Electric Light Orchestra - Waterfall [Album Version]Details

France 7-inch vinyl single (Polydor 2001 653)Unique to most of the world, Waterfall was released as a single in 1975 in France on Polydor (2001 653) and Australia on Polydor (2001 653)

The version of this song on the The Collection CD (a Marks and Spencer exclusive) erroneously attaches the orchestral intro to Evil Woman at the end.

"Also, there [are] two absolutely brilliant cosmic wonders called Waterfall and One Summer Dream. These last two prove that Lynne can still write stunningly beautiful melodies."
Joel Bellman (December 1976 - Trouser Press #17)

"On happier occasions, Jeff has written lyrics to songs like Shine A Little Love, Need Her Love, Midnight Blue and Waterfall, as well as So Fine, Sweet Is The Night and Yours Truly 2095."
Neil Frost (1987 - Face The Music fanzine #3)

"Track two [on the Face The Music album] is the lilting Waterfall, a welcome breather after the draining technical wizardy of Fire On High, and sees Jeff do a passable imitation of Freddie Mercury. Also notable are Kelly's ambitious solo harmonies (eh?)."
Andrew Whiteside (Early 1989 - Face The Music fanzine #5)

"Waterfall is a bit of a favorite of mine."
Jeff Lynne (September 11 2006 - Face The Music remaster liner notes)

"Some of the 'real' intros to songs, such as Waterfall, were also recorded [at De Lane Lea Studios], with Jeff on guitar and Richard on keyboards. The string section were also playing with the orchestra."
Rob Caiger (September 12, 2006 - Showdown mailing list)

"Face the Music, released in 1975 -- featuring Evil Woman and Strange Magic as top 20 singles and non-single track such as Fire on High and Waterfall -- was the most solid release to date."
Rock Cesario (October 16, 2006 - The Daily Sentinal (Grand Junction, Colorado))

"Face the Music is the album that introduced the radio-friendly version of ELO to the masses with the singles Strange Magic, Waterfall, and the ubiquitous disco-tinged Evil Woman."
Barry Nothstine (2006 - The Phantom Tollbooth On The Third Day, Face The Music and A New World Record remaster review)
Editor's Note: Waterfall was not a single except in France and Australia (with Strange Magic on the B-side).

"\IWaterfall\I, a maudlin mid-tempo number that would have fit right in on McCartney's Red Rose Speedway, is redeemed by an instrumental bridge that showcases the strings."
Rob Horning (2007 February 16 - On The Third Day, Face The Music and A New World Record reissue review on popmatters.com)

"Waterfall: Co-written with singer Carly Simon. Slide guitar and strings pile on the pathos."
Mark Blake (December 2012 - Classic Rock magazine)
Editor's Note: This song was not co-written with Carly Simon. She has a song of the same name, but they are totally different songs.

"[Evil Woman] is the highlight of an album [Face The Music] that includes several great songs (Strange Magic, Waterfall) and one outright turkey, the daft Down Home Town."
Paul Elliott (December 19, 2016 - Teamrock.com)

"This ethereal, dreamy love song opens with strings and a plaintive George Harrison-like guitar sound, with the combination of instruments remimniscent of The Beatles' Something in parts. Gentle piano chords and vocals suggest a hint of Freddie Mercury, with a backdrop of muted choral vocal and swirling strings, and drums coming in at the first chorus. A sturdy instrumental bridge suggest a new departure into classical music-influenced horizons before a return to the song with the introduction repeated on strings and enhanced by the backing vocals until a gentle fade."
John Van der Kiste (July, 2017 - Electric Light Orchestra: Song By Song)


  • Running Time: 4:11
  • Record Date: May and June 1975
  • Record Location: Musicland Studios, Munich, Germany (all music except the orchestra and choir which were recorded at De Lane Lea Studios, Wembley, England)
  • Written By: Jeff Lynne
  • Produced By: Jeff Lynne
  • Engineered By: Mack (basic track and orchestra) & Jimmy Iovine (final mix)
  • 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)

  • Released On:
    • Face The Music LP album (1975 September USA United Artists UL-LA 546-G)
    • Face The Music LP album (1975 November UK Jet JET LP 11)
    • Face The Music LP album (1976 UK Jet/United Artists UAG 30034)
    • Face The Music LP album (1978 UK Jet JET LP 201)
    • Three Light Years LP album (1978 December 1 UK Jet JET BX1)
    • Face The Music LP album (1978 May USA Jet JZ 35527)
    • Face The Music LP album (1980 USA Jet PZ 35527)
    • Face The Music LP album (1985 UK Epic EPC 32544)
    • Face The Music CD album (1987 USA ZK 35527)
    • Afterglow CD album (1990 June 15 USA Epic Associated Z3K 46090)
    • Face The Music CD album (1991 UK UK 982648-2)
    • Face The Music 24KT Gold CD album (1995 August 15 USA Epic/Legacy ZK 57184)
    • The Collection CD album (2003 UK Marks & Spencer MS4800Q)
    • Face The Music Remaster CD album (2006 September 11 UK Epic/Legacy 82796942782)
    • Face The Music Remaster digital album (2006 September 11 UK Epic/Legacy 827969427828)
    • Face The Music Remaster CD album (2006 September 12 USA Legacy EK 94271)
    • Face The Music Remaster digital album (2006 September 12 USA Legacy 827969427828)
    • Face The Music/A New World Record CD album (2007 September 17 UK Sony/BMG 88697162062)
    • ELO Classics CD album (2007 October 9 USA KRB Music Companies KRB7045-2)
    • Platinum CD album (2007 October 23 USA Sony/BMG MEG2 53449)
    • Original Album Classics CD album (2010 October 25 Europe Sony 886997873423)
    • Eldorado/Face The Music CD album (2011 August 29 USA Epic 886979304024)
    • 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)
    • 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)
    • Face The Music digital album (2015 November 13 Europe Epic/Legacy 886445593853)
    • Face The Music digital album (2015 November 13 USA Epic/Legacy 886445593884)
    • The Collection digital album (2015 November 27 USA Legacy Recordings 5099751866527)
    • Studio Albums 1973 - 1977 CD boxed set (2016 June 10 UK Epic 88985324162)
    • Face The Music LP album (2016 July 1 UK Sony 88985312341)

  • Used as a Sample in the Songs:
    • 99.9% by Jeru the Damaja on the Heroz4Hire album (1999)
    • I Can't Win by PackFM on the whutduzFMstand4? album (2006)