Mr. Blue Sky

 

Electric Light Orchestra -- Mr. Blue Sky

An in-depth song analysis


Electric Light Orchestra (Original Version)
Electric Light Orchestra (Solo Version)
  • Record Date: Summer 1977
  • Record Location: Musicland Studios, Munich, Germany
  • Written By: Jeff Lynne
  • Produced By: Jeff Lynne
  • Engineered By: Mack
  • Performed By: Jeff Lynne (vocals, guitar, synthesizer), Bev Bevan (drums, fire extinguisher, percussion, backing vocals), Richard Tandy (keyboards), Kelly Groucutt (bass, backing vocals), Louis Clark (orchestra conductor), German orchestra (strings)

    Initially Released On: Out Of The Blue LP album (1977 October 28 — UK — Jet/United Artists UAR 100)

  • Record Date: Some time between 2001 and 2008
  • Record Location: Bungalow Palace Studio, California USA (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, vocoder), Rosie Vela (backing vocals), Marc Mann (strings), Steve Jay (shakers, tambourine)

    Initially Released On: Mr. Blue Sky The Very Best Of Electric Light Orchestra LP album (2012 October 5 — Europe — Frontiers Records FR LP 570)

  • Comments and Observations

    Mr. Blue Sky was originally recorded at Musicland Studios in Munich, Germany during the summer of 1977. Although it was never ELO's biggest hit, it is a song that has maintained popularity over the years. With time it's had a resurgence to the point that it is arguably ELO's best known song and the band's signature tune. It's difficult to know for sure why the song has had such a lasting impression, but it's probably the bright, happy lyrics that inspire people to smile and bounce when they hear it.

    Original Louis Clark orchestral sheet musicThe Inspiration: The song was born out of Jeff's struggle in late spring of 1977 to write songs for the planned double album that was to become Out Of The Blue. To write the album, he was booked for four weeks in a Swiss chalet in Bassins, in the Jura Mountains part of the Swiss Alps. There were two challenges for him during this process. First he was experiencing a sort of song writer's block where he struggled to come up with songs (and spent too much unproductive time at a local pub). Second, it was very cloudy and gloomy at the top of the mountains, apparently obscuring the beautiful view of the Alps, which led to a depressing, non-productive mood. So it was that one day he awoke, the clouds had cleared and he stepped outside to a cloudless, blue sky day and he was able to see the Alps for the first time while there. This event inspired the writing of Mr. Blue Sky, which was one of the very first songs written for Out Of The Blue. Note, there are conflicting reports as to whether it was the first song written at the time, or just one of the first songs written. He wrote the verses only while at the Swiss chalet and apparently wrote the choruses and other bits at Musicland Studios.

    The early working title was apparently Thou Shalt Not No. 7. Although it's difficult to know for certain what this rather dire title means, it does seem to indicate a more severe and fearful feel for the song, which is antithetical to the joyous feel of the final song. Nothing is certain, but it could be that the idea that Mr. Blue Sky was originally a very happy song is actually apocryphal and its history is much more complex.

    The Recording: The recording of the song was done over the summer of 1977 at Musicland Studios with the full band present. The credits on the Out Of The Blue album list all instruments used for the album and the last one listed is a fire extinguisher. This odd instrument was the clanging percussion as heard in the chorus of the song. Starting with the 2001 Zoom tour, an actual red fire extinguisher was available on stage to be used in the song, recreating that sound from the original recording. A sample of this unusual instrument from the original recording can be heard HERE. -> play

    Please Turn Me Over from videoAlso prominent in the song is a vocoder, a unique electronic voice that was just becoming popular in pop music during the mid-1970s. Jeff stated that he was inspired by a 1950s era children's recording with a character called "Sparky's Magic Piano" in which a synthesizer is used for the piano to speak to young Sparky in the story. During the vocoder bridge of Mr. Blue Sky, the vocoder simply says "Mr. Blue Sky" three times, with the last one adding an extra "y" syllable at the end. Then at the very end of the recording on the Out Of The Blue album, it simply says "Please Turn Me Over" in reference to the song ending side three of the album and asking the listener to turn over the record. Many people hear this final line as saying "Mr. Blue Sky" again, which is understandable as it fits the words saying "Mr. Blue Sky-y". This often misheard vocoder lyric is also featured on the original Mr. Blue Sky music video, where a screen graphic writes out the word "Mr. Blue Sky". It's curious that this misstated lyric was allowed in the original music video and never corrected before release. This vocoder part at the end of the song on the original album can be heard HERE. -> play

    UK Magazine adThe Releases and the Charts: Mr. Blue Sky was intially released on October 28, 1977 in the USA on the Jet/United Artists' Out Of The Blue LP (UAR 100). It was a week later that it was released in the UK on the Jet LP, JT-LA 823-L2, which would feature the infamous catalogue number that appeared on the cover. Audiophiles insist that the UK release was a superior pressing over the USA pressing.

    The song was subsequently released as a single (Jet JET UP 36342) on January 28, 1978 in the UK with an early version of One Summer Dream from the Face The Music album on the B-side. It was the second UK single release from the Out Of The Blue album. On the day of single release, the song entered the UK Singles Chart Top 50 and it peaked at #6 on February 25 for a total run of 11 weeks on the chart, spending five weeks in the Top Ten. It is ELO's eleventh UK singles charting song. The UK single featured a picture sleeve and was released initially on blue vinyl, with later pressings on black vinyl. Neither the blue or black vinyl versions are particularly difficult to find on the collector's market. The song reentered the lower end of the Official UK Singles Chart several times in the early 2010s, demonstrating the song's enduring popularity over time.

    In the USA, the single (Jet / CBS ZS8 5050) was released in June 1978 with an edit of One Summer Dream from the Face The Music album on the B-side. It was the third single released from Out Of The Blue in the US and the first single released with CBS as the distributor. It entered the Billboard Hot 100 chart on June 24, 1978, peaking at #35 on August 12, spending 12 weeks in the chart; it entered the Cash Box chart on June 24, 1978, reached #27 on August 19, 1978, and spent 12 weeks in the chart. It was ELO's thirteenth Billboard chart single.

    It's perhaps unusual that such a bright, sun-filled song should be released in the winter in Europe, while in North America, it was released during the summer. Perhaps this was a factor in the song being a much bigger hit in the UK and Holland than it was in the USA and Canada. ELO were on their massive spaceship tour in North America during the song's release, so theoretically it should have been a bigger hit.

    USA Magazine adAnother factor is Mr. Blue Sky's apparent lack of North American success could also be due to the chaos that occurred during the change of distributors for the band's music. In May of 1978, Don Arden, the band's manager, moved the distribution of Jet Records from United Artists to CBS. All copies of Out Of The Blue on United Artists were quickly recalled and the album was reissued on CBS Records. An early promo copy of Mr. Blue Sky on CBS, labeled as "Advance Promotion Demo" and a promo 12" single was issued as well. This was issued to get ahead of the promotion and to declare that ELO was now under CBS Records and not United Artists. It may be that the chaos between the legal wranglings and shift of promotional material and personnel during this change resulted in a lack of proper promotion of the single. Note: there are reports of lawsuits between Don Arden and Artie Mogull of United Artists regarding defective pressings and illegal cut-out sales of Out Of The Blue on United Artists, but some of the details are believed to be exaggerations, legal positioning, apocryphal and a totally different discussion not related to Mr. Blue Sky. However, all this activity may have been a distraction to proper promotion of the song.

    The versions of One Summer Dream on the UK and USA B-sides have some very curious issues with them, which are different from the Face The Music album version. The version on the UK single was an early version, before the female backing vocal parts were added. As it was known that the female backing vocals were added to the song in New York City in summer 1975, after the Face The Music album was completed in Musicland Studios in Germany (backing track) and London (strings), then this must have been lifted from a tape, probably by accident, in the UK that was prior to the New York City recordings. In addition, Jeff's vocals from the orchestral intro were not included, indicating they were probably added later in New York City. This early version of the song has never been released elsewhere. The USA single featured the correct recording, but with an edit of the song that was a simple early fade-out; however, this one is a curiosity too. Various issues of the same single have different fade-outs with at least six different versions noted. The fade-out must have been added at the record pressing plants. As the single would have been pressed at several different plants across North America, each plant added a different fade-out each time.

    The Concerto Coda: The closing part of the song, where the song change's tempo and the lyrics stop, is not technically part of Mr. Blue Sky. Rather, it as actually the uncredited ending to the "Concerto For A Rainy Day" instead. Jeff Lynne even stated in 2012 regarding his rerecorded version of the song that it was not really part of the song, stating: "I didn't do the double ending [the Concerto ending] there 'cause that was part of a suite when I originally did it. And it didn't sort of make sense to me to not be part of that suite." This coda was not included on the USA single release, nor the 2002/2012 rerecorded version. However, it was included on the UK single and several subsequent compilations.

    The coda also makes a call back to earlier in the complete "Concerto For A Rainy Day", including a melody line from Big Wheels, the second song in the concerto. At the end of Standin' In The Rain and leading into Big Wheels, a vocoder speaks "Big wheels, keep turning; they turn for ever and ever". This melody is repeated in the coda, first in the strings, then again in piano (with a variation to end the section). An example showing this can be heard HERE. -> play

    The coda was also not included in any live performances until the 2013 Children In Need Rocks 2013 performance, but it was included in all following live performances. This came about in large part because the band that played behind Jeff at this charity event was largely the Take That band, and Gary Barlow from that band was responsible for organizing the charity concert. Take That was performing their song Shine on their 2011 tour and were using a cover of the Concerto coda as an introduction to the song. They played this for Jeff and convinced him to use the coda at the Children In Need Rocks 2013 concert. And due to the public's mistaken belief that the coda was part of the song, Jeff simply continued to perform it live anyway. He wished to fulfill the public expectations.

    The Rerecorded Version: In 2012, Jeff released a completely new recording of the song, an effective solo recording, on the Mr. Blue Sky The Very Best Of Electric Light Orchestra album. The reasons for rerecording the song are, according to Jeff, that he didn't feel that the original recording was as good as it could have been and needed much more punch. There has been some suggestion that the song (and others) were rerecorded because Sony has the rights to the original recording, but this new recording gives Jeff the full rights for use in movies, ads and other commercial ventures. Jeff denies this and states that he just thinks that the song could have been better. This new version certainly does have more depth and punch, as Jeff suggests. Mr. Blue Sky was the first of the rerecorded ELO songs by Jeff. As he tells it, he had rerecorded the song and played it for his manager and various friends who thought it sounded great. This inspired him to have another go at other songs from his catalog.

    VW Beetle
    See it on YouTube
    Sears
    See it on YouTube
    Guinness
    See it on YouTube
    JetBlue
    See it on YouTube
    This rerecorded version had its origins as early as 2002 in a Volkswagen Beetle advertisement (called "Bubble") and it went through some slight tweaks between its initial 2002 exposure in the ad to its 2012 official release, but this is unconfirmed. The first appearance in the Beetle ad was a 60 second long edit consisting of only elements from the first verse, first chorus and third chorus. In this version, it seems that Rosie Vela, Jeff's then girlfriend, can clearly be heard singing during the backing choir parts. The song later appeared on a 2007 30 second Sears advertisement where it featured the first verse and and other short bits as well as a 60 second Guiness beer advertisement from 2008, although with actor Donald Sutherland giving a voiceover throughout. It then was used in a 2008 promotional campaign for JetBlue called "Happy Jetting". This campaign included several TV and online ads, with the full recording of the song (minus the coda) being used on their website. So after this long gestation, this new version was finally officially released in 2012 on the Mr. Blue Sky The Very Best Of Electric Light Orchestra album. It has not had subsequent release. [Side Note: it's an interesting coincidence that that song was used with JetBlue when the band already had a intimate relationship with Jet Records and "Blue" turning up in so many song lyrics and titles.]

    Popularity and Legacy: Certainly the song has developed and maintained its popularity through its use in various media and its familiarity. The start of the song's resurgence is difficult to pinpoint, as it was an organic growth. Certainly the use of the song in the 2002 Volkswagen Beetle commercial seems to have been a turning point as the popularity has skyrocketed from there. A 2004 Birmingham Evening Mail poll easily had the song come out on top as the Midland's Anthem (winning over Dexy's Midnight Runners' Come On Eileen and Led Zeppelin's Stairway To Heaven). It has been covered many times, in many, many different arrangements. It is the unofficial theme of the Birmingham City Football Club. It appeared in both the opening and closing ceremonies of the 2012 Summer Olympics in London. It appeared in the closing ceremony of the XXI Commonwealth Games. It has appeared in several different TV and online ads, TV shows, and films, including a very high profile appearance in the 2017 Marvel Studios film, Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 2. The song has easily become a classic song and is the defining song for Electric Light Orchestra.

    The song was used at least twice to awaken astronauts on the NASA manned missions. There has been a long tradition of songs used as wake-up calls for the astronauts each morning, often (although not always) chosen by the astronauts themselves or their families. Mr. Blue Sky was used for STS-118 (space shuttle Endeavour) on August 10, 2007 as a dedication from Commander Scott Kelly's daughters, Samantha and Charlotte. It was also used for STS-132 (space shuttle Atlantis) on July 10, 2011 for Commander Chris Ferguson.

    Structure and Lyrics

    The structure of the song itself is uplifting in not only the lyrics, but the delivery itself. It starts with a pounding, but simple mid-tempo beat and anticipating chord, as if waiting for something to happen soon. Each verse builds on this, with the lyrics becoming more and more uplifting and the chords also building higher and higher. The choruses provide a break from this anticipation feeling, providing a gentle, lilting and happy mood that is a mild break from the verses. Then the final verse lyric, although about Mister Night making the blue sky go away, is done with joy with the knowledge that the blue sky will be back soon and the vocals going to the highest pitch yet. The final big choral ending (not considering the coda) is a large, glorious celebration to end the song.

    Below is the structure of the fullest, most complete version of the originally released song by Electric Light Orchestra as available on the standard issues of the Out Of The Blue album and the Jeff Lynne solo version as on the Mr. Blue Sky The Very Best Of Electric Light Orchestra album. The arrangements and lyrics are essentially the same for both recordings, but for a couple of slight changes, including a couple of minor lyrics and a missing chunk of the second chorus.

    Original Electric Light Orchestra Version
    Lyric sheet from Out Of The Blue album
    -Intro
       Rain sound
       Radio tuning
       Morning! Today's forecast calls for blue skies!
       Piano beginning
       Drum start-up
    -Verse 1
       Sun is shinin' in the sky
       There ain't a cloud in sight
       It's stopped rainin'
       Everybody's in the play
       And don't you know
       It's a beautiful new day. Hey, hey, hey.

    -Verse 2
       Runnin' down the avenue (heavy breathing)
       See how the sun shines brightly
       In the city
       on the streets Where once was pity
       Mister Blue
       Sky is living here today. Hey, hey, hey.

    -Chorus 1
       Mister Blue Sky, please tell us why
       You had to hide away for so long (So long)
       Where did we go wrong?
       Mister Blue Sky, please tell us why
       You had to hide away for so long (So long)
       Where did we go wrong?

    -Guitar Bridge
    -Verse 3
       Hey you with the pretty face
       Welcome to the human race
       A celebration
       Mister Blue Sky's up there waitin'
       And today
       Is the day we've waited for. Ah, ah, ah.

    -Chorus 2
       Oh, Mister Blue Sky, please tell us why
       You had to hide away for so long (So long)
       Where did we go wrong?

       Hey there, Mister Blue
       We're so pleased to be with you
       Look around, see what you do
       Everybody smiles at you

       Hey there, Mister Blue
       We're so pleased to be with you
       Look around, see what you do
       Everybody smiles at you

    -Vocoder Bridge
       Mister Blue Sky
       Mister Blue Sky
       Mister Blue Sky-y

    -Verse 4
       Mister Blue, you did it right
       But soon comes Mister Night
       Creepin' over
       Now his hand is on your shoulder
       Never mind
       I'll remember you this-- I'll remember you this way

    -Chorus 3
       Mister Blue Sky, please tell us why
       You had to hide away for so long (So long)
       Where did we go wrong?

       Hey there, Mister Blue (Sky)
       We're so pleased to be with you (Sky)
       Look around, see what you do (Blue)
       Everybody smiles at you

    -Choral Ending
    -Concerto Coda
       Piano build-up
       Piano, string and choir build-up 1
       Piano, string and choir build-up 2
       String descent
       String Big Wheels melody
       Piano Big Wheels melody
       String ending
       Please turn me over
    Original Lyric Sheet

    Variations

    There are seven known non-live variations of the original Mr. Blue Sky by Electric Light Orchestra. They are:

    -Mr. Blue Sky (Standard Release)
    -Mr. Blue Sky (Edited UK Single Version)
    -Mr. Blue Sky (Edited USA Single Version)
    -Mr. Blue Sky (Edited USA Mono Single Version)
    -Mr. Blue Sky (Edited Video Version)
    -Mr. Blue Sky (Edited 18 Greatest Hits LP Version)
    -Mr. Blue Sky (Edited Flashback Version)

    All variations of the original song were mostly just edits of the beginning or end of the song. The UK and USA singles cut the rain and radio tuning, starting directly with the radio announcer part; however, the USA single cut the Concerto coda while the UK single included it. There was a version created for the 1984 Australian 18 Greatest Hits LP that was the same edit as the USA single version, but further cutting the radio announcer beginning. And the 2000 Flashback set included the full song, including the Concerto coda, and simply cutting the rain sounds at the start.

    The only version that does not simply have a beginning or end edit only is that created for the 1977 Out Of The Blue video EP (and extracted from this was the music video). This version was the full song, including the full rain and radio intro and Concerto coda, but cutting a short portion near the end of the Concerto coda: the second half of the Big Wheels melody and the string section that follows, cutting directly to the vocoder ending.

    For the 2002/2012 rerecorded solo version, Jeff stayed quite faithful to the original recording (as released), but with one significant change. Not too unsurprising, the solo version did not include the Concerto coda (lending credence that it was not actually part of the song); and there were a couple of very minor lyric changes. However, most significantly, a whole section of the second chorus was completely cut and the song is overall at a slighly slower pace. It's not clear why this was done and of all songs he rerecorded, Jeff did not stay faithful to the original recording as he had mostly done with all other rerecorded songs. It's also rather curious that the fourth line in the original version was written on the lyric sheet as "everybody's in a play", but on the actual performance, Jeff sang "everybody's in the play". Yet on the rerecorded version, he reverted back to "everybody's in a play" as on the original lyric sheet.

    This rerecorded version was known for several years only through its edited use in advertising. It first appeared in a 2002 VW Beetle TV ad (called Bubble) which included an edit of the intro (the drum fill start only), the first verse, the first chorus, an edit of the third chorus, then an edit of the choral ending. There was a 2007 Sears TV ad campaign (used around the USA Mother's Day and Father's Day holidays) that included the first verse and short bits from the rest of the song. And in early 2008 it was used in Ireland for a Guiness TV ad (called "Dot") with voiceover by Donald Sutherland throughout the ad making the song itself difficult to hear. It was in mid-2008 that JetBlue Airlines used the song in their online advertisement, with an interactive site where a user could pretend to be on the plane enjoying a ride and enjoying the amenities that JetBlue had to offer; playing the music selection during the interaction, the full version of the rerecorded song was played.

    This rerecorded version was further used, in edited form, for All Nippon Airways (Japan 2008) and Target (Australia 2011) before it was officially released in 2012 on the Mr. Blue Sky The Very Best Of Electric Light Orchestra album.

