Showdown

 

Electric Light Orchestra -- Showdown

An in-depth song analysis


Electric Light Orchestra (Original Version)
Electric Light Orchestra (Solo Version)
  • Record Date: April, 1973
  • Record Location: AIR Studios, London, UK
  • Written By: Jeff Lynne
  • Produced By: Jeff Lynne
  • Engineered By: John Middleton & Denny Bridges
  • Performed By: Jeff Lynne (vocals, 1953 Gibson Firebird guitar, other guitar), Bev Bevan (drums, percussion), Wilf Gibson (violin), Mike Edwards (cello), Colin Walker (cello), Michael De Albuquerque (bass, vocal harmonies), Richard Tandy (moog synthesizer, piano), Unknown females (backing vocals)

  • Initially Released On: Showdown single (UK; September 14, 1973)
  • Record Date: Some time between 2001 and 2009
  • Record Location: Bungalow Palace Studio (Jeff Lynne's home studio)
  • Written By: Jeff Lynne
  • Produced By: Jeff Lynne
  • Engineered By: Steve Jay, Ryan Ulyate & Marc Mann
  • Performed By: Jeff Lynne (vocals, guitar, piano, bass, drums, keyboards), Laura Lynne (backing vocals), Marc Mann (strings), Steve Jay (shakers, tambourine)

    Initially Released On: Skate 2 Xbox 360 videogame (2009 January 21 — USA — EA Black ?)

  • Comments and Observations

    Recording of the song: Jeff wrote the song in his parent's front room in Birmingham where he had set up his primitive equipment to write demos.

    The basic track for Showdown was originally recorded at AIR Studios in the UK in April, 1973 in one take only during sessions comically referred to at the time as the Elizabeth Lister Observatory (E.L.O.) sessions. It is uncertain when the vocals and strings were recorded, although it's very possible it was done the same day. The song is known to have been demoed to the rest of the band in March of that year in a very rough format using just rhythm guitar and rough vocals by Jeff (not using the word "showdown" in the lyrics at all) with Richard Tandy assisting on keyboard. Being just a month later that it was recorded, the band had worked up the song and practiced it well enough to do in one quick take in the studio. Michael De Albuquerque is credited with giving the song its funky bass line, likened to Marvin Gaye's I Heard It Through The Grapevine.

    Marc Bolan of T. Rex fame was at the session where Showdown was recorded, and played on several ELO tracks at that time, but he did not play on Showdown itself. Instead, Jeff borrowed Marc's 1953 Gibson Firebird guitar to play over the instrumental break.

    There appear to be female backing vocals on the song singing the "raining" lyric, but to this day, it's still a mystery who these female backing vocalists are. One theory is that it might be the Jeff himself, using studio tricks to change the pitch on his own voice and emulate female vocals.

    Jeff relates an amusing story of taking the song to "The Cutting Room" to have edits done, although it's unclear when or where this was done as no record of "The Cutting Room" is known in 1973. The story is amusing as the fellow that did the edit for Jeff, done by actually cutting and splicing the tape, did it so fast and so assuredly that Jeff feared that he had destroyed the recording. Obviously the editor knew what he was doing because it all turned out well.

    Early working titles of the song were Bev's Trousers and All Over The World. Some of these songs have been released on various ELO collections, some using these original working titles and some not. They don't vary much from the released version, having just various parts of the song mixed in or out as Jeff experimented with different mixes. Jeff Lynne was apparently not very pleased with the unauthorized releases of alternate mixes on the Early ELO (1971-1973) collection, which is quite understandable considering that the version of Bev's Trousers on that set has a couple of very poor vocal edits. It's not likely this version will ever be released again, making it quite a rarity.

    Ad in Melody Maker for the Showdown singleThe Releases: The song was the final release in England on Harvest records, being released on September 14 , 1973 with stock number "HAR 5077" and having an instrumental version of In Old England Town on the B-side. In the USA, it's ELO's third single release, released as a single in October 1973, on United Artists records with stock number "UA-XW 337-W" and the same instrumental version of In Old England Town on the B-side (although mistitled as In An Old England Town). In the USA, it was also released as the fifth track on the On The Third Day album, the last song on side 1. In the UK, however, after the release of the single, ELO changed record labels and it was not on the On The Third Day album and was still not available on any UK releases of the album until the 2006 remaster CD. There is a clue that at one point it was intended for the UK release of the album because in the lyric section of the original UK album sleeve (Warner Brothers, K56021), there is a large gap where the lyrics to Showdown could easily fit. It's likely that the song was intended for the album all along and not just an add-on to the non-UK releases. A few years later, the song saw a revival when it was rereleased as a single in the USA on July 1976 on United Artists records with stock number "UA-XW 842-Y" with a live version of Daybreaker edited from the European The Night The Light Went On In Long Beach album on the B-side. The song was rereleased as a single to promote the newly pressed compilation ELO album, Olé ELO.

    Many sources list the song as a "single version" which seems to imply that there is an alternate album version release. In truth, because the song was originally only released as a single in the UK, many releases list it this way. The original UK single version and the versions that appeared on the On The Third Day album in other territories are all the same version. Adding total confusion to this issue, in the USA, the original single had an edit of the song that was simply an early fade. This early fade reduced the song from 4:11 to 3:47. And it is this edit that also appears on the 1979 ELO's Greatest Hits album. So the only single version that is unique is this USA single version. Yet many UK releases list a "single version" that is actually the longer album version and not the USA single version.

    Despite the release of the first take of the song on the First Light Series: The Lost Planet set, it should be noted that the way ELO recorded, they first recorded the rhythm track (drums, bass, guitar, keyboards), then dubbed on the separately recorded vocals, and finally the strings. The strings at the time of the recording of Showdown were recorded by dubbing the string playing members' takes together multiple times to give the strings a full orchestra type of sound. So what the First Light Series: The Lost Planet set calls "take 1" is actually the first take of the rhythm track, with the first take of the vocals dubbed on, and the dubbed-together string section dubbed on. No undubbed version of the song has ever been released.

    An interesting release of Showdown is from a 1980s German various artists compilation called Ursprung (Sparkasse S 10004). It contains the standard single version of the song, but it is prefaced by an introduction by Bev Bevan, Richard Tandy and Jeff Lynne introducing the song. Although it's a 1980s compilation, clearly this is an early 1970s recording as they mention band members from that era. The introduction from the LP can be heard HERE.

    The Charts: Showdown entered the UK chart on October 6, 1973, peaked for two consecutive weeks at #12 on November 3rd and 10th, and spent 10 weeks in the Top 50 chart. In the USA, it entered the Billboard Hot 100 chart on December 1, 1973, reached #53 on February 2, 1974, spending 11 weeks in the chart and entered the Cash Box chart on December 8, 1973 on, reached #51 on February 9. 1974, spending 11 weeks in the chart. It was ELO's second Billboard chart single. It charted again in the USA when it was rereleased to promote Olé ELO. That time it entered the Billboard Top 100 chart on August 7, 1976, reached a peak of #59 on August 28, 1976 and spent 7 weeks on the chart and entered the Cash Box chart on August 21, 1976, reached a peak of #75 on September 11, 1976 and spent 4 weeks on the chart during that run.

    John Lennon Likes It!: On September 28, 1974, John Lennon was a guest of Dennis Elsas (http://www.denniselsas.com/) on WNEW-FM, a New York City radio station, where he commented that if the Beatles had stayed together, they would sound like ELO on Showdown, calling them the "Son of Beatles." An audio file of this can be heard HERE and a transcription of this is as follows:

    "We're gonna play Electric Light Orchestra from last year, Showdown, which I thought was a great record and I was expecting it to be #1 but I don't think UA [United Artists] got their fingers out and pushed it. And it's a nice group -- I call them 'Son of Beatles' -- although they're doing things we never did, obviously. But I remember a statement they made when they first formed was to carry on from where the Beatles left off with Walrus, and they certainly did. And for those people who like to know where licks and things come from, which I do.... this is a beautiful combination of I Heard It Through The Grapevine by Marvin Gaye and Lightning Strikes Again [by] Lou Christie, and it's a beautiful job with a little Walrus underneath."
    Jeff states that he heard about this quote by John Lennon from May Pang, who approached him while he was recording overdubs for Evil Woman at Record Plant in New York City. Obviously Jeff was quite chuffed to get the news as he was a big Beatles fan.

    The New Version: In approximately 2008 (possibly earlier), Jeff Lynne re-recorded a solo version of Showdown that was almost identical to the original album recording. It features his daughter, Laura Lynne, on backing vocals. The song was officially released on the 2009 Skate 2 videogame soundtrack, although acquiring the song from the game is difficult. The song listing on the game has the title incorrectly listed as Show Down (two words). It was officially released for regular listeners on the 2012 Mr. Blue Sky The Very Best Of Electric Light Orchestra compilation.

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

    It's not entirely clear if the newer solo version should be credited to Jeff Lynne alone or Electric Light Orchestra. All sources and interviews are very clear that these are Jeff Lynne solo recordings, yet there has been no definitive statement about exactly how the artist for the recordings should be credited. The Skate 2 soundtrack credits it to Electric Light Orchestra. The Mr. Blue Sky The Very Best Of Electric Light Orchestra collection gives only the album's title and does not state the artist anywhere. Other sources such as iTunes credit the artist as Electric Light Orchestra. And Frontiers Records shop originally did not give an artist credit, but revised the artist to Electric Light Orchestra shortly after release. Yet clearly these are solo recordings.

