Electric Light Orchestra - Livin' Thing [Single/Album Version]Details

Livin' Thing magazine ad
Livin' Thing magazine ad
Over the years, various people and organizations have reported that this is an anti-abortion song, wherein the "living thing" is the unborn baby. Jeff Lynne has repeatedly denied this, saying it's simply a song about love. The song was covered by Australian singer Christine Anu and used in a three year advertising campaign for the environment by the New South Wales Environment Protection Authority. A 30 second clip of the song was used in the summer of 2004 in promotions for the ABC television program Desperate Housewives.

"Livin' Thing (3:30); producer Jeff Lynne. writer J. Lynne. Publisher Unart, Jet BMI, United Artists XW 888 Y. The abrupt but irresistible thematic changes we have come to expect from ELO are present as dramatically as ever on its latest single instead of classical strains, the intro and middle fills have a sobbing Gypsy violin, while the song itself moves through a dark UK rock distillation into a soaring, ethereal chorale and a return to the minor key mode. ELO is riding its hottest singles streak ever and this one is hardly likely to break that streak."
Unknown (October 9, 1976 - Billboard)

"First U.K. releases from Jet under the new distribution deal include an ELO single, Livin' Thing, and an album, A New World Record, both of which are high on the U.S. charts. In"
Unknown (November 6, 1976 - Billboard)

"So Fine and Livin' Thing are each pop masterpieces. The former dreams up a utopia and features a delightful instrumental bridge. The latter has an absolutely irresistible hook; it's about the power of love."
Mike Taylor (November 19, 1976 - The Michigan Daily review of A New World Record)

"Lynne has always been rather deft with the melodic hook, and both Livin' Thing and So Fine are irresistable additions to his list of catchiest tunes."
Alan Niester (1976 December 16 - Rolling Stone review of A New World Record)

"The album has one obvious hit single, Livin' Thing which should be rocketing up the charts while the presses are rolling with this [Trouser Press] issue. It's not as horrible as Evil Woman, but there seems to be a definite pattern to the songs ELO has hits with. It has the androgynous choir on shrill backup vocals and a repetitive chorus, but it's fairly listenable anyway."
Joel Bellman (December 1976 - Trouser Press #17)

"[A New World Record yielded] two more hit 45's, Living Thing [sic] and Telephone Line..."
Unknown (May 1979 - Discovery press kit)

"When I first wrote the words and actually recorded them, um... When we finished the song I came back down to the studio the next day and I listened to 'em and I said, 'God, that's terrible!' So I got Mack to wipe all the vocals off, completely, and all the backing harmonies and everything. And I re-wrote the words there and then in the studio. Wrote 'em in about half an hour, a new set of words completely, a very different thing altogether. It was about Spain before, before, Livin' Thing was. It was about being on holiday in Spain, believe it or not."
Jeff Lynne (August 8, 1980 - The ELO Story radio show)

"Well, sometimes obviously you think, that is... Somebody will say a meaning for a song is totally wrong. Like... Like a song called Livin' Thing, which I wrote. There were so many different meanings for that. I mean, somebody said it was about abortion; somebody said it was about a whale. And it was about nothing in particular, it was just a song, y'know. [Laughs] Uh, just... I don't know [what it was about when I wrote it]. I don't know. No seriously, it was... uh... I wrote those words so quickly I don't know what it was about."
Jeff Lynne (1981 - Innerview with Jim Ladd)

"A lot of [my songs] get misconstrued, totally, k'know. They mean nothing like what you intend them to mean. 'Cause, we had a song called Livin' Thing once. And this is quite funny because, there were these two big, outrageous meanings of it. And like, we kept getting told this is what it meant... we read in the papers that this is what it meant. One said it was about abortion, which is nothing to do with abortion whatsoever. And the other one said it was about 'save the whales,' and it was nothing to do about whales. And another... a friend of mine thought it was about a dog. I just couldn't believe it, y'know. I thought, 'Good grief!' Um... It was just a song. And the funny thing was it was a lyric that I'd rushed in and done because I didn't like the words at the last minute. It was called... It was all about a Spanish holiday believe it or not, Livin' Thing. Do you remember that song? And, um, I hated the words and at the last minute, just before we're due to mix. So I rewrote these words ever so quick, and that was what became the hit. I suppose it's about love, really. Love being a living thing, k'know."
Jeff Lynne (March 31, 1986 - Startrak Profile: Electric Light Orchestra from Westwood One Radio Networks)

"Songs in the Showdown mould have been the mainstay, by and large, of ELO's subsequent career. There's Nobody's Child from Eldorado, Evil Woman of course (which is probably the song which bears the closest similarity to it), Livin' Thing, Last Train To London, Train Of Gold and now Sorrow About To Fall (which features exactly the same keyboards) - all of which have obviously benefitted from Showdown."
Andrew Whiteside (1987 - Face The Music fanzine #3)

"No doubt, on just hearing A New World Record, UNART [United Artists] executives must have rubbed their hands gleefully, and wondered which of the surefire hits they would release first. In the end, they plumped Livin' Thing (Jet UP 36184), which immediately gave ELO their biggest hit up to that point, reaching No. 4 and remaining in the charts for 3 months. The B-side was a full-length Fire On High. The label design was UNART's usual cream and brown, an improvement on Polydor's but still not much to look at. There was no picture sleeve (the last ELO single for 5 years not to feature one), and it's worth £2.25 today. UA showed a bit of imagination however, and also released a blu vinyl version of the single, the first time (in the UK) and ELO record had been so honoured, and this highly collectable pressing goes for £3.50-£4 today. Readers of record collecting magazines might occasionally see a coloured vinyl 12-inch of Livin' Thing up for sale. This is a one-sided US promotional only copy, and as such, is out of the scope of this article, but I mention it in passing. [...] So Fine's fade led (or rather, slid) into Livin' Thing, one of the band's anthems. It's hard to write critically of a song we all know so well, but listening to it again, one is struck by how Mik's expressive violin intro draws the listener into the song, only to be shaken out of our reverie by the crashing interruption of Poorboy-style driving acoustic guitars. The similarities to Eldorado don't end there, either. The cello plucks that punctuate the song at regular intervals are strongly reminiscent of Boy Blue, as is the trumpet that gives the track a Spanish flavour. This is hardly surpising, as the song's original lyrics were written about a holiday Jeff had in Spain. Perhaps realising this would hardly make enthralling listening, he changed them at the last mintute for the mysterious, image-laden words we know today (an American journalist thought the song was about abortion, and it's easy to see why, but we have Jeff on record as saying the lyrics are meaningless). Lyrics aside, the music is breathtaking, with the drama-laden verses thrown into an entirely more personal perspective by the line 'I'm taking a dive-- on the stage', a ghostly echo of 1971's Nellie Takes Her Bow, perhaps a subconscious comment on ELO's sudden rise to fame, and the changes it brought? Certainly, the line is underlined for our attention by the music cutting out at this point. The girl backup singers (making their last appearance on an ELO record) also get a slice of the action, adding to the inevitable sense of drama that surrounds the final chorus, with Louis's string hovering around the hook lines 'You took me-- higher and higher baby' like carrion, before swooping down for the killer conclusion."
Andrew Whiteside (1989 - Face The Music fanzine #6)
Editor's Note: The lyric of "on the stage" quoted here is incorrect, causing the author to take a strange meaning to the song.