    Song Section Lyric/Part Standard Out Of The Blue Release UK Single Version USA Single Version
    Mono USA Single Version
    EP Video Version 18 Greatest Hits Version Flashback Version * VW Beetle Solo Version Released Solo Version
    Intro Rain sound
    YES
    -
    -
    YES
    -
    -
    *
    -
    YES
    Radio tuning
    YES
    -
    -
    YES
    -
    YES
    *
    -
    YES
    Morning! Today's forecast calls for blue skies!
    YES
    YES
    YES
    YES
    -
    YES
    *
    -
    YES
    Piano beginning
    YES
    YES
    YES
    YES
    YES
    YES
    *
    -
    YES
    Drum start-up
    YES
    YES
    YES
    YES
    YES
    YES
    *
    YES, but cuts the following guitar and piano
    YES
    Verse 1 Sun is shinin' in the sky
    YES
    YES
    YES
    YES
    YES
    YES
    *
    YES, but changes lyric to The sun is shinin' in the sky
    YES
    There ain't a cloud in sight
    YES
    YES
    YES
    YES
    YES
    YES
    *
    YES
    YES
    It's stopped rainin'
    YES
    YES
    YES
    YES
    YES
    YES
    *
    YES
    YES
    Everybody's in the play
    YES
    YES
    YES
    YES
    YES
    YES
    *
    YES, but changes lyric to Everybody's in a play
    YES, but changes lyric to Everybody's in a play
    And don't you know
    YES
    YES
    YES
    YES
    YES
    YES
    *
    YES
    YES
    It's a beautiful new day. Hey, hey, hey.
    YES
    YES
    YES
    YES
    YES
    YES
    *
    YES
    YES
    Verse 2 Runnin' down the avenue (heavy breathing)
    YES
    YES
    YES
    YES
    YES
    YES
    *
    -
    YES
    See how the sun shines brightly
    YES
    YES
    YES
    YES
    YES
    YES
    *
    -
    YES
    In the city
    YES
    YES
    YES
    YES
    YES
    YES
    *
    -
    YES
    on the streets Where once was pity
    YES
    YES
    YES
    YES
    YES
    YES
    *
    -
    YES
    Mister Blue
    YES
    YES
    YES
    YES
    YES
    YES
    *
    -
    YES
    Sky is living here today. Hey, hey, hey.
    YES
    YES
    YES
    YES
    YES
    YES
    *
    -
    YES
    Chorus 1 Mister Blue Sky, please tell us why
    YES
    YES
    YES
    YES
    YES
    YES
    *
    YES
    YES
    You had to hide away for so long (So long)
    YES
    YES
    YES
    YES
    YES
    YES
    *
    YES
    YES
    Where did we go wrong?
    YES
    YES
    YES
    YES
    YES
    YES
    *
    YES
    YES
    Mister Blue Sky, please tell us why
    YES
    YES
    YES
    YES
    YES
    YES
    *
    YES
    YES
    You had to hide away for so long (So long)
    YES
    YES
    YES
    YES
    YES
    YES
    *
    YES
    YES
    Where did we go wrong?
    YES
    YES
    YES
    YES
    YES
    YES
    *
    YES
    YES
    Guitar Bridge Guitar Bridge
    YES
    YES
    YES
    YES
    YES
    YES
    *
    -
    YES
    Verse 3 Hey you with the pretty face
    YES
    YES
    YES
    YES
    YES
    YES
    *
    -
    YES
    Welcome to the human race
    YES
    YES
    YES
    YES
    YES
    YES
    *
    -
    YES
    A celebration
    YES
    YES
    YES
    YES
    YES
    YES
    *
    -
    YES
    Mister Blue Sky's up there waitin'
    YES
    YES
    YES
    YES
    YES
    YES
    *
    -
    YES
    And today
    YES
    YES
    YES
    YES
    YES
    YES
    *
    -
    YES
    Is the day we've waited for. Ah, ah, ah
    YES
    YES
    YES
    YES
    YES
    YES
    *
    -
    YES
    Chorus 2 Oh, Mister Blue Sky, please tell us why
    YES
    YES
    YES
    YES
    YES
    YES
    *
    -
    YES, but cuts the starging "Oh!" lyric
    You had to hide away for so long (So long)
    YES
    YES
    YES
    YES
    YES
    YES
    *
    -
    YES
    Where did we go wrong?
    YES
    YES
    YES
    YES
    YES
    YES
    *
    -
    YES
    Hey there, Mister Blue
    YES
    YES
    YES
    YES
    YES
    YES
    *
    -
    YES
    We're so pleased to be with you
    YES
    YES
    YES
    YES
    YES
    YES
    *
    -
    YES
    Look around, see what you do
    YES
    YES
    YES
    YES
    YES
    YES
    *
    -
    YES
    Everybody smiles at you
    YES
    YES
    YES
    YES
    YES
    YES
    *
    -
    YES
    Hey there, Mister Blue
    YES
    YES
    YES
    YES
    YES
    YES
    *
    -
    -
    We're so pleased to be with you
    YES
    YES
    YES
    YES
    YES
    YES
    *
    -
    -
    Look around, see what you do
    YES
    YES
    YES
    YES
    YES
    YES
    *
    -
    -
    Everybody smiles at you
    YES
    YES
    YES
    YES
    YES
    YES
    *
    -
    -
    Vocoder Bridge Mister Blue Sky
    YES
    YES
    YES
    YES
    YES
    YES
    *
    -
    YES
    Mister Blue Sky
    YES
    YES
    YES
    YES
    YES
    YES
    *
    -
    YES
    Mister Blue Sky-y
    YES
    YES
    YES
    YES
    YES
    YES
    *
    -
    YES
    Verse 4 Mister Blue, you did it right
    YES
    YES
    YES
    YES
    YES
    YES
    *
    -
    YES
    But soon comes Mister Night
    YES
    YES
    YES
    YES
    YES
    YES
    *
    -
    YES
    Creepin' over
    YES
    YES
    YES
    YES
    YES
    YES
    *
    -
    YES
    Now his hand is on your shoulder
    YES
    YES
    YES
    YES
    YES
    YES
    *
    -
    YES
    Never mind
    YES
    YES
    YES
    YES
    YES
    YES
    *
    -
    YES
    I'll remember you this-- I'll remember you this way
    YES
    YES
    YES
    YES
    YES
    YES
    *
    -
    YES
    Chorus 3 Mister Blue Sky, please tell us why
    YES
    YES
    YES
    YES
    YES
    YES
    *
    -
    -
    You had to hide away for so long (So long)
    YES
    YES
    YES
    YES
    YES
    YES
    *
    -
    YES
    Where did we go wrong?
    YES
    YES
    YES
    YES
    YES
    YES
    *
    -
    YES
    Hey there, Mister Blue (Sky)
    YES
    YES
    YES
    YES
    YES
    YES
    *
    YES
    YES
    We're so pleased to be with you (Sky)
    YES
    YES
    YES
    YES
    YES
    YES
    *
    -
    YES
    Look around, see what you do (Blue)
    YES
    YES
    YES
    YES
    YES
    YES
    *
    YES
    YES
    Everybody smiles at you
    YES
    YES
    YES
    YES
    YES
    YES
    *
    YES
    YES
    Choral Ending Choral Ending
    YES
    YES
    YES
    YES
    YES
    YES
    *
    YES, but only the first stanza before a quick fade
    YES
    Coda piano build-up Coda piano build-up
    YES
    YES
    -
    YES
    YES
    YES
    *
    -
    -
    Concerto Coda Piano, string and choir build-up 1
    YES
    YES
    -
    YES
    -
    YES
    *
    -
    -
    Piano, string and choir build-up 2
    YES
    YES
    -
    YES
    -
    YES
    *
    -
    -
    String descent
    YES
    YES
    -
    YES
    -
    YES
    *
    -
    -
    String Big Wheels melody
    YES
    YES
    -
    YES
    -
    YES
    *
    -
    -
    Piano Big Wheels melody
    YES
    YES
    -
    YES, but only includes the first "big wheels" melody line and cuts the "keeps turning" melody
    -
    YES
    *
    -
    -
    String ending
    YES
    YES
    -
    -
    -
    YES
    *
    -
    -
    Please turn me over
    YES
    -
    -
    YES
    -
    YES
    *
    -
    -

    Music Charts

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

    Note how the song reentered the lower end of the Top 100 Official UK Singles Chart in the early 2010s. The reasons for the song's resurgence in the 2011's is unknown. The August 2012 reentry was a result of the song's use in the 2012 Summer Olympics that same month; and the October 2012 reentry was a result of Jeff Lynne's heavy promotion in the UK of his new projects. It is very likely the case that the latter chart entry was a result of Jeff's promotion of the rerecorded/solo version that had been released on the Mr. Blue Sky The Very Best Of Electric Light Orchestra set, and it probably is the case that sales of both the original and the rerecorded versions were counted for these latter chart entries.

    Week 1 Week 2 Week 3 Week 4 Week 5 Week 6 Week 7 Week 8 Week 9 Week 10 Week 11 Week 12
    UK Official Top 50 Chart Entry Date: January 28, 1978
    39
    16
    16
    8
    6
    (February 25, 1978)
    7
    9
    9
    11
    23
    26
    USA Billboard Hot 100 Chart Entry Date: June 24, 1978
    79
    69
    59
    49
    44
    39
    36
    35
    (August 12, 1978)
    59
    97
    95
    95
    USA Cash Box Top 100 Chart Entry Date: June 24, 1978
    77
    63
    54
    46
    35
    31
    29
    28
    27
    (August 19, 1978)
    39
    53
    92
    Canada RPM Top 100 Chart Entry Date: July 15, 1978
    82
    71
    50
    36
    26
    (August 12, 1978)
    28
    28
    27
    36
    48
    76
    Germany Top 50 Chart Entry Date: March 13, 1978
    48
    39
    27
    (March 27, 1978)
    31
    33
    34
    44
    43
    37
    49
    Holland (De Nederlandse Top 40) Top 40 Chart Entry Date: February 18, 1978
    30
    16
    11
    (March 4, 1978)
    11
    (March 11, 1978)
    12
    12
    21
    23
    32
    39
    Holland (ORIGIN UNCERTAIN) Top 30 Chart Entry Date: March 4, 1978
    14
    9
    8
    (March 18, 1978)
    11
    13
    15
    19
    27
    UK Official Top 100 Chart Entry Date: June 18, 2011
    99
    (June 18, 2011)
    UK Official Top 100 Chart Entry Date: August 13, 2011
    94
    (August 13, 2011)
    UK Official Top 100 Chart Entry Date: August 25, 2012
    88
    (August 25, 2012)
    UK Official Top 100 Chart Entry Date: October 13, 2012
    97
    (October 13, 2012)

    Releases

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

    Mr. Blue Sky (Standard Release)

    Mr. Blue Sky (Edited 18 Greatest Hits LP Version)

    Mr. Blue Sky (Edited UK Single Version)

    Mr. Blue Sky (Edited USA Single Version)

    Mr. Blue Sky (Edited USA Mono Single Version)

    Mr. Blue Sky (Edited Video Version)

    Mr. Blue Sky (Edited Flashback Version)


    Mr. Blue Sky (Wembley - June 1978)

    Mr. Blue Sky (Stereo Remix Wembley - June 1978)

    Mr. Blue Sky (5.1 Mix Wembley - June 1978)

    ELO Hits Medley #1 (Time Tour)

    ELO Hits Medley #2 (Time Tour)

    Mr. Blue Sky (Heartbeat 86, March 15 1986)

    Mr. Blue Sky (Balance Of Power Tour)

    Mr. Blue Sky (VH1 Storytellers, April 20, 2001)

    Mr. Blue Sky (Los Angeles, May 2001)

    Mr. Blue Sky (5.1 Mix - Los Angeles, May 2001)

    Mr. Blue Sky (VW Beetle Ad Version)

    Mr. Blue Sky (Solo Version)

    Mr. Blue Sky (Hammersmith Apollo - November 12, 2013)

    Mr. Blue Sky (Encore) (Hammersmith Apollo - November 12, 2013)

    Mr. Blue Sky (Hyde Park - September 14, 2014)

    Jeff Lynne's ELO and Ed Sheeran Evil Woman/Mr. Blue Sky (Los Angeles - February 8, 2015)

    Mr. Blue Sky (Porchester Hall - November 9, 2015)

    Mr. Blue Sky (BBC Radio Theatre - November 12, 2015)

    Mr. Blue Sky (Royal Variety Performance - November 13, 2015)

    Mr. Blue Sky (CBS This Morning - November 17, 2015)

    Mr. Blue Sky (The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon - November 18, 2015)

    Mr. Blue Sky (Irving Plaza - November 20, 2015)

    Mr. Blue Sky (Jimmy Kimmel Live - November 22, 2015)

    Mr. Blue Sky (Fonda Theatre - November 24, 2015)

    Mr. Blue Sky (Alone In The Universe Tour 2016)

    Mr. Blue Sky (Rock 'n' Roll Hall Of Fame - April 7, 2017)

    Mr. Blue Sky (Wembley Stadium - June 24, 2017)

    Tours

    The song was easily featured on the 1978 Out Of The Blue tour as it was a single from the album to be promoted. It was featured, about halfway through the setlist and started just after the "forecast calls for blue skies" intro and ends before the coda ending.

    The next tour was the 1981/1982 Time tour and it was only featured as part of the hits medley, coming between Standin' In The Rain and Sweet Talkin' Woman. As it was part of a medley only, it only included the piano/drum/guitar intro, the first verse, the first chorus, and the fourth verse. This shortened version, only as part of a hits medley, demonstrates how the song had not developed into one of the most well-known songs from the band. It did return to a full song performance for the 1986 Heartbeat 86 show and the few Balance Of Power concerts, where again the Concerto coda was not included, so perhaps by this time the song was growing in popularity enough to be included in full for those show's shortened sets. The performance from the aborted 2001 Zoom tour, as heard on the DVD, where the arrangement was the same as album version, but cutting the rain and radio intro, the first part of the second chorus (the same one cut on the solo recording), and again cutting the Concerto ending. For the Zoom performance, drummer Gregg Bissonette had a fire extinguisher next to his drum kit for the clanking sound.

    Starting with the 2103 Children In Need Rocks 2013 performance on November 12, the arrangement was altered to include the Concerto coda. The reason for the inclusion of the coda remains uncertain, but it is thought that Chris Evans, who had invited Jeff to do the performance, and probably others at the time, wanted him to include it, not necessarily realizing it was not really supposed to be part of the song. Thus, this arrangement, with the coda, was used for all subsequent performances, including the Live In Hyde Park concert, various TV and radio promotion performances, and the 2016 and 2017 Alone In The Universe tours.

    Of special note is a February 8, 2015 performance at the 57th Grammy Awards ceremony where the song was shortened and used as part of a medley with Evil Woman and Ed Sheeran joining in to play guitar and sing during Mr. Blue Sky. The arrangement for this medley was the beginning of Evil Woman, including the first verse and chorus, then goes directly into the final chorus and the song end. This connects directly to the start of Mr. Blue Sky, when Ed Sheeran walks on stage and joins in. The performance of Mr. Blue Sky is also shortened with Jeff singing the first verse, Ed singing the second verse, then them singing in harmony for the first chorus (and the rest of the song). This connects to the guitar solo, then the third verse, another chorus and the choral ending. There is no vocoder included at all. The performance was required to be short to fit the time constraints of the TV broadcast and the full schedule that night, so performing a medley was probably a good idea.

    Pictures

    UK 7-inch single (Jet JET UP 36342) first stock UK 7-inch single (Jet JET UP 36342) second stock UK 7-inch single (Jet JET UP 36342) promo stock USA vinyl stock 7-inch single (Jet / CBS ZS8 5050) USA vinyl advance promo 7-inch single (Jet / CBS ZS8 5050)
    UK stock blue vinyl single * Jet * JET UP 36342
    [b/w One Summer Dream]
    UK stock black vinyl single * Jet * JET UP 36342
    [b/w One Summer Dream]
    UK promo vinyl single * Jet * JET UP 36342
    [b/w One Summer Dream]
    USA stock vinyl single * Jet * ZS8 5050
    [b/w One Summer Dream]
    USA advance promo vinyl single * Jet * ZS8 5050
    [b/w Mr. Blue Sky (mono)]
    USA standard promo 7-inch single (Jet / CBS ZS8 5050) USA promo 12-inch single (Jet/CBS AS 474) UK reissue 7-inch single (Jet S JET 104) promo stock USA Golden Oldies 7-inch single (Jet/CBS ZS8 03086) USA Golden Oldies 7-inch single (Jet/CBS ZS8 03086) USA Collectables 7-inch single (Jet/CBS ZS8 03086) USA Collectables 7-inch single (Jet/CBS ZS8 03086)
    USA standard promo vinyl single * Jet * ZS8 5050
    [b/w Mr. Blue Sky (mono)]
    USA promo 12" vinyl single * Jet * Jet/CBS AS 474
    [b/w Mr. Blue Sky]
    UK reissue vinyl single * Jet * S JET 104
    [b/w One Summer Dream]
    USA Golden Oldies vinyl single * Jet * ZS8 03086
    [A-side Hold On Tight]
    USA Collectables vinyl single * Jet * ZS8 03086
    [A-side Hold On Tight]
    USA promo CD single (Epic ESK 54838) USA promo CD single (Epic ESK 54838) UK CD single (Epic EPC 671772 2) promo stock UK CD single (Epic EPC 671772 2) promo stock Belgium vinyl stock 7-inch single (Jet 4C006-60450) Germany vinyl stock 7-inch single (Jet 36 342 AT) Holland vinyl stock 7-inch single (United Artists SC006-60450)
    USA promo CD single * Epic * ESK 54838
    [includes Moment In Paradise and
    PBS 2001 versions of Alright, Mr. Blue Sky, and Livin' Thing]
    European CD single * Epic * EPC 671772 2
    [includes Moment In Paradise and
    PBS 2001 versions of Mr. Blue Sky, Alright, and Livin' Thing]
    Belgium stock vinyl single * Jet * 4C006-60450
    [b/w One Summer Dream]
    Germany stock vinyl single * Jet * Jet 36 342 AT
    [b/w One Summer Dream]
    Holland first stock vinyl single * United Artists * SC006-60450
    [b/w One Summer Dream]
    Holland vinyl stock 7-inch single (Jet JET 104) Italy vinyl stock 7-inch single (United Artists UAN 40522) Mr. Blue Sky The Very Best Of Electric Light Orchestra album with solo version
    Holland second stock vinyl single * Jet * JET 104
    [b/w One Summer Dream]
    Italy stock vinyl single * United Artists * UAN 40522
    [b/w One Summer Dream]
    Mr. Blue Sky The Very Best Of Electric Light Orchestra album containing newer solo version

    Cover Versions


  • SAM:

  • Used in the Film or TV Program:

  • Used in the Advertising Campaign:

    Use in Movies and TV Programs

    Electric Light Orchestra's Mr. Blue Sky

    Jeff Lynne's solo Mr. Blue Sky

    Sheet Music

           
    Sheet music as published in the UK.

    Promotional Videos and TV Performances

    Mr. Blue Sky promo videoThe Mr. Blue Sky promo video shows the band performing on stage. It uses several screen graphics to paint the words "Mister Blue Sky" on the screen during the vocoder parts following the first "Hey there mister blue, we're so pleased to be with you..." bridge. In some amusing moments, Hugh McDowell acts out some of the lyrics by running across the stage with his cello during the "running down the avenue" line; and he also sneaks up behind Jeff and puts his hand on his shoulder during the "now his hand is on your shoulder" line. In addition, during the choral ending, the camera cuts away from the band on stage and instead shows scenes from the point of view of flying through the clouds way up in the atmosphere; just as the drum part ends, the scene changes to show a distant sunset way up in the clouds and then this fades to show a screen graphic on a black background that writes "Mister Blue Sky" during the ending vocoder part. The audio track for the video is almost the full album version including the rain and radio intro, but it cuts a short orchestral section at the song's end, between the ending of the drums and before the vocoder part. Therefore, the audio track is unique. The Mr. Blue Sky promo video can be seen HERE.