    A Real Submarine: One interesting tidbit regarding this song is an often misheard lyric at the end of the fourth verse when Jeff sings the line "it's so real, the suffering." This has long been heard by some as "it's a real submarine." There are conflicting reports as to where this misheard lyric first surfaced. One report says that Del Shannon, who met Jeff in 1974, told him that he thought it was a really cool lyric to sing about a submarine. Another report says that one night on tour when Jeff was ill, Michael De Albuquerque sang the lead vocals in Jeff's place. Michael, having always misheard the lyric, sang it wrong. Whatever the origins of the misheard lyric, Jeff started singing it as "it's a real submarine" on tour soon after, where it can be most noticeably heard on the Zoom Tour Live performance. On the lyric sheet for solo version on the 2012 Mr. Blue Sky The Very Best Of Electric Light Orchestra, it clearly states the lyric as "it's a real submarine" as that is how Jeff sings it.

    Structure and Lyrics

    Below is the structure of the fullest, most complete version of the originally released song as available on the standard UK single and USA On The Third Day album.

    Electric Light Orchestra (Original Version)
    Electric Light Orchestra (Solo Version)
    Lyric sheet from USA On The Third Day album
    -String, guitar and bass intro
    -Cello riff
    -Verse 1
       She cried to the southern wind
       'Bout a love that was sure to end
       Every dream in her heart was gone
       Headin' for a showdown

    -Cello riff
    -Verse 2
       Bad dreamer, what's your name
       Looks like we're ridin' on the same train
       Looks as though there'll be more pain
       There's gonna be a showdown

    -Cello riff
    -Chorus 1
       And it's rainin' all over the world
       It's raining all over the world
       Tonight, the longest night

    -Cello riff
    -Verse 3
       She came to me like a friend
       She blew in on the southern wind
       Now my heart is turned to stone again
       There's gonna be a showdown

    -Verse 4
       Save me
       Oh save me
       It's unreal, the suffering
       There's gonna be a showdown

    -Cello riff
    -Chorus 2
       And it's rainin' all over the world
       Raining all over the world
       Tonight, the longest night

    -Instrumental bridge
       guitar and string (20 seconds)
       rising guitar and strings with female vocals singing "rainin', rainin'"
       flanged string interlude
    -Chorus 3
       background vocals only: rainin' all over the world
       background vocals only: rainin' all over the world
       The longest night
    -Chorus 4
       And it's rainin' all over the world
       Raining all over the world
       Tonight, the longest night

    -Fade out
       You gotta save me girl
       When I'm ready to save
       Ah, I'm the fool for you
       You know I need you child
       C'mon and save me
       Can't you feel what you're doing to me now
       I'm on the run again
       Gotta save your soul

    -String, guitar and bass intro
    -Cello riff
    -Verse 1
       She cried to the southern wind
       'Bout a love that was sure to end
       Every dream in her heart was gone
       Headin' for a showdown

    -Cello riff
    -Verse 2
       Bad dreamer, what's your name
       Looks like we're ridin' on the same train
       Looks as though there'll be more pain
       There's gonna be a showdown

    -Cello riff
    -Chorus 1
       And it's rainin' all over the world
       Raining all over the world
       Tonight, the longest night

    -Cello riff
    -Verse 3
       She came to me like a friend
       She blew in on the southern wind
       Now my heart is turned to stone again
       There's gonna be a showdown

    -Verse 4
       Save me
       Save me
       It's a real submarine
       There's gonna be a showdown

    -Cello riff
    -Chorus 2
       And it's rainin' all over the world
       Raining all over the world
       Tonight, the longest night

    -Instrumental bridge
       guitar and string (20 seconds)
       rising guitar and strings with female vocals singing "rainin', rainin'"
       flanged string interlude
    -Chorus 3
       background vocals only: rainin' all over the world
       background vocals only: rainin' all over the world
       The longest night
    -Chorus 4
       And it's rainin' all over the world
       Raining all over the world
       Tonight, the longest night

    -Fade out
       You gotta save me girl
       When I'm ready to save
       Ah, the fool for you
       You know I need you child
       C'mon and save me
       Can't you feel what you're doing to me now
       I'm on the run again
       Gotta save your soul

    Original Lyric Sheet

    Variations

    There are nine known non-live variations of the original song Showdown and an original demo. They are:

    -March 1973 Demo
    -Showdown (Standard Release)
    -Showdown (Take 1)
    -Bev's Trousers (Showdown - Early Version)
    -All Over The World (Showdown - Early Version)
    -Showdown (Alternate Early Mix Version)
    -Showdown (ADT Mix Version)
    -Showdown (Edited USA Single Version)
    -Showdown (Edited USA Mono Single Version)
    -Showdown (Edited 18 Greatest Hits LP Version)

    The March 1973 demo is a very raw version of Jeff playing the rhythm guitar of the verses, while mumbling some lyrics that vary from the final release. The Take 1 version is the same as the standard release version, but it uses only the raw, unmixed rhythm and vocal takes as well as the mixed in strings and background vocals. Most interesting about this Take 1 version is that the full lyrics for the third chorus are heard, which is something not heard on any other version. It also does not fade, but continues to when the band finished the take, all while using completely different lyrics than appeared on the final release. The Bev's Trousers, All Over The World and Alternate Early Mix versions are mixes that were done before the final release version, containing slightly more adlibbed vocals, added vocal effects, and missing entirely the female backing vocals and the flanged string interlude from the song's instrumental bridge. The All Over The World version has an added flange effect and the Alternate Early Mix version also has an even stronger flange effect added throughout the song. The ADT Mix Version has been Automatically Double Tracked (ADT), meaning that the song is played with itself, which gives it a slight flange effect. The Edited USA single version (originally available on the UA single #UA-XW337-W) is the same as the standard version except that it fades earlier at the "You know I'm ready to die" lyric. This edited version also has a mono version available on the B-sides of the USA issued promotional single. The version found on the 1984 Australian 18 Greatest Hits LP edited out the first four lines of the ending.

    In addition, the newly recorded solo version heard in the Skate 2 movie is the same basic arrangement of the common single version.

