Jeff Lynne - Lift Me Up [Single/Album Version]Details

This song was used to promote the 1991 film, Shout, being featured in some of the trailers, but not in the film or on the film's soundtrack release.

"Meanwhile, a song off [Armchair Theatre] has found a new lease on life on a soundtrack. Lift Me Up has been heavily featured as part of the new, erm, Travolta movie, Shout."
Andrew Whiteside (1992 - Face The Music fanzine #10)

"And then, of course, there's Armchair Theatre, which got off to a slow start in the U.S. Lynne hopes the album will get a boost from its second single, Lift Me Up. But if it doesn't, he insists he won't be crushed. 'My whole life doesn't depend on it doing well,' he says."
James Henke (1990 - Rolling Stone article entitled The Second Coming of Jeff Lynne)

"I just try to write an 'up' song, instead of a 'down' one. It's so easy to write doom songs. Jolly ones are very hard to write because they become smug almost. Y'know, like, 'How come you're so happy, y'bastard.' Y'know what I mean? It's... it's one of them. If people don't really relate to it... I think, if they're positive, though, and not smug and... and they are saying something that is like 'let's have a good time, it's okay, y'know. No need to be depressed and all that.' I think then, it's good. There was an inspiration [for Lift Me Up]. There must have been... Maybe it's 'cause I was feeling so happy to be doing a solo album after not even imagining I'd ever do one. And working with all these guys really helped me in lots of ways and gave me a lot more confidence. It was actually in France where I wrote the song. I was in me shed, where I got me keyboard and, uh, and a little two watt amplifier. All I had was just the phrase, 'lift me up' y'know, and a little three note thing. I was in Cannes, but I wasn't at the film festival, I was just having holiday actually, but working. Up in the mountains, beyond the coast, y'know, about ten miles inland with is [the] real nice part. And, um, I wrote about half a dozen tunes there. It's because of George that I ever got to sing Indian music, really. I'd been to see Ravi Shankar a few times. And, uh, this one day there was an opera in England, an Indian opera with an Indian orchestra, Ravi Shankar's orchestra. And, at the same concert with these percussion players and I had four of 'em come to me house in the kitchen, playing this, uh, Indian percussion. Sounded fantastic. East meets west, uh, and the other way around."
Jeff Lynne (June 23, 1990 - Timothy White's Rock Stars: Jeff Lynne's Musical Chairs)

"There it is again, the power of the chords. Y'know, the way you structure chords, it sort of... Just before the chorus comes, it's like this cliffhanger where it goes to a minor seventh flat fifth which is quite a little cluster. And it leaves you dangling over the edge and then it comes back into the major key which the chorus is in. And that's where... And the bass note is in the root note. It's like a third. And the third goes up to the next major. And that's where it all blossoms out because it's sort of a relief 'cause you've been hanging on this rather tense little chord. And then the chorus starts and it all opens up like a... like a little blossom."
Jeff Lynne (June 25, 1990 - Off The Record radio show with Mary Turner)

"And then, of course, there's Armchair Theatre, which got off to a slow start in the U.S. Lynne hopes the album will get a boost from its second single, Lift Me Up. But if it doesn't, he insists he won't be crushed."
John Mendelsohn (October 4, 1990 - Rolling Stone #588)

"Only Lift Me Up, with its piercing guest solo by Harrison, ascends to an empyrean untrammeled by wearers of paisley vests, or undisturbed by the echo from the predictably unpredictable covers of September Song and Stormy Weather. "
Alfred Soto (October 25, 2005 - Stylus online magazine's On Second Thought article)

"Lift Me Up must surely be another candidate for single release, and possibly the best of the lot. Very ethereal, drifting in on typical Jeff Lynne guitar, and buoyed up on ebullient multi-layered vocal harmonies with a ridiculously stirring chorus, it's a surefire monster summer hit. Warners take note!"
Rob Caiger and Andrew Whiteside (1990 - Face The Music fanzine #7)

"...Jeff played... chair (!!!) on Lift Me Up... [...] The percussion section and the two singers from Ravi Shankar's band were featured on Now You're Gone, Every Little Thing, and Lift Me Up and gave those tracks a bit of an Indian feel."
Patrik Guttenbacher, Marc Haines, & Alexander von Petersdorff (1996 Unexpected Messages)

"[1990:] On Armchair Theatre, Jeff Lynne's first solo album, George appeared as guest artist on four of the eleven tracks-- he played acoustic guitar and backing vocals on Every Little Thing; slide guitar, acoustic guitar, harmony vocal and backing vocals on Lift Me Up; slide guitar and acoustic guitar on September Song; and slide guitar and acoustic guitar on Stormy Weather."
Bill Harry (2003 - The George Harrison Encyclopedia)

"I had [worked with classical Indian musicians] before [on Lift Me Up], previously on my album Armchair Theatre. I had probably eight Indian drummers. George conducted them for my in my house in England. We recorded them in the hall. It sounded fantastic. George really knew how it works, this technique called the tihai. Which is a... God knows how it works. I don't really. Somehow you count backwards and you end up finishing on the right note. And I don't know how to do it, but he could do it. Big, long strings of numbers and it all works out. I don't know. I've no idea how it works."
Jeff Lynne (November 1, 2012 - The Morton Report)