    This music video was officially released on a 1991 UK VHS videotape entitled The Very Best Of The Electric Light Orchestra: 13 Classic Videos (Telstar TVE 1033) with a large yellow graphic added to the beginning of each track to announce the song.

    Editor's Note: There was thought to be a second version of the music video, with several more song edits and a few different or rearranged scenes. However, this supposed alternate version of the video was not found or available for review here. The actual existence of this alternate video remains in doubt.

    Mr. Blue Sky (New Version) promo videoIn September 2012, to promote the Mr. Blue Sky The Very Best Of Electric Light Orchestra album, a promo video for the new recording of Mr. Blue Sky was created. The video, directed by Michael Patterson and Candace Reckinger is completely animated, featuring dancing objects (the sun, clouds, flowers, cups, people and animals), people moving about a city, and a cartoon Jeff singing the song. Similar to the song itself, it's a very frenetic, constantly moving video. It was made at USC School of Cinematic Arts in southern California by students. The "artist" for the song again demonstrates the great uncertainty for whether it should be credited to Jeff Lynne or Electric Light Orchestra. Clearly it's a Jeff Lynne solo effort and the Mr. Blue Sky The Very Best Of Electric Light Orchestra album release is unclear who the artist the song should be credited to. In any case, this video credits the song to simply "ELO" only. This video can be seen HERE.

    For TV performances, song music video was known to have been featured on February 9 and February 23, 1978 Top Of The Pops broadcasts as well as an October 14, 1978 broadcast of Don Kirshner's Rock Concert. The video was broadcast again on Top Of The Pops on December 31, 1988.

    The June 2, 1978 live performance at Wembley Empire Pool in London was broadcast initially on July 10, 1978 on BBC2 and this well known concert was released multiple times on VHS and DVD over the years under various titles such as Live At Wembley, ELO Live In Concert and Out Of The Blue Tour - Live At Wembley. In addition, the March 15, 1986 Heart Beat '86 live performance was broadcast on August 2, 1986; the April 20, 2001 performance was broadcast on June 15, 2001 on VH1's VH1 Storytellers; the May 2001 performance was broadcast in August 2001 on PBS's In The Spotlight (with this concert being later released on the Zoom Tour Live DVD); the first of two November 12, 2013 performances was broadcast on November 14, 2013 on BBC1's Children In Need Rocks 2013 (with a second performance left unbroadcast); the September 14, 2014 performance was broadcast live on A Festival In A Day: BBC Radio 2 Live in Hyde Park (with this concert being released on the Live In Hyde Park DVD/Blu-ray based upon a slightly edited September 7, 2015 rebroadcast); the February 8, 2015 performance was broadcast live on 57th Annual Grammy Awards (merged with Evil Woman and Ed Sheeran joining in); the November 12, 2015 performance was broadcast live on BBC Radio 2 In Concert; the November 18, 2015 performance was broadcast online only as a website exclusive for The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, the November 13, 2015 performance was broadcast on December 8, 2015 on ITV's The Royal Variety Performance 2015; the November 23, 2015 performance for Jimmy Kimmel Live was recorded but remains unbroadcast; the June 26, 2016 performance was broadcast live on BBC's Glastonbury Festival of Contemporary Performing Arts; the April 7, 2017 performance was broadcast April 29, 2017 on HBO's 2017 Rock 'n' Roll Hall Of Fame Induction Ceremony; and a June 24, 2017 performance was broadcast on December 17, 2017 on BBC2's Wembley Or Bust.

    Fan Comments

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

    Quotations

    Mr. Blue Sky (Standard Release)
    "A happy song-- we all feel happier when the sun shines after a storm. The choir are very good at the end of this track singing in the style of the 'Swingle Sisters'."
    Bev Bevan (1977 - Japanese Out Of The Blue LP liner notes (United Artists GXG 25/26))

    "Two more fluff wads wrap [side three of Out Of The Blue] up [including] Mr. Blue Sky, a keyboard hopper that will give countless listeners a chance to use the word 'peppy.'"
    Rick Johnson (1977 - Circus review of Out Of The Blue)

    "I don't mind all the lifts [from Beatles' songs], because I've grown to love ELO's style of making records. If Lennon was still playing music, I could imagine him coming up with a record as complex and gratifying as ELO's latest single, Mr. Blue Sky. Although the single doesn't look to be the hit it should be, we don't have to run any benefits for ELO. They will undoubtedly be around for a while."
    Mitchell Fink (August 1978 - Los Angeles Herald-Examiner)

    "A four track single featuring Mr. Blue Sky, Across The Border, Telephone Line and Don't Bring Me Down will also be out at the same time [as the Four Light Years box set]."
    Unknown (March 28, 1981 - Record Mirror)
    Editor's Note: This four track single, The ELO EP 2 was eventually cancelled.

    "I rented this little chalet in Switzerland in the mountains above... just beyond Lake Geneva. Rented this gear from a little shop in the village, like a little music shop. Y'know, with a Revox tape recorder and an electric piano. I had me guitar there. And just sit there and try and write. And two weeks, I came up with nothing. And I only had four weeks to write this double album. And I was sort of thinking, 'Bloody, hell, maybe I can't come up with anything.' And the weather had been really bad and... And, uh, the one day I got up and it was fantastic. All the sun was brilliant shining. All the mountains were lit up, this mist had gone away. It was gorgeous and I come up with Mr. Blue Sky."
    Jeff Lynne (circa 1990s - unknown interview)

    "With advance worldwide orders of four million, Out of the Blue quickly peaked at No.4 in the UK, surprisingly never making No.1. No further singles were released from the LP until January, when public pressure ensured that Mr. Blue Sky (JET UP 36342) was the new release, in all it's five minutes and five seconds of glory (at least in the UK!). It has an interesting, rather than a particularly attractive sleeve, made up of a collage of the pencil portraits superimposed over a blue sky(!). The back of the sleeve rather disconcertingly featured another T-shirt advert. Label design was again yellow Jet. The B-side was One Summer Dream from Face The Music, but for some unaccountable reason it was a remix, lacking Jeff's vocal introduction and the girls backing vocals, in addition to being a minute or so shorter than the album version. No explanation has ever been given for why there should be two versions. There was also a blue vinyl version of Blue Sky [sic] released, but otherwise similar in every other way to the ordinary single, and for which you can expect to pay £4.00 for, as opposed to £2.50 for a regular 7-inch. Perhaps because it was the second single from the LP, Mr. Blue Sky only reached a disappointing No.6, staying in the charts for 11 weeks. One can't help feeling that had it been the first single from Out Of The Blue, both it and the LP would have been No.1."
    Andrew Whiteside (1990 - Face The Music fanzine #7)

    "[Summer And Lightning] does however, set the scene for the climactic realization of the concept, with the storm's (and the side's!) end in the shape of ELO's most famous song, Mr. Blue Sky. Jeff Lynne has gone on record as saying that his one remaining ambition in music is to write an all-time classic. Whilst his desire to always improve is admirable, this is one ambition he has already fulfilled. As the rain dies away, a radio announcer informs us that 'Today's forecast is for Blue Skies' [Editor's Note: the line is actually 'Todays's forcast calls for Blue Skies'], symbolically heralding the brand new day and the chance for a fresh start, after the cathartic purifying rainstorm. A repetitive piano note builds up a sense of anticipation that is given full release by Bev's simple but immensely effective drum burst. The lyrics read like a pastiche of Penny Lane-- 'Everybody's in a play/And don't you know, it's a beautiful new day', and the verses even contain out-of-breath vocal effects, mirroring the breathtaking qualities of the song. The chorus comes as a revelation, even by ELO standards, and the interplay between the lead and backing vocals has yet to be bettered. Not content to follow a standard verse - chorus - verse - chorus format however, Jeff then adds a fine melodic guitar solo, and continues to pile on the pressure with the aggressively buoyant - 'Hey you with the pretty face' - section, which takes us into chorus No.2, which if anything, is an improvement on the first, thanks to the addition of the - 'Hey there Mr. Blue' - segment. This unfortunately, leads into perhaps the song's only weak spot, the Vocodered - 'Mr. Blue Sky"-, which sounded great in 1977 but in 1990 severely places the song in a bygone era. This minor quibble aside (who wants perfection anyway?). The last verse sees 'Mr. Night/Creepin' over', but we aren't to worry because 'I'11 remember you this way'. After the final chorus, the song quite literally goes into the stratosphere with a choral section that defies description, taking the track onto what any other songwriter would deem a resptable point at which to close the song. Jeff Lynne, fortunately, isn't any other songwriter. and chooses to propel the song ever onward and upward via a dramatic combination of bass and drum, joined en route by the choir and orchestra who all merge into one glorious climactic fusion, but even here, the song refuses to lay down and die. The strings play a lushly romantic score, going up and down the scales before Richard's single piano note adds a touch of finality, only to have the vocoder breathe the final Amen. But what does it say? Many believe that it says simply. 'Mr. Blue Sky'. Others think it says 'Please Turn Over', as of course it closes the side. Mr. Blue Sky goes so far over the top that you wonder if there's anywhere left to go, and anything that follows it is bound to sound a little dull."
    Andrew Whiteside (1990 - Face The Music fanzine #7)

    "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."
    Andrew Whiteside (1992 - Face The Music fanzine #13)

    "ELO; Or to be precise, Mr. Blue Sky which saw Jeff Lynne writing a five minute pop symphony about what happens when it's a nice day. You couldn't help wondering whether it was really necessary for a grown man to sing 'Hey there, Mr. Blue/We're so pleased to be with you.'"
    Unknown (1994 - Time Out magazine)

    "The most difficult song [during the Out Of The Blue recording sessions] was Mr. Blue Sky for which Jeff needed one week to get only the bass line as he wanted it to be."
    Patrik Guttenbacher, Marc Haines, & Alexander von Petersdorff (1996 Unexpected Messages)

    "When I wrote this song, it was inspired by the fact that I'd been in this little cuckoo-clock house in Switzerland for two weeks trying to write Out of the Blue, when suddenly the sun came out and everything looked beautiful."
    Jeff Lynne (2000 - Flashback)

    "I rented this little, uh, chalet in Switzerland in... in the mountains, above, uh, just beyond Lake Geneva. Rented this gear from a little shop in the village, like a little music shop, y'know, with a Revox tape recorder and a electric piano. I had me guitar there. And just sit there and try and write. And, for two weeks I came up with nothing. And I only had four weeks to write this double album. And I was sort of thinking, 'Bloody hell, maybe I can't come up with anything.' And, the weather had been really bad and, uh... The one day I got up and it was fantastic. All the... all the sun was brilliant shining, all the mountains were lit up, this mist had gone away and... It was gorgeous and I came up with Mr. Blue Sky."
    Jeff Lynne (June 2 & 9, 2001 - Mr. Blue Sky: The Jeff Lynne Story 2001 BBC 2 Radio show)

    "But I do believe ELO's strange magic may be brewing once again: Not only does a recent VW ad feature the band's 1977 hit, Mr. Blue Sky, but shortly after Christmas, the same song surfaced in a trailer for Adaptation - a slightly odd choice, since Nicolas Cage plays a rather jittery, 'Mr. Partly Cloudy'-type character in the film. The song has also become a staple on my local radio station. 'It's one of those tunes that keeps you sitting in your car after you've reached your destination,' sighed one DJ after it ended. I now own the CD. Rock band Nerf Herder (the band who wrote the theme song to Buffy the Vampire Slayer) has covered Mr. Blue Sky at concerts."
    Whitney Matheson (2003 - USA Today article entitled Is ELO still a livin' thing? Of course!)

    "Things are looking up for Mr. Blue Sky. The 1977 ELO hit had faded from view over the years, overshadowed by more enduring Jeff Lynne standards like Don't Bring Me Down. But that all changed when the song showed up in recent TV commercials for the new Volkswagen Beetle convertible (for which Lynne completely rerecorded the tune) and for the film Adaptation. And now Scottish indie band the Delgados have cooked up a killer cover of the track as a B side on their latest single. Perhaps the once-reviled ELO are headed for a critical reevaluation. 'We like to find songs that people really loved when they were younger, before they got too focused on what's cool or not cool' says Arnold Advertising's Alan Pafenbach, who oversaw the VW spot. 'I think this is one of those great songs. It really is a great piece of music. Sometimes it's better not to be so cool'. But why is 'sky' suddenly everywhere all at once? Mere coincidence, apparently. Asked about the VW ad, Delgados singer Emma Pollock pleads ignorance: 'Oh are they doing that over there? That's great. I hope they (air the Mr. Blue Sky commercial) in Britain. Maybe we can get them to use our version.'"
    Rob Brunner (February 21, 2003 - Entertainment Weekly)

    "Mr. Blue Sky (no.6, January 1978) was the hardest... It started as a chord sequence that I pounded for nine hours in a row one day."
    Jeff Lynne (March 31, 2003 - website only expanded liner notes for ELO 2 remaster CD)

    Here is an excellent editorial from June 1, 2003 by Rob Caiger about the resurgence in popularity of Mr. Blue Sky. Far too much to copy here, here is a link to the original article: CELEBRATING 25 YEARS OF MR BLUE SKY. Hopefully it won't go away any time soon as it's a great historical document.

    "Taking just 3 months to record [the Out Of The Blue album] in 1977, it contains amongst its many highlights, Lynne's definitive ELO song - Mr. Blue Sky."
    Rob Caiger (2003 liner notes for The Collection)

    "'Mr. Blue Sky / Please tell us why / You had to hide away for so long?' asks the chorus of an Electric Light Orchestra's 1978 single Mr. Blue Sky. But that mister is hiding no more: After being used in a Volkswagen Beetle ad and the 2002 movie Adaptation, the infectious tune has caught on again, this time being used in the trailer for the upcoming Jim Carrey movie Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. Not bad for a song that barely cracked the American Top 40."
    Bob Underwood (October 7, 2003 - Dayton Daily News)

    "Lots of Gibb Brothers' vocal inflexions and Beatles' arrangement quotes (Penny Lane bell, Pepper [sic] panting, Abbey Road arpeggio guitars). But this fabulous madness creates its own wonder – the bendy guitar solo, funky cello stop-chorus, and the most freakatastic vocoder since Sparky's Magic Piano. Plus the musical ambush on 'way' at 2.51 still thrills. And that's before the Swingle Singers/RKO Tarzan movie /Rachmaninoff symphonic finale gets underway. Kitsch, yet truly exhilarating."
    Dominic King (circa summer 2004 - BBC website's Sold On Song section)

    "It's the halfway mark in the Evening Mail/ BBC WM search for the Midlands' Anthem. ELO's Mr. Blue Sky has soared into an early lead but Slade's Cum On Feel The Noize is not far behind, closely followed by Dexy's Midnight Runners and UB40."
    Author Unknown (December 10, 2004 - Evening Mail)

    "The polls have closed and the votes have been counted. We can now announce the winner of the Evening Mail/ BBC WM Midlands' Anthem, the song you think best reflects the talents of Midland musicians. And the result is not in doubt. With almost five times as many votes as the second placed tune, the runaway winner is... Mr. Blue Sky by ELO. Beating Dexy's Midnight Runners' Come On Eileen into second place and the mighty Led Zeppelin's Stairway To Heaven into third, Jeff Lynne's 1978 hit is certainly top of the pops with Midland music fans. The song's feelgood lyrics and infectious melody still provide a welcome ray of sunshine 26 years after its release. Songwriter, and former Shard End resident, Jeff Lynne says: 'When I wrote this song, it was inspired by the fact that I'd been in a little cuckoo-clock house in Switzerland for two weeks trying to write the album Out Of The Blue. Suddenly the sun came out and everything looked beautiful.' As the vast number of people voting for Mr. Blue Sky prove, the song now appeals to a whole new audience. In America a re-recorded version was used as the soundtrack for a TV advert for the Volkswagen Beetle convertible and hip Scottish indie band The Delgados covered it for a B-side. BBC WM presenter Ed Doolan, who championed the song as Midlands' Anthem, says: 'I never doubted that Mr. Blue Sky would be the winner. With ELO such a big part of this area, I'm sure that every true Brummie voted for it. I'd like to say a very big 'thank you' to everyone who made their votes count. It really is a feelgood song and makes you feel very proud to be a Midlander. It deserves to be the Midlands' Anthem.' You can hear the complete Midlands' Anthem chart on Jimmy Franks's BBC WM Christmas Day show between 11am and 2pm."
    Author Unknown (December 23, 2004 - Evening Mail)

    "IT'S OFFICIAL - MR. BLUE SKY IS THE MIDLANDS ANTHEM! Mr. Blue Sky has come out on top after a poll was run by BBC Radio WM and local newspaper the Birmingham Mail [sic] to find a Midlands Anthem. With almost five times as many votes from the public as the second placed tune, the runaway winner was Mr. Blue Sky by ELO! The Birmingham Mail will publish the results and a feature on ELO in their issue dated 23 December. Jeff is thrilled and has written a note to the paper and this will also be published soon."
    Rob Caiger (December 24, 2004 - Showdown mailing list)

    "[Regarding Mr. Blue Sky...] When I was a little lad, a record called Sparky's Magic Piano was sometimes played on the radio. That talking piano haunted me and many years later drove me to find out how to do it..."
    Jeff Lynne (May 2005 - ftmusic.com website)

    "There's no doubting Jeff Lynne's finest hour. Whether as bedrock of ELO or pretending to be George Martin, his unquestionably majestic stab at the rock uber-anthem, Mr Blue Sky, is unsurpassed. Whereas so much other ELO output boiled down to addled pseudism on a slide guitar, here nothing was superfluous and everything had its place: the thumping oompah piano accompaniment, the nicely finger-clicking pace, the trademark strings bouncing cheerfully along, and atop everything the most preposterously mundane yet somehow instantly infectious wittering about, well, the weather being nice. 'See how the sun shines brightly,' chirped Jeff, 'in the city, on the streets/where once was pity/Mr Blue Sky is living here today!' As with all champion lyrics they looked crap written down, but matched up with call-and-response-style vocalese (to aid those playground singalongs), tons of Beatle-styled orchestral flourishes, and, the crowning glory, a soupcon of Sparky's Magic Piano-esque vocoder dabblings, they become a hymn to the way life is, generally, for the most part, alright. By the time you reached 3 mins 40 secs, with melodramatic sci-fi-sounding chords and a noble strings and piano epilogue, you felt like getting to your feet and saluting!"
    Unknown (June 2005 - TV Cream: The Ultimate Guide to '70s and '80s Pop Culture)

    "I'd be happy to... to have people remember Mr. Blue Sky, yeah, because it's one of my favorites tracks that I ever did. [...] Well, the thing is, I wrote [Mr. Blue Sky] in Switzerland in a chalet in the Jura mountains, trying to write all the songs for Out Of The Blue. So I sat there for two weeks; I hadn't come up with anything. And it had been overcast and misty, y'know. And suddenly, like one day I got up and it was beautiful, all these mountains and the blue sky and... there it was. And that inspired Mr. Blue Sky. I just sat and wrote it as soon as I saw it."
    Jeff Lynne (July 5, 2005 - Face The Music: The Story of the Electric Light Orchestra BBC 2 Radio show)

    "Electric Light Orchestra is one of those ubiquitous bands that could be due for a second glance, a concept that briefly gained some momentum when Mr. Blue Sky all of a sudden became mandatory accompaniment for Charlie Kaufman-scripted films."
    Rob Mitchum (August 8, 2005 - Pitchfork Media All Over the World: The Very Best of Electric Light Orchestra review)

    "From the Beatles-esque Mr. Blue Sky - recently introduced to a younger audience through a Volkswagen commercial - to the early rock influenced Rock And Roll is King, the unabashed commercial appeal of the songs is unmistakable."
    Raul Burriel (August 14, 2005 - The Trades All Over the World: The Very Best of Electric Light Orchestra review)

    "In Marks & Spencer, on Kensington High Street on Saturday, shoppers were treated to ELO's Mr. Blue Sky, the music that accompanies the latest M&S womenswear advertisement starring Erin O'Connor, Twiggy, et al."
    Caroline Merrell (September 28, 2005 - The Times)

    "And, of course, Mr. Blue Sky, twee-pop ten years early, only more overblown, and as a result less ridiculous."
    Dom Passantino (October 24, 2005 - Stylus online magazine)

    "It seems pretty clear that Mr. Blue Sky is ELO's most fully-formed composition, the song most comfortable with its flaunted Beatle-isms. Perhaps due to an increased reliance on vocal layering rather than neo-classical arrangement, perhaps due to lyrics that, for once, sound appropriately kitschy, Mr. Blue Sky nails the aesthetic. "
    Andrew Gaerig (October 27, 2005 - Stylus online magazine's On First Listen article)

    "[Lynne] also used cutting-edge music technology (the vocoder on Mr. Blue Sky) and nutty narratives (The Diary of Horace Wimp) in the service of his string-swathed, multivocaled-tracked pop perfection."
    Peter Relic and Brian Hiatt (November 17, 2005 - Rolling Stone issue #967)

    "[Mik Kaminski's] all-time favourite track is the classic Mr. Blue Sky, which has recently been the soundtrack of Twiggy's appearance on Marks & Spencer ads. 'The response to that song is always amazing, it still makes the hair on the back of your neck stand up, but I've run out of fingers and toes to count how many times we've played it,' he laughs."
    Viv Harkwick (November 17, 2005 - The Northern Echo)

    "[Mr. Blue Sky is] the band's best-known and most widely used song (it was in last year's film of The Magic Roundabout) is flimsy, silly, cheesy, superficial, inane - and utterly, irresistibly upbeat."
    David Cheal (December 8, 2005 - The Daily Telegraph)

    "The [vocoder] words [at the end of Mr. Blue Sky] are 'please turn me over'. This is a reference to when it was a vinyl album, and was an invitation to put on the other side. The vocoder on that album was done on an early moog vocoder. I played the phrase on the piano, and Jeff sang the words. The two signals were then combined and processed together."
    Richard Tandy (December 17, 2005 - Showdown mailing list)

    "The bit at the end is 'please turn me over' because that's what you had to do to play side 4 of the album and the b-side of the single (ex-America which edited the closing section off). There was no difference between the album version and the single - the single master was copied directly from the album master tape."
    Rob Caiger (December 20, 2005 - Showdown mailing list)
    Editor's Note: The UK single edited off the radio tuning bit at the song's beginning.