    Song Section Lyric/Part Showdown (Standard Release) Showdown (Take 1) Bev's Trousers (Showdown - Early Version) All Over The World (Showdown - Early Version) Showdown (Alternate Early Mix Version) Showdown (ADT Mix Version) Showdown (Edited USA Single Version)
    Showdown (Edited USA Mono Single Version)
    Showdown (Edited 18 Greatest Hits LP Version) * Showdown (Solo Version)
    String, guitar and bass intro String, guitar and bass intro
    YES
    YES
    YES
    YES
    YES
    YES
    YES
    YES
    *
    YES
    Cello riff Cello riff
    YES
    YES
    YES
    YES
    YES
    YES
    YES
    YES
    *
    YES
    Verse 1 She cried to the southern wind
    YES
    YES
    YES
    YES
    YES
    YES
    YES
    YES
    *
    YES
    'Bout a love that was sure to end
    YES
    YES
    YES
    YES
    YES
    YES
    YES
    YES
    *
    YES
    Every dream in her heart was gone
    YES
    YES
    YES
    YES
    YES
    YES
    YES
    YES
    *
    YES
    Headin' for a showdown
    YES
    YES
    YES
    YES
    YES
    YES
    YES
    YES
    *
    YES
    Cello riff Cello riff
    YES
    YES
    YES
    YES
    YES
    YES
    YES
    YES
    *
    YES
    Verse 2 Bad dreamer, what's your name
    YES
    YES
    YES
    YES
    YES
    YES
    YES
    YES
    *
    YES
    Looks like we're ridin' on the same train
    YES
    YES
    YES
    YES
    YES
    YES
    YES
    YES
    *
    YES
    Looks as though there'll be more pain
    YES
    YES
    YES
    YES
    YES
    YES
    YES
    YES
    *
    YES
    There's gonna be a showdown
    YES
    YES
    YES
    YES
    YES
    YES
    YES
    YES
    *
    YES
    Cello riff Cello riff
    YES
    YES
    YES
    YES
    YES
    YES
    YES
    YES
    *
    YES
    Chorus 1 And it's rainin' all over the world plus backing vocals
    YES
    YES
    YES
    YES
    YES
    YES
    YES
    YES
    *
    YES
    It's raining all over the world plus backing vocals
    YES
    YES, but lyric is changed to Can't you see it's raining all over the world
    YES, but lyric is changed to Can't you see it's raining all over the world
    YES
    YES
    YES
    YES
    YES
    *
    YES, but lyric is changed to Raining all over the world
    Tonight, the longest night
    YES
    YES
    YES
    YES
    YES
    YES
    YES
    YES
    *
    YES
    Cello riff Cello riff
    YES
    YES
    YES, but due to a bad edit, you can hear Jeff start to sing the next lyric, she ca...
    YES
    YES
    YES
    YES
    YES
    *
    YES
    Verse 3 She came to me like a friend
    YES
    YES
    YES
    YES
    YES
    YES
    YES
    YES
    *
    YES
    She blew in on the southern wind
    YES
    YES
    YES
    YES
    YES
    YES
    YES
    YES
    *
    YES
    Now my heart is turned to stone again
    YES
    YES
    YES
    YES
    YES
    YES
    YES
    YES
    *
    YES
    There's gonna be a showdown
    YES
    YES
    YES
    YES
    YES
    YES
    YES
    YES
    *
    YES
    Verse 4 Save me
    YES
    YES
    YES
    YES
    YES
    YES
    YES
    YES
    *
    YES
    Oh save me
    YES
    YES
    YES
    YES
    YES
    YES
    YES
    YES
    *
    YES, but lyric is changed to Save me
    It's unreal, the suffering
    YES
    YES
    YES
    YES
    YES
    YES
    YES
    YES
    *
    YES, but lyric is changed to It's a real submarine
    There's gonna be a showdown
    YES
    YES
    YES
    YES
    YES
    YES
    YES
    YES
    *
    YES
    Cello riff Cello riff
    YES
    YES
    YES
    YES
    YES
    YES
    YES
    YES
    *
    -
    Chorus 2 And it's a rainin' all over the world plus backing vocals
    YES
    YES
    YES
    YES
    YES
    YES
    YES
    YES
    *
    YES
    Raining all over the world plus backing vocals
    YES
    YES, but lyric is changed to Oh, oh, it's raining all over the world
    YES, but lyric is changed to Oh, oh, it's raining all over the world
    YES
    YES
    YES
    YES
    YES
    *
    YES
    Tonight, the longest night
    YES
    YES
    YES
    YES
    YES
    YES
    YES
    YES
    *
    YES
    Instrumental Bridge guitar and string (20 seconds)
    YES
    YES
    YES
    YES
    YES
    YES
    YES
    YES
    *
    YES
    rising guitar and strings with female vocals singing rainin', rainin'
    YES
    YES, but missing female backing vocals and has an extra vocal bit with Jeff singing Ah, you gotta save me, yeah, ooh
    YES, but missing female backing vocals
    YES, but missing female backing vocals
    YES, but missing female backing vocals
    YES, but missing female backing vocals
    YES
    YES
    *
    YES
    flanged string interlude
    YES
    -
    -
    -
    -
    -
    YES
    YES
    *
    YES
    Chorus 3 Background vocals only sing rainin' all over the world
    YES
    YES, but lead vocals sing And it's rainin' all over the world
    YES
    YES
    YES
    YES
    YES
    YES
    *
    YES
    Background vocals only sing rainin' all over the world
    YES
    YES, but the lead vocals sing Gotta hear me now, it's raining all over the world
    YES, but the lead vocals sing Gotta hear me now, it's raining all over the world
    YES
    YES
    YES
    YES
    YES
    *
    YES
    The longest night
    YES
    YES, but the full lyric is sang Tonight, the longest night
    YES
    YES
    YES
    YES
    YES
    YES
    *
    YES
    Chorus 4 And it's rainin' all over the world plus backing vocals
    YES
    YES, but the lyric is I say to you it's rainin' all over the world
    YES, but the lyric is I say to you it's rainin' all over the world and at the same time, but pushed down in the mix, a double track of Jeff sings And it's... over the I say to you lyric
    YES
    YES
    YES
    YES
    YES
    *
    YES
    Raining all over the world plus backing vocals
    YES
    YES, but the lyric is Ah, oh, it's rainin' all over the world
    YES, but the lyric is Ah, oh, it's rainin' all over the world
    YES
    YES
    YES
    YES
    YES
    *
    YES
    Tonight, the longest night
    YES
    YES
    YES, but the lyric tonight is double tracked
    YES
    YES
    YES
    YES
    YES
    *
    YES
    Repeat to fade You gotta save me girl
    YES
    YES
    YES
    YES
    YES
    YES
    YES
    -
    *
    YES
    When I'm ready to save
    YES
    YES, but the lyric changed to I'm on the run again
    YES
    YES
    YES
    YES
    YES
    -
    *
    YES
    Ah, I'm the fool for you
    YES
    YES, but the lyric changed to You gonna please me, girl
    YES
    YES
    YES
    YES
    YES
    -
    *
    YES, but the lyric changed to Ah, the fool for you
    You know I need you child
    YES
    YES, but the lyric changed to You've seen my soul a'comin' through
    YES
    YES
    YES
    YES
    YES
    -
    *
    YES
    C'mon and save me
    YES
    YES, but the lyric changed to I know I try and try
    YES
    YES
    YES
    YES
    -
    YES
    *
    YES
    Can't you feel what you're doing to me now
    YES
    YES, but the lyric changed to And so I get unto you
    YES
    YES
    YES
    YES
    -
    YES
    *
    YES
    I'm on the run again
    YES
    YES, but the lyric changed to Save me!
    YES
    YES
    YES
    YES
    -
    YES
    *
    YES
    Gotta save your soul
    YES
    YES, but the lyric changed to You gotta save me girl, ooh
    YES
    YES
    YES
    YES
    -
    YES
    *
    YES
    Instrument stops (no fade out) Instrument stops (no fade out)
    -
    YES
    -
    -
    -
    -
    -
    -
    *
    -

    Music Charts

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

    Week 1 Week 2 Week 3 Week 4 Week 5 Week 6 Week 7 Week 8 Week 9 Week 10 Week 11
    UK Official Top 50 Chart Entry Date: October 6, 1973
    44
    29
    14
    16
    12
    (November 3, 1973)
    12
    (November 10, 1973)
    18
    23
    36
    45
    USA Billboard Hot 100 Chart Entry Date: December 1, 1973
    90
    87
    84
    76
    67
    61
    57
    56
    55
    53
    (February 2, 1974)
    65
    USA Cash Box Top 100 Chart Entry Date: December 8, 1973
    94
    83
    76
    73
    67
    64
    59
    53
    52
    51
    (February 9, 1974)
    68
    Holland Top 40 (De Nederlandse Top 40) Chart Entry Date: January 26, 1974
    36
    28
    (February 2, 1974)
    30
    35
    Holland Top 30 (Uncertain Origin) Chart Entry Date: January 12, 1974
    30
    27
    27
    25
    (February 2, 1974)
    30
    Norway Top 10 Chart Entry Date: November 26, 1973
    9
    (November 26, 1973)
    9
    (December 3, 1973)
    * * *
    USA Billboard Hot 100 Chart Entry Date: August 7, 1976
    84
    74
    63
    59
    (August 28, 1976)
    68
    99
    96
    USA Cash Box Top 100 Chart Entry Date: August 21, 1976
    87
    82
    78
    75
    (September 11, 1976)

    Releases

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

    March 1973 Demos

    Showdown (Standard Release)

    Showdown (Take 1)

    Bev's Trousers (Showdown - Early Version)

    All Over The World (Showdown - Early Version)

    Showdown (Alternate Early Mix Version)

    Showdown (ADT Mix Version)

    Showdown (Edited USA Single Version)

    Showdown (Edited USA Mono Single Version)

    Showdown (Edited 18 Greatest Hits LP Version)

    Showdown (Long Beach May 12, 1974)

    Showdown (Remix Version) (Long Beach May 12, 1974)

    Showdown (Long Beach Single Version)

    Showdown (Szene '74 - October 11, 1974)

    Showdown (Eldorado Tour)

    Showdown (Winterland February 14, 1976)

    Showdown (London June 20, 1976)

    Showdown (Portsmouth June 22, 1976)

    Showdown (A New World Record Tour)

    Showdown (Wembley 1978)

    Showdown (Stereo Mix Wembley 1978)

    Showdown (5.1 Mix Wembley 1978)

    Showdown (Time Tour)

    Showdown (Balance Of Power Tour)

    Showdown (VH1 Storytellers, April 20, 2001)

    Showdown (Los Angeles, May 2001)

    Showdown (5.1 Mix - Los Angeles, May 2001)

    Showdown (Solo Version)

    Showdown (Bungalow Palace - March 2011)

    Tours

    Showdown was played on all tours following its release.

    The performances that have seen official release are two versions from the On The Third Day tour (both variations of the Long Beach concert), three versions from the Face The Music tour (from London, Winterland and Portsmouth), one version from the Out Of The Blue tour (Wembley), and one version from the PBS performance for the aborted Zoom tour. It's interesting to note that the Long Beach performance was greatly extended with additional guitar solos, but the two releases (the original LP and the remastered CD) have been edited very differently from one another making them both quite unique.

    Performances of Showdown from the Eldorado, A New World Record, Time and Balance Of Power tours have not been officially released, although they have been bootlegged from various sources. It should also be noted that the version of the song performed during the Time tour was part of a hits medley, so only included 1 minute and fifty seconds, cutting the third and fourth verses and the second and third choruses before blending into Ma-Ma-Ma Belle. The performance during the brief Balance Of Power tour was also abbreviated, blending in from the end of 10538 Overture, cutting the third and fourth verses and the second and third choruses before blending into Sweet Talkin' Woman.

