ELO's Jeff Lynne: My Life in 15 Songs

The Electric Light Orchestra leader on "Mr. Blue Sky," producing the Beatles and why he’d rather have just stayed in the studio

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Electric Light Orchestra, "Evil Woman" (1975)

I wrote this in a matter of minutes. The rest of the album (Face the Music) was done. I listened to it and thought, "There's not a good single." So I sent the band out to a game of football and made up "Evil Woman" on the spot. The first three chords came right to me. It was the quickest thing I'd ever done. We kept it slick and cool, kind of like an R&B song. It was kind of a posh one for me, with all the big piano solos and the string arrangement. It was inspired by a certain woman, but I can't say who. She's appeared a few times in my songs.

Playing concerts in those days wasn't fun. The sound was always bad and we were still playing theaters and town halls, the occasional dance hall. After "Evil Woman," we got more gigs, but it didn't change my life all that much. You can't buy a palace or anything after just one hit.

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