    "These days Lynne is best known for Mr. Blue Sky, an effervescent ELO tune from 1978, the 21st-century omnipresence of which - along with 1976's Livin' Thing - have taken centre stage in DJ Sean Rowley's hit Guilty Pleasures radio show. Both songs epitomise the '...but I like it' vibe of this larky romp through the archive."
    Robert Sandall (2006 February - Q magazine)

    "No [I didn't think Mr. Blue Sky was a classic when I came up with it]. I liked the bouncing beat but I remember sitting in the mastering suite and thinking, 'It's got no dynamics, not enough top, not enough middle, not enough bass.' And fuck, was I ever wrong. It's been played to death ever since. Paul [McCartney] said a nice thing about it the other day. He said, 'That's a song that's found its time, because people love optimism and everything's gloomy at the minute.'"
    Jeff Lynne (2006 February - Q magazine)

    "Mr. Blue Sky was more of a thumping thing, but had intricate little bits in. I actually stole the jazzy licks that pop up a couple of times from The Beach Boys' Heroes And Villains... Carol Kaye again! That was such a nice part that Lou Clark wrote the string parts to coincide with it."
    Kelly Groucutt (March 3, 2006 - Guitar & Bass magazine)

    "Mr. Blue Sky was a consideration for a summer single a while back but didn't get the support at frontline radio."
    Rob Caiger (August 6, 2006 - Showdown mailing list)

    "In 2001, Brummie Lynne was reportedly planning a takeover of Birmingham City with fellow fans Jasper Carrott and ex-player Trevor Francis. Nothing came of it. Birmingham's players do still run out to Mr. Blue Sky though."
    Author Unknown (September, 2006 - Q Magazine Sep 2006)

    "A shakeup of the singles chart will mean downloads of album tracks, older songs and digital-only releases will count toward the top 75 rundown compiled by the Official Charts Company. [...] The move is likely to see older tracks brought to a new generation by TV shows, advertisements and films, or newly released digitally, shoot up the charts. Tests this year showed Mr. Blue Sky by the Electric Light Orchestra in the charts after being featured in Doctor Who..."
    Owen Gibson (December 29, 2006 - The Guardian)

    "One of this [Out Of The Blue] disc's tracks, Mr. Blue Sky, has been used many times in commercials and on movie soundtracks recently... [...] New liner notes explain that the CD's title was inspired by the multiple times the word 'blue' appears in the lyrics. In fact, Mr. Blue Sky was Lynne's joyous reaction to a sunny day, which arrived after far too many rainy Switzerland days in a row. Lynne calls it his greatest ELO achievement. 'It captured all what ELO, my vision of ELO, was all about', he has said. 'All the bits that come in and out, the backing vocals, the cellos sliding, all the little naughty bits, the sound effects, everything is exactly what I imagined ELO to be.' Mr. Blue Sky, along with Standin' in the Rain, Big Wheels, and Summer and Lightning are all part of Concerto for a Rainy Day, a side long (remember, it was released during LP days) concept composition. Believe me, it's a whole lot more fun than watching The Weather Channel."
    Dan MacIntosh (2007 February 15 - Out Of The Blue reissue review on popmatters.com)

    "I rented this little chalet in Switzerland in the mountains just beyond Lake Geneva. I rented this gear from a little shop in a village, a little music shop, with a Revox tape recorder, an electric piano-- I had my guitar there-- and just sit there to try and write. For two weeks, I came up with nothing-- and I only had four weeks to write this double album! And I was sort of thinking, 'Bloody, 'ell, maybe I can't come up with anything.' The weather had been really bad and then one day I got up and it was fantastic, the sun was brilliant and shining, all the mountains were lit up and this mist had gone away. It was gorgeous and I come up with Mr. Blue Sky. [...] [Mr. Blue Sky] captured all what ELO, my vision of ELO, was about. All the bits that came in and out, the backing vocals, the cellos sliding, all the little naughty bits, the sound effects, everything is exactly what I imagined ELO to be."
    Jeff Lynne (February 26, 2007 - Out Of The Blue remaster liner notes)

    "Rightly described as the definitive Electric Light Orchestra song, Lynne considers Mr. Blue Sky to be his greatest ELO achievement and it continues to appear in film soundtracks and TV ads to this very day."
    Rob Caiger (February 26, 2007 - Out Of The Blue remaster liner notes)

    "The [Out Of The Blue album] contained some of the group's best work (the irresistible, supremely shiny pop of Mr. Blue Sky) as well as some of its worst (the vocoder-laced, space-filler Believe Me Now)."
    John Metzger (February 2007 - The Music Box, Volume 14, #2)

    "The side C four-song suite 'Concerto for a Rainy Day' (god bless the 70s) even includes the triumphant Mr. Blue Sky, deservedly exhumed in the past few years by the hipster cognoscenti as a perfectly weird slice of gaudy, over-the-top FM-dial pop."
    Rob Mitchum (March 1 2007 - Pitchfork Media Out Of The Blue remaster review)

    "[Out Of The Blue] is very much Jeff Lynne's masterpiece, and contains what the man himself considers to be his finest ever song: the strangely affecting Mr. Blue Sky."
    Brian Boyd (March 2, 2007 - The Irish Times)

    "The hits that made this collection [Out Of The Blue] such a success are all here: the exuberant Sweet Talkin' Woman, the jittery Mr. Blue Sky and the Abbey Road- flavored Big Wheels."
    Jesse De Leon (March 9, 2007 - Corpus Christi Caller-Times's Out Of The Blue remaster review)

    "These days, of course, everyone hails Mr Blue Sky as his magnum opus, yet its wild construction shows the first sign that Jeff was trying a little too hard."
    Keith Scott (March 2007 - Out Of The Blue album review for BBC)

    "Last week's 'Wednesday weather song' was The Beatles' Here Comes the Sun, this week it is the Beatle-esque Mr. Blue Sky by the Electric Light Orchestra. Written by E.L.O.'s frontman, Jeff Lynne, for the 1977 album, Out of the Blue," the song is the fourth and last in the 'Concerto for a Rainy Day' suite. Mr. Blue Sky was a hit on both the U.K. and the U.S. charts and has been used on numerous occasions in films, TV series and commercials. More familiar with E.L.O. hits such as Evil Woman, Sweet Talkin' Woman, and Don't Bring Me Down, I must admit being unfamiliar with Mr. Blue Sky before receiving the suggestion from reader, robeekay. What a great suggestion it was -- I'd be hard-pressed to find a bouncier, happier pop song about a beautiful day!"
    Unknown (April 2007 - USA Today weather blog)

    "Taking a vacation to get away and write songs [for Out Of The Blue], the first two weeks provided nothing worthwhile. Scared and doubting himself, Lynne woke up, looked outside at the morning sky and within a few ours wrote the eventual hit Mr. Blue Sky. After that songs flowed like a river Lynne couldn't shut off."
    Scott Homewood (2007 July 18 - CDReviews.com website review of Out Of The Blue)

    "Even today it's hard not to be bowled over by the impact and innovation of Evil Woman, Mr. Blue Sky or Strange Magic, a song whose title perfectly summarized the Lynne mystique."
    Unknown (Summer 2007 - Yamaha All Access)

    "[Mr. Blue Sky] is one of the classic ELO tracks. It's been used worldwide for adverts, films, trailers, and people keep telling me from America it's being used again for this, that and the other. It's one of those songs that will be around as long as things are happening. [Regarding the original rhythm track], again, which if you can imagine, it's just the chords with nothing much else going on, it wouldn't get you excited at all. It's only when things start building on top of it, the vocal and the orchestral parts, it came to life. And there again, it's in Jeff's head and it's where it stayed until he moved on quite a way."
    Mik Kaminski (September 12, 2009 - BBC Radio Merseyside)

    "Mr. Blue Sky (Out Of The Blue, 1977): John Lennon once called ELO the 'son of the Beatles.' It's unclear whether he meant that as praise or put down. Either way, their DNA is all over this one. In fact, for a band often accused of being nothing more than an obvious Fab Four pastiche, Mr. Blue Sky was the Electric Light Orchestra's pastich-iest of them all. You have an invariable, thudding bassline straight out of Hello Goodbye; an anvil-banging rhythm from Abbey Road; verses trailing along to the same two notes, like I Am The Walrus; then a calling card-eccentric construction of sudden shifts, from the dizzying harmonic interplay to a sharply buoyant guitar. The background vocalists, at one point, even pant along in a direct reference to A Day in the Life. To me, though, Mr. Blue Sky suffers most from its proximity. The Beatles, circa the mid-1970s, were still a looming presence in the rearview. Some, like the big-spending Lorne Michaels of SNL (and, well, me — minus the million-dollar guarantee to appear on my late-night comedy show) were holding out hopes for a reunion. Long past the expiration date for such conceits, Jeff Lynne's loving-care studiocraft can now rightly be called canny homage. You'll find more than mimicry at work, as ELO so perfectly incorporates the decade's signature rock-band devices -– things that have moved into the collective consciousness, but once had a pretty-cool-back-then verve: There's the very contemporaneous spaceship cover imagery, of course, but also the song's vocoded treatment of its title and a positively tornadic combination of chorus and strings. Longtime drummer Bev Bevan was credited in the liner notes with 'fire extinguisher' on this track. Too, in keeping with the grandiose prog-pedantry of the day, Mr. Blue Sky is the final song in a four-piece 'Concerto for a Rainy Day' on side three of the original two-LP edition of Out of the Blue. (The stormy weather effects included on the opening segment Standin' in the Rain were reportedly recorded by Lynne outside the chalet where he composed the album. Dude!) Mr. Blue Sky would become the third Top 40 single (after Turn to Stone and Sweet Talkin' Woman) to emerge from Out of the Blue, going to 35 in the U.S. and 6 in Britain. The truth is, it's absolutely stuffed with details, both cribbed and otherwise -– a much braver attempt at tribute than ELO is often given credit for. They took the Beatles' own late period tendency toward symphonic pomposity, and made it their own."
    Nick DeRiso (August 2, 2012 - Something Else! website review)

    "You know, if you listen to something like Mr. Blue Sky-- You know, I hear it a lot in ads now or in movies and... I think it was in a movie I watched recently and it was just... It's just amazing, you know, and it's not derivative. It's not really coming from anybody but Jeff. Nobody could do it quite like that. And I think he's not really noticed enough for what he does, really."
    Tom Petty (2012 Summer - Mr Blue Sky: The Story of Jeff Lynne and ELO documentary)

    "I'm a sucker for, sort of the hits, so Mr. Blue Sky is a pretty special song. It's probably the one that everyone would choose, so it's a bit boring to choose it. But it's great. It just works. And if you're in the car and it's a nice day, it really works."
    Paul McCartney (2012 Summer - Mr Blue Sky: The Story of Jeff Lynne and ELO documentary)

    "The [Out Of The Blue] record's highlight was the 'Concerto for a Rainy Day' which took up the whole side three. And its finale was to become their most recognizable song ever, and my favorite, Mr. Blue Sky. [...] Although Mr. Blue Sky is probably the most recognized ELO song, it actually wasn't their most successful, only reaching #35 in the US charts and #6 over here [in the UK]. But those chart positions have hindered its popularity. It's also become a major hit on social media channels on the net one of the most covered songs by Joe Public. And if you don't believe me, take a look. More recently, it also reached a whole new world audience when it was featured as one of the highlights of this year's London 2012 Olympic ceremonies."
    Clare Grogan (October 3, 2012 - The One Show)

    "The record company wanted me to do a double album, which was to become Out Of The Blue. I went to Switzerland and got this little chalet, tucked out of the way in the middle of nowhere so I'd have no distractions. So the first two weeks I was there, it was really miserable, drizzly, and cloudy and not very nice at all. Couldn't come up with anything. But one day, I got up and opened the curtains and, 'Wow! This is where I am!' It was beautiful. It was vistas and beautiful green mountains going away in the distance, blue sky. And it was absolutely fabulous. The sun was shining. And it inspired me to come up with-- right away I wrote Mr. Blue Sky. I wish I could say yes [that I wrote all of it then], but I [only] came up with the verse. I'll try and remember it now. [plays opening chords] Felt very good about the chord sequence. Obviously I hadn't finished the tune yet. [...] Have you ever heard of 'Sparky's Magic Piano'? It's an old, old thing that used to be on long wave [radio]. It's like a kid getting a piano lesson. And it's a record. He falls asleep and he dreams his piano can speak and there's a vocoder in it. While I was making Mr. Blue Sky, somebody'd just made a brand new vocoder for the first time. And we got the prototype and we started messing with it all day. It sounded like it had acid on it, you know. And electric voice, y'know. It was magic. [The very last bit] actually says 'please turn me over'. It was because it was the end of that side of the album."
    Jeff Lynne (October 3, 2012 - The One Show)

    "I actually did think [Mr. Blue Sky] was good when I did it. And then like lately, the last few years, I've listened to it, it's come on the radio and I've thought, 'Hang on, I though it was better than that.' Because, it's just some of the sounds on there are a bit wooly, y'know, and it's a bit covered in clothes. And I wanted it to be... have more clarity and wanted it to be... more punch, y'know, and to just come out more at it. And it was always just a bit [mumbles to demonstrate how it sounded muffled]."
    Jeff Lynne (October 5, 2012 - BBC Breakfast)

    "[Mr. Blue Sky was written when] I was on a mountain in Switzerland. [He yodels here a bit.] It had been horribly foggy for days. Then the fog lifted and beams of this fabulous sunlight came down and the sky was blue. I wrote the song right there and then."
    Jeff Lynne (October 9, 2012 - L.A. Weekly)

    "I used to listen to them on the radio, my old ELO records, and go 'Oh wow, it's not quite as good as I thought it was.' It's not that it's bad – it just doesn't quite sound the way that I thought it did when I originally recorded them."
    Jeff Lynne (October 9, 2012 - The All Music Blog website)

    "For the last few years, I've heard [the ELO songs] on the radio, I've been driving or whatever or just tuning through, and I go, 'Mmm... Mr. Blue Sky, I thought it was better than that.' [laughs] And I was sort of bothered by the wooliness of the sound and the lacking in punch a bit. And I didn't particularly like the way the vocals sounded. [...] Funnily enough, in Mr. Blue Sky, the old one, the bell noise is actually a fire extinguisher."
    Jeff Lynne (October 14, 2012 - Absolute Radio)

    "Lynne even had mixed feelings when the original Mr. Blue Sky track was played at the Olympic opening and closing ceremonies."
    Simon Copeland (October 19, 2012 - The Sun)
    Editor's Note: This statement contains two factual errors. First, Mr. Blue Sky was played at the 2012 Olympic opening ceremonies only, not the closing ceremonies. Second, the version played was not the original version, but the new "solo" version recorded by Jeff Lynne in the 2000s

    "Mr. Blue Sky had a lot of stuff going on, little instances popping up. Back then, you could fit 'em in between, where there was an empty space on one section. The engineer, Mack, would say, 'You can have four tracks there, just on that bit.' Those little pieces popping up-- that is the best fun. I love doing harmonies; it's my favorite thing to do."
    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)

    "A string of hit singles ensued [including] Mr. Blue Sky cemented Lynne's reputation as an excellent songwriter. [...] Of all the songs he recorded with ELO, he cites Mr. Blue Sky as his favourite. 'Of the hits, yes...', Lynne states."
    Martin Hutchinson (November 2, 2012 - Birmingham Post)

    "Well, one of the most illustrious people I've worked with, Paul McCartney, his favorite song of mine is Mr. Blue Sky. And he really went to town on telling me about it which I was thrilled about, you know, because coming from him, it's like a... it's pretty good... [I did write in Switzerland when the sun came out.] And it was just miserable for like about five days and then suddenly, one day I get up and there's this view all of a sudden, there's this wonderful mountains and just gorgeous. And it inspired Mr. Blue Sky, it really did. "
    Jeff Lynne (November 7, 2012 - Rockline)

    "But their best songs, the inimitable Livin' Thing or Mr. Blue Sky, are timeless and ever-present and unique."
    Keith Cameron (November 2012 - MOJO magazine)

    "Of course, the things that happen in your life get into the song, in certain parts of the song, or inspire it, or literally inspire it. Like Mr. Blue Sky, I was actually in Switzerland and it was cloudy all the time. I didn't see... I'd just got there. I'd been there about a week. Nothing. Didn't see any views at all. And one day, bang, the whole thing [was] wide open-- blue sky, the sun is shining, all these mountains going on forever, of course. And it inspired Mr. Blue Sky, so that was a literal inspiration. I don't really get that many inspirations. That was quite a rare one, Mr. Blue Sky, because it was such an obvious thing to happen. And, you know, it just came to me."
    Jeff Lynne (November 2012 - video interview by Adam Weissler for Extra TV)

    "The Beatlesque Mr. Blue Sky has grown in stature over the years, with artists as diverse as rapper Common and indie-rock singer Mayer Hawthorne incorporating it into their songs. The single got to only No. 35, but its place on the two-LP Out of the Blue is pivotal: It's the final part of side three's 'Concerto for a Rainy Day Suite.' Plus, it's one of the best-ever uses of the vocoder in a '70s song."
    Michael Gallucci (December 30, 2012 - Ultimate Classic Rock online magazine article 'Top 10 Electric Light Orchestra Songs')

