' And [I] said, 'What is it?' He said, 'Grόί, it means greetings.' So anyway, we'd do it on stage and it'd go down great 'cause it was a big, loud thing. And everybody would come to that bit and go, 'Bruce!' So I just joined them in there and starting singing 'Bruce' because it sounded funnier than 'groos'. That's what it is. I actually recorded it as 'Bruce' this time. [I made up 'groos'] because there was a hole in the song. I just needed a word so I come up with the first thing I thought of, you know, like a 'groos', that bit, yeah."
    Jeff Lynne (2012 November 30 - The Adam Carolla Show)

    "I'll tell you what. That [misunderstanding of 'groos' in Don't Bring Me Down] is all a misunderstanding. I was in Musicland Studios in Germany, and I was putting a lead vocal onto the song and there was a gap (sings 'Don't Bring Me Down'), and I just sang 'Groose.' I was doing it just to fill a hole up, I wasn't gonna use it. Then the engineer, Mack, who is German, suddenly got on the talkback and said, 'How did you know that word?' And I said, 'What word?' And he said, 'Groose. It means Greetings in German.' I said, 'F**king hell, I never knew that.' (Laughs) Anyway, I said, 'Let's leave it in, then, it sounds all right. Groose.' Of course, when we started playing it on the road, everybody's singing 'Bruce!' (Laughs.) And I'm going, 'Oh, shit.' I'm not gonna go about explaining every night that it's not 'Bruce,' it's 'Groose.' (Laughs) So I said, 'Oh, f**k it; I'll sing Bruce.' and I'd sing it that way during shows. But it was really 'Groose.' Mystery solved (laughs)."
    Jeff Lynne (January 2013 - Goldmine magazine)

    "Evil Woman, Mr. Blue Sky, Livin' Thing and Don't Bring Me Down can't fail to brighten your day."
    Duncan Jamieson (2013 March - Melodic Rock Fanzine #55)

    "It's ironic that the track which came closest in that regard — reaching number four, while peaking at three in the UK — was the first to depart from the tried and trusted formula of utilising the band's own three-piece string section. This was Don't Bring Me Down, which, quite aptly, was dedicated to the NASA Skylab space station that re-entered the Earth's atmosphere on 11th July, 1979.

    [...]

    However, even though Don't Bring Me Down also boasted a very danceable up-tempo beat that appealed to the contemporary club scene, it was rooted much more firmly in the rock vein, as Jeff Lynne, backed by ELO's trademark high-harmony vocal chorus, sang about a party girl who was giving him the runaround.

    [...]

    One of the final songs to be worked on during the Discovery sessions was Don't Bring Me Down. However, this boasted an atypical approach to both the conception and execution.

    'It's a great big galloping ball of distortion,' Jeff Lynne remarked about the number in 2001, at the time of Discovery being remastered. 'I wrote it at the last minute 'cos I felt there weren't enough loud ones on the album. This was just what I was after.'

    'I once read an interview with Jeff in a music magazine where he described how Don't Bring Me Down came about, and it was quite interesting, because his recollection was the complete opposite of mine," [Reinhold] Mack now says. 'He was trying to figure out what to do next and I said, Jeff, let's just do something fun. Let's do away with the strings, let's do away with the choirs and let's just boogie out for a night. He said, Yeah, okay, maybe you're right. Bev, do you want to play something? Bev said, Nah, I don't want to jam around for no reason, so I then figured I'd make a tape loop of two bars of drums.'

    This was extracted from another of the album's tracks, On The Run, slowed down and then sped up slightly, as per Lynne's request.

    'Jeff asked me, What next?' Mack continues, 'so I said, Well, I guess you'll have to go out there and count the bars to provide us with some kind of structure. That's what he did, and then once again he asked me, What next? At that point, I could tell he liked the idea of experimenting and was following my lead. Let's put down some piano, I suggested. Twelve-bar blues. There were two grand piano parts playing the same thing, then three, after which I suggested the obvious: bass and guitar.

    'Gradually, Jeff started getting into it, and, as there was a plan for ELO to start a concert tour in Australia, the song was originally titled Don't Bring Me Down, Bruce. This was meant to be a joke, referring to how many Australian guys are called Bruce, but we couldn't leave it like that, so eventually we replaced it with Gruss, based on the Bavarian greeting Grόί Gott — greet God. Gruss, not Bruce, is what you hear in the song immediately following the title line. A bit like Freddie Mercury joking around at the end of Queen's [1985 single] One Vision, singing fried chicken.

    'Still, according to Jeff, he came into the studio with the idea of doing something different, putting together the tape loop and then adding the various elements. That fits his personality; it's always him who conceives everything, sings everything, produces everything and so forth.'