Livin' Thing album sticker"Well Livin' Thing was probably... It's one of me favorites in a way because it was the first one that actually got played like stacks on the radio in England, y'know. When I was home... I was home this one time, staying at me mum and dad's house. And, every morning... I mean, it was getting played a lot, y'know. And it was the first time, really, we'd had any sort of... We'd had like these odd hits before, but this one seemed to be like much more popular than any... anything like that before. And I used to get woke up every morning. Me dad would put a... The radio'd be on and as soon as... and Livin' Thing was invariably on every morning, quite early on. And 'WALLUP!' up'd go this big radio [waking me up] and I'd be like, well... But it was great, I'd go, 'No great. It's getting played so much.' So that was a nice thing. It was the first time I ever realized that we were doing well in England. We'd done so well in America for like a few years before that, but not never in England. And this was like the turning point, was Livin' Thing. We got in the top five and, uh, it did really well and I was, y'know, pretty happy at that point."
Jeff Lynne (August 21, 1990 - Classic Albums radio interview by Roger Scott)

"The nearly maudlin Telephone Line and the driving Livin' Thing were chart-certified smashes."
Ira Robbins (1995 liner notes for Strange Magic: The Best Of Electric Light Orchestra)

"Mik's electric violin could be heard on the intro of Livin' Thing. This song originally had different lyrics about a Spanish holiday."
Patrik Guttenbacher, Marc Haines, & Alexander von Petersdorff (1996 Unexpected Messages)

"It was a very happy time for me, that [song Livin' Thing]. Because it was the first kind of big hit we had in England, like... finally taken notice of in England. I'd come back from America and I was staying with me parents, just like for the weekend. And, um, the moment I knew it was doing good was when I was woken up, 'cause I was upstairs in bed and me dad turned the radio full blast. And it was Livin' Thing, to wake me up, like ten o'clock in the morning. And that was great. It was really like him going, 'alright, you got a nice tune.' Y'know, and he was really thrilled for me. And, uh, so Livin' Thing was the first time I really thought we'd made it in England, at least."
Jeff Lynne (circa late 1990s or early 2000s - Off The Record interview with Uncle Joe Benson)

"Having handpicked 40-odd songs for the soundtrack to his pornland epic Boogie Nights, filmmaker Paul Thomas Anderson got nearly everything on his period-pop wish list. Only one songwriter asked to see the film before giving permission to use his tune: ELO-meister Jeff Lynne, whose Livin' Thing provides an It's alive! punchline to the scene where smut star Dirk Diggler (Mark Wahlberg) finally comes to terms with his... gift. 'Jeff said, I have two young daughters, and I have a problem with sex and violence in movies. Should I see this? So I screened it for him,' chuckles Anderson. At the climax, rather than fleeing, Lynne leapt up, fists raised, as ELO kicked in post-prosthesis. 'He said, I don't like sex and violence in movies, but this is the most brilliant f---in' movie ever!'"
Chris Willman (November 14, 1998 - Entertainment Weekly)

"Recently Lynne loved the use of Livin' Thing in [the film] Boogie Nights: 'I was a bit worried about the subject matter.' he recalls. 'I went to see the film with the director P.T. Anderson and it was so amazing. At the end, it sounds like the violin is coming out of the end of his enormous thingy.'"
David Wild (2000 liner notes for Flashback)
Editor's Note: The film Boogie Nights is about the porn film industry and the "enormous thingy" is the lead character's penis.

"So many people had so many views on what this song is about. It's actually about love, so there you have it."
Jeff Lynne (2000 - Flashback)

"What I think of Livin' Thing? I think it's good. It's one of many from that period, y'know. I wrote so many so quickly in that ELO period from about '74 to about '78. It was like a conveyer belt, really, y'know. I was just bangin' 'em out, y'know, really quickly. I'm very pleased with this one because I like the chords. And, I think the chords are real interesting because they go... There's one chord change that makes the whole song, that makes it work and if I hadn't found that it would never have been a song. I was looking for that for quite a while as you can imagine. Because once you're stuck the F minor there [strums guitar to demonstrate], where do you go? You can either go to C or you can go back to G, which is the obvious thing. But then suddenly it came to me this E minor. [Strums guitar to demonstrate.] And then keep going down. [Strums guitar to demonstrate.] And then down again [Strums guitar to demonstrate.] [Plays and sings small portion of Livin' Thing chorus.] It's sort of... the way sort of develops back to the C. I was really chuffed with that bit because that meant the song was gonna work, y'know, it was a catchy thing. I'll never forget, um, I was staying at me mom and dad's house for a few days, having a break. I was in bed fast asleep one morning. And I was woken up with this enormously loud Livin' Thing. Me dad, he whipped it up real loud, like this. He was pleased, y'know, that it was on and it was waking me up with this, with this one, it was going, y'know... [Plays and sings first verse and first chorus of Livin' Thing.] Anyway, like that it goes. That was another naughty bit there. Going... so after you've gone: [Sings and plays 'It's a livin' thing, it's a terrible thing to lose'] which was the unusual bit, y'know. Because going to the augmented there, I hadn't heard that done before, from that minor there [strums guitar] the D minor to the [strums guitar] G augmented. I was thrilled with that, y'know. 'whoa, I got a new chord change that I've never heard before.' Also, I mean, the actual basic chords that... It's two relative minors in one swoop. So it's going like... [Strums guitar to demonstrate.] You got your C to A minor. [Strums guitar to demonstrate.] Then you got your A flat. [Strums guitar to demonstrate.] And another relative minor in a different key. [Strums guitar to demonstrate.] So that was cheeky. It was good. And now it [unitelligible] won the day, 'cause I got nowhere to go after that, so as soon as I found the E minor it was a real treat. And, uh, I've got it then. Once you got back at the end... [Sings and plays small portion of Livin' Thing chorus.] That's all it is really. It's very simple."
Jeff Lynne (2000 - BBC website from unaired interview by Des Burkinshaw)