    "When I wrote Mr. Blue Sky, I was actually in Switzerland on a mountain. [Sings 'on a mountain in Switzerland, yo lo lo lo lolo'] Anyway, I was on the mountain. And I'd been there like about a week and it'd been clouded and misty all the time I'd been there. I thought, 'this is gonna be great inspiration, you know, mountains.' And one day the sun came blasting out and it was all blue sky and I could see forever, you know. And it was just beautiful. And... it made me write Mr. Blue Sky."
    Jeff Lynne (December 31, 2012 - Top 2000 a gogo)

    "A lot of ELO songs are simpler than you might think. I could show you how to play Mr. Blue Sky in 10 minutes. It's no symphony."
    Jeff Lynne (December 2012 - Classic Rock magazine)

    "But I do remember listening to Mr. Blue Sky on the radio, and I thought, 'You know, this doesn't sound like I thought it did when I made it.' I've thought this many times about those old ELO records..."
    Jeff Lynne (January 2013 - Goldmine magazine)

    "Just as a record, Mr. Blue Sky is a serious piece of work. I mean, it kind of takes that I Am The Walrus thing to another level. It's probably jumping off from that there, but I think ELO kind of jumps off from there. But it definitely became something particular to him, and that was a real high point."
    Tom Petty (January 2013 - Goldmine magazine)

    "One of the guests at tonight's ceremony is former Blues and Villa boss Alex McLeish. He says he has always been a huge ELO fan and Mr. Blue Sky is one of his favourite songs."
    Paula Cole (March 13, 2014 - Birmingham Mail)

    "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)

    "One of the first [songs written for Out Of The Blue] was Mr. Blue Sky. It had been cloudy and misty and horrible, you couldn't see where you were, and then one day the sun came out and the mist disappeared. It was fantastic, these giant mountains appeared everywhere. So I wrote Mr. Blue Sky-- very literal! The whole Concerto For A Rainy day kinda came out of that. [...] I was trying out new things, like the Vocoder, which I used on Mr. Blue Sky. The factory that had just built the prototype was in Stuttgart, which was only an hour from Munich. Talk about luck! So we sent the girlfriends off to pick it up. There was no manual, it was just that new, and we spent the whole day just getting it to do something, but once we got it going it was beautiful. It's still the best Vocoder I've heard."
    Jeff Lynne (May 2013 - Uncut magazine)

    "[Mr. Blue Sky] closed side three of the [Out Of The Blue] record, comprising the four-song musical suite, 'Concerto For A Rainy Day', that turned out to be Lynne's farewell to symphonic rock. [...] [Reinhold] Mack: 'Some of those classically trained musicians, feeling like they were back in kindergarten, clearly weren't going to stand for [being told to bring their own chairs and music stands into the studio], but about 80 percent of them said, Sure, see you there in an hour, and they all turned up. As there was also a 32-piece choir, it had to perform in the lobby while some of the orchestra musicians played their instruments lined up against the walls. The place was mobbed, and in those circumstances the sound we got on tracks like Mr. Blue Sky was pretty good.' "
    Richard Buskin (September 2013 - Sound On Sound Classic Tracks)

    "Mr Blue Sky must be the song in rock history which feels the most like a No.1 without having been a No.1. With its episodic structure and heavy classical overtones, you imagine it as a monolithic 70s chart-topper on a par with Bohemian Rhapsody, but-- incredibly-- it only reached No.6. No matter, it's as close to a signature tune as ELO have got, and it's the logical way to end the show."
    Simon Price (2014 September 16 - The Quietus article entitled The Jesus Of Uncool Has Risen: ELO Live)

    "...ingeniously build, Beatlesque songs such as Mr. Blue Sky and 10538 Overture have outlasted their critics, and now the softly spoken 66-year-old Brummie finds himself adored again."
    Nick Hasted (January 2015 - Classic Rock magazine issue #205)

    "Lynne's legendary hits from his heyday with ELO in the 1970s have also been popping up everywhere, including high-profile movie soundtracks such as American Hustle, and national TV advertising campaigns, where songs like Mr. Blue Sky have been used repeatedly."
    Bruce Pilato (April 23, 2015 - Variety)

    "One of the first to emerge [from the Out Of The Blue songwriting efforts] was Mr Blue Sky. 'It had been cloudy and misty and horrible, you couldn't see where you were, and then one day the sun came out and the mist disappeared. It was fantastic, these giant mountains appeared everywhere. So I wrote Mr Blue Sky – very literal!' [...] The second single [from Out Of The Blue] was the aforementioned Mr Blue Sky, a song so Beatlesque that it's easy to hear why John Lennon once hailed ELO as the 'Sons of the Beatles'. Understandably, Lynne remains particularly proud of Mr. Blue Sky. 'The song captured what my vision of ELO was all about. All the bits that come in and out, the backing vocals, the cellos sliding, all the little naughty bits, the sound effects, everything is exactly what I imagined ELO to be. Particularly distinctive was the track's inclusion of voices rendered electronic via the era's hottest new musical toy, the Vocoder 2000. 'The factory that had just built the prototype was in Stuttgart, only an hour from Munich,' Lynne has explained. 'So we sent the girlfriends off to pick it up. There was no manual, it was that new. We spent the whole day just getting it to do something, but once we got it going it was beautiful. It's still the best Vocoder I've heard. That was a treat, you always want to innovate and get ahead with technology.' Because the song is located at the end of Side 3 of the album, the Vocoder voice at the end sings, 'Please turn me over'. Lynne has also revealed that the album's epic 19-minute 'Concerto For A Rainy Day' grew naturally out of Mr Blue Sky. 'I loved the second side of Abbey Road and I thought I wouldn't mind trying a suite like that. Because it was a double album I had so much room to work with. It was quite complex to make.'"
    Johnny Black (July 2015 - Hi-Fi News)

    "Well actually, [I wasn't sure about Mr. Blue Sky] when I went to master it, you know, mastering the single Mr. Blue Sky. And it just sounded... Always speakers in the cutting rooms are really flat, you know, so you don't get any excitement from the speaker. And I thought, 'Mmm... Maybe I didn't get it quite right.' But when I got it home, it was actually pretty good. And so I soon forgot about the worrisome bit. [...] I suppose [Mr. Blue Sky] would have been [my signature song], yeah, it would be. 'Cause nearly everybody knows that one, you know, everywhere, kind of. And so, I suppose that is the most known one I've got."
    Jeff Lynne (September 25, 2015 - The Chris Evans Breakfast Show)

    "He wrote Mr. Blue Sky, for instance, as a nursery rhyme with a sophisticated accompaniment."
    Greg Brodsky (September 2015 - Best Classic Bands website)

    "John Lennon once called Electric Light Orchestra the 'son of the Beatles.' It's unclear whether he meant that as praise or put down but, either way, the Fab Four's DNA is all over Mr. Blue Sky. In fact, for a band often accused of being nothing more than an obvious Beatles pastiche, Mr. Blue Sky was the Electric Light Orchestra's pastich-iest of them all. You have an invariable, thudding bassline straight out of Hello Goodbye; an anvil-banging rhythm from Abbey Road; verses trailing along to the same two notes, like I Am The Walrus; then a calling card-eccentric construction of sudden shifts, from the dizzying harmonic interplay to a sharply buoyant guitar. The background vocalists, at one point, even pant along in a direct reference to A Day in the Life. To me, though, Mr. Blue Sky — released on October 3, 1977 as part of Out of the Blue — suffers most from its proximity. The Beatles, circa the mid-1970s, were still a looming presence in the rearview. Some, like the big-spending Lorne Michaels of SNL (and, well, me — minus the million-dollar guarantee to appear on my late-night comedy show) were holding out hopes for a reunion. Long past the expiration date for such conceits, Jeff Lynne's loving-care studiocraft can now rightly be called canny homage. You'll find more than mimicry at work, as Electric Light Orchestra so perfectly incorporates the decade's signature rock-band devices — things that have moved into the collective consciousness, but once had a pretty-cool-back-then verve: There's the very contemporaneous spaceship cover imagery, of course, but also the song's vocoded treatment of its title and a positively tornadic combination of chorus and strings. Longtime drummer Bev Bevan was credited in the liner notes with 'fire extinguisher' on this track. Too, in keeping with the grandiose prog-pedantry of the day, Mr. Blue Sky is the final song in a four-piece 'Concerto for a Rainy Day' on side three of the original two-LP edition of Out of the Blue. The stormy weather effects included on the opening segment Standin' in the Rain were reportedly recorded by Jeff Lynne outside the chalet where he composed the album. (Dude!) Mr. Blue Sky would become the third Top 40 single (after Turn to Stone and Sweet Talkin' Woman) to emerge from Out of the Blue, going to 35 in the U.S. and No. 6 in Britain. The truth is, it's absolutely stuffed with details, both cribbed and otherwise -– a much braver attempt at tribute than Electric Light Orchestra is often given credit for. They took the Beatles' own late-period tendency toward symphonic pomposity, and made it their own."
    Nick DeRiso (October 3, 2015 - Something Else! website article)

    "He was the Jeff Lynne who fought a legal battle with the group's bass guitarist Kelly Groucutt when the latter sued for unpaid royalties. [Kelly] Groucutt claimed he had written the middle section of Mr. Blue Sky but Lynne saw things differently: 'Kelly Groucutt was an employee and was paid that way,' said Lynne. 'Instead of spending his money on lawyers, he should check his contracts properly first.' Groucutt found himself effectively fired after an out-of-court settlement."
    Claire Woodward (November 1, 2015 - Sunday Express)

    "The [2012] film was named after Mr Blue Sky, now Britain’s unofficial summer anthem, an eccentric classic beloved of daytime radio programmers and community choirs."
    Graeme Thomson (2015 November 7 - Daily Mail)

    "McCartney, he says, ribs him about basing ELO on the Beatles. 'He says to me, Mr. Blue Sky, I know where you got that riff from.' He thinks the soaring strings and rhythm of the song were based on the Beatles’ A Day in the Life."
    Neil McCormick (November 8 2015 - The Telegraph)

    "I like Mr. Blue Sky. That's a good one to play, fun to play live. "
    Jeff Lynne (November 12, 2015 - interview on BBC WM 95.6)

    "Jeff Lynne, music visionary behind the Electric Light Orchestra, always things big. By giving songs such as Mr. Blue Sky and Livin' Thing grand symphonic settings, the sends them souring to heaven. 'Deep down, I think the reason I moved to California was because I wanted to see a blue sky everyday,' [Lynne] tells me before explaining why his signature song became so huge. 'Mr. Blue Sky is quite a nice simple song with some nice little progressions but the words are universal. Everybody wants the sun to shine... and a clear blue sky.' Mr. Blue Sky has soundtracked high-profile movies including Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind, Wall-E and Shaun Of The Dead."
    Simon Cosyns (November 13, 2015 - The Sun)

    "Mr. Blue Sky was the song that kind of came along from [Nigel's] university days, that followed him along, really, and consequently, has come down to us now. The song reflect Nig's personality to a T. You can't help but bring yourself along a little bit taller when it starts to play. You can help but smile. That was Nig, through and through, dancing around the kitchen all the time so it's a good theme tune. Pre-chidren, Nigel and I had a lovely little cottage down on Dartmoor and then we'd walk to the malls and have a lovely time. It was his birthday weekend and he was curled up upstairs while I went downstairs to make birthday breakfast. And I remember slapping the music on really loud. Boom! Boom! Boom! Boom! Mr. Blue Sky starts playing. Down he comes to pop open the champagne for his birthday for the morning breakfast. That's a very strong memory of just me and him in a little cottage with a dog. It snowed. His birthday's New Year's Eve. So that was just a nice little getaway. [...] Nige, in the summmer of 2013 was like Nige, normal. Everything fine. We had a beautiful holiday, fortunate enough to go to Jamaica, had two weeks out there with the boys. It was super. Came back from there and about two or three weeks later, he had a sandwich, actually, a bit of bread got caught in his throat. So I patted him on the back. I said, 'You ought to chew your food a bit better than that.' He said, 'Yeah, that happened not so long back as well.' I said, 'Oh, maybe you've got an ulcor or something growing. Maybe you should go get yourself checked out.' So he duly did and went had a camera put down his throat to check it all out. And that day changed everything. Going from a normal, healthy, living life every day to being told that we're 99% certain, sir, that you have got cancer of the esophagus. They said, 'We'll give you three years at the best.' Which we're grateful of. But unfortunately, twelve weeks later after diagnosis, Nigel passed away. And cards obviously come flooding through the door. And I really, really do appreciate everyone's kind words. Nige affected a lot of people. He touched an awful lot of people. There were hundreds and hundreds of cards. But one note I kept kind of getting from these cards, one sort of theme that coming through the cards was everyone saying, 'We're really sorry and sad.' And the same words kept coming back and I felt so privileged to have had Nige, albeit for the short time I had him in my life. I thought how can I feel sad. This kind of ran through onto the funeral and the one thing that I wanted to put over to the huge, big, packed church was everyone please just don't be sad. How can we be sad when we've had Nige in our lives. How can you all feel such sorrow when he's brought so much joy that we've got to be grateful that Nige was even here in the first place. And how much strength we can all take from him and his dignified, strong ways. One point I wanted to make at the funeral was to bring Nige's song to light to everybody. And most people knew it was Nige's song anyway, but we had it printed out on the order of service and we had it playing when we left the church. And we all piled out and say, it was mid January and the sky was blue. A beautiful, beautiful, stunningly blue sky and it was going to be no other way. [...] I was organizing a charity ball in honor of Nigel and the boys saw how much work was going into it and what it was all about. And Charlie just said to me, 'Mummy, I'd like to raise some money for cancer research.' He said, 'We could do a cake sale, Mum. Or we could play Mr. Blue Sky in the background while we're selling cakes because it's Daddy's favourite song.' And one thing literally led to another, it evolved into [the idea that] we could sing Mr. Blue Sky and suddenly, before we knew it, we were recording Mr. Blue Sky with the whole school being involved to sell as a charity single to raise money for cancer research. The introduction to the song is very well known and it was decided that as Charlie basically came up with the idea of this project, he should do the weather report at the beginning. So he says, 'today's forecast calls mainly for blue skies.' [plays the charity single opening] When I heard the finished CD, I was truly blown away at how good it sounded. From classroom 3W at the school [I was] just amazed at what it sounds like and how happy and cheerful each and every one of those children were when they came into that room. They were nervous. They were excited. One little girl even said, 'My auntie passed away this year to cancer, so I'm singing it for her.' I didn't know the little girl. And I said, 'Are you okay?' And she said, 'Yeah, I'm going to sing really loud.' I mean, it just goes to show that children are so aware. They all knew what we were doing it for. In the middle of the song, it has an electronic voice saying 'Mr. Blue Sky.' And Henry was picked to do that bit. So he had a special part in the song as well. Mr. Blue Sky has become our family anthem. Nige introduced us to it. Played it birthdays, Sunday mornings reading the newspapers, nice sunny day, stick the music on. It was a song that when Nige past away, we played it full volume when he left the house. It is a huge, huge part of our lives. And for the boys to come up with the idea, and the idea to evolve into making the song, putting it out there with all their friends and school behind them, it's just fantastic."
    Tracey Collinson (November 24, 2015 - Soul Music on BBC Radio 4)

    "My name is Allan Moore. I am a musicologist and professor emeritus at the University of Surrey. Mr. Blue Sky by the Electric Light Orchestra which was lead by Jeff Lynne, who wrote the song, came out in 1977 on the album Out Of The Blue. And it was originally just and album track but one that took off. It's quite out of the ordinary for its time, late 1970s. There are a few songs that were around at the same time, songs like Kate Bush's Wuthering Heights [and] Gerry Rafferty's Baker Street which are slight out of the ordinary for the time. This sort of fits into that category. But what I think is really interesting about it is that it makes such a play with this word 'blue.' In popular culture we are very used to using the word 'blue'-- we talk about feeling blue, we talk about having the blues-- it has a negative sort of emotional connotation. This song turns that on its head. It takes the notion blue, which is negative, and turns it into something very positive. And musically it does that in a number of ways. [Plays piano opening] It has a beautiful sort of pregnant opening. You're not quite sure where it's going to go, but it's lively in its own right. [Continues playing and plays opening melody] That's so subtle, he goes for that note [plays the note] which is very much a blue sixth, which he then turns into the brighter major sixth. So the whole thing in a nutshell... [plays the first chords] Ah, that's beautiful. The first change of chords you get and it's that richness. [Continues playing the first verse] [...] If you've every tried to sing something that's just outside your range, you will know that your head rises, your chest rises, if you're sitting down, your bum just begins to lift off the feet to ry and reach it. It's a... I mean, we use the word uplifting, but it's phyisically lifting the body up to reach things that you can't quite reach, and I think that's one of the reasons that this is so powerful, because so many little moments like that within the song. If we listen to the first verse, then the line is something like this: [plays piano chords of the start of the first verse]. And then the final like is: [plays piano chords of the final line of the first verse]. So second verse starts in the same way: [plays piano chords of the start of the second verse]. And at the end it's risen: [plays piano chords of the final line of the second verse]. And that's the last line of the second verse. If we got the fourth verse: [plays piano chords of the start of the fourth verse], the first melody line rises. And then it finished off: [plays piano chords of the final line of the fourth verse]. And then if we go to the final verse, we start up there: [plays piano chords of the final verse]. We're way up there in that sort of stratospheric region. So over the course of six verses, the melody line itself gradually rises. Now that is very unusual. I can't think of another song that does something like that. And the effect of it is just so uplifting that that melody is just constantly pushing upwards. It always takes more energy to sing high than it does low. And that energy seems to something that if certainly you're singing along with it or trying to sing along with it, it's something you feel in your body. It's a very positive feeling. I mean, we can get our voices down there in whatever pitch: [plays the song on piano on the lower notes]. [He then plays it on the normal higher notes and hums along.] I can just about sort of get up there, but I can't [with a strained voice] anything like up there. But nonetheless, it's something you want to try and do because, you know, we all sing along with choruses. I think that's one of the reasons that this is such a powerful song. [...] If we're talking keys, then we'd have to say [plays a chord on piano] it's in F major. It is in F major and so all the sections, the verses, the choruses, they all end in F. Until we get to that moment, about three and a half minutes in, [plays the song end, leading into the 'Concerto For A Rainy Day' coda]. interestingly, that note that it comes to rest on is not the note we'd expect. plays the note] That. We'd expect it to end properly, but it doesn't. It finishes there. As if, hang on, something else is going to happen. And most versions of it, of course, something else does happen. [plays the anticipated opening of the 'Concert For A Rainy Day' coda] That is highly dissonent, but we feel it as, ugh, so yearning you have to sort of resolve. So the whole song finishes in E flat, which is not where it's supposed to finish at all. It's almost as if two songs have sort of been welded together. To my mind it works."
    Allan Moore (November 24, 2015 - Soul Music on BBC Radio 4)

    "My name is Dr. Sam Illingworth and I am a lecturer in science communication at Manchester Metropolitan University. A couple of years ago, I was involved in a scientific expidition to go up to the arctic circle and to make measurements of methane and other greenhouse gasses. We were flying on the atmospheric research aircraft, which is an old B-80 146 aircraft. Inside it's been completely rekitted so there's a few seats for scientists but there's also a lot of instruments as well. There was an instrument I was particularly interested in, which is called the Ares instrument. It takes in [third?] measurements from the upwelling radiation from the earth. And as you can imagine, if you're interested in the upwelling thermal radiation from the earth and a cloud gets in the way, it makes the interpretation of the data much more difficult and in some cases impossible. So really, in every single case we were out flying, I was really hoping and praying, if you will, for blue skies. ELO were one of my dad's favorite bands and obviously when I was a teenager, I'd go through my dad's record collection and try and find bands I'd heard of. And in between The Clash and the Bob Marley record, there'd also be a number of ELO ones. Mr. Blue Sky's one of those songs that was just... It would always be on, really. I mean, my dad loved it and it certainly would be played on the car radio. So when I was flying up in the arctic circle, Mr. Blue Sky kept coming into my head. Every morning, I'd wake up and I'd think, 'Ah, I really hope there's going to be these lovely blue skies.' And thankfully, for the majority of the time there was. These beautiful flights over the greenlands and the wetlands of the arctic circle and bits of the arctic sea, fifty foot above the sea at two to twenty-four miles per hour. You could just see the shadow of the plane flying along this beautiful. unblemished sea and, you know, just looking up as well and just hoping for these blue skies. And so, for me, this song, Mr. Blue Sky, will always be synonymous with this wonderful time of adventure in my life."
    Dr. Sam Illingworth (November 24, 2015 - Soul Music on BBC Radio 4)

