It was 1995. In preparation for our long drive to Disney World, my daddy let me pick one song to be our “vacation” song. My choice? “Mr. Blue Sky” by ELO. It’s always been a favorite of mine, even at the age of four.
As I’ve grown up, my love for Electric Light Orchestra has only increased. There are so many wonderful songs, and their style is such a wonderfully unique sound. I love it—I love the strings and the combination of voices and Jeff Lynne’s lead vocals. Many of their songs have a happy undertone, and nearly all of them bring back good memories.
Only lately have I noticed how my love of ELO has influenced some of the newer artists I love, whether because they were influenced by the band as well or that their sound is reminiscent of it. I know that Fun. was definitely influenced by ELO, as you can hear very clearly in their first album, Aim and Ignite. Ra Ra Riot also gives off an ELO-esque feel with their violin-rock. But perhaps most shockingly, I realized last week that even one of the best songs by another of my favorite bands, Jack’s Mannequin, has a strong tie to “Mr. Blue Sky.” “Dark Blue” is like the modern remake of the song, somehow, with different words and different sounds but such a similar feel. I approve.
Bonus: Lily Allen’s cover of “Mr. Blue Sky” is really good as well. I have it on my computer, but I can’t remember how I found it and it’s not available on Spotify. If you have a few moments to spare, though, you should definitely look it up. All I really found was this mash-up of the two on Youtube.