    Pictures

    UK 7-inch single (Harvest Records HAR 5077) USA 7-inch single (United Artists UA-XW 337-W) USA 7-inch single (United Artists UA-XW 337-W) USA On The Third Day LP (United Artists UA-LA 188-F) UK 7-inch single (Harvest HAR 5121)
    UK vinyl single * Harvest Records * HAR 5077 USA vinyl single * United Artists * UA-XW 337-W (standard issue) USA vinyl single * United Artists * UA-XW 337-W (promo issue) USA On The Third Day album * United Artists * UA-LA 188-F UK vinyl 7" single * Harvest * HAR 5121
    UK test pressing single UK 12-inch promo single (Harvest PSLP 213) UK 7-inch single (Harvest HAR 5179) UK 12-inch single (Harvest 12 HAR 5179) UK Strange Magic 7-inch single (Jet JET 779)
    UK test pressing single * N/A * N/A
    Image used with kind permission of Malcolm M. Henderson
    UK vinyl promo 12" single * Harvest * PSLP 213 UK vinyl 7" single * Harvest * HAR 5179 UK vinyl 12" single * Harvest * 12 HAR 5179 UK Strange Magic vinyl 7" single B-side * Jet * JET 779
    USA 7-inch single (United Artists UA-XW 513-W) USA 7-inch single (United Artists UA-XW 842-Y) USA 7-inch single (United Artists UA-XW 842-Y) USA 7-inch single (Jet CBS ZS8 5152) USA 7-inch single (Jet CBS ZS8 5152)
    USA vinyl single * United Artists * UA-XW 513-W USA vinyl single * United Artists * UA-XW 842-Y (standard issue) USA vinyl single * United Artists * UA-XW 842-Y (promo issue) USA vinyl single * Golden Oldies Jet * CBS ZS8 5152 USA vinyl single * Collectables Jet * CBS ZS8 5152
    Australia 7-inch single (Harvest HAR-11357) Australia 7-inch single (Harvest HAR-10326) Belgium 7-inch single (Harvest 4C 006-05 458) Canada 7-inch single (United Artists UA-XW337-W) Canada 7-inch single (United Artists UA-XW842-Y)
    Australia vinyl single * Harvest * HAR-11357
    Image used with kind permission of Jon Lock
    Australia vinyl single * Harvest * HAR-10326
    Image used with kind permission of Jon Lock
    Belgium vinyl single * Harvest * 4C 006-05 458 Canada vinyl single * United Artists * UA-XW337-W Canada vinyl single * United Artists * UA-XW842-Y
    Chile 7-inch single (EMI MSOD-8915) East Germany EP single (Amiga 5 56 085) France 7-inch single (Harvest 2C 006-05.458) Germany 7-inch single (Harvest 1C 006-05 458) Germany 7-inch single (test pressing)
    Chile vinyl single (Roll Over Beethoven) * EMI * MSOD-8915
    Image used with kind permission of Jon Lock
    East Germany vinyl EP * Amiga * 5 56 085
    Image used with kind permission of Jon Lock
    France vinyl single * Harvest * 2C 006-05.458 Germany vinyl single * Harvest * 1C 006-05 458
    Image used with kind permission of Jon Lock
    Germany vinyl single * test pressing
    Germany 7-inch single (Harvest 1C 006-06 855) Guatamala 7-inch single (EMI 4314) Holland 7-inch single (EMI 1A 006-06855) Holland 12-inch single (Harvest 5C K052Z-06855) Holland pink 7-inch single (Harvest 5C 006-05 458)
    Germany vinyl single * Harvest * 1C 006-06 855 Guatamala vinyl single * EMI * 4314 Holland vinyl single * EMI * 1A 006-06855
    Image used with kind permission of Jon Lock
    Holland vinyl 12" single * Harvest * 5C K052Z-06855
    Image used with kind permission of Jon Lock
    Holland vinyl single (pink) * Harvest * 5C 006-05 458
    Image used with kind permission of Jon Lock
    Holland light blue 7-inch single (Harvest 5C 006-05 458) Holland dark blue 7-inch single (Harvest 5C 006-05 458) Italy 7-inch single (Harvest/EMI 3C006-05458) Italy 7-inch single (Harvest 3C 000-70014) Japan 7-inch single (Odeon EOR-10450)
    Holland vinyl single (light blue) * Harvest * 5C 006-05 458
    Image used with kind permission of Jon Lock
    Holland vinyl single (dark blue) * Harvest * 5C 006-05 458
    Image used with kind permission of Jon Lock
    Italy vinyl single * Harvest/EMI * 3C006-05458
    Image used with kind permission of Bill Carter
    Italy vinyl single * Harvest * 3C 000-70014
    Image used with kind permission of Jon Lock
    Japan vinyl single * Odeon * EOR-10450
    Image used with kind permission of Jon Lock
    New Zealand 7-inch single (Harvest HAR 5077) Peru 7-inch single (Odeon 01.01.211) Portugal 7-inch single (Stateside 8E 006-05 458 MF) Singapore 7-inch single (Harvest HAR 5077) South Africa 7-inch single (Harvest HARJ 5077)
    New Zealand vinyl single * Harvest * HAR 5077
    Image used with kind permission of Jon Lock
    Peru vinyl single * Odeon * 01.01.211
    Image used with kind permission of Jon Lock
    Portugal vinyl single * Stateside * 8E 006-05 458 MF
    Image used with kind permission of Jon Lock
    Singapore vinyl single * Harvest * HAR 5077
    Image used with kind permission of Jon Lock
    South Africa vinyl single * Harvest * HARJ 5077
    Image used with kind permission of Jon Lock
    Sweden 7-inch single (Harvest HAR 5077) Thailand 7-inch single (4 Track FT.127) Thailand 7-inch single (Royalsound TKR 166) Thailand 7-inch single (Cashbox KS-245) Thailand 7-inch single ( ? FS2)
    Sweden vinyl single * Harvest * HAR 5077
    Image used with kind permission of Jon Lock
    Thailand vinyl EP * 4 Track * FT.127
    Image used with kind permission of Jon Lock
    Thailand vinyl EP * Royalsound * TKR 166
    Image used with kind permission of Jon Lock
    Thailand vinyl EP * Cashbox * KS-245
    Image used with kind permission of Jon Lock
    Thailand vinyl EP * ? * FS2
    Image used with kind permission of Jon Lock
    Thailand 7-inch single (? ?) Thailand 7-inch single (Cashbox ?) Thailand 7-inch single (Cashbox ?) Venezuela 7-inch single (Harvest HAR 710) Yugoslavia 7-inch single (Harvest Jugotron SHAR-88706)
    Thailand vinyl EP * ? * ?
    Image used with kind permission of Jon Lock
    Thailand vinyl EP * Cashbox * ?
    Image used with kind permission of Jon Lock
    Thailand vinyl EP * Cashbox * ?
    Image used with kind permission of Jon Lock
    Venezuela vinyl single (promo) * Harvest * HAR 710
    Image used with kind permission of Jon Lock
    Yugoslavia vinyl single * Harvest Jugotron * SHAR-88706
    Skate 2 XBox game Skate 2 Playstation game Mr. Blue Sky The Very Best Of Electric Light Orchestra album with solo version
    Skate 2 XBox game containing newer solo version Skate 2 Playstation game containing newer solo version Mr. Blue Sky The Very Best Of Electric Light Orchestra album containing newer solo version

    Cover Versions


    Use in Movies and TV Programs

    Electric Light Orchestra's original Showdown


    Electric Light Orchestra's solo Showdown


    Sheet Music

                  
    Sheet music as published in the UK.

           
    Sheet music as published in the USA.

    Promotional Videos and TV Performances

    Showdown promo videoThere was a promo video for Showdown produced which shows the band on a rooftop on the banks of the Thames river in London. The building they are on is unidentified, but they are on the south side of the river, across from St. Paul's Cathedral, of which the dome of the cathedral is the focus of the opening and closing shots of the video. It is a mimed performance to the full UK single version of the song, running 4:11 total. The video was filmed after cellist Colin Walker left the band but before the hiring of cellist Hugh McDowell. As a result, ELO's sound man, Rick Pannell steps in and mimes the cello for the video shoot. This video is available for purchase and download from iTunes. It can be seen HERE.

     

    Showdown on Top Of The PopsThe band did a mime only performace of the song on an October 11, 1973 broadcast of the BBC's Top Of The Pops program, with host Kenny Everett. This mime performance was repeated on the November 1 episode as well. Thankfully the episode survived the BBC's wiping policy and can be seen HERE. Soundman Rick Pannell also mimed the cello in this appearance because the band still didn't have another cello player yet in the band.

     

    Showdown on The Midnight SpecialThe band performed another mime performance on the USA's The Midnight Special music program on November 23, 1973 (along with Ma-Ma-Ma Belle) with Peter Noone presenting the band. This performance was rebroadcast on the February 8, 1974 episode; and again on September 17, 1976 to promote the rerelease of the song. Many of ELO's appearance on The Midnight Special have limited availability, but thankfully ELO's appearance for this song on the 1976 rebroadcast is available on the bootleg market and can be seen HERE.

     

    A fully live version of the song as part of a mini-concert set was broadcast on the German TV show Szene '74 on October 11, 1974. This show was later renamed to Rockapalast and the episode was repeated with the new title. Thankfully, the show, complete with the Rockapalast titles, has been officially released in 2010 on a DVD called Electric Light Orchestra Live: The Early Years.

     

    Fan Comments

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


    Tell the world what you think about Showdown. Do you hear a submarine?

    Artwork by Lynnette Johansson for Showdown
    -Fan artwork by Lynnette "Cicky" Johansson

    Quotations

    March 1973 Demos
    "ELO were touring so much during [the early 1970s] that rehearsals for new material were done during soundchecks or backstage while support bands were playing. One such illuminating backstage encounter from March 1973 survives on a recently discovered mono cassette tape. With just a guitar and one keyboard, Jeff and Richard are heard demoing to the rest of the group, embryonic, guide-vocal versions of Auntie, Bev's Trousers No. 7, Daybreaker, Everyone's Born To Die and two further songs that were never recorded. A week later, Jeff had written the lyrics and taken the band into AIR to record the songs."
    Rob Caiger (2002 - liner notes for ELO 2 remaster CD)

    "[The March 1973 demos on mono tape were] on CD 2 [of the First Light Series: ELO 2 set entitled The Lost Planet] until Jeff asked us to remove it. It is a fascinating document of a band at work, plus there's two songs on there which have never been released in any form."
    Rob Caiger (April 1, 2003 - Showdown mailing list)

    "A tour during March 1973 to promote ELO 2 took up so much time that Lynne had to demo his new material to the group during soundchecks or while support bands were on-stage. Early versions of new songs such as Theme From A Glass Table (Daybreaker) and I'm Only Dreaming (Dreaming Of 4000) were already being performed live though Lynne could not wait to get the band back into the studio."
    Rob Caiger (September 11 2006 - On The Third Day remaster liner notes)

    Showdown (Standard Release)
    This song was originally released as a single only and was not put on the UK version of On The Third Day. However, in the US, it was released on On The Third Day. There is a "single version" of this song that turns up on various collections, however since the song was originally issued as a single only, the single and album (On The Third Day) versions are one and the same. An edited version of the song did turn up, though, on the original USA pressed UA single.