"Livin' Thing was ELO's first UK top 5 hit single in December 1976 and helped pave the way for UK album success. "
Author Unknown (March 31, 2003 - website only expanded liner notes for ELO 2 remaster CD)

"A New World Record was a creative high point with the orchestral stomp of Livin' Thing which became a staple of AM radio..."
Jaan Uhelszki (April 1, 2003 liner notes for The Essential Electric Light Orchestra)

"On a Friday afternoon [in 1976] Dino Lapis from UA Records called Artisan Sound, where I worked at the time, and said that ELO needed to master their new album (New World Record) [sic] but needed to do a vocal overdub first. Artisan Sound had just finished its second mastering room and was in the process of building a mix-down room. But it wasn't finished yet. Bob MacLeod, owner of Artisan, suggested doing the overdub to two track and splicing just the overdubbed sections back into the original master. Jeff Lynne actually preferred this idea to re-mixing, as he was quite happy with his original mix overall. So on Saturday morning Jeff Lynne came into Artisan and sang the vocals for the lines in Livin' Thing 'I'm takin' a dive' and 'I'm takin', I'm takin'' and Bob MacLeod recorded the 'micro' session. This is how it was done: Jeff Lynne listened to his original mix with headphones. The mix was played back through 2 line inputs,panned hard left and right,on a portable Electrodyne mixer and a Neumann U-87 mic was plugged into a mic input panned to center. The output of the mixer fed a second Studer A-80 two-track recorder. Jeff's voice along with original mix were fed to the new tape. When finished, just the sections with the added vocal were spliced back into the original mix. Clever eh? It was a little more difficult than it sounds. Also, getting the level of Jeff's voice right in the mix took a few trial passes, but if I recall correctly, I think he did the actual take of each line in one pass. ...Two or three at most. Bob and I both worked on the mastering. I cut all the final lacquers, and there were lots! ...Maybe 16 sets for the US and the world."
Kevin Gray (July 30, 2003 - Steve Hoffman Music Forums (http://www.stevehoffman.tv/forums/showthread.php?t=19248&highlight=kevin+world+record))

"[Roy Wood] was just as pleased Jeff had Livin' Thing in the [Boogie Nights] film as well [as The Move's Feel Too Good]..."
Rob Caiger (December 18, 2003 - Useless Information mailing list)

"Well Livin' Thing is simply a love song. Everybody would always say, 'Oh, that's about the whale.' And then, 'Oh, it's about orgasms or it's about... whatever.' Y'know, all lots of different things that it wasn't really about at all."
Jeff Lynne (July 5, 2005 - Face The Music: The Story of the Electric Light Orchestra BBC 2 Radio show)

"Livin' Thing [is a] syrup-thick prog-pop that most music production courses could educate its students for a year off."
Dom Passantino (October 24, 2005 - Stylus online magazine)

"And I especially loved the hit single from [A New World Record], Livin' Thing, its hooks grabbing my young ears with ease. One Saturday afternoon, I was playing the album in our basement on the big stereo rig and my mother came down and encountered me bopping out to the diddy over and over again as she did some laundry. The song features a slow, rather melodramatic breakdown featuring a solo violin and an echoing, disembodied Jeff Lynne crying, 'I'm taking a dive...' After about the fourth time through the track, my mother, on her way back upstairs, stopped and asked me: 'Do you know what he's singing about there?' Of course I didn't— symbolism and slang was largely beyond me at that point— and so I answered 'No.' And so she told me: 'He's talking about killing himself.' And suddenly, the world stopped spinning. What?!? He's talking about WHAT?!?! I could hardly believe it, but I knew she wasn't lying. It was just such a shock to me that people talked about such things in songs. I had no idea that these songs didn't all just express the pure joy that my young, naive self got from them all. "
Todd Hutlock (October 25, 2005 - Stylus online magazine's Soulseeking article)

"Livin' Thing, for instance, has an indelible verse melody and a bouncy gospel-inspired chorus. It's hard to ruin songwriting this good, but Lynne comes close when he inserts disruptive sitar-inspired interludes. The song clocks in at almost six minutes— cut in half and blessed with a leaner setup and we're working with an all-time AM radio killer. The machine-gun strings that power the chorus of Livin' Thing actually rock a little... "
Andrew Gaerig (October 27, 2005 - Stylus online magazine's On First Listen article)

"'I got a whole lotta lovin' for you is the message Fats Domino belts out for Kohl's gift cards, but JCPenney has bumped that up a notch with the distinctive sounds of Electric Light Orchestra's Livin' Thing. It's a giving thing, this holiday season, or so they'd have you believe."
Bob Baird (December 6, 2005 - The Journal News)

"[Livin' Thing is] oossibly their finest moment, and the epitome of everything that made ELO such a lush, listenable, upbeat, radio-friendly band. The production is pure Jeff Lynne, with layers of guitars,swirling backing vocals, plucked strings, and that rich, crackly, utterly distinctive drum sound, while the song itself brims with emotion."
David Cheal (December 8, 2005 - The Daily Telegraph)

"There's this ELO song that I had no idea about. The Thrills have been trying to get me into ELO ever since I first hung out with them. And then I'm with my friend driving to LA and he puts this song on from his iPod, Livin' Thing. It blew my mind. I put it on repeat the whole night for that drive. It's this song that somehow captures a feeling of sheer elation. The record company was paying for us to stay at this place in Beverly Hills, nicer than any place we've ever seen. We arrive there, the valet opens the door, and... I couldn't help it, I jumped out and started dancing, singing (sings) 'It's a livin' thing!', right there in the lobby of this swanky place. I just couldn't help it. It just does that to you.""
Brandon Flowers (January 2006 - Mojo - The Magazine)

"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 - these ["Spanish Holiday" vocals] were just working, guide vocal ideas, long gone."
Rob Caiger (April 9, 2006 - Showdown mailing list)

"But there was hope in the form of Jeff Lynne. 'It's a livin' thing/It's a terrible thing to lose/ It's a given thing/What a terrible thing to lose,' sang the Electric Light Orchestra. It earned him millions and became embedded into our brains to the extent it has been voted the top musical guilty pleasure by Q Magazine."
Mark Brown (August 2, 2006 - The Guardian)