    "Tremayne Crossley & Joanne Milne: [Tremayne] My name's Tremayne Crossley. [Joanne] Hi there, my name's Joanne Milne. [Tremayne] I met Joanne a number of years ago and I didn't realize that she was deaf because she was dancing at a club we were at and I couldn't understand how someone who was deaf could dance so well. But we eventually got into a conversation and she lip read extremely well. And we kinda went on from there really. Jo's got a condition called Asher's syndrome in which she's gradually losing her sight. So to lose one sense is bad. To lose two senses can be pretty depressing. So they decided she would be better off having a cochlear implant which would allow her to hear. Obviously Jo had the operation and then she had to wait for two months basically for the scaring... before they could actually turn it on to find out if it worked or not. And then we were counting down the days for the hearing aids to be switched on. [Nurse during actual hearing test] I'm going to say the months of the year: January, February, March, April, May, June, July, August, September, August, October, November, December. Could you hear those words? [Joanne during the actual hearing test] Yes! [Joanne] Every single hair stood up on my body, tingling going throughout my body. The family was just bouncing off the walls, bouncing off the ceiling. It was sheer, incredibly, incredibly emotional hearing for the first time. [Nurse during actual hearing test] Can you hear my voice coming through both sides? [Joanne during actual hearing test] Yes! You sound very high. [Nurse during actual hearing test] It will sound high pitched at first. Your brain will readjust it for you. It won't always sound that way. [Joanne during actual hearing test] [Crying and says something unitelligible.] [Nurse during actual hearing test] It's life changing day to day. [Joanna] And I remember the doctor saying there's a chance I might be able to hear music. So when I began to discuss that with friends and family, it was amazing how it became such a debate. And everybody was recommending a song. And the it got a little bit like overwhelming and there were far too many songs to choose from. Then I can remember saying to Tremayne [that] it would be lovely to be able to streamline it onto some kind of CD. [Tremayne] I was lucky enough to asked be Jo if I'd put a playlist together of just songs that I thought she would like or that I thought she needed to listen to. And so I did a playlist of one song from every year of her life from basically her birth in 1974 all the way up to the present day. And 1978 was obviously Mr. Blue Sky. It's totally uplifting. I mean, you've got to tap your feet. You can't sit still to it. Everybody knows it. And it's of those song that when you hear it, you just smile. [Joanne] Then I heard music for the first time. Again, it was very emotional. I always thought I had a very good idea about music. I would always be able to get up and dance on the floor due to the vibration. But it showed that I knew absolutely nothing. And I can always remember when I heard music for the first time, it was probably, out of everything, it would bring emotion, to bring memory, to bring feeling. It was incredible, really. Mr. Blue Sky on the playlist is actually the fifth song. So I can remember when I was going through the first, second, third song, it was very, very emotional. But when I got to Mr. Blue Sky there was something about the song that made me want to get on my feet and start dancing. It was like a feel good song. Out of the whole playlist, that is probably the song that reminds me of the: I'm going to enjoy this; I'm going to enjoy having music in my life now. And the words were very [bitter?] with what I was going through, because it was just like a new start. It was like a new life that was waiting for me. [Tremayne] It's completely transformed her life now. She loves to listen to music. So we like nothing better than to go out in the car and have the windows down and put it on. She's not quite up to singing along yet, but we're getting there. [laughs] Of course, that's [unintelligible] she could go, but I'll do that properly. I'll do that tomorrow, but all we can do is keep dancing, I suppose."
    Tremayne Crossley & Joanne Milne (November 24, 2015 - Soul Music on BBC Radio 4)

    "And while there’s nothing [on Alone In the Universe] with the sheer immediate catchiness of his best known hits, such as Mr Blue Sky, Telephone Line and Last Train To London, there are more than a few potential earworms."
    Colm O'Hare (November 27, 2015 - Hot Press)

    "The most annoying Grammy Awards tradition is the tag-team performance of a classic artist with a modern artist – almost everybody looks awkward, and the results are rarely revelatory. Last year’s ceremony found Lynne reigniting ELO with a medley of Evil Woman and Mr. Blue Sky, the latter assisted by... Ed Sheeran. But not even that odd pairing could derail the Out Of The Blue masterpiece, which remains the sonic equivalent of a double rainbow. Lynne bogged the track deep into that double-LP, as the finale of his 'Concerto For A Rainy Day' suite. But it functions best as a stand-alone art-pop epic, a sort of engorged Penny Lane – built on stomping pianos, manic cowbell (credited as a 'fire extinguisher'), and an octave-spanning choral vocal arrangement."
    Ryan Reed (January 7, 2016 - Stereogum online magazine article entitled 'The 10 Best ELO Songs')

    "Mr. Blue Sky (1977): I suppose this is my most well-known song. Everybody tells me something different about it. It's even got crazy appeal to kids since it's like a nursery rhyme. I remember writing the words down. I was at a chalet in the mountains of Switzerland and it was all misty and cloudy all the way around. I didn't see any countryside for the first four days or so, and then everything cleared and there was this enormous view forever and the sky was blue. By this point, we were playing stadiums. I think the biggest crowed was 83,000. It was fun, but kind of scary as well. I'd think, 'I hope the Beatles are on afterwards — otherwise we're gonna get murdered.' The concerts were horrible. I couldn't hear the strings, and half the time you had to turn them off because they used to run around while they played them. I was reluctant to become a real rock star. I was shy and was always told to not get a big head. And my favorite thing in the world was to work 14 hours a day in the studio. Everything else was peripheral to me, like having the record out and promoting it. I did have a big house, but I didn't do rock-star things. I never saw myself like that. I was a songwriter, singer and producer. Rock stars are different. They dress all flashy and hang out in nightclubs. That just wasn't my priority. I liked to spend my spare moments at the pub."
    Jeff Lynne (January 21, 2016 - Rolling Stone article entitled: 'ELO's Jeff Lynne: My Life in 15 Songs')

    "[Out Of The Blue's] side three was turned over to the four-song, 19-minute 'Concerto for a Rainy Day', the most cohesive attempt at a pop symphony of his career. Everyone bawls along to Mr Blue Sky like a pissed-up Pavarotti these days, but the three less clement song sections were vastly superior."
    Mark Beaumont (March 30, 2016 - The Guardian)

    "When I wrote Mr. Blue Sky I remember sitting in the mastering room—or the cutting room as it was called then—and thinking, 'I’m not sure about that one.' So you never really know. I probably would have second-guessed some of my bigger songs, but the schedule back then was so intense that it didn’t allow for that, so the songs usually dropped out of my sweaty hands."
    Jeff Lynne (March, 2016 - Alone In The Universe 2016 tourbook)

    "There were hit singles aplenty: Livin' Thing, Telephone Line, Sweet Talking Woman [sic] and his own anthem Mr. Blue Sky kept the chart compilers busy."
    Mark Magill (April 2, 2016 - Southport Visitor)

    "Mega hit Mr. Blue Sky is something of an anthem for Blues fans."
    Matt Cannon (April 15, 2016 - Birmingham Mail)

    "The weather [at the Swiss chalet] was crap for the first couple of weeks. I didn't come up with anything [for the Out Of The Blue album] and I was down the pub all the time, this nice little tavern in the village. Finally the weather cleared and that's what gave me the idea for the words to Mr. Blue Sky. Inspiration could come at any moment. And it did, frequently."
    Jeff Lynne (April 2016 - Prog magazine)

    "Paul McCartney, [Lynne] says, ribs him about basing ELO on The Beatles. 'He says to me, Mr. Blue Sky, I know where you got that riff from. He thinks the soaring strings and rhythm of the song were based on The Beatles' A Day In The Life."
    Unknown (June, 2016 - TV & Satellite Week)

    "Ask a friend what their favorite two or three ELO songs are and invariably they’ll include Mr. Blue Sky. It’s understandable because the cheerful song could well be considered by most fans as the group’s masterpiece. Just don’t go looking for it on the list of the band’s Top 15 highest-charting singles in the U.S. Because it’s not there. It’s not because it wasn’t released as a single. It was. The song was the follow-up to the #13 hit Turn to Stone from 1977’s double-album Out of the Blue. But in Best Classic Bands‘ story 'Signature Songs That Weren’t Chart Hits,' we note that Mr. Blue Sky inexplicably topped out at #35 on the Billboard Hot 100."
    Unknown (November 2016 - Best Classic Bands website)

    "It was Lynne’s genius – illustrated in songs such as Mr. Blue Sky, Livin’ Thing and Evil Woman – that led Manic Street Preachers frontman James Dean Bradfield to proclaim: 'ELO are better than The Beatles!' And even Jeff Lynne never dreamed he’d hear that. [...] Inspiration came to him on the first sunny morning, when, as he later recalled, 'The mountains were lit up, and I came up with Mr. Blue Sky.' A mini-symphony in itself, Mr. Blue Sky was the touchtone for an album on which Lynne gave full rein to his ambitions:"
    Paul Elliott (December 19, 2016 - Teamrock.com)

    Mr. Blue Sky (Edited UK Single Version)
    The difference between this version and the Out Of The Blue version is that the sound of the tuning radio at the beginning is missing. Pretty minor difference, but it does seem to turn up on a lot of compilations.

    Mr. Blue Sky (Edited USA Single Version)
    The difference between this version and the Out Of The Blue version is that the sound of the tuning radio at the beginning is missing and the entire orchestra/choir ending is cut. It is believed (but unconfirmed) that Jeff Lynne once stated that the orchestra/choir ending was never meant to be a part of the song, Mr. Blue Sky, but rather as an ending to the Concerto For A Rainy Day.

    Mr. Blue Sky (Edited USA Mono Single Version)
    This is a mono version of the USA single version of Mr. Blue Sky.

    Mr. Blue Sky (Edited Video Version)
    The differences between this version and the original Out Of The Blue version are numerous with most of the edits, which are all quite brutally done, being on the ending coda of the song. It cuts completely the first vocal part of the bridge ("Hey there mister blue", etc.). On the album version, just before the song slows down is the choir "ba ba ba ba ba ba" bits repeated twice, however on the video version the last half of the first part and first have of the second part are cut. The ending coda is severely chopped up. Once the new beat starts, the choral section is cut altogether (meaning it goes from the piano and drum part straight to the orchestral and choral section, skipping the middle choral part). On the album version, just at the end the orchestra plays the "big wheels, keep turning" melody, then goes into a long orchestra before the "please turn me over" vocoder. Everything between the "big wheels" section and the vocoder is cut.

    Mr. Blue Sky (Edited Flashback Version)
    This version is the same as the standard Out Of The Blue album version, but the short rain sounds at the beginning, before the radio tuning sound, has been completely edited out.

    Mr. Blue Sky (Wembley - June 1978)
    "Strangely enough, Mr. Blue Sky is one occasion when it might have been a good idea to use backing tapes. They only appear for the choir segment towards the end of the song, and the comparitive abscence of their 'safety net' makes the band attempt to overcompensate by playing too hard, battering all the subtleties of the track into submission. And as for cutting the song before it's fantastic climax, well! Once again, the multiple images detract from the impact of the spectacular laser display."
    Andrew Whiteside (1990 - Face The Music fanzine #7)

    "Mr. Blue Sky was left out [of the Japanese concerts performed on the Out Of The Blue tour]. On [the Out Of The Blue] tour they used the most pre-recorded basic tapes on stage. For Standin' In The Rain, Turn To Stone, Mr. Blue Sky and Sweet Talkin' Woman, the group was accompanied by strings, choir, piano, backing vocals, co-lead vocals (!), guitars and synthesizer sounds from the album..."
    Patrik Guttenbacher, Marc Haines, & Alexander von Petersdorff (1996 Unexpected Messages)
    Editor's Note: It is now known that the use of backing tracks was not quite as extensive as described here.

    "To cater for the limitations of the original TV broadcast [of the 1978 Wembley concert], the 24 track live recording was mixed down to one mono track. During the mix down, more of a back-up 'backing' tape was pushed up into the mix on some of the then new Out Of The Blue songs than was actually used at the live show. [...] Mr. Blue Sky - [the backup tape] kicks in on the choir."
    Rob Caiger (March 30, 2002 - Showdown mailing list)

    "Mr. Blue Sky ([backup tapes were used for] complete song as back up, band playing and singing live)"
    Rob Caiger (July 20, 2003 - Showdown mailing list)

    Mr. Blue Sky (Stereo Remix Wembley - June 1978)

    Mr. Blue Sky (5.1 Mix Wembley - June 1978)

    ELO Hits Medley #1 (Time Tour)
    This song was performed as one long medley of ELO hits during the USA leg of the Time tour. All songs were performed only in part and tended to blend together. Songs include:

    • Showdown - First two verses, the first chorus, the guitar solo (with no string interlude), the third chorus and an instrumental ending.
    • Ma-Ma-Ma Belle - First two verses and choruses, before a descending guitar part segues into the next song. Kelly sings lead on the second verse parts.
    • Can't Get It Out Of My Head - First two verses, the first two choruses and the instrumental bridge.
    • Strange Magic - Guitar intro, a single chorus, and part of the repeated ending section.
    • Fire On High - One sequence of each of the main guitar riff sections.
    • Turn To Stone - Almost the full Out Of The Blue album version, but with the middle part of the song and the third chorus cut. It uses the first half of the second verse (ending with "still glow upon the wall so bright") and goes right to the last half of the third verse (starting with "through all I sit here and I wait"), thus cutting everything in between including the fast vocal bridge.
    • Standin' In The Rain - Piano intro, the orchestral "rainy day" part, and a few bits from the song's middle.
    • Mr. Blue Sky - Much of the Out Of The Blue album version, but cuts everything between the first chorus and the fifth verse ("Mister blue, you did it right"), then everything is cut after the fifth verse.
    • Sweet Talkin' Woman - Violin intro, first two verses and first two choruses and vocoder, followed by a repeat of the "I gotta get back to you" line before merging into the next song.
    • Shine A Little Love - Intro (not including the choral intro) and the verse two verses and choruses.
    • Last Train To London - Everything up to and including the first chorus with an instrumental bridge section added on at the end.
    • Confusion - First and third verses and choruses, but cuts all the CS-80 keyboard parts. The repeated ending is also included, but is greatly shortened.
    • Rockaria! - Almost the full A New World Record album version, but cuts the fourth verse ("now listen here baby she said to me...") is completely cut. The bridge is extended with a solo piano part and Kelly sings all the opera bits and the second verse.
    The UK and European performances were similar, but replaced Strange Magic with Wild West Hero and addedDo Ya between Confusion and Rockaria!.

    "But the evening built to the inevitable: a long, impeccably organized medley of ELO's greatest hits, from Can't Get It Out Of My Head on through their current smash, Hold On Tight."
    Ken Tucker (September 26, 1981 - concert review in the Herald Examiner)
    Editor's Note: The reviewer obviously got events mixed up as the medley did not start with Can't Get It Out Of My Head and although Hold On Tight was performed that night, it was certainly not part of the hits medley.

    "[The band] simply launch into a medley of almost a dozen hits, including Showdown, Strange Magic and Can't Get It Out Of My Head."
    Lennox Samuels (November 1981 - Milwaukee Sentinel)

    "[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)

    "In the USA they played Strange Magic instead of Wild West Hero [and] Do Ya as another encore in its full version. On Do Ya, by the way Jeff played the heaviest guitar riff he ever played on it."
    Patrik Guttenbacher, Marc Haines, & Alexander von Petersdorff (1996 Unexpected Messages)

    ELO Hits Medley #2 (Time Tour)
    This song was performed as one long medley of ELO hits during the UK and European leg of the Time tour. All songs were performed only in part and tended to blend together. Songs include:

    • Showdown - First two verses, the first chorus, the guitar solo (with no string interlude), the third chorus and an instrumental ending.
    • Ma-Ma-Ma Belle - First two verses and choruses, before a descending guitar part segues into the next song. Kelly sings lead on the second verse parts.
    • Can't Get It Out Of My Head - First two verses, the first two choruses and the instrumental bridge.
    • Wild West Hero - Acappella section ("ride the range..." to "...wish I could be") and the long "wish I was a Wild West Hero" section that ends the song.
    • Fire On High - One sequence of each of the main guitar riff sections.
    • Turn To Stone - Almost the full Out Of The Blue album version, but with the middle part of the song and the third chorus cut. It uses the first half of the second verse (ending with "still glow upon the wall so bright") and goes right to the last half of the third verse (starting with "through all I sit here and I wait"), thus cutting everything in between including the fast vocal bridge.
    • Standin' In The Rain - Piano intro, the orchestral "rainy day" part, and a few bits from the song's middle.
    • Mr. Blue Sky - Much of the Out Of The Blue album version, but cuts everything between the first chorus and the fifth verse ("Mister blue, you did it right"), then everything is cut after the fifth verse.
    • Sweet Talkin' Woman - Violin intro, first two verses and first two choruses and vocoder, followed by a repeat of the "I gotta get back to you" line before merging into the next song.
    • Shine A Little Love - Intro (not including the choral intro) and the verse two verses and choruses.
    • Last Train To London - Everything up to and including the first chorus with an instrumental bridge section added on at the end.
    • Confusion - First and third verses and choruses, but cuts all the CS-80 keyboard parts. The repeated ending is also included, but is greatly shortened.
    • Do Ya - First verse and chorus with an extended guitar intro at the beginning.
    • Rockaria! - Almost the full A New World Record album version, but cuts the fourth verse ("now listen here baby she said to me...") is completely cut. The bridge is extended with a solo piano part and Kelly sings all the opera bits and the second verse.
    The USA performances were similar, but Strange Magic was replaced with Wild West Hero and Do Ya was not included in the medley as it was played in full later in the show..

    "[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)

    "In the USA they played Strange Magic instead of Wild West Hero [and] Do Ya as another encore in its full version. On Do Ya, by the way Jeff played the heaviest guitar riff he ever played on it."
    Patrik Guttenbacher, Marc Haines, & Alexander von Petersdorff (1996 Unexpected Messages)

    Mr. Blue Sky (Heartbeat 86, March 15 1986)

    Mr. Blue Sky (Balance Of Power Tour)

    Mr. Blue Sky (VH1 Storytellers, April 20, 2001)

    Mr. Blue Sky (Los Angeles, May 2001)

    Mr. Blue Sky (5.1 Mix - Los Angeles, May 2001)

    Mr. Blue Sky (VW Beetle Ad Version)
    This song was used as part of the 2002/2003 ad campaign for the 2003 Volkswagon convertible Beetle. It's a newly recorded version by Jeff Lynne, with what sounds like Rosie Vela on background vocals. According to the company that made the ad, Arnold Communications, it's a Jeff Lynne, rather than Electric Light Orchestra song. This is backed up by comments from Craig Fruin, Jeff Lynne's manager, who also says that it's a completely new recording, using none of the original 1977 track.