"Tracks like opener Every Little Thing, the AOR What Would It Take? [sic] the gorgeous melt-in-the-mouth melody of Lift Me Up and the plaintive eco-friendly song Save Me Now demand more attention than radio originally gave them."
Duncan Jamieson (March 2013 - Melodic Rock Fanzine #55)

"With gorgeous pop hits in Every Little Thing and Lift Me Up, the album was first released following the success of Lynne's work on George Harrison's Cloud Nine, Tom Petty's Full Moon Fever, and the debut record of the Traveling Wilburys, which Lynne was a member of along with Harrison, Petty, Bob Dylan and Roy Orbison."
David Chiu (April 3, 2013 - CBS News online)

"Lynne offered an eclectic set of original songs [including] the suitably uplifting follow-up [single] Lift Me Up..."
David Wild (April 2013 - liner notes for Armchair Theatre remaster)

"In the end, Armchair Theatre was sonically very much of a piece with the string of hits Lynne produced for other artists in the late ’80s and early ’90s, which made it something of a surprise that the album ultimately didn’t do very well on the charts, stalling at No. 83 in the U.S. while spinning off a pair of modest singles in Lift Me Up and Every Little Thing."
Jeff Giles (July 2, 2015 - Ultimate Classic Rock online magazine article)

"Lift Me Up, with its gurgling keyboard signature and curlicue guitar asides from Harrison, is a neat modernization of the Jeff Lynne aesthetic — part Beatles, part Dave Edmunds, part charming Tin Pan Alley hokum."
Nick DeRiso (July 6, 2015 - Something Else! website review)

"The [Armchair Theatre] album enjoyed modest success, as did two tracks released as singles, Every Little Thing and Lift Me Up."
John Van der Kiste (August 2015 - Jeff Lynne: Electric Light Orchestra - Before and After)

"[Lift Me Up:] The second British single but not a hit is a more ethereal number, with some attractive vocal harmonies and strong hook in the chorus. Lynne said that it was a deliberate attempt to write an 'up' song, instead of a 'down' one: 'Jolly ones are very hard to write because they become smug almost.'"
John Van der Kiste (July, 2017 - Electric Light Orchestra: Song By Song)

  • Running Time: 3:38
  • Record Date: 1990
  • Record Location: Raindirk at Posh Studios, Birmingham, UK (Jeff Lynne's home studio)
  • Written By: Jeff Lynne
  • Produced By: Jeff Lynne
  • Engineered By: Richard Dodd
  • Performed By: Jeff Lynne (vocals, keyboards, electric guitars, piano, bass, chair, background vocals, acoustic guitar), Mette Mathiesen (drums), George Harrison (slide guitar, harmony vocal, acoustic guitar, background vocals), Vikram A. Patil (percussion), Nellai D. Kanan (percussion), Fateh Singh Gamgamo(percussion), Sireesh K. Lalwani (percussion), Dave Morgan (background vocals), Richard Tandy (acoustic guitar), Phil Hatton (background vocals)

  • Released On:
    • Armchair Theatre LP album (1990 June 12 — USA — Reprise 9 26184-1)
    • Armchair Theatre CD album (1990 June 12 — USA — Reprise 9 26184-2)
    • Armchair Theatre LP album (1990 July 2 — UK — Reprise WX 347)
    • Armchair Theatre CD album (1990 July 2 — UK — Reprise 7599-26184-2)
    • Lift Me Up 7" single (1990 September — UK — Reprise 5439-19795-7)
    • Lift Me Up 12" single (1990 September — UK — Reprise W9795T)
    • Lift Me Up CD single (1990 September — UK — Reprise W9795CD)
    • Lift Me Up CD promo single (1990 September — USA — Reprise PRO-CD-4091)
    • Armchair Theatre CD album (2013 April 19 — Japan — Avalon MICP-30045)
    • Armchair Theatre CD album (2013 April 22 — Europe — Frontiers Records FR CD 597)
    • Armchair Theatre digital album (2013 April 22 — Europe — Frontiers Records ?)
    • Armchair Theatre CD album (2013 April 23 — USA — Frontiers Records FR CD 597)
    • Armchair Theatre digital album (2013 April 23 — USA — Frontiers Records ?)
    • Armchair Theatre LP album (2013 July 22 — UK — Let Them Eat Vinyl LETV098LP)
    • Armchair Theatre digital album (2018 January 12 — Worldwide — Legacy Recordings 886446781501)
    • Original Album Classics CD album (2018 September 14 — Europe — Sony 1 90758 81832 0)

  • Top UK Chart Position: - Did not chart
  • Top US Chart Position: - Did not chart
  • Cover Versions: Tom Jones on his The Lead And How To Swing It album (1994)
  • Used in the Film or TV Program:
    • Shout trailer only (1991)
    • Deuce Bigalow (1999)