"Livin' Thing received blanket airplay in the U.K. over the Christmas period, became ELO's first U.K. top 5 hit single and resulted in another silver award in recognition of 250,000 copies sold. Most recently used in the movie Boogie Nights, it caused much debate in the media at the time as to what the song was really about. Over to the songwriter... Jeff Lynne: 'Livin' Thing is simply a love song. Everybody would always say, oh, that's about the whale or it's about orgasms, or it's about whatever, lots of different things. It wasn't really about that at all. It was just about love.'"
Rob Caiger (September 11 2006 - A New World Record remaster liner notes)

"Jeff Lynne's blueprint for world domination: And so to the most pleasurable of all the guilty pleasures. Until Livin' Thing, the super-commercial, super-poppy singles act that was the Electric Light Orchestra hadn't had a Top 5 hit. They had dabbled in pub rock (the unspeakable Roll Over Beethoven), prog rock (the slightly superior Evil Woman), and the hitherto and subsequently forgotten genre of EuroBeatles on Ma-Ma-Ma Belle. Then came this slab of multi-layered gorgeousness which set out Jeff Lynne's vision for the future. That vision - the sound of unashamed optimism - earned him millions and eventually relaunched George Harrison and Tom Petty, but at its nascent stage, it was Livin' Thing. Number 1 here simply because it remains ever-wonderful to the ear: from the gloriously bonkers introduction to its flamenco guitar. ELO may never be fashionable, but in terms of sheer aural elation, this one song betters more revered bands' entire back catalogues. Best Bit: The intro's crazed violins and thudding piano suggest great things to come."
Author Unknown (September, 2006 - Q Magazine Sep 2006)

"[A New World Record features] Beatles blasts like Livin' Thing and Telephone Line..."
Jon Dolan (October 2006 - Spin magazine)

"ELO came back stronger than ever in fall 1976, as Living Thing [sic] made the top 20 and proclaimed the arrival of A New World Record with its jukebox-styled embossed cover logo that has been the bands symbol for 30 years."
Rock Cesario (October 16, 2006 - The Daily Sentinal (Grand Junction, Colorado))

"And the entire planet seemed to love Telephone Line, Rockaria!, Livin' Thing and Do Ya. [...] All the above became solid ELO songbook entries."
Lindsay Planer (November 6, 2006 - MusicTAP On The Third Day, Face The Music and A New World Record remaster review)

"...in September this year Livin' Thing topped a Q magazine list of uncool tracks it's OK to like."
Paul Lester (November 11, 2006 - The Scotsman)

"[A New World Record] features the hit's [sic] Livin' Thing, Telephone Line, and Lynne's best straight-ahead rock song Do Ya' [sic]."
Barry Nothstine (2006 - The Phantom Tollbooth On The Third Day, Face The Music and A New World Record remaster review)

"True fact: If you start your day with Livin' Thing, nothing bad can happen to you."
Sean Daly (January 21, 2007 - St. Petersburg Times)

"Livin' Thing, possibly, in some interpreters' eyes, the catchiest antiabortion anthem ever, is so reminiscent for me of car rides home from my grandparents house, that it can't serve as anything other than nostalgia. [...] It's hard to imagine what it would have been like in 1976 to plop A New World Record on a turntable and listen straight through, without knowing of all the times in the future you would hear Livin' Thing."
Rob Horning (2007 February 16 - On The Third Day, Face The Music and A New World Record reissue review on popmatters.com)

"Featuring the hits Telephone Line, Livin' Thing and a hit remake of the Move's Do Ya, [A New World Record] put ELO in the big leagues once and for all."
Scott Homewood (2007 February 2 - On The Third Day, Face The Music and A New World Record reissue review on cdreviews.com)

"ELO's finest singles may have appeared on the two prior albums (can you argue with Evil Woman or Livin' Thing?)..."
Rob Mitchum (March 1 2007 - Pitchfork Media Out Of The Blue remaster review)

"There was one instance where, in Boogie Nights, they've got a scene at the end when he's got his giant willy out. But it looks as though my music is coming out the end of his cock! And it's like, 'can I hear something?' and it goes [mimics opening tune of Livin' Thing. And so I had to go see it because I had two young girls, they were very young at the time, and I was embarrassed for them in case they thought, 'You dirty old sod. What are you doing playing that stuff, y'know, porno music?' And I was embarrassed for them, so I went to go see it and it wasn't bad at all. It was actually a wonderful film. And I loved it and I just said, 'Please have the song. Don't take it out now, whatever you do.' I mean, don't pull it out now, sorry. [Laughs]"
Jeff Lynne (April 24, 2009 - live interview at the ASCAP Expo 2009)

"It was one of those drunken nights at Frank Skarth-Haley's place in Erdington in 1978. Yes Frank4, mad as a hatter and twice as sweet, plied me with flatteries and scotch and I was a willing participant in the empire of dreams that he ruled. Frank was some kind of recording executive with a spread of wisdom that began as tittle-tattle and grew to genius status as I viewed his world from the bottom of my whiskey glass. It was at Frank's that I first heard Jeff. I mean really heard what he'd been doing. I was just blown away. Frank put on an ELO record and against a liquid haze I sat listening to the opening track: I remember the feeling of complete awe and at the same time, I was curiously inspired. The song was so full of fun. It was a tonic of joy and positivity: 'They say some days you gotta win, they say some days you gotta lose. But baby I got news for you, you're losing all the while you never win.' It was in your face. In the words and the tune. It was pointing up, looking up, taking up. Anyway, it took me up. And I realised that Jeff had pushed on a door and gone on further than I ever had."
David Scott-Morgan (2011 December - Patterns In The Chaos)

"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)

"The first single from ELO's sixth album didn't crack the Top 10 (it stopped at No. 13), but it's one of the group's most popular songs. It also features a little bit of everything that made them great: a string-solo opening, soulful backing vocals, synth waves occasionally crashing into the chorus and a gigantic hook. Livin' Thing's legacy was sealed when it was used during the closing scene of the 1997 movie Boogie Nights, when Mark Wahlberg's porn star whips out his monster (prosthetic) penis. Not sure if this is what Jeff Lynne had in mind when he wrote the song, but it's a perfect moment nonetheless."
Michael Gallucci (December 30, 2012 - Ultimate Classic Rock online magazine article 'Top 10 Electric Light Orchestra Songs')

"ELO ruled the 1970s, with multi-platinum albums such as Out Of The Blue, and US and UK Top 20 hits with the likes of Livin' Thing, Sweet Talkin' Woman and Turn To Stone."
Mark Blake (December 2012 - Classic Rock magazine)