    Certainly, it was Lynne who overdubbed all of the guitars on Don't Bring Me Down, including an Ovation acoustic 12-string and a Gibson Les Paul Goldtop running through a Marshall amp.

    'I had three or four microphones set up in the studio at various distances — very close, medium, far, very far — and, depending on the song, used them in combination to get the required sound,' Mack says.

    Once Lynne had figured out the precise structure of Don't Bring Me Down, he then added the vocals. As usual, this marked the first time that anyone — including his engineer and fellow musicians — actually heard the lyrics and vocal melody.

    'That was the big problem,' Mack reiterates. 'We never had a clue what was going on or where things would be going. When everything was overdubbed to the hilt and the tracks were completely full, then Jeff would say, OK, I'll have a shot at it, and start singing. That's just the way he worked. There weren't any guide vocals. In fact, the backing vocals would almost always be recorded before the lead vocal, which was the last thing to go on. On Don't Bring Me Down, Jeff and Kelly did the backing vocals around the same mic.'

    [...]

    'As it happens, he completed his vocal for Don't Bring Me Down very quickly. The whole track was done that way and that's probably why it is so great. It reflects fun, and although at the start it was a little tedious to get it going, once it did get going it was just like boogie night. It was done bang-bang-bang, really, really quick, and that includes the mix. It was taken as a monitor mix, putting two compressors for left and right, and it was pretty much done in a day. That's because it's a very simple, straightforward track, especially compared to the complexity that Jeff usually went for, and clearly people liked it.'"


    Richard Buskin (September 2013 - Sound On Sound Classic Tracks)

    Don't Bring Me Down (Edited 18 Greatest Hits LP Version)
    This version, found on the Australian 18 Greatest Hits LP from 1984, differs from the original Discovery version in that it replaces the last "down" of the sixth verse with the very last "down" of the song, cutting everything in-between.

    Don't Bring Me Down (Time Tour)
    On the UK and European performances of Don't Bring Me Down during the Time tour, the band with the exception of Bev's drumming, paused at the end of the fifth verse for an audience participation section. This was not done during the USA performances of during the tour and the song was played straight through.

    "[The Time tour USA] set list differs to UK - Strange Magic played instead of Wild West Hero, and Do Ya performed complete, whilst Don't Bring Me Down performed minus audience participation."
    Rob Caiger (1992 - Face The Music fanzine #13)

    E.L.O. Megamix (featuring a Don't Bring Me Down sample)
    This is a mix of portions of the songs (in order) Don't Bring Me Down [0:00 to 1:05], Sweet Talkin' Woman' [1:05 to 2:29], Livin' Thing [2:29 to 3:34], Calling America [3:34 to 4:39], So Serious [4:39 to 5:24], Shine A Little Love [5:24 to 6:35], Twilight [6:35 to 7:44], Turn To Stone [7:44 to 8:39], and Hold On Tight [8:39 to 10:08]. Although this song saw official release, it is clearly not made from the original master tapes. Sound quality even on the official release is inferior. Remixed by Dakeyne of Disco Mix Club (UK).

    "...the 12 inch [single of Getting To The Point] with the ELO Megamix was only available in the UK which meant that all foreign collectors were hunting after the few records sold in Great Britain."
    Patrik Guttenbacher, Marc Haines, & Alexander von Petersdorff (1996 Unexpected Messages)

    "Matter Of Fact and the Megamix [sic] will not be on the remastered edition [of Balance Of Power]."
    Rob Caiger (March 22, 2005 - Showdown mailing list)

    Don't Bring Me Down (Heartbeat '86, March 15 1986)

    Don't Bring Me Down (Balance Of Power Tour)

    E.L.O. Mega-Hits (featuring a Don't Bring Me Down sample)
    This curious remix was officially released on a Spanish issue promo only 12" single, thought to be part of the Spanish only The Very Best Of Electric Light Orchestra promotion (which was a trimmed down Spanish version of the USA-issued Afterglow set). It begins with some strange, spacey keyboards with an unknown sample of a man saying, "I mean, come on! Give me a break!". The keyboards are mixed with the opening violin from Livin' Thing. The mix contains a mix of the ELO songs Livin' Thing [0:11 to 1:35], Don't Bring Me Down [1:25 to 1:55], Sweet Talkin' Woman [1:55 to 2:16], I'm Alive [2:16 to 3:04], Shine A Little Love [3:04 to 3:54], and Roll Over Beethoven [3:54 to 4:58] and in that order. Of interest is that the songs in the mix are sometimes edited and rearranged, with the most noteable section being sections from Beethoven's Fifth Symphony that are used to end the song Roll Over Beethoven are used to begin the sample in this mix, then the normal guitar that starts the song and the first verse, then a section of the chorus, then the Beethoven's Fifth Symphony ending is repeated to end the mix. The same mix is on both sides of the 12" single. The remix is by two Spanish DJs, calling themselves "Rebeldes Sin Pausa" (which translates to English as "Rebels Without Pause").