    "Now the Electric Light Orchestra's third album, On The Third Day, is out, along with a new single, Showdown, wihc is presently breaking big in England (already #14 there and moving fast) and is bound to do the same here."
    Unknown (early October 1973 - On The Third Day press kit)

    "Jeff Lynne and the ELO thunder back into action with menacing strings and anguished vocals. Add a funky back-beat and a catchy hook phrase and you have-- a chart buster. That's my theory and it may just work. The riff nags at the brain and causes a rush of blood to the head, an itch in the soles of the feet and bloodshot eyes."
    Author Unknown (1973 - Sounds)

    "On one track, Raining All Over The World (Showdown) [sic] - a strong contender as ELO's next single - the following guitars were played: a 1951 Les Paul; a 1953 Gibson Firebird belonging to Marc Bolan; a 1973 Shaftesbury; a 1963 Strat and a Yamaha Acoustic; plus a custom-built Gibson played by studio engineer Denny Bridges, who used to be in the Third Ear Band. Quite a mixture. And on Marc Bolan's guitar, used on the solo on Showdown? Jeff Lynne: 'The Firebird is really great. Marc's been playing on a few sessions for us and he's come on stage for a blow. The Firebird is a funny looking thing and it makes a weird hard sound. It lacks sustain but it doesn't sound like any other guitar I've played.'"
    Author Unknown (1973 - Sounds article entitled: Jeff Lynne Putting On The Style)

    "Nowadays, a large amount of [Michael De Albuquerque's] musical make-up is still soul orientated, a fact reflected in both his solo single Do Right and ELO's present hit, Showdown. The soul influence is so strong in the latter that critics have accused it of being too similar to Marvin Gaye's classic Tamla hit Heard It Through The Grapevine. [Michael De Albuquerque says,] 'Oddly enough when I had my first ever rehearsal with the group, the piece that gelled between us was Grapevine. But if people complain about the similarity between our single and Marvin Gaye's, I don't take any notice, because really, everything sounds similar. Obviously we've used the same notes but the rhythm is quite different. Anyone whose interested in the musical side of things could put our single on and know that there are different things happening in the bass and in the overall arrangement. We all love soul music in the group but with a difference, because we use strings as an integral part of the piece rather than as an additive, which is what the soul people do. It perhaps doesn't sound very different on the single, but if you ever hear an LP you'll know what I mean.'"Who has Jeff Lynne been listening to now? On the first coupla [sic] hearings, I didn't rate Showdown too highly but stick with it, brethen, it's a grower. The production and the arrangement are excellent, very black sounding, and Jeff Lynne has obviously been listening to someone pretty good. Shimmering strings tap the ball off the centre-spot and are most admirably deployed throughout, not dominating but adding emphasis and punctuation to the side, Jeff even contrives to sing black and the whitest things about Showdown are a crisp guitar break and a group of ladies who go 'raining, raining' in spots. The beat, as we reviewing johnnies are so fond of saying, doesn't let up for a moment. The Pig was put in mind of I Heard It Through The Grapevine, and I dare say she's right. Even if it doesn't do too well in this country it should lay them on their ears in the Americas. 9/10 to Jeff and the Boys."
    John Peel (January, 1974 - Disc)

    "
    Beverley Legge (1973 - Source Unknown, article entitled Putting Life Into Light found in website only expanded liner notes for ELO 2 remaster CD)

    "Showdown applies [ELO's] formula of thematic eclecticism to pop music (instead of classical), pulling riffs from I Heard It Through the Grapevine, an early John Mayall song called All Your Love, and even Del Shannon's Stranger In Town. It's a heavily produced, commercial record on a par with Stories' Brother Louie, and the extra effort shows. It stands out [amongst other songs from the On The Third Day album], like a refugee from some apocryphal ELO album containing ten such blockbuster tracks."
    Greg Shaw (January 31, 1974 Rolling Stone #153)

    "We're gonna play Electric Light Orchestra from last year, Showdown, which I thought was a great record and I was expecting it to be #1 but I don't think UA [United Artists] got their fingers out and pushed it. And it's a nice group -- I call them 'Son of Beatles' -- although they're doing things we never did, obviously. But I remember a statement they made when they first formed was to carry on from where the Beatles left off with Walrus, and they certainly did. And for those people who like to know where licks and things come from, which I do.... this is a beautiful combination of I Heard It Through The Grapevine by Marvin Gaye and Lightning Strikes Again [by] Lou Christie, and it's a beautiful job with a little Walrus underneath."
    John Lennon (September 28, 1974 - WNEW-FM Radio, New York City)

    "A standout track which became one of ELO's first single successes. The 3rd Day [sic] album, released in late '73, lodges ELO's image in the public's mind with strong critical acclaim coupled with positive reaction at the concert level. Takes us one step further to... Ma-Ma-Ma Belle."
    Author Unknown (June 1976 - liner notes for Olé ELO album)

    "It was not until the release of [ELO's] third album, On The Third Day, and their single, Showdown, that they got any heavy AM airplay. An appealing R&B number reminiscent of I Heard It Through The Grapevine, Showdown was a minor hit; it was even covered by Odia Coates, protege of Paul Anka, who did a funkier version than ELO. [...] The US pressing [of On The Third Day] tacks on the single of Showdown right after [the On The Third Day suite on side one], spoiling the coherence a bit. [...] Will ELO completely forsake their own development and maturity to wind up wrecked and out-of-fashion when the godawful disco craze finally blows over once and for all? The recent re-release of Showdown seems to be another step in this direction, exhuming their most disorienting number prior to Evil Woman."
    Joel Bellman (December 1976 - Trouser Press #17)

    "In this collection [The Light Shines On], too, is the classic Showdown, a hit single which was a forerunner to Evil Woman and Livin' Thing. Those three songs bear startling similarities. "
    Harry Doherty (1977 - The Light Shines On liner notes)

    "On the early songs like Showdown and Ma Ma Belle [sic] ('73) we were still trying to find our way musically, but I can still listen to these tracks and smile and think how important they seemed at the time, even though at some of our shows we outnumbered the audience!"
    Jeff Lynne (November 1979 ELO's Greatest Hits)

    "...I love commercial music! ...I like pop records. I like Olivia Newton-John singing Magic, and Donna Summer singing whatever the hell it is she'll be singing. I like the ELO singing All Over the World. ...I just enjoy it! That's the kind of music I like to hear."
    John Lennon (September 17 1980 - Newsweek magazine)
    Editor's Note: John Lennon may have been talking about Showdown here, a song which he has praised in the past that has the lyric 'all over the world' prominently in the lyrics, rather than the All Over The World song from Xanadu.

    "Having exorcised the over-seriousness from the E.L.O.'s music, allowing the strength of the songs to shine through the arrangements, Jeff was then able to steer his own course to megastardom, the no. 12 single Showdown being their final Harvest release before moving to Jet Records, barely recognisable as the work of the band which, less than two years earlier, had attempted to transcend the limitations of pop attitude."
    Paul Cox (1986 - liner notes for First Movement)

    "Lynne's remarkable facility for catchy melodies and unforgettable hooks produced [the British hit single] the funky-going-on-disco Showdown complete with a cutting Lynne guitar solo and a false ending..."
    Ira Robbins (1990 liner notes for Afterglow)

    "Showdown is for many the starting point for their interest in ELO in general and Jeff Lynne in particular. A pop classic, it came close to the Top 10 in the UK singles chart and the Top 50 in the US. [...] This CD also provides the unique opportunity to hear the progress of a hit-- from Showdown's first incarnation as Bev's Trousers (a working title?) through All Over The World, and finally to Showdown. The titles, by the way, are those written on the tape box."
    John Tobler (1991 liner notes for Early ELO (1971-1973))

    "The reverse of the [UK Shine A Little Love single's picture] sleeve featured shots of other ELO albums available (have these people no shame?), and for once, the perennial error of Showdown being on On The Third Day was corrected, although amusingly, you can clearly see where it was crudely inked out."
    Unknown (1992 - Face The Music fanzine #11)

    On the surface, [Last Train To London is] yet another Showdown re-write, but a closer inspection reveals that this time round, Kelly's pumping bass and Jeff's emotional state actually give the song an insistent urgency missing from later Showdown close like Train Of Gold and Sorrow About To Fall."
    Unknown (1992 - Face The Music fanzine #11)

    "The liner notes [of ELO's Greatest Hits] kindly give us the lyrics as well, including the first appearance of Showdown's words. [...] What of the track listing [of ELO's Greatest Hits] itself? Only two songs represent the pre-1975 band; namely Showdown and Can't Get It Out Of My Head. The first is particularly interesting for two reasons; in the UK of course, CBS/Jet did not own the rights to it, and had to license it from EMI. Secondly, it's also slightly edited, the track fades out earlier than the 1973 original."
    Unknown (1992 - Face The Music fanzine #12)

    "One week [after April 10, 1973] E.L.O. had another recording session for Harvest to record Showdown and Ma-Ma-Ma Belle (working titles were Bev's Trousers and Auntie). Marc Bolan [of T. Rex fame] joined in and played electric guitar on those tracks. He wasn't credited on any sleeves, because it was very difficult in those days to play together with friends who were signed to another record company. Companies gave no courtesy or no permission, and thus many related works had to be done incognito. [...] The United Artists version of On The Third Day included Showdown as additional track, whereas the song was missing on the Warner Brothers issue. Probably Warner and Harvest disagreed about the royalties."
    Patrik Guttenbacher, Marc Haines, & Alexander von Petersdorff (1996 Unexpected Messages)