"Livin' Thing had an augmented chord. George (Harrison) used a lot of those chords, too. I think the influence of using those types of chords came from the Long Wave sort of songs. Trying to marry the two styles together, trying to put those funny old Victorian chords into a new song gives it a good lift. It makes it more of a special song, because it's got a weird chord in it, and nobody knows how to play it. Livin' Thing has that. There's a few of mine that have those type of chords in it. I tried to make the songs a little different. Livin' Thing would have had a more normal run-of-the-mill chord sequence otherwise; the chorus would have been C, A minor, F and G instead of C, A minor, D minor, G augmented and back to C. That G augmented chord adds a little bit of tension and uplift to the song. That chord is more along the lines of the Long Wave songs than the pop idiom. I'm sure I was bringing in those type of chords subconsciously, but I was exposed to all those chords early on, and I'm obviously gonna take them on board with all the more rock and roll chords. I've used wacky chords in a lot of my tunes, like All Over The World, which has a naughty one, as well. (laughs)"
Jeff Lynne (January 2013 - Goldmine magazine)

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

"A New World Record [was] the UK breakthrough which — courtesy of hit songs such as Telephone Line, Livin' Thing and Rockaria! — mirrored the success that it had already been enjoying in the US. "
Richard Buskin (September 2013 - Sound On Sound Classic Tracks)

"You know, it's so hard, because there are moments and scenes that I really loved, but they didn't work perfectly in the movie [Guardians Of The Galaxy]. One of the things that I'm sure people will be able to see on the Blu-ray was a montage to the ELO song Livin' Thing, which is one of my favorite songs of all time. This was a sequence that came right after they broke out of the prison, and there's a moment where he's changing and she's changing, and he kind of looks at her and nods, and she closes the door on him. Those shots got lost in the process, and you're mentioning the exact scene that was the hardest for me to let go of... and, honestly, the post-production crew was sort of up in arms about me cutting that scene, because it also had some great Groot moments."
Kyle Buchanan (July 29, 2014 - vulture.com)

"With so many choices, some songs just didn't make the cut [in Guardians Of The Galaxy]. According to Gunn, he most regrets cutting a scene featuring Electric Light Orchestra's Livin' Thing from the film. 'If there was a house band for Guardians... it would be ELO,' he says."
Marion Kirkpatrick (August 1, 2014 - Billboard)

"The synths and space-age tones of the Electric Light Orchestra would have fit well with the Guardians [Guardians Of The Galaxy] aesthetic. But Gunn couldn't find a way to fit them into the movie. 'There was one scene written around Livin' Thing by ELO, another montage, that was cut from the film,' says Gunn. 'I didn't want to cut the sequence — I really liked it — but it seemed better for the overall film. The whole crew besides me and Kevin Feige thought it should stay. Who knows? I think ELO seems like the ultimate Guardians band, so I'm sorry none of their tracks are in the film."Alex Suskind (August 4, 2014 - vulture.com)

"There's Livin' Thing, now indelibly associated with the unfurling of Dirk Diggler's monster cock at the end of Boogie Nights."
Simon Price (2014 September 16 - The Quietus article entitled The Jesus Of Uncool Has Risen: ELO Live)

"There was actually a scene that we cut from the movie where big Groot was dancing to Livin' Thing by ELO. And it wasn't such an elaborate dance. It was more that he was just moving up and down like this, and Drax was dismissive and gave him this look like he was a loser when he did that. Dancing is ludicrous to Drax. I don't think he understands it. If Drax owned a town, if he was a mayour, the first law would be no dancing. But yeah, so at the end of the movie, little baby Groot didn't want to get caught dancing, because he would kill him."
James Gunn (March 15, 2015 - Doug Loves Movies podcast)

"Born Dec. 30, 1947, in Birmingham, England, Lynne scored many hits throughout the 1970s with the Electric Light Orchestra, including Can't Get It Out Of My Head, Livin' Thing and Don't Bring Me Down."
Unknown (April 23, 2015 - Westside Today)

"Living Thing [sic], on the previous album A New World Record, famously began life as a rumination on the grim after-effects of food poisoning."
Johnny Black (July 2015 - Hi-Fi News)
Editor's Note: This is a very strange statement as Livin' Thing has never been about food poisoning.

"When the first single from the new album [A New World Record], Livin’ Thing, was released in Britain at the end of October, it immediately went on to national radio playlists and quickly rose to No. 4—ELO’s best chart performance at home to date and a considerable improvement on the peak American position of No. 13. Jeff was amused by the speculation as to what the lyrics were about, whales and orgasms being suggested among other things. He put an end to the speculation when he said that they were actually about love, nothing more and nothing less."
John Van der Kiste (August 2015 - Jeff Lynne: Electric Light Orchestra - Before and After)

"The peak years of the NASL [North American Soccer League] coincided with the peak years of stadium rock, and the fan cultures of both shared a lot of features – the game/concert as a big event, the spectacle of mass entertainment, the easy availability of recreational drugs. I’m no fan of stadium rock, but ELO was an exception, and this fine, typically upbeat track [Livin' Thing] from the wonderful and aptly titled A New World Record is a good example of Jeff Lynne’s ease at being cheerfully influenced by US AOR. He’s a Birmingham City fan too."Ian Plenderleith (September 25, 2015 - US Soccer Players website)

"Well, funnily enough, I went to a preview [of Boogie Nights] with the director P.T. Anderson [because the film used Livin' Thing in the soundtrack]. I sat next to him and watched it. And I didn't know what it was gonna be. He didn't tell me. I've got two young girls, they'd have been teenagers, and I was worried, because I knew it was rude but I didn't know exactly what it was. I knew it was about the porno industry. So I was a bit worried for the girls, but probably they knew more than me about it anyway, haha. Kids today, they're well up on most things. So I went to see it, and it was fantastic. Because when he gets his cock out, it's like the music's coming right out of the end of his cock! 'Diddle-iddle-eee! Doo-doo-doo!' I thought, 'What is he, a snake charmer or what?'"
Jeff Lynne (2015 November 2 - The Quietus)

"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."
Simon Cosyns (November 13, 2015 - The Sun)

"Yes, when Paul Thomas Anderson ended his masterpiece Boogie Nights with the then-20-year-old (give or take) Livin’ Thing, it was a nifty touch."
Marc Spitz (November 27, 2015 - Salon website)