    ELO Remix - 40 Principales (featuring a Don't Bring Me Down sample)
    This curious remix was officially released on a Spanish issue promo only 7" single, thought to be part of the Spanish only The Very Best Of Electric Light Orchestra promotion (which was a trimmed down Spanish version of the USA-issued Afterglow set). It contains a mix of the ELO songs Don't Bring Me Down [0:00 to 0:42], I'm Alive [0:42 to 1:27], Do Ya [1:27 to 2:26], Hold On Tight [2:26 to 3:25], and Rock 'n' Roll Is King [3:25 to 4:51] and in that order.

    Don't Bring Me Down (VH1 Storytellers, April 20, 2001)

    Don't Bring Me Down (Los Angeles, May 2001)
    The "Don't bring me down, no no no no no no no no no no, ooh-ee-hoo" line of verse 5 at this performance used a very different arrangement with a rock-a-billy beat and different guitar.

    Don't Bring Me Down (5.1 Mix - Los Angeles, May 2001)

    Don't Bring Me Down (Solo Version)
    This version of Don't Bring Me Down, as found on the NHL 12 videogame, is an all new recording. In the game's song listing, it is credited to Electric Light Orchestra, although it is actually the Jeff Lynne solo recording.

    "Mr. Blue Sky [sic] features re-imaginings of the title track, Evil Woman, Livin' Thing, Don't BringMe Down, and 10538 Overture."
    Author Unknown (August 2, 2012 - Something Else! website review)

    "Mr. Blue Sky The Very Best Of Electric Light Orchestra is a powerful testament to Lynne's enduring artistry and his singular desire to get things right once and for all. Featuring such classics as Evil Woman, Don't Bring Me Down, Livin' Thing and Mr. Blue Sky, the result is, in effect, a kind of showdown between Jeff Lynne today and his extremely illustrious past, and thanks to improved technology and recording artistry, Lynne somehow comes out on top again."
    Scott Hopkins (September 25, 2012 - Pop Bitez website)

    "Lynne played every instrument on Long Wave, which he also does on Mr. Blue Sky – The Very Best Of Electric Light Orchestra, a fascinating, deeply entertaining reworking of his own hits. Evil Woman, Don't Bring Me Down, Telephone Line, Livin' Thing – they're all here and more. Lynne doesn't maim his ELO legacy so much as puts a fresh spin on some of the greatest pop-rock songs to flood the radio waves during the '70s and early '80s."
    Joe Bosso (October 3, 2012 - Musicradar website)

    "Lynne worked six days a week [on ] perfecting songs including Do Ya, Evil Woman, Strange Magic, and Don't Bring Me Down. He did this at home, mostly on his own. 'I just love playing all the instruments and going back and thinking fucking hell, I did all that.'"
    Katie Bain (October 9, 2012 - L.A. Weekly)

    "Mr. Blue Sky The Very Best Of Electric Light Orchestra is a powerful testament to Lynne's enduring artistry and his singular desire to get things right once and for all. Featuring such classics as Evil Woman, Don't Bring Me Down, Livin' Thing and Mr. Blue Sky, the result is, in effect, a kind of showdown between Jeff Lynne today and his extremely illustrious past, and thanks to improved technology and recording artistry, Lynne somehow comes out on top again."
    Author Unknown (October 2012 - Rock Music Report website)

    "[Don't Bring Me Down is] basically a snare that's just crushed to death by a UREI [1176]. That's as flat as I could have it without it blowing up or becoming a fuzz box. That's how I did it in the first place, and I did the same method on the new version."
    Jeff Lynne (November 1, 2012 - Mix online magazine)

    "I actually recorded [Don't Bring Me Down] as 'Bruce' this time [on the new recording]."
    Jeff Lynne (2012 November 30 - The Adam Carolla Show)

    Don't Bring Me Down (5.1 Mix Solo Version)
    This version of Don't Bring Me Down is the 5.1 mix of the new Jeff Lynne solo version as found on the College Road Trip DVD. It is only available as a 5.1 mix on this DVD, although the 5.1 separation is not remarkable.

    Don't Bring Me Down (Bungalow Palace - March 2011)
    Jeff has stated in several interviews that he recorded eight songs with Richard for the Live From Bungalow Palace performances. However, only six were included on the TV broadcast and Don't Bring Me Down is very briefly seen and heard in the Mr. Blue Sky: The Story of Jeff Lynne and ELO documentary. The eighth unreleased song remains unknown.

    This page is intended to be a complete record of information on the Electric Light Orchestra song Don't Bring Me Down. If you notice any errors or omissions, please contact me at elofan@juno.com and let me know. I strive for accuracy.

    Robert Porter
    July 2014