    "Things are looking up for Electric Light Orchestra, whose Mr. Blue Sky is used to promote the convertible Volkswagen Beetle."
    Author Unknown (November 22, 2002 - Entertainment Weekly)

    "Things are looking up for Mr. Blue Sky. The 1977 ELO hit had faded from view over the years, overshadowed by more enduring Jeff Lynne standards like Don't Bring Me Down. But that all changed when the song showed up in recent TV commercials for the new Volkswagen Beetle convertible (for which Lynne completely rerecorded the tune) and for the film Adaptation. And now Scottish indie band the Delgados have cooked up a killer cover of the track as a B side on their latest single. Perhaps the once-reviled ELO are headed for a critical reevaluation. 'We like to find songs that people really loved when they were younger, before they got too focused on what's cool or not cool' says Arnold Advertising's Alan Pafenbach, who oversaw the VW spot. 'I think this is one of those great songs. It really is a great piece of music. Sometimes it's better not to be so cool'. But why is 'sky' suddenly everywhere all at once? Mere coincidence, apparently. Asked about the VW ad, Delgados singer Emma Pollock pleads ignorance: 'Oh are they doing that over there? That's great. I hope they (air the Mr. Blue Sky commercial) in Britain. Maybe we can get them to use our version.'"
    Rob Brunner (February 21, 2003 - Entertainment Weekly)

    "Q: What's that retro-sounding song in the Beetle convertible ads? A: It's Mr. Blue Sky, a 1977 Electric Light Orchestra song that the band's founder, Jeff Lynne, rerecorded for the commercial. 'We thought it would be cool to introduce ELO to a new generation and at the same time reconnect the band with their fans from the first time around,' says a Volkswagen rep. Mr. Blue Sky has made something of a comeback this year: [The original version] was also used in the trailer for the film Adaptation."
    Author Unknown (February 23, 2003 - US Weekly)

    "ELO songs are featured in current TV programmes, film soundtracks and ad campaigns throughout the UK and USA: Mr. Blue Sky for Volkswagen's new VW Beetle TV ad campaign (reported in the press as: 'Beetle convertible makes ELO cool')..."
    Author Unknown (March 31, 2003 - website only expanded liner notes for ELO 2 remaster CD)

    "[My most recent creative coup was] convincing Jeff Lynne from ELO to redo Mr. Blue Sky for Bubble Boy. He just liked the commercial. A lot of artists are sensitive about what you're going to do [with their music], but we've had good luck. We do spots that aren't embarrassing. [We chose that song because] it had the right structure, and it was a song that people kind of knew, but it wasn't a big hit. When it's not as well-known, it blends with the commercial better."
    Alan Pafenbach (April 14, 2003 - Adweek)

    "Over the past few years, Volkswagen's made some of the best ads on television. ...There was the epic Mr. Blue Sky spot, which explored the monotonous life of an office worker with the help of some jumpy edits and an unearthed pop gem from ELO."
    Seth Stevenson (February 22, 2005 - MSN article At VW, There Are Bad Ads and Good Ads)

    Mr. Blue Sky (Solo Version)
    This version, taken from the JetBlue Airways website as part of their 2008 advertising campaign, is the same reworking of Mr. Blue Sky as the 2002/2003 Volkswagen convertible Beetle, however, some minor enhancement has been done to the song. It's really quite difficult to know exactly what was enhanced because at best, the song using in the Beetle ads only used an incomplete 60 second edit of the song. The song was used additionally in ads for Sears (2007), Guinness (2008) and All Nippon Airlines (2008), all in varying edits and many with voice-overs that obscured the song. Finally, thanks to the 2008 JetBlue "Happy Jetting" ad campaign, the full recording of the song became available on their website. Comparing the full version taken from the Jet Blue website to the 60 second Beetle version, it's clear that it's the same performance, but with additional twiddly bits and some backing vocals remixed. This new version was also officially released in 2012 on the Mr. Blue Sky The Very Best Of Electric Light Orchestra compilation, but with some enhancement. Immediately obvious is in the opening line where Jeff sings "the sun is shining in the sky" on the opening line, but edits off the opening "the" for the 2012 version.

    "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)

    "That [Mr. Blue Sky The Very Best Of Electric Light Orchestra album] started out because I really wanted to see if I could get Mr. Blue Sky (the song) better, because I used to hear it on the radio... actually all my songs that are on there, I used to listen and go, 'Wow, that's not quite how I meant it.' So I tried Mr. Blue Sky to see what it would be like to re-record one and finish it and make it into a brand new record, and I enjoyed the results of that so much that I tried another one and another one..."
    Jeff Lynne (September 26, 2012 - Billboard website)

    "The first [ELO re-recording] I tried out was Mr. Blue Sky, just to have the experience, to see if I could do it again. I mean, I have a studio – why not have a go at it? I did an A/B with the two versions. On the older one, I sound like I'm about 12 years old! [Laughs] And on the new one, I'm... 64! [Laughs] But that's why I did it, just to see what it'd be like. I played it for lots of people, and they said, 'Well, you should have a go at another one.' That's when I did Evil Woman and Strange Magic – then I was hooked. I had to do more."
    Jeff Lynne (October 3, 2012 - Musicradar website)

    "I actually did think [Mr. Blue Sky] was good when I did it. And then like lately, the last few years, I've listened to it, it's come on the radio and I've thought, 'Hang on, I though it was better than that.' Because, it's just some of the sounds on there are a bit wooly, y'know, and it's a bit covered in clothes. And I wanted it to be... have more clarity and wanted it to be... more punch, y'know, and to just come out more at it. And it was always just a bit [mumbles to demonstrate how it sounded muffled]. I polished it up. [...] I'm not going to change it again for another 25 years. [Laughs]"
    Jeff Lynne (October 5, 2012 - BBC Breakfast)

    "They're all new. It's brand new. Each track is totally brand new. All the instruments... every single instrument you hear, I play all the instruments and do all the background vocals. And it's brand new. I just did it, now. [I did it] because I used to hear it on the radio if I was in the car and it'd come on and I'd go, 'I thought it was much better than that.' I really did. And it started to bug me, y'know, and then I'd start playing them and saying 'Oh, yeah, I remember them.' And it was such a long time ago that I made them that I've had like 30 years more experience as a producer since then. And now I can do much better than I could then. And so I thought I'm going to give this another go. And so I tried Mr. Blue Sky to start with."
    Jeff Lynne (October 5, 2012 - Steve Wright In The Afternoon BBC Radio)

    "Well, to be honest, I've always had this secret desire to be a one man band. I've always loved... I've learned all the instruments, y'know, I've learned them all as I've gone along like bass, piano, drums... I just love playing everything, really. I enjoy each one as much as the other. And so it was just a shame to waste all these things I'd learned. And so I decided to try to do-- to re-do Mr. Blue Sky was the first one I thought of doing. I thought I wonder what that would sound like now if I recorded it now having had another 35 years practice at producing. And so I gave it a try and I just did it with... started with a click [track], built it up totally from scratch to make a brand new record of it. And I played it to my manager, Craig, and he said, 'Wow! That sounds so much better. I love it. Have a go at some other ones.' And so I did Strange Magic and Evil Woman, to try it. That's how we got started. And suddenly I thought, 'Hang on, I do enjoy these better now, the sound of them.' Before they sounded a little bit tired and a little bit wooly. And I know what the reason is for it because... it's because of the way I used to record them. I used to want too many tracks, you know. I'd always want more tracks, more tracks, give me more tracks. I need another six tracks for this. I want to put these harmonies on. And then I'd bounce them down and put them into the master. And the master discs were worn out, going over and over and over it. The master becomes, like, kinda saturated and a bit fragmented so they become a lot of hiss. And it becomes soft and there's not much punch to it. So that's what I decided to do, to try and make them sound how I would have liked to have sounded then."
    Jeff Lynne (October 29, 2012 - Deep Tracks SiriusXM radio show)

    "The first song I tried [remaking] was Mr. Blue Sky. I just did it on an impulse and it turned out really well."
    Jeff Lynne (October 2012 - Jeff Lynne: A Blast from The Past on Classic Rock Revisited website)

    "I used to listen to them on the radio, my old ELO records, and go 'Oh wow, it's not quite as good as I thought it was.' It's not that it's bad – it just doesn't quite sound the way that I thought it did when I originally recorded them. Since then I've had many more years – like 30 more years – experience so I thought I'd try re-recording Mr. Blue Sky to start with, just to see what I could get it to sound like. And I was very pleased with the results. I played it for my manager and he said, 'Oh wow, it sounds so much better. Why don't you try another one and see how you get on?' I did Evil Woman and Strange Magic and they came out really well, crisp and clear. That's what I was looking for. The old ones, not that they're bad – I still like them very much – but they got a bit wooly in places, just sort of not punchy enough."
    Jeff Lynne (October 9, 2012 - The All Music Blog website)

    "For the last few years, I've heard [the ELO songs] on the radio, I've been driving or whatever or just tuning through, and I go, 'Mmm... Mr. Blue Sky, I thought it was better than that.' [laughs] And I was sort of bothered by the wooliness of the sound and the lacking in punch a bit. And I didn't particularly like the way the vocals sounded. And I decided to rerecord it, to make it from scratch, like with just from a click and then build it up, layer it up, all on me own. You, know, play all the instruments like I did on Long Wave. And I played it to me manager and he said, 'Wow! That sounds much better.' And, y'know, and I think it really does. And he said, 'Why don't you try another one.' And I tried Evil Woman and that came out really good, punchy and tight and with lots of clarity. That's what was lacking on the old ones in my opinion. But I still like the old ones, but I'm always disappointed in the sound of 'em. [...] I suppose Mr. Blue Sky is me favorite one I've written [of the rerecorded ELO songs] and I like the sound of it much better than I did."
    Jeff Lynne (October 14, 2012 - Absolute Radio)

    "There's always something to pick fault in [the old recordings] you know. So I thought, I'm going to do Mr. Blue Sky again just to see what it sounds like now after 30 years of more practice at producing. And so I just put a click down and start building it up. I play all the instruments meself, 'cause I love doing that. I love being able to be a one man band, that's one of me favorite things in the world. I played it to Craig [Fruin, my manager]. I finished it. [He said,] 'Wow, that's pretty good.' And he said, 'It sounds much better. Try another one and see how you get on.' I tried Evil Woman. And then I tried Strange Magic. And they all sounded better."
    Jeff Lynne (2012 October 18 - Smooth Radio interview)

    "Lynne even had mixed feelings when the original Mr. Blue Sky track was played at the Olympic opening and closing ceremonies."
    Simon Copeland (October 19, 2012 - The Sun)
    Editor's Note: This statement contains two factual errors. First, Mr. Blue Sky was played at the 2012 Olympic opening ceremonies only, not the closing ceremonies. Second, the version played was not the original version, but the new "solo" version recorded by Jeff Lynne in the 2000s

    "I listened to [my ELO songs] on the radio and I go, 'I dunno, it's a bit wooly, that. It's wooly sounding. There's no clarity, and that's what I was looking for.' So I went into my studio and I started on Mr. Blue Sky. I finished it as this brand new version and I played it for my manager Craig and he said, 'Wow, that's fantastic, it's much better. Why don't you try some more,' and so I did. I tried Evil Woman and Strange Magic and they came out really good, too--bright and full with nice punchy bottom end. I'm very, very pleased with them and I'm really glad that I did it because now they exist in the world in a much better form than they were before."
    Jeff Lynne (October 21, 2012 - The Huffington Post)

    "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)

    "I heard Mr. Blue Sky playing once, and I thought, 'I thought it was better than that.' But it obviously wasn't, not the way I had always heard it in my head. So I started with that one, to see what it would be like. I played it for my manager and a lot of other people, and they all went, 'Whoa, you should do more.' So I tried Evil Woman, and then I tried Strange Magic. And I thought, 'Just keep going, then.' And I enjoyed doing them."
    Jeff Lynne (November 1, 2012 - Mix online magazine)

    "When I used to hear those songs on the radio, I'd go, 'Fuck, that ain't right-- I thought it was better than that!' So I tried Mr. Blue Sky as an experiment, to see if I could get it better. And I found that I could."
    Keith Cameron (November 2012 - MOJO magazine)

    "I was listening to the songs on the radio, or sometimes I would play a record or a CD. And after the past 25 years or so of being a producer, I started hearing them differently and thought, 'Hmm, they're not as good as I thought they were. They don't sound the way I thought they did when I did them in the first place.' I thought, 'I'll just have a go at Mr. Blue Sky, see if I can get it any better, and try again from scratch. I started out with a click, recorded Mr. Blue Sky from scratch in analog, and then ran it through ProTools. And after we mixed it, I compared the two. The new one was so much better; it has so much more clarity and punch. And I'm singing much better than I did the first time around because my voice is a bit deeper than when I first sang these songs. I prefer the sound of it now. It's a bit warmer, and I think that's a big improvement."
    Jeff Lynne (December 25, 2012 - Sound+Vision magazine (online))

    "It was the way they sounded when I heard them on the radio over the last few years. I've been getting more and more critical of them and going like, 'Oh, it sounds a bit weird, that.' It sounds like a sock over the microphone or something. It sounds dull and not much punch to it. And I thought I'm gonna have a redo one, just to see what it sounds like. And so I tried Mr. Blue Sky to see how that would work, 'cause that was probably the hardest one, I thought it would be the hardest one to recreate. And I did it and it wasn't very hard to do. It was very simple because obviously I wrote it and I played it on stage for years. And I found... I played it to me manager and he said, 'Wow! That sounds fantastic! Try another one.' I did Evil Woman and Strange Magic as well, right away, after that, 'cause I was so pleased with the way they sounded. And they sounded not dull, they sounded punchy, they sounded... they had lots of clarity and they had focus and presence. And that's what I was after that was missing on the old ones."
    Jeff Lynne (2012 November 30 - The Adam Carolla Show)

    "I've had 30 years more as a producer and I'd like to have another go at them 'cause I don't think I did justice to the [the] first time 'round. So I started off with Mr. Blue Sky itself, the song. I tried it out, to see what would happen now, thirty five years later... how I would approach it, how it would work. And I played it to my manager and he said, 'Wow, that sounds so much better than the old one.' And everybody else seemed to be very pleased with them too, so we said 'make an album.' [...] I didn't do the double ending there 'cause that was part of a suite when I originally did it. And it didn't really make sense to me to not be part of that suite. I listen to it and I look at it like I do in my kinda perfectionist look at it, and there isn't really a duff bit in there. There's not a bad bit. All the song really works. It joins together properly and it becomes like a complete, unified thing and I don't go, 'oh, I wish I hadn't put that bit in or had done this there.' I actually go, 'that's how it is and it's okay.'"
    Jeff Lynne (December 31, 2012 - Top 2000 a gogo)

    "Now I've had 30 years more experience and technology is 30 years ahead. So I tried doing Mr. Blue Sky again and it sounded so much better. Then I did Evil Woman, Strange Magic, and I ended up doing 17 of them again, but we got it down to 12 for the album."
    Jeff Lynne (December 2012 - Classic Rock magazine)

    "I tried to re-doing Mr. Blue Sky first, making it from scratch. It came out really good..."
    Jeff Lynne (December 2012 - Record Collector magazine)

    "But I do remember listening to Mr. Blue Sky on the radio, and I thought, 'You know, this doesn't sound like I thought it did when I made it.' I've thought this many times about those old ELO records, but this time around I thought, 'You know what? I could have ago at this and re-record some of the ELO tracks.' So I started doing that, working on one song, Mr. Blue Sky, and had it finished and played it for a few people. I said, 'I think it's much better than the original version; what do you think?' and they all agreed and felt it was much better. Then Craig (Fruin), my manager, said, 'Try another one and see how you get on with that.' I tried another one, which was Evil Woman, and that turned out really well. I played that around to people and asked what they thought, and they agreed it was better. Who'd have thunk it?"
    Jeff Lynne (January 2013 - Goldmine magazine)

    "You see, sometimes I'd play the songs as home, and they didn't sound like I thought they sounded when I first recorded them. So I decided to redo Mr. Blue Sky to see if I could improve it. My manager heard it and said, 'Oh, that sounds much better. Why don't you try some of the others?' So I did. To be a one-man band is really what I always wanted."
    Jeff Lynne (January 2013 - Guitar Player)

    "For his guitar parts on Mr. Blue Sky, Lynne employed his 1974 Gibson goldtop Les Paul (which he has owned since it was brand new), a Fender Vibroverb amp, and an unidentified boost pedal. ('No big, complicated stuff going on there,' he says.) Effects were often added using the same gear employed on the original tracks."
    Michael Molenda (January 2013 - Guitar Player)

    "They don't sound the way I thought they did when I did them in the first place. I thought, 'I'll just have a go at Mr. Blue Sky,' see if I can get it any better, and try again from scratch. I started out with a click, recorded Mr. Blue Sky from scratch on analog, and then ran it through ProTools. And after we mixed it, I compared the two. The new one was so much better; it had so much more clarity and punch. And I'm singing much better than I did the first time around because my voice is a bit deeper than when I first sang these songs. I prefer the sound of it now. It's a bit warmed, and In think that a big improvement."
    Jeff Lynne (2013 January - Sound + Vision magazine, Vol 78, No. 1)

    Mr. Blue Sky (Hammersmith Apollo - November 12, 2013)
    This was the closing song of the Children In Need Rocks show. This is actually the first time ever that Jeff has played live the Concerto For A Rainy Day coda as part of Mr. Blue Sky.

    "Another special guest, Jeff Lynne of Electric Light Orchestra, concluded the concert with Mr Blue Sky [sic]..."
    Hugh Morris (2013 November 13 - The Telegraph)

    "And the Take That star [Gary Barlow], 42, also joined ELO great Jeff Lynne, 65, and Gareth Malone's choir for a show-stopping Mr Blue Sky [sic]."
    James Cabooter (2013 November 13 - Daily Star)

    "James [Newby], whose previous choral groups included Leicester Cathedral Choir and the Wigston Male Voice Choir, belted out the ELO classic, Mr Blue Sky [sic], with the song's composer Jeff Lynne and X Factor judge Gary Barlow."
    Peter Warzynski (2013 November 15 - Leicester Mercury)

    Mr. Blue Sky (Encore) (Hammersmith Apollo - November 12, 2013)
    The song Mr. Blue Sky closed the Children In Need Rocks show. It proved to be so popular that the crowd demanded an encore. Lacking any other song to play, the band simply played Mr. Blue Sky again. This encore performance was not part of the broadcast and remains unreleased at this time.