"[On A New World Record] there was also a sterling cover of The Move's Do Ya and the exultant Livin' Thing, with leather-clad pop star Suzi Quatro's sister Patti on backing vocals. Both Livin' Thing and Telephone Line would become Top 10 hits in Britain and America."
Mark Blake (November 2015 - Classic Rock magazine)

"In 2006, Q Magazine assembled a list of 115 Guilty Pleasures tracks, including obvious, lovably offensive selections like Gary Glitter’s stomping Rock ‘N’ Roll Part 2 (Remember when Jock Jams was a thing?) and Bryan Adams’ cheese-tastic rock sing-along Summer Of ’69. Surprisingly, the #1 spot belonged to ELO’s Livin’ Thing, the hypnotic centerpiece of A New World Record. What the fuck does everybody feel guilty about? From the dramatic classical opening, incorporating pizzicato strings, to the extended chorus fade-out, this one’s pure pop pleasure. The falsetto chirps and comically bright string arrangement inch the track toward campiness, but Livin’ Thing avoids cliches in its harmonic approach, weaving in dissonance and unexpected darkness – like the descending chords in the pre-chorus that swell into the chorus. (Do yourself a favor and watch Lynne discuss how his clever usage of an E minor changed the entire song.)"
Ryan Reed (January 7, 2016 - Stereogum online magazine article entitled 'The 10 Best ELO Songs')

"Livin’ Thing - ELO were as much a close-harmony choir as an orchestral rock ensemble by now, with Lynne, drummer Bev Bevan, bassist Kelly Groucutt and keyboardist Richard Tandy often merging into a helium chorale for the big hooks. Rarely did they gel better than on the mariachi flounce of Livin’ Thing, accompanied by members of (shh now) Fanny. Recently voted Q magazine’s No 1 guilty pleasure, at the time it was the band’s biggest UK hit, thanks to its pizzicato riff, spaghetti western horns, some classic Lynne guff about love being 'magic' to please the soppy hippies and a bit where an uncredited Addie Lee elbowed her way into the bridge with a lusty 'Higher and higher! Baby!'"
Mark Beaumont (March 30, 2016 - The Guardian)

"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)

"A New World Record (1976) sold five million copies within its first year of release and included global hits Telephone Line and Livin' Thing-- testements to Lynne's ability to compress elaborate musical ideas into three and four-minute pop symphonies."
Paul Lester (April 2016 - Prog magazine)

"A New World Record, which boasted three Top 20 Billboard hits changed all [ELO's lack of success in the UK]. Livin’ Thing, powered along by one of Lynne’s most inventive choruses, became the band’s highest-charting U.K. single to date. 'I wrote so many songs so quickly in that 1974-78 period, and it was like a conveyor belt, really,' Lynne told Jon Kutner. 'I was just banging them out. But I’m particularly pleased with Livin’ Thing, because I like the chorus, it’s really interesting. I think it’s interesting because there is one chord change [just before ‘higher and higher, baby‘] that makes the whole thing work – and if I hadn’t found that it would never be a song.'"
Nick DeRiso (September 9, 2016 - Ultimate Classic Rock online magazine article '40 Years Ago: ELO Finally Break Through With ‘New World Record’')

"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. [...] At home, the [A New World Record] album produced three Top 10 singles with Livin’ Thing, Telephone Line and Rockaria!."
Paul Elliott (December 19, 2016 - Teamrock.com)

"The most potent gateway drug for ELO newbies is probably A New World Record , which boasts some of Lynne’s gooiest singles (Livin’ Thing (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i2d45tOgBl0), Telephone Line (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=77R1Wp6Y_5Y)), his best arenarock song (Do Ya!, (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wkhFEhLzycQ) a leftover from the old Move days)."
Steven Hyden (April 25, 2017 - Uproxx website)

"One of the most memorable scenes in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (opening Friday) is the opening credits, as Baby Groot (as minimally voiced by Vin Diesel) dances to the ELO hit Mr. Blue Sky. Landing the rights to the track, though, was not entirely blue skies. That’s because Gunn, the director of the planned Guardians trilogy, had ultimately passed on including a tune from Jeff Lynne, the leader of ELO, in his first Guardians film. 'We got the rights to the first one' — the 1976 ELO hit Livin’ Thing — 'but I cut the scene,' Gunn tells The Post’s Comic Riffs. Thus, the cutting-room floor last time nearly undercut the cinematic dance floor this time. 'It was a whole montage around Livin’ Thing, and it was awesome,' Gunn continues. 'To be honest, I think I regret cutting the montage from the movie. I think people would have loved it. I would have loved to put it on even on the Blu-ray — but you have to pay hundreds of thousands of dollars for the song, and we couldn’t afford to do that just for the Blu-ray.'"
Michael Cavna (May 4, 2017 - Washington Post)

"In an interview with the Washington Post, Gunn revealed that he almost didn’t get the rights to Mr. Blue Sky because he cut a scene from the first Guardians movie that had featured the 1976 ELO hit Livin’ Thing. 'It was a whole montage around Livin' Thing, and it was awesome,' Gunn told the Post. 'To be honest, I think I regret cutting the montage from the movie. I think people would have loved it. I would have loved to put it even on (just) the Blu-Ray – but you have to pay hundreds of thousands of dollars for the song, and we couldn't afford to do that just for the Blu-Ray.' When he was asked about granting Gunn and company the rights to use Mr. Blue Sky, ELO’s leader Jeff Lynne initially balked. 'He was hesitant because we had cut Livin' Thing. But he eventually agreed to allow Gunn to use the track...'"
Mark Daniell (May 8, 2017 - Toronto Sun)

"Sony/ATV Music Publishing has pulled off a hat trick. In a rare move, the publishing company has 100 percent share of all the songs used in the three television ads to tout Volkswagen’s 2018 Tiguan SUV. While it is not unusual for a publisher to have the full share for a song licensed for commercial, it is highly uncommon for one publishing company to get the full series of synchs for an entire campaign. Making it more gratifying, says Brian Monaco, Sony/ATV president/global chief marketing officer is that Volkswagen’s creative agency, Deutsch, cast a wide net among music publishers looking for material and Sony/ATV still prevailed. The spots, which have rolled out during August, kicked off with an ad featuring ELO's Livin' Thing (Jeff Lynne) followed by the second spot, which used Love Is All Around (Sonny Curtis) and the third commercial showcased music from Zorba The Greek (Mikis Theodorakis). A digital only ad highlights the ‘80s hit, Tarzan Boy by Baltimora, also a Sony/ATV copyright. Members of Monaco’s staff pitched the songs based on creative briefs and story boards. Controlling 100 percent of the placements was aided slightly in that the songs are at least 40 years old. Increasingly, songs are credited to a rising number of songwriters, making it harder for one publisher to own the entire song. 'All these catalog songs certainly have less writers than songs today,' Monaco says. Monaco would not divulge how much Volkswagen paid to license any of the titles, but added that Sony/ATV did give Deutsch a volume discount 'that worked for everyone, the writers included.'"
Melinda Newman (August 30, 2017 - Billboard)

