For those of us taking care of business during the regular workweek, I guess it’s safe to assume we’ve all felt that dreadful Wednesday blues. Sometimes, that middle point of the workweek can be a true drag. But help is on the way!
Today, the music doctor recommends a blue sky, a particularly attractive proposition if you live in an area where you recently had snow skies: Mr. Blue Sky by the Electric Light Orchestra is a great fit.
Written by Jeff Lynne, Mr. Blue Sky is the closer of Side three of ELO’s seventh studio album Out of the Blue, which appeared as a double-LP in October 1977. It’s the fourth tune in a suite of songs titled Concerto for a Rainy Day.
Songfacts notes, On a BBC Radio interview, ELO leader Jeff Lynne talked about how he came up with this song after he locked himself away in a Swiss chalet attempting to write ELO’s follow-up to A New World Record. “It was dark and misty for two weeks, and I didn’t come up with a thing. Suddenly the sun shone and it was, ‘Wow, look at those beautiful Alps.’ I wrote ‘Mr. Blue Sky’ and 13 other songs in the next two weeks.”
Mr. Blue Sky is by far the most streamed ELO tune on Spotify with 627.34 million streams. By comparison, the band’s next most frequently streamed track is Don’t Bring Me Down (180.78 million), the song that first brought the band on my radar screen in 1979.
Here’s a bit more from Songfacts: Jeff Lynne was quite pleased with this song. “It captured what my vision of ELO was all about,” he said. “All the bits that come in and out, the backing vocals, the cellos sliding, all the little naughty bits, the sound effects, everything is exactly what I imagined ELO to be.” (quoted in Hi-Fi News & Record Review, 2014) Here’s the official video.
Mr. Blue Sky was also released separately as Out of the Blue’s second single, first in January 1978 in the UK, followed by the U.S. in June of the same year. It had the most chart success in the U.K. and in The Netherlands where it climbed no. 6 and no. 8, respectively.
In the U.S., the single peaked at a more moderate no. 35 on the Billboard Hot 100. It still reached 3x Platinum certification by the Recording Industry Association of America as of April 26, 2021, making it ELO’s top-selling single in the U.S.
Happy Hump Day, and always remember George Harrison’s wise words: All things must pass!
Sources: Wikipedia; Songfacts; RIAA website; YouTube