    "Without question Showdown [is my favorite track that I recorded with ELO]. I thought that Showdown was the only exception to the pieces that I had been saying, that had been a little disappointing from Jeff in my period. I thought Showdown was a masterpiece, so I'm glad to have been at least on one, that I think stands out with the rest, actually I still think it's maybe one of the best two or three that ELO have ever done, despite the fact that it's that early. And the band I've got at the moment, which is a bunch of crack musicians, and not crap, crack (laughter), and for instance, they also rate Showdown so it's a sort of track that really stands up on its own in my opinion; it didn't fit into concepts, did it it was a good stand out bluesy piece, with orchestration I think, put in a nice place, that bit (Mike sings:- der, der, der der, der, der, derrrr) the instrumental break there is a beautiful bit of orchestration that really fits within the rock format. I don't [know why it wasn't put on an album]. It was recorded as a single, and On The Third Day was made as a concept album."
    Michael De Albuquerque (August 18, 1998 - King Of The Universe #6)

    "I also love the big slow-motion bowling scene with Bill Murray and Woody Harrelson in [the film] Kingpin that featured Showdown. Brilliant. [...] John Lennon said on the radio how much he liked this one!"
    Jeff Lynne (2000 - Flashback)

    "I kept trying different styles all the time and the Showdown one was trying to do like an R&B type thing, which suited the cellos, y'know, and I... It's like using these strings that were there, in different ways, y'know. Sometimes in a, like psuedo classical way and sometimes in a... trying to do a soulful way."
    Jeff Lynne (June 2 & 9, 2001 - Mr. Blue Sky: The Jeff Lynne Story 2001 BBC 2 Radio show)

    "Yeah, [Showdown] was a nice one because there were two cellos and a violin and that was the arrangement... and a moog. And it was very simple and all I did was... Once I put those high harmonies on, I knew... I really thought it would have a chance to be a hit. And it turned out it was a big hit in England."
    Jeff Lynne (July 2001 - Electric Light Orchestra - Up Close US Jones Radio Network Radio Show)

    "For their next album, On The Third Day, Jeff eased off on the bombast and delivered stirring rock songs like Ma-Ma-Ma Belle (one of rock's greatest opening riffs) and Showdown.'That was the first title I was focused enough to write a pop song without trying to be fancy and weird,' he says. 'I always remember the mastering guy at EMI saying, That's a touch of class, that is. This technical guy who'd been doing it for years liked the sound of it, and that gave me confidence.'"
    Jim Irvin (August, 2001 - The Bullring Variations article in Mojo)

    "...Sessions for the third album were begun at AIR Studios on 1 April 1973. Future hit and final EMI single release, Showdown, was initially recorded under the working title Bev's Trousers No. 7. The song later proved to be a favourite of John Lennon's and a popular departure into R&B (with cellos) for the band. During these sessions, Marc Bolan was also in the studio, recording material. The UK superstar and chart phenomenon was a friend of Jeff's from his Idle Race days and accepted an invitation to play guitar on three ELO tracks. Marc also lent Jeff his 1953 Gibson Firebird for Showdown's guitar solo... [...] Showdown was Jeff Lynne's first self-composed worldwide hit single and ELO's final release for EMI on 14 September 1973. It reached no. 12 in the UK charts and no. 42 in America on United Artists (where it also later appeared as part of the new On The Third Day album). The original promotional film, featuring an ELO performance on the banks of the River Thames, survives in EMI's archive."
    Rob Caiger (2002 - liner notes for ELO 2 remaster CD)
    Editor's note: Showdown did not reach #42 on the US charts, it only reached #53. It was Roll Over Beethoven that reached #42.

    "I'd become friends with Marc Bolan when I was with the Idle Race. We used to play at the same places now and again. When we were recording ELO 2 at Air Studios in Oxford Circus, in the next studio was Marc Bolan. He used to pop into our sessions for a bit of a jam and a few laughs. I think Marc played on three songs, Ma-Ma-Belle [sic], Dreaming of 4000 & Everyone's Born [sic] etc. I played his Gibson Firebird on the solo of Showdown."
    Jeff Lynne (2002 - liner notes for ELO 2 remaster CD)

    "ELO wasn't a dictatorship as some critics have described, it was great fun, especially for those that could contribute to the songs Jeff had written. If he felt it was a good idea, it could stay, though ELO was very strictly Jeff's concept. He knew what he wanted but didn't limit the expression of the players. We all contributed to our parts - it wasn't dictated to us note by note. I know Richard contributed a lot, I did, Wilf contributed some critical things. Jeff would have told us what sort of atmosphere he was trying to create and imagery. For example, Wilf made some very important contributions to Roll Over Beethoven and Showdown, some delicious chords. I came up with the bass part to Showdown, which I'm very proud of. I thought as a piece of white rhythm and blues, Showdown stands to this present day as a great track. Love it!"
    Michael De Albuquerque (2002 - website only expanded liner notes for ELO 2 remaster CD)

    "The UK music paper, Sounds, were [sic] allowed into the ELO sessions at AIR Studios, then situated four floors above Oxford Circus in London, to talk guitars with Jeff. On the Bev's Trousers No.7 session [which was an early working title for Showdown], a number of guitars were used: a 1951 Les Paul and a 1953 Gibson Firebird belonging to Marc Bolan; a 1973 Shaftsbury; a 1963 Strat and a Yamaha Acoustic, plus studio engineer Denny Bridges (previous in the Third Ear Band) on a custom-built Gibson. Quite a mixture! Jeff commented: 'The Firebird is really great. Marc's been playing on a few sessions for us and he's come on stage for a blow. The Firebird is a funny looking thing and it makes a weird hard sound. It lacks sustain but it doesn't sound like any other guitar I've played.' [...] John Lennon spoke very favourably of the song when he reviewed and played it on a New York radio station, even referring to ELO as 'son of Beatles.' With similar excellent reviews from music critics and fans, Showdown became a big hit when released on 14 September 1973 (Harvest HAR 5077). It has remained a permanent fixture in ELO's live repertoire ever since."
    Author Unknown (March 31, 2003 - liner notes for The Lost Planet)

    "Showdown was Jeff Lynne's first self-composed worldwide hit single. John Lennon famously introduced Showdown on a New York radio station as one of his favourite songs, describing ELO as 'son of Beatles'. [...] ELO songs are featured in current TV programmes, film soundtracks and ad campaigns throughout the UK and USA: [amongst them] Showdown used by the BBC for the World Darts Championships (!) etc. [...] John Lennon commented on a New York radio show how much he liked Showdown and ELO (dubbing them 'son of Beatles') - and so did the record-buying public. The track, released in October 1973, was the first Jeff Lynne-penned song to achieve chart success in both the UK and USA. [...] Marc [Bolan] also lent Jeff his 1953 Gibson Firebird for hit single Showdown's guitar solo "
    Author Unknown (March 31, 2003 - website only expanded liner notes for ELO 2 remaster CD)

    "Showdown is the property of Harvest Records which is why it was excluded from the UK LP [of On The Third Day]."
    Rob Caiger (April 3, 2003 - Showdown mailing list)

    "ELO had to wait until they returned to the UK before releasing [their] new single Showdown. A radical departure in the way the song combined Tamla Motown rhythms with strings, Showdown was the first Jeff Lynne-penned song to achieve chart success in both the UK and USA. John Lennon even commented on air how much he liked the song while guest presenting a New York radio show. Though ELO's third album On The Third Day was originally recorded for EMI, Showdown became the band's final release for the label. [After several alternate mixes, ELO] finally settled on the more well-known and incredibly popular released version. Showdown became Jeff Lynne's first self-composed worldwide hit single and ELO's final release for EMI in September 1973."
    Rob Caiger (March 2004 - liner notes for Early Years album)

    "The track listing [for All Over The World: The Very Best Of Electric Light Orchestra] was also modified following Jeff's instructions and Showdown, Ma-Ma-Ma Belle, and Xanadu (Flashback version) [were] added."
    Rob Caiger (May 28, 2005 - Showdown mailing list)

    "I've got a tape of John [Lennon] back when he was doing a DJ spot in New York. 'And I love that song Showdown,' he said, 'That's my favorite. I thought that'd be number one, but UA never got their finger out.' And it was so amazing to hear that, y'know, from John Lennon. And he liked it. He thought it was great."
    Jeff Lynne (July 5, 2005 - Face The Music: The Story of the Electric Light Orchestra BBC 2 Radio show)

    "But they were always Jeff's songs and arrangements, members of the band were not bringing their own songs or creative vision to ELO. There may have been instances where something suggested itself as part of the song Jeff presented (such as Mike's bass line in Showdown) but it was only because the song was there in the first place. Jeff would work arrangements out or with Richard (and using Showdown as an example) suggest 'T-Rex chords' (prior to Marc being involved) - which you can hear and Mike worked around and came up with a bass part. It stayed because Jeff thought it worthy enough to be included in his song. But there's plenty of stuff that didn't..."
    Rob Caiger (July 20, 2005 - Showdown mailing list)

    "Drawing on Jeff Lynne's soul and Tamla influences, [Showdown] drew praise from none other than John Lennon plus Charlie Gillett and other critics at the time for the change of direction and a feel similar to Marvin Gaye's I Heard It Through The Grapevine. Candi Staton later had some US success with a cover version."
    John Van der Kiste (September 5, 2005 - Harvest Showdown review on ftmusic.com)