"More than 40 years after [Livin' Thing's] initial release, Jeff Lynne’s yacht-rock staple became one of the fall’s most-heard synch tracks after Volkswagen tapped it for a starring role in a collection of music-heavy spots. The commercial helped the song make its debut on the Hot Rock Digital Song Sales chart in August, and helped launch ticket sales for Lynne’s 2018 tour under the Electric Light Orchestra banner. 'You’re really starting to see the power of synch these days to not just launch or relaunch careers -- you’re putting the song in people’s lap who might not otherwise be listening to it, and they’re running to the streaming services to play it,' says Sony/ATV’s Monaco."
Andrew Hampp (December 22, 2017 - Billboard)

  • Running Time: 3:31
  • Record Date: July, 1976
  • Record Location: Musicland Studios, Munich, Germany (all music except the orchestra and choir; De Lane Lea Studios, Wembley, England)
  • Written By: Jeff Lynne
  • Produced By: Jeff Lynne
  • Engineered By: Mack (Musicland); John Richards & Dick Plant (De Lane Lea)
  • Performed By: Jeff Lynne (guitar, vocals), Bev Bevan (drums, percussion), Richard Tandy (piano, moog synthesizer, guitar, clavinet), Kelly Groucutt (bass, vocals), Mik Kaminski (violin), Hugh McDowell (cello), Melvyn Gale (cello), Louis Clark (orchestra conductor), Patti Quatro (backing vocals), Brie Brandt (backing vocals), Addie Lee (backing vocals)

  • Released On:
    • A New World Record LP album (1976 October — UK — Jet UAG 30017)
    • A New World Record LP album (1976 October — USA — United Artists UA-LA 679-G)
    • Livin' Thing 7" single (1976 October — USA — United Artists UA-XW 888-Y)
    • Livin' Thing 7" promo single (1976 October — USA — United Artists UA-XW 888-Y)
    • Livin' Thing 12" promo single (1976 October — USA — United Artists SP-137)
    • Livin' Thing blue vinyl 7" single (1976 November 13 — UK — United Artists JET UP 36184)
    • Livin' Thing black vinyl 7" single (1976 November 13 — UK — United Artists JET UP 36184)
    • Livin' Thing/Evil Woman Silver Spotlight Series 7" single (1978 — USA — United Artists US X 1177-Y)
    • A New World Record LP album (1978 — UK — Jet JET LP 200)
    • A New World Record LP album (1978 May — USA — Jet JZ 35529)
    • ELO's Greatest Hits LP album (1979 November — UK — Jet JET LX 525)
    • ELO's Greatest Hits LP album (1979 November — USA — Jet FZ 36310)
    • Four Light Years LP album (1981 April — UK — Jet JET BX2)
    • ELO's Greatest Hits LP album (1980 — USA — Jet PZ 36310)
    • ELO's Greatest Hits Half Speed Mastered LP album (1980 — USA — Jet HZ 36310)
    • A New World Record LP album (1980 — USA — Jet PZ 35529)
    • A Box Of Their Best LP album (1980 — USA — Jet Z4X 36966)
    • The Best Of ELO LP album (1981 — UK — Tellydisc TELLY 7)
    • A New World Record LP album (1985 — UK — Jet JET 35 245)
    • ELO's Greatest Hits CD album (1986 — USA — Jet ZK 36310)
    • A New World Record LP album (1987 — USA — Jet ZK 35529)
    • ELO's Greatest Hits LP album (1988 — UK — Epic 450357 1)
    • ELO's Greatest Hits CD album (1988 — UK — Epic 450357 2)
    • The Very Best Of The Electric Light Orchestra CD album (1989 — UK — Telstar TCD 2370)
    • A New World Record LP album (1990 — UK — Epic 9021981)
    • A New World Record CD album (1990 — UK — Epic 9021982)
    • Afterglow CD album (1990 June 15 — USA — Epic Associated Z3K 46090)
    • The Very Best Of The Electric Light Orchestra: 13 Classic Videos VHS videotape (1991 — UK — Telstar TVE 1033)
    • Burning Bright CD album (1992 — USA — Sony Music Special Products A22639)
    • The Very Best Of The Electric Light Orchestra CD album (1994 — UK — Dino DINCD90)
    • Strange Magic: The Best Of Electric Light Orchestra CD album (1995 — USA — Legacy/Epic Associated Z2K 64157)
    • Light Years: The Very Best Of Electric Light Orchestra CD album (1997 October 1 — UK — Epic 489039 2)
    • Boogie Nights: Music From The Original Motion Picture CD album (1997 October 7 — USA — Capitol CAP556312)
    • Boogie Nights: Music From The Original Motion Picture CD album (1998 January 12 — UK — EMI 556312)
    • Flashback CD album (2000 November 21 — USA — Epic/Legacy E3K 85123)
    • Flashback CD album (2000 December 11 — UK — Epic/Legacy 500931 2)
    • The Ultimate Collection CD album (2001 October 22 — UK — Sony Music STVCD126)
    • The Essential Electric Light Orchestra CD album (2003 April 1 — USA — Epic/Legacy EK 89072)
    • All Over The World: The Very Best Of Electric Light Orchestra CD album (2005 June 6 — UK — Sony 5201292)
    • All Over The World: The Very Best Of Electric Light Orchestra digital album (2005 June 6 — UK — Sony 827969448922)
    • All Over The World: The Very Best Of Electric Light Orchestra CD album (2005 August 2 — USA — Epic/Legacy EK 94489)
    • All Over The World: The Very Best Of Electric Light Orchestra digital album (2005 August 2 — USA — Epic/Legacy 827969448922)
    • Back to Mine: Compiled By Liam Howlett Various Artists CD album (2006 January 30 — UK — DMC 5029418023239)
    • A New World Record Remaster CD album (2006 September 11 — UK — Epic/Legacy 69699854222)
    • A New World Record Remaster digital album (2006 September 11 — UK — Epic/Legacy 696998542259)
    • A New World Record Remaster CD album (2006 September 12 — USA — Legacy EK 85422)
    • A New World Record Remaster digital album (2006 September 12 — USA — Legacy 696998542228)
    • The Best Of Electric Light Orchestra digital album (2006 November 1 — USA — SRI Records 821603643971)
    • Face The Music/A New World Record CD album (2007 September 17 — UK — Sony/BMG 88697162062)
    • Platinum CD album (2007 October 23 — USA — Sony/BMG MEG2 53449)
    • All Over The World: The Very Best Of Electric Light Orchestra eco-friendly CD album (2007 February 2 — UK — Sony/BMG 88697046492)
    • Playlist: The Very Best Of Electric Light Orchestra CD album (2008 August 19 — USA — Epic/Legacy 88697 29802 2)
    • All Over The World: The Very Best Of Electric Light Orchestra eco-friendly CD album (2009 March 3 — USA — Sony/BMG 88697 48046 2)
    • Boogie Nights: Music From The Original Motion Picture download album (2009 December 7 — UK — Capitol Catalog 724385563157)
    • Boogie Nights: Music From The Original Motion Picture download album (2009 December 8 — USA — Capitol 724385563157)
    • The Collection CD album (2009 — UK — Camden 88697480462)
    • Original Album Classics CD album (2010 October 25 — Europe — Sony 886997873423)
    • Flashback CD album (2010 November 8 — UK — Sony Music 88697807792)
    • The Very Best Of Electric Light Orchestra CD album (2011 May 30 — UK — Sony 88697920962)
    • The Essential Electric Light Orchestra CD album (2011 October 10 — UK — Epic/Legacy 88698983612)
    • The Essential Electric Light Orchestra digital album (2011 October 10 — UK — Epic/Legacy 886443171084)
    • The Essential Electric Light Orchestra CD album (2011 October 24 — USA — Epic/Legacy 88697977522RE1)
    • The Essential Electric Light Orchestra digital album (2011 October 10 — UK — Epic/Legacy 886443171084)
    • The Classic Albums Collection CD boxed set (2011 November — USA — Epic 8 89978 73262 0)
    • The Classic Albums Collection CD boxed set (2011 November 14 — UK — Epic 8 89978 73262 0)
    • A New World Record LP album (2012 July 2 — Europe — Music On Vinyl MOVLP495)
    • The Classic Albums Collection digital album (2014 June 10 — UK — Epic/Legacy 886444622653)
    • The Classic Albums Collection digital album (2014 June 10 — USA — Epic/Legacy 886444622660)
    • Flashback digital album (2014 June 27 — Worldwide — Sony Music 886444707701)
    • All Over The World: The Very Best Of Electric Light Orchestra digital album (2014 December 12 — Worldwide — Sony 5099752012923)
    • Boogie Nights: Music From The Original Motion Picture LP album (2015 April 14 — USA — Capitol B0022533-01)
    • A New World Record digital album (2015 November 13 — Europe — Epic/Legacy 886445593907)
    • A New World Record digital album (2015 November 13 — USA — Epic/Legacy 886445593914)
    • The Collection digital album (2015 November 27 — USA — Legacy Recordings 5099751866527)
    • A New World Record LP album (2015 December 18 — Worldwide — Epic 88875152441)
    • A New World Record LP album (2016 May 27 — Worldwide — Epic 88875175281)
    • All Over The World: The Very Best Of Electric Light Orchestra LP album (2016 June 10 — Europe — Epic/Legacy 88985312351)
    • All Over The World: The Very Best Of Electric Light Orchestra CD album (2016 June 10 — Europe — Epic/Legacy 520129 2)
    • Studio Albums 1973 - 1977 CD boxed set (2016 June 10 — UK — Epic 88985324162)
    • The UK Singles Volume One 1972-1978 7" single box set (2018 September 28 — Worldwide — Epic Records 88985424617)
      [Livin' Thing blue vinyl 7" single (United Artists JET UP 36184)]