    "Another special guest, Jeff Lynne of Electric Light Orchestra, concluded the concert with Mr Blue Sky [sic] only for Chris Evans to enthusiastically call for more. A few sheepish looks later and the band launched into Mr Blue Sky-- again. Clearly, an encore was not on Lynne's schedule, but nobody in the audience cared."
    Hugh Morris (2013 November 13 - The Telegraph)

    Mr. Blue Sky (Hyde Park - September 14, 2014)
    "Lynne, as retiring as anyone could be while planted in front of a stageful of churning activity, is plainly unprepared for the school-disco joy that greets the night's biggest barnstormers, Livin' Thing and Mr Blue Sky."
    Caroline Sullivan (2014 September 15 - The Guardian Hyde Park performance review)

    "Turn To Stone, Don't Bring Me Down and signature tune Mr. Blue Sky went down a storm..."
    Adrian Caffrey (2014 September 15 - Birmingham Mail Hyde Park performance review)

    "...towering versions of Livin' Thing, Strange Magic, Mr Blue Sky (it sounded just fine in the dark) and a headspinning Sweet Talkin' Woman hammered home Lynne's claims for greatness again and again. How could anyone have possibly regarded these majestic heart-tuggers as naff?"
    John Aizlewood (2014 September 15 - London Evening Standard Hyde Park performance review)

    "Mr. Blue Sky concluded the main part of the set..."
    Unknown (2014 September 15 - New Musical Express Hyde Park performance review)

    "Mr Blue Sky must be the song in rock history which feels the most like a No.1 without having been a No.1. With its episodic structure and heavy classical overtones, you imagine it as a monolithic 70s chart-topper on a par with Bohemian Rhapsody, but-- incredibly-- it only reached No.6. No matter, it's as close to a signature tune as ELO have got, and it's the logical way to end the show."
    Simon Price (2014 September 16 - The Quietus Hyde Park performance review entitled The Jesus Of Uncool Has Risen: ELO Live)

    "From Can't Get it Out of My Head and Sweet Talkin' Woman to Don't Bring Me Down and Rock 'n' Roll is King-- from Mr. Blue Sky to Strange Magic-- these are the sounds that have stuck in the collective consciousness for decades and still live as breathing objects. This was a reverberating chunk of the Festival in a Day, a living thing that will last a lifetime, for evermore."
    Alan Haber (2014 September 16 - Pure Pop Radio Hyde Park performance review)

    "The audience [at Hyde Park] is with Lynne all the way. You can hear them singing along from the very first song and occasionally letting out screams of joy as they recognize what's to come, as they do when the band begins Mr. Blue Sky. And Lynne was clearly very happy to be there."
    Unknown (2015 September 10 - Examiner.com website in Live In Hyde Park review)

    "Tandy (whom Lynne calls 'my great pal... of 42 years') appears to be having a grand time, comfortably recreating his familiar synth solos (Turn to Stone), elegant piano passages (Telephone Line), and talk-box sound effects (Mr. Blue Sky)."
    Unknown (2015 September 15 - Examiner.com)

    "By the time Lynne, ELO and the BBC Concert Orchestra conclude with Mr. Blue Sky, one can appreciate how these songs have withstood the test of time."
    Kit O'Toole (2015 September 26 - Something Else! website review of Live In Hyde Park)

    "The DVD closes with a strong performance of Mr. Blue Sky that finds the band recreating the song's many parts perfectly."
    General Jabbo (2015 September 29 - Blinded By Sound website review of Live In Hyde Park)

    "Live In Hyde Park ends triumphantly with Mr. Blue Sky, deservedly considered ELO's signature tune."
    Greg Brodsky (September 2015 - Best Classic Bands website)

    Evil Woman/Mr. Blue Sky (Los Angeles - February 8, 2015) (with Ed Sheeran)
    This is a curious arrangement, combining as a medley, the songs Evil Woman and Mr. Blue Sky. This was probably done for maximum exposure to the songs in a short amount of time. For the performance, the band performs the beginning of Evil Woman, including the first verse and chorus, then goes directly into the final chorus and the song end. This connects directly to the start of Mr. Blue Sky, when Ed Sheeran walks on stage and joins in. The performance of Mr. Blue Sky is also shortened with Jeff singing the first verse, Ed singing the second verse, then them singing in harmony for the first chorus (and the rest of the song). This connects to the guitar solo, then the third verse, another chorus and the choral ending. There is no vocoder included at all.

    "Jeff Lynne's ELO will perform with Ed Sheeran Sunday as part of an all-star moment with Herbie Hancock, John Mayer and The Roots' Questlove at the 57th Grammy Awards Sunday (CBS, 8 pmpm ET/tape delayed PT)."
    Brian Mansfield (February 4 2015 - USA Today)
    Editor's Note: This awkwardly written sentence makes it sound as if ELO was to perform with Herbie Hancock and the others. This is not the case as ELO performed with Ed Sheeran only.

    "Here's a supergroup we never knew we needed: Ed Sheeran with Jeff Lynne's Electric Light Orchestra at the 2015 Grammys. After Sheeran's bluesy Thinking Out Loud -- which paired the UK singer-songwriter with guitarist John Mayer, jazz legend Herbie Hancock and The Roots/Tonight Show drummer Questlove -- he joined the classic rock group for one of their signature hits. But before that, Lynne's ELO performed a bit of Evil Woman on their own. Paul McCartney was clearly delighted to have a vintage hit at the Grammys -- the live feed captured him singing and clapping until he realized he was on camera and sheepishly sat down. After that, Sheeran joined ELO for the immortal Mr. Blue Sky. With Lynne and Sheeran trading vocals on the transcendent epic, it was a throwback Grammy moment that truly worked."
    Joe Lynch (February 8 2015 - Billboard)

    "Jeff Lynne's recently revived Electric Light Orchestra played the Grammys, indoor sunglasses and all, where they pulled out a couple of their Seventies Top 40 hits: the piano-rocking 1975 single Evil Woman and 1978 tune Mr. Blue Sky. The performance took place just after Ed Sheeran's mega-collaboration, and the redhead, who was born more than two decades after ELO formed, came out to play acoustic guitar and sing on the latter song. Paul McCartney stood up, clapped and sang along with Evil Woman until he was spotted by a camera and sat down. Taylor Swift and the Haim sisters danced with their arms in the air, as Nicole Kidman tried to get husband Keith Urban into dancing to Mr. Blue Sky. Beyoncι also got into the 'Blue Sky' mood, standing up to watch the show. [...] The singer-songwriter first reported that he would be doing a duet with Lynne and ELO on Wednesday, followed by the announcement of a 'solo performance' planned with Herbie Hancock, Questlove and John Mayer. Two days later, it was announced that ELO would also be a part of the performance."
    Kory Grow (February 8 2015 - Rolling Stone)

    "Jeff Lynne was joined by legacy Electric Light Orchestra member Richard Tandy for energetic renditions of Evil Woman and Mr. Blue Sky tonight on the 57th annual Grammy Awards. The appearance is part of a sudden resurgence for Lynne, who hadn't performed on stage with ELO in some 30 years before last year's concert at London's Hyde Park. That followed 2012's Long Wave, his first solo album since 1990. Lynne has also been overseeing reissues of Electric Light Orchestra albums over the last few years, with the promise of new music on the horizon. Paul McCartney, with whom Lynne worked in the '90s, leapt up to clap along during tonight's set. Lynne was part of 2014's Grammy tribute to the Beatles, as well. Pop star Ed Sheeran joined in on rhythm guitar. Earlier in the broadcast, Lynne's pal George Harrison was recognized by Smokey Robinson and Nile Rodgers for earning a Lifetime Achievement Award. Lynne produced both Harrison's 1987 comeback album Cloud Nine, as well as his posthumous 2002 project Brainwashed."
    Nick DeRiso (February 8 2015 - Ultimate Classic Rock)

    "Jeff Lynne, who revived his Electric Light Orchestra (albeit in name only), delivered two great songs with an assist from Ed Sheeran. Front-row attendee Paul McCartney was having himself quite the time during Evil Woman, and was having a one-man dance party."
    Michael Christopher (February 12 2015 - Delaware County Daily Times)

    "One performance [at the 57th Grammy Awards] that stood out was Electric Light Orchestra's. It was clear the band's music still appeals to the current generation, and Sam Smith's Stay with Me is cut from the same cloth, so much so that Smith was forced to give credit to ELO's Jeff Lynne and Lynne's frequent collaborator, Tom Petty, songwriting credit for the song because of Stay With Me and I Won't Back Down's similarities."
    Thom Jennings (February 13 2015 - Niagara Gazette)

    "A subsequent performance [at the 57th Grammys ceremony] by Jeff Lynne singing Evil Woman, a hit for his band Electric Light Orchestra (ELO) back in 1975 was prophetic given the lyrics: 'Ha, ha, woman, what you gonna do, you destroyed all the virtues that the Lord gave you. It's so good that you're feelin' pain, but you better get your face on board the very next train.' Sheeran and Lynne then performed the ELO hit song, Mr. Blue Sky which continued the prophecy: 'And don't you know, it's a beautiful new day.'"
    Robert Morrison (February 22 2015 - Bucks County Courier Times)

    "Lynne had a featured spot on this year's Grammy telecast, where he joined Ed Sheeran for runs through Evil Woman and Mr. Blue Sky, with the latter song later named the 'most Shazamed' song of the kudocast. 'It's probably the second (live televised performance) I've ever done in my life, or something ridiculous like that', Lynne notes."
    Bruce Pilato (April 23, 2015 - Variety)

    "Lynne performed with Ed Sheeran at the 57th annual Grammy Awards at Staples Center in February, giving a performance that prompted McCartney and Taylor Swift to dance in the aisles."
    Unknown (April 23, 2015 - Westside Today)

    "Earlier this year Lynne performed Evil Woman and Mr. Blue Sky at the Grammys."
    Jessica Goodman (September 24, 2015 - Entertainment Weekly)

    "At February's Grammy Awards, ELO's performance of Mr. Blue Sky with the British singer Ed Sheeran scored that night's biggest reaction among users of Shazam, the popular music-discovery app."
    Mikael Wood (October 31 2015 - L.A. Times)

    "They stole the Grammy Awards back in February-- who can forget the sight of Beyoncι up on her feet, clapping along to Mr. Blue Sky (even if Jay Z was sitting down)? Or Paul McCartney dancing in the aisle until a pesky cameraman shame him back into his seat?"
    Rob Sheffield (November 21 2015 - Rolling Stone)

    "One of the more memorable sights at the last Grammy Awards ceremony was Paul McCartney dancing in the aisles while Lynne and company retraced some iconic ELO hits."
    Lee Zimmerman (December 1, 2015 - Elmore magazine)

    "The most annoying Grammy Awards tradition is the tag-team performance of a classic artist with a modern artist – almost everybody looks awkward, and the results are rarely revelatory. Last year’s ceremony found Lynne reigniting ELO with a medley of Evil Woman and Mr. Blue Sky, the latter assisted by... Ed Sheeran."
    Ryan Reed (January 7, 2016 - Stereogum online magazine article entitled 'The 10 Best ELO Songs')

    "It was a two-song performance at the 2015 Grammy Awards (where Ed Sheeran glowingly introduced and later joined Lynne onstage) that served as confirmation. When the camera panned into the crowd, there were Paul McCartney, Ryan Adams, Jamie Foxx, Taylor Swift and Keith Urban bobbing their heads, dancing or enthusiastically singing along — proving once and for all that ELO’s fan base and influence transcend generations and genres."
    Michael Christopher (November 10, 2016 - Ultimate Classic Rock online magazine)

    Mr. Blue Sky (Porchester Hall - November 9, 2015)

    Mr. Blue Sky (BBC Radio Theatre - November 12, 2015)

    Mr. Blue Sky (Royal Variety Performance - November 13, 2015)
    "The only standing ovation [at the 2015 Royal Variety Performance] is reserved – and rightly so – for Jeff Lynne's ELO and their joyful, idiosyncratic anthem, Mr Blue Sky."
    Paul Vale (2015 November 14 - The Stage)

    Mr. Blue Sky (CBS This Morning - November 17, 2015)

    Mr. Blue Sky (The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon - November 18, 2015)
    "Jeff Lynne's ELO stopped by The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon Wednesday to perform a pair of tracks, including a web-exclusive rendition of Electric Light Orchestra's 1977 hit, Mr. Blue Sky. Lynne and company delivered a faithful, spirited rendition of the jaunty Mr. Blue Sky, with the frontman showing off his guitar chops and still striking a delicate falsetto. Lynne's sizable band — which included a small string section — provided phenomenal support, with his back-up singers and instrumentalists conjuring an array of harmonies and his keyboardist delivering the track's delightful talk box hook."
    Jon Blistein (November 19 2015 - Rolling Stone)

    "Jeff Lynne's ELO performed a pair of tracks for The Tonight Show starring Jimmy Fallon on Wednesday, including the band's 1977 hit Mr. Blue Sky and video of the his performance has gone online. The group played When I Was A Boy from their newly released album Alone In The Universe on the broadcast and the classic tune [Mr. Blue Sky] as a web exclusive."
    Bruce Henne (November 19 2015 - hennemusic.com)

    Mr. Blue Sky (Irving Plaza - November 20, 2015)

    Mr. Blue Sky (Jimmy Kimmel Live - November 22, 2015)
    "They ended with Mr. Blue Sky and said goodbye to an overjoyed audience."
    Andrew Bansal (November 25, 2015 - metalassault.com)

    Mr. Blue Sky (Fonda Theatre - November 24, 2015)
    "While only keyboard player Richard Tandy remains in the band from its glory days, he’s the most crucial after Lynne, his piano solos in songs such as Don’t Bring Me Down and vocal effects on others such as Mr. Blue Sky important parts of those pieces. [...] Other highlights of the set included... most of all the final pairing of Telephone Line, its opening segment as lovely as ever, and Mr. Blue Sky, with those wonderful melodies, counterpoints and key changes thrilling to see and hear in person."
    Peter Larsen (November 25, 2015 - The Orange County Register)

    Mr. Blue Sky (Alone In The Universe Tour 2016)
    "And there are precious few groups who can close a show with a triple-whammy to equal Don’t Bring Me Down, Sweet Talkin’ Woman and Mr. Blue Sky. Here’s hoping Jeff Lynne is back for good this time round."
    Rob Hughes (2016 April 11 - Telegraph review of April 10, 2016 concert)

    "The set culminated in the ultimate heatwave anthem Mr Blue Sky, before a riotous encore of Chuck Berry’s Roll Over Beethoven."
    Simon Jenkins (2016 April 11 - Yorkshire Evening Post review of April 9, 2016 concert)

    "Projecting the emblem of Birmingham City FC on to the stage during [Mr. Blue Sky] was a nice touch."
    Roz Laws (2016 April 16 - Birmingham Mail review of April 16, 2016 concert)

    "There's no doubting that the performances of the string-laden Livin Thing, the operatic influenced Rockaria, Sweet Talkin Woman, the delicious Telephone Line, the foot stomping rock of Don't Bring Me Down and the crowd and radio favourite Mr. Blue Sky will especially linger long in the memory."
    Anthony Loman (2016 April 19 - The Westmorland Gazette review of April 10, 2016 concert)

    "It was the closing four tracks, though – Turn to Stone, Don’t Bring Me Down, Sweet Talkin’ Woman, and Mr Blue Sky – that really sent shivers up the spine. Unsurprisingly, they also brought the house down. "
    Russ Coffey (2016 April 21 - theartdesk.com review of April 20, 2016 concert)

    "To finish the show they had reserved the best until last, a perfect rendition of Mr Blue Sky which if they were not already on their feet by this time had all the rest of the audience up there and clapping along. "
    Claire Lomax (2016 April 22 - Ilkley Gazette review of April 9, 2016 concert)

    "The new stuff fits in the cannon nicely, and as Mr Blue Sky closes the set, even the grey haired rocker who looks a bit cool for this kind of show raises his head and howls with joy like a wolf."
    Jon Falcone (2016 April 29 - Drowned In Sound review of Unidentified concert)

    "As lights and audience wave and dance in unison and the band close out with Mr Blue Sky and Roll Over Beethoven, Lynne stands surveying it all, this otherworldly magic that the music has created. For tonight, ELO is pure joy distilled into notes, and rhythms, and lights – 'we’re so pleased to be with you/ look around, see what you do/ everybody smiles at you'. Never have a band’s lyrics summed up their own gig so well."
    Jess Worsdale (2016 May 8 - GoldenPlec review of May 7, 2016 concert)

    "These songs are blatant and hopelessly romantic – a man in love with the world, a caustic cynic could never write something as enormously big hearted as Mr. Blue Sky. When it bounces into life there is that surge in energy, the tremulous feeling like the tipping point of a raging inferno, people clamber to their feet to hug each other, staring open mouthed with pure unrivalled joy at hearing a classic come to life right in front of them. There on the stage with rolling images of the most summery of skies passing by behind him Lynne becomes a pop David Hockney, a man with sunshine in his pocket that paints over the grey skies of reality. When Jeff Lynne takes you travelling through his sonic solar system it’s a journey you wish would never end. "
    Jennifer Gannon (2016 May 10 - State magazine review of May 7, 2016 concert)

    "[Lynne] may be a lifelong Birmingham City fan-- the club's crest is projected onto the floor of the stage during the inevitable finale of Mr. Blue Sky-- but Jeff Lynne is far too nice to mention any of it."
    Keith Cameron (May 24, 2016 - MOJO review of April Birmingham show)

    "The same cannot be said however of Mr Blue Sky. Classic is an overused word but this breezy and uplifting five minutes and six seconds has to be one of the best piece's of pop music this country has ever produced."
    Chris Slater (2016 June 23 - Manchester Evening News review of June 22, 2016 concert)

    "But these minor quibbles were forgotten when the pounding bassline of signature tune Mr Blue Sky kicked in. For five glorious minutes, the uplifting classic blew away our concerns about Britain’s economy. The song has become an anthem for Birmingham City and a Blues badge was projected on to the stage, which must have pleased the watching Trevor Francis and Jasper Carrott, both friends of Jeff."
    Adrian Caffery (2016 June 25 - Birmingham Mail review of June 24, 2016 concert)

    "As Mr Blue Sky makes an appearance, you wonder if the clouds above the Pyramid might take the hint and part, but they stay stubbornly in place. No matter, the communal sing-song that follows is enough to lift anyone’s spirits."
    Gwilym Mumford (2016 June 26 - The Guardian review of June 26, 2016 concert)

    "Earlier on the main Pyramid stage, Jeff Lynne's ELO, formed in the same year Glastonbury started, had taken the festival's 4 p.m. 'legend slot' amid pouring rain. Their hit Mr Blue Sky seemed a little misplaced."
    Jemima Kelly (2016 June 27 - Reuters review of June 26, 2016 concert)

    "A well-attended greatest hits set by Jeff Lynne’s ELO at the Pyramid delights in a softer way, with Jeff’s thumbs-aloft good humour and songs like Livin’ Thing and Mr. Blue Sky making up for the unique discomfort of being rained on while sunburnt."
    Ian Harrison (2016 June 30 - MOJO review of June 26, 2016 concert)

    "Jeff Lynne's ELO were playing on the Pyramid Stage by the time we'd finally made our way to the music stages, the finest point coming during the overwhelmingly ironic performance of Mr. Blue Sky that still prompted a mass singalong despite it absolutely pissing down."
    Jack Davies (2016 July 13 - Nouse review of June 26, 2016 concert)

    "Out of the Blue mega hit Mr. Blue Sky is a playful ode to finding happiness in spite of dreary weather (or circumstances), concluding the set proper in joyful reverie."
    Raymond Flotat (September 10, 2016 - mxdwn.com review of September 9, 2016 show)

    "The final run of the night packed the biggest and hardest rocking numbers of all: Turn To Stone and Don’t Bring Me Down two of the biggest, before Mr. Blue Sky, all lush and lovely harmonies, wrapped up the main set."
    Peter Larsen (September 10, 2016 - The Orange County Register review of September 9, 2016 show)

    "When original ELO keyboardist Richard Tandy's robot-synthesized voice saluted Mr. Blue Sky during the jubilant curio of the same name, the crowd might have been Close Encounters of the Third Kind witnesses watching a spaceship land."
    Randall Roberts (September 10, 2016 - Los Angeles Times review of September 9, 2016 show)

    !@#!@#"From a sheer joy standpoint nothing could top the infectious energy of Mr. Blue Sky, just one of the great upbeat pop songs ever penned. The song closed out the main portion of the show..."
    Steve Baltin (September 11, 2016 - Forbes review of September 10, 2016 show)

    "The band saved many of its best tunes for last, soaring through Turn to Stone, Sweet Talkin’ Woman and Mr. Blue Sky at the end of the main set."
    Jim Harrinton (September 12, 2016 - Mercury News review of September 10, 2016 show)

    Mr. Blue Sky (Rock 'n' Roll Hall Of Fame - April 7, 2017)

    Mr. Blue Sky (Wembley Stadium - June 24, 2017)

    This page is intended to be a complete record of information on the Electric Light Orchestra song Mr. Blue Sky. If you notice any errors or omissions, please contact me at jefflynnesongs@gmail.com and let me know. I strive for accuracy.

    Robert Porter
    May 2018