    "Marc [Bolan] didn't play on Showdown - Jeff used Marc's guitar for that track."
    Rob Caiger (October 3, 2005 - Showdown mailing list)

    "The first song I played on was Showdown..."
    Mik Kaminski (November 17, 2005 - The Northern Echo)

    "Following the first of many successful and popular tours of America, ELO achieved a third UK and USA hit single with Showdown. Hugely popular, the classic ELO single was a particular favourite of John Lennon. It was also the last recording the group made for Harvest Records..."
    Rob Caiger (March 13, 2006 - liner notes for The Collection)

    "I used [Marc Bolan's] guitar, his Firebird, on the solo of Showdown. He had really thick strings on it and that really hurt to play! [...] I kept trying different styles all the time and Showdown ws like an R 'n' B type thing which suited the cellos. It was using the strings that were there in different ways. Sometimes in a psuedo-classical way and sometimes in a soulful way. I think that's why you couldn't put us in a progressive rock thing because it tunes and all. We weren't really allowed to be a pop group but you could be this weird thing that no one knew what it was."
    Jeff Lynne (July 31 2006 - The Harvest Years 1970-1973 liner notes)

    "Showdown was ELO's final release for Harvest before the group's move to new label Warner Bros and release of On The Third Day (followed by subsequent moves to Jet and then Epic records). Hugely popular and a favourite to this day, the classic ELO song was particularly admired by John Lennon, who dubbed the group 'son of Beatles' live on a New York radio station after he had played the single. A big hit in both America and Great Britain during September 1973, it also heralded a new direction in Lynne's songwriting."
    Rob Caiger (July 31 2006 - The Harvest Years 1970-1973 liner notes)

    "Showdown is my favorite track on here."
    Jeff Lynne (September 11 2006 - On The Third Day remaster liner notes)

    "With Lynne producing, six songs were quickly recorded: Bev's Trousers no.7 (Showdown), In The Hole Of The Mounted Parrot (stage favourite In The Hall Of The Mountain King), Daybreaker, Dreaming Of 4000, Auntie (Ma-Ma-Ma Belle) and Everyone's Born To Die). In The Hall Of The Mountain King was considered as a follow-up to Roll Over Beethoven but rather than risk being labeled as a covers band, the next ELO single [Showdown] was a radical departure. Jeff Lynne:'I'd get this thing going in my mind, this tune which didn't sound like the ELO at all. But eventually it grew into Showdown which sounded more like a black American record... What I'm trying to get into now, and what we are getting into on stage a bit, is sort of Motown rhythms with classical strings as well.' Hosting a radio show in New York, John Lennon enthusiastically explained how much he enjoyed Showdown and ELO, dubbing them 'son of Beatles.' The record-buying public on both sides of the Atlantic agreed and the track, backed up with a promotional video filmed on the banks of the River Thames, became the first Jeff Lynne-penned song to achieve major chart success in both the U.K. and U.S.A."
    Rob Caiger (September 11 2006 - On The Third Day remaster liner notes)

    "On The Third Day (1973) provided ELO with the bluesy Showdown and gritty rocker Ma-Ma-Ma Belle -- both of which became 'deep cut' FM radio staples."
    Lindsay Planer (November 6, 2006 - MusicTAP On The Third Day, Face The Music and A New World Record remaster review)

    "Stylistically the [On The Third Day] CD features... straight-ahead rockers (Showdown and Ma-Ma-Ma Belle)..."
    Barry Nothstine (2006 - The Phantom Tollbooth On The Third Day, Face The Music and A New World Record remaster review)

    "If side one [of On The Third Day] was in keeping with ELO's grand ambitions, side two is a primer in what became the group's various hit-making styles. It opens with the quintessential Showdown, possibly the band's finest moment. Lynne's singing is clear and completely engaged, and the song's puzzle pieces fit together perfectly All the hallmarks of the Lynne's later approach are here: a concise orchestral overture of a few seconds, falsetto backing vocals, seamless blending of synthetic and acoustic instruments, soul-influenced arrangements and an R&B groove, fixations on 'raining' and evil women and 'turning to stone.' What Lynne managed to do was anticipate, if not create, was the disco-rock formula that would be everywhere from Bee Gees singles to Stones records in late '70s. (This would perhaps explain the band's later soundtrack work on the roller-skating fantasia Xanadu.)"
    Rob Horning (2007 February 16 - On The Third Day, Face The Music and A New World Record reissue review on popmatters.com)

    "I also like to write on guitar, usually for more up-tempo songs like Rockaria!, Showdown and Ma-Ma-Ma Belle."
    Jeff Lynne (Summer 2007 - Yamaha All Access)

    "[Ma-Ma-Ma Belle] and Showdown became the band's first real hits for the AM radio crowd."
    Scott Homewood (2007 February 2 - On The Third Day, Face The Music and A New World Record reissue review on cdreviews.com)

    "Showdown was originally a No. 12 hit single in the UK in 1973"
    Author Unknown (August 18, 2012 - Something Else! website review)

    "On a New York radio show in the Seventies [John] Lennon played Showdown by ELO, describing them as 'the song of the Beatles'."
    David Stephenson (September 30, 2012 - Mr. Blue Sky: The Story Of Jeff Lynne And ELO review in Sunday Express)

    "I heard that John [Lennon] said [that ELO sounded like The Beatles]. Yeah, 'cause he actually did say that he really liked Showdown and he played it. He was a DJ in New York where he acted as DJ one night on a New York radio station. And he played Showdown. He says, 'Ah, it's a nice little group, that. I love that. It should have been #1.' And he said, 'son of The Beatles, I call them.' Well, it was great, you know, but you think... You obviously want to be your own thing as well, y'know. But it was very inspiring to hear that."
    Jeff Lynne (October 14, 2012 - Absolute Radio)

    "Well, Showdown has actually always been one of my favorites of my tunes. I just like the harmonies, the high parts. It's just one of those fun things to do, the high harmonies, you know, sort of like 60s style harmonies with a nice cellos riffs. It's right up my alley, actually. No, I didn't [play cello on it]."
    Jeff Lynne (October 29, 2012 - Deep Tracks SiriusXM radio show)

    "I was working in the Record Plant overdubbing some girl singers onto the end of Evil Woman. Ellie Greenwich, the famous singer-songwriter, and two other girls did the part (sings 'You're an evil woman'). It was great to have them. While we were there, May Pang (one-time girlfriend of John Lennon) came into the studio and told me that John had said that Showdown was one of his favorite songs and he thought it should have been No. 1, but UA [United Artists] never got their fingers out, meaning they didn't put enough in to promote it. That's what John thought, so that did it for me. I remember writing that song in my mom and dad's front room. I'd left home by that time, but had set up all my gear in my studio in the front room because I hadn't moved anywhere that had enough space to have anything. So I'd go back there to make demos. I remember writing that one. It was in C minor, and I remember it lingering about. I knew when I played this riff that it was gonna be great. That was the one time when I took it into 'The Cutting Room' and there was this nice guy there, and he just had scissors to do his editing (laughs). He got the tape and he put the tape in between his finters and his thumbs and just went (imitates scissors cutting) and I said (nervously), 'What!? Are you sure that's the right place?' and he was smiling when he did it (laughs). He said, 'And you'll soon find out.' (Laughs.) It was rolling a cigarette with one hand, and he does this with an edit with a really important part of the music. He joined it up, played that song and he said, 'You know, this song has such class,' and I was thrilled, because I'd never heard the word class attached to anything I'd done before (laughs), and I was really happy with that."
    Jeff Lynne (January 2013 - Goldmine magazine)

    "Of the 12 ELO studio albums, Lynne said his favorite is 1973's On The Third Day, which contains the beloved Showdown and Ma-Ma-Ma Belle. "
    David Chiu (April 3, 2013 - CBS News online)

    "Showdown is one of the best tracks I've ever done. I loved how clean it was. I remember vividly taking it into Abbey Road to have it mastered for a single, and the cutting engineer there said to me, 'You know, this is bloody classy, this is!' And I said, 'Fucking hell, do you think so?' I was chuffed to bits that this guy who was high up in the final part of the recording process was gushing about it."
    Jeff Lynne (May 2013 - Uncut magazine)

    Showdown (Take 1)
    This is pretty much the same as the released single version, except it is missing all the female backing vocals and the extra string bit that runs from [2:40] to [2:50]. Also, there are additional vocal flourishes throughout the last chorus and the song's repeating ending. It does not fade, but rather falls apart as the band simply stops playing.

    "The sound of Bev's Trousers No.7 was radiating around AIR London's Studios as Record Mirror journalist Val Mabbs wandered in to find a group of the ELO listening to a playback of newly recorded tracks. In April 1973, the song was known only by its working title but the pistachio [sic] of sound was already building into one of ELO's most popular hits. Jeff Lynne explained: 'What I'm trying to get into now, and what we are getting into on stage a bit, is sort of a Tamla rhythms with classical strings as well, because when you've got a really good song it's got to come out rhythmically good as well as melodically-- it was melodic enough before, but no balls behind it. No light and shade-- just cellos scrapping [sic] away all the time."
    Author Unknown (March 31, 2003 - liner notes for The Lost Planet)

    Bev's Trousers (Showdown - Early Version)
    The difference between this version and the original single version is that it is a slightly different instrumentation. There is a tiny bit from the original song (in which a small crescendo of strings occurs right at the end of the instrumental bridge) that is missing. There are also some effects added to the vocals. There's also additional vocals added in various parts, mainly Jeff Lynne adlibbing extra bits to the chorus. Jeff Lynne was apparently not very pleased with the unauthoriazed releases of alternate mixes on the Early ELO (1971-1973) collection, which is quite understandable considering that the version of Bev's Trousers on that set has a couple of very poor vocal edits. It's not likely this version will ever be released again, making it quite a rarity.