  • Top UK Chart Position: 4
  • Top US Chart Position: 13
  • Cover Versions:
    • James Last on his Non Stop Dancing 77/2 album (1977)
    • Anna Oxa (under the title Questa E'Vita) on her Un'Emozione Da Poco single (1978)
    • The Cadets on their Un Tributo a Electric Light Orchestra album (1981)
    • Jack Livingston Orchestra and Singers on their A Tribute To ELO album (early 1980s)
    • The Hiltonaires on their Hits For Young People album (198?)
    • OrKestra during live performances from 1987 to 1991
    • King on an album of unknown origin (199?)
    • Electric Light Orchestra Part II on their Electric Light Orchestra - Greatest Hits Live album (1992)
    • Yukio Yung on his Jeff Lynne EP (1994)
    • Ten Sharp on their Roots album (1996)
    • The Wild Flowers on their Backwoods album (1997)
    • Electric Light Orchestra Part II on their One Night - Live in Australia album (1997)
    • Geese Fighters on their Tribute To ELO tribute album (2000)
    • The Orchestra from live performances (2000s)
    • Christine Anu in 2001 as part of the advertising campaign for the environment by the New South Wales Environment Protection Authority in Australia
    • Pray For Rain (PFR) on the Lynne Me Your Ears tribute album (2001)
    • The Uncle Devil Show during their 2004 concert appearances (2004)
    • Los Dragones (under the title Volveras a mi) on an unknown album (2004)
    • The Beautiful South on their Golddiggas Headnodders & Pholk Songs album and Livin' Thing single (2004)
    • Matthew Sweet on the My Name Is Earl - The Album soundtrack album (09/2006)
    • The Magic Orchestra on their Classic Nights album (2006)
    • Skyrocket (K Tel Hit Machine) on their MySpace page (01/2007)
    • Electric Live Orchestra during live performances (2008)
    • Mike Viola during live performances (2008)
    • Harry Scorzon and Flashback on their MySpace page as part of an ELO Medley (2009)
    • Aneurin Barnard on the Hunky Dory soundtrack album (2011)
    • Extraordinary Liverpool Oldies performed live on The One Show (October 2012)

  • Used in the Film or TV Program:
    • Boogie Nights (1997)
    • Desperate Housewives promotional campaign (summer/fall 2004)
    • My Name Is Earl episode Quit Smoking (2005)
    • Toy Story 4 trailer (2019)

  • Used as a Sample in the Songs:
    • Dream by J.A.S. on the Dream single (1993)
    • Living Thing by Peter Bjorn and John on the Living Thing album (2009)

  • Used in the Advertising Campaign:
    • New South Wales Environment Protection Authority TV ads (2001 to ? — Australia) [performed by Christine Anu]
    • JC Penney department stores TV ads (Christmas 2005 — USA)