    "This CD also provides the unique opportunity to hear the progress of a hit-- from Showdown's first incarnation as Bev's Trousers (a working title?) through All Over The World, and finally to Showdown. The titles, by the way, are those written on the tape box."
    John Tobler (1991 liner notes for Early ELO (1971-1973))

    "The tape [provided for the Early ELO (1971-1973) project] contained... Bev's Trousers (no jokes about 'turning up' please!) which had fascinating glimpses of the band in studio action, completed with count-ins, which EMI sadly deleted from the version they eventually released. Which rather defeats the object, when you consider they are going for the collector's market, which would want every single last cough and rustled crisp packet! Putting the soapbox away, this version of Showdown sees Jeff adding extra words, mis-timing his second verse vocal, but leaves out the cello break and backing vocals."
    Rob Caiger (1992 - Face The Music fanzine #10)

    "[The early version of Ma-Ma-Ma Belle and Showdown] on Early ELO (which sadly I didn't have any control over at the time) were trial early stereo mixes, prepared by Jeff from the [original] multitracks in 1973."
    Rob Caiger (April 1, 2003 - Showdown mailing list)

    All Over The World (Showdown - Early Version)
    The difference between this version and the original single version is that it is a slightly different instrumentation. There is a tiny bit from the original song (in which a small crescendo of strings occurs right at the end of the instrumental bridge) is missing. There are also some effects added to the vocals.

    "This CD also provides the unique opportunity to hear the progress of a hit-- from Showdown's first incarnation as Bev's Trousers (a working title?) through All Over The World, and finally to Showdown. The titles, by the way, are those written on the tape box."
    John Tobler (1991 liner notes for Early ELO (1971-1973))

    "All Over The World (Showdown) is the same instrumentally, and features a fluff-free vocal from Jeff, but for some reason it's phased instead."
    Rob Caiger (1992 - Face The Music fanzine #10)

    "[The early version of Ma-Ma-Ma Belle and Showdown] on Early ELO (which sadly I didn't have any control over at the time) were trial early stereo mixes, prepared by Jeff from the [original] multitracks in 1973."
    Rob Caiger (April 1, 2003 - Showdown mailing list)

    "I've dropped All Over The World [from the 2006 The Collection compilation] because it's Showdown under a working title - the same song!"
    Rob Caiger (February 28, 2006 - Showdown mailing list)

    Showdown (Alternate Early Mix Version)
    The difference between this version and the original single version is that it has cut the small crescendo of strings that occurs right at the end of the instrumental bridge and the female backing vocals over the song's bridge. Most noticeable, though, is that flange effects are put on the song throughout the entire track.

    "Showdown is a version that no one has heard before - an experimental mix by Jeff using phasing. Sounds great!"
    Rob Caiger (January 3, 2004 - Showdown mailing list)

    "The 'Alternate Early Mix' of Showdown is barely indistinguishable from the track that appeared on ELO's Greatest Hits in 1979."
    Richard Warburton (February 21, 2004 - Birmingham Post)

    "The unreleased alternate version of Showdown shows Lynne not afraid to experiment with different production effects."
    Rob Caiger (March 2004 - liner notes for Early Years album)

    Showdown (ADT Mix Version)
    The difference between this version and the original single version is that it has cuts the small crescendo of strings that occurs right at the end of the instrumental bridge and the female backing vocals over the song's bridge. Most noticeable, though, is that it has been Automatically Double Tracked (ADT), such that it has a slight flanging effect throughout the entire track.

    "Save Me (Showdown) was the same as [All Over The World (Showdown)], minus the phasing. As the 7-inch [version of Showdown] was going to appear on the compilation, it was decided not to include it. After all, how many versions of Showdown can you stand?"
    Rob Caiger (1992 - Face The Music fanzine #10)

    "[ADT means] Automated (or automatic) double track, usually applied to the vocals. No more studio versions of Showdown - this is the last one."
    Rob Caiger (August 10, 2005 - Unexpected Messages mailing list)

    "The ADT (automated double-tracked) version of their third and last Harvest single, Showdown (a No. 9 hit in September 1973) [is released on the Harvest Showdown collection]."
    John Van der Kiste (September 5, 2005 - Harvest Showdown review on ftmusic.com)

    Showdown (Edited USA Single Version)
    The difference between this version and the original single version is that it has an early fade. It was originally issued only on the USA pressed UA single, stock # UA-XW337-W. However it later turned up on the 1979 release of ELO's Greatest Hits in the USA.

    "What of the track listing [of ELO's Greatest Hits] itself? Only two songs represent the pre-1975 band; namely Showdown and Can't Get It Out Of My Head. The first is particularly interesting for two reasons; in the UK of course, CBS/Jet did not own the rights to it, and had to license it from EMI. Secondly, it's also slightly edited, the track fades out earlier than the 1973 original."
    Unknown (1992 - Face The Music fanzine #12)

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

    Showdown (Edited 18 Greatest Hits LP Version)
    This version, found on the Australian 18 Greatest Hits LP from 1984, differs from the original single version in that it cuts the first four lines of the ending, beginning at the "C'mon and save me" line.

    Showdown (Long Beach May 12, 1974)
    From [3:55] to the end of the song, there is an extended guitar/keyboard/violin instrumental jam that was previously heard on the ELO II tour as the last part of From The Sun To The World (Boogie #1) that was released on the E.L.O. Live at the BBC CD. The original performance of this song is over 10 minutes long and remains unreleased.

    Showdown (Remix Version) (Long Beach May 12, 1974)
    This remix version of Showdown is different from the original 1974 The Night The Light Went On In Long Beach album in that a minute and a half of keyboard, guitar and violin solo is cut. The cut is from [4:46] to [6:25] from the original mix. The sound is mixed to better sound quality.

    Showdown (Long Beach Single Version)
    This version is the same as the original The Night The Light Went On In Long Beach LP version, but it fades early.

    Showdown (Szene '74 - October 11, 1974)

    Showdown (Eldorado Tour)

    Showdown (Winterland February 14, 1976)
    "I was somewhat disappointed with Showdown. The cellos weren't loud enough in the mix, being totally drowned out by the rest of the band. The cellos are the hallmark of this song. Their performance of this song on The Night the Light Went On In Long Beach was much better."
    Theodore Vrandt (February 21, 2007 - Live At Winterland '76 CD review)

    Showdown (London June 20, 1976)
    "Showdown generates excitement..."
    Rob Caiger (1991 - Face The Music fanzine #9)

    Showdown (Portsmouth June 22, 1976)

    Showdown (A New World Record Tour)

    Showdown (Wembley 1978)
    "[The band's songs] were played exquisitely too, with Showdown, Evil Women [sic], Livin' Thing and Telephone Line once more demonstrating Lynne's incredible resilience at pure pop penmanship."
    Harry Doherty (June 10, 1978 - Melody Maker)

    Showdown (Stereo Mix Wembley 1978)

    Showdown (5.1 Mix Wembley 1978)

    Showdown (Time Tour)

    Showdown (Balance Of Power Tour)

    Showdown (VH1 Storytellers, April 20, 2001)

    Showdown (Los Angeles, May 2001)
    Listen closely. Instead of singing "it's so real, the suffering" on the second verse, Jeff Lynne sings "It's a real submarine." This is the lyric sung by former ELO bassist Michael De Albuquerque, who didn't know all the right lyrics when he had to sing it on some 1974 tour dates after Jeff Lynne took ill and could not sing it. Reports also exist that Jeff sings this because Del Shannon had once told Jeff, when they worked together, that he always thought those were the words, and he thought 'real submarine' sounded so cool. Not sure why Jeff did it on this 2001 version, but it's an interesting fact that he intentionally missung his own song.

    Showdown (5.1 Mix - Los Angeles, May 2001)

    Showdown (Solo Version)
    This version of Showdown, as found on the Skate 2 videogame, is an all new recording. In the game's song listing, it is incorrectly listed as Show Down (two words).

    "The resulting Mr. Blue Sky [sic] album features revamped versions of ELO classics Evil Woman, Turn To Stone, Showdown and Telephone Line."
    Simon Copeland (October 19, 2012 - The Sun)

    "But me daughter sings background vocals on [the re-recorded Showdown]."
    Jeff Lynne (October 29, 2012 - Deep Tracks SiriusXM radio show)

    "One by one, the ELO songs [on Mr. Blue Sky The Very Best Of Electric Light Orchestra] were given the musical equivalent of a software upgrade. The effect is understandable more noticeable on the older tracks, like Showdown and 10538 Overture, than on the later material"
    Andy Gill (November 2012 - Uncut magazine)

    Showdown (Bungalow Palace - March 2011)
    This song, as heard on the Live From Bungalow Palace special, is incomplete. It cuts off slightly early.

    "Even as Jeff Lynne is set to issue new solo versions of his greatest hits with the Electric Light Orchestra, he has reunited with former ELO member Richard Tandy. Videos of the pair performing Showdown and Evil Woman have been posted to elo.biz."
    Author Unknown (August 18, 2012 - Something Else! website review)
    Editor's Note: What was posted on elo.biz was an excerpted portion the acoustic Live From Bungalow Palace performances.

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

    Robert Porter
    July 2014


    Special thanks to Bob Coulter for his assistance in editing this document.
    Or, as I originally wrote it "specail thanx too Boob Colder 4 hiz ass-is-tense. :)