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#SLS — Wild West Hero by Electric Light Orchestra

Jim Adams is the steadfast host of Song Lyric Sunday.  Jim says:
This week we have North/South/East/West and I think that everyone should be able to find a song that uses one of these prompt words.

Here are the “rules”:
• Post the lyrics to the song of your choice, whether it fits the theme or not. If it does not fit, then please explain why you chose this song.
• Please try to include the songwriter(s) – it’s a good idea to give credit where credit is due.
• Make sure you also credit the singer/band and if you desire you can provide a link to where you found the lyrics.
• Link to the YouTube video, or pull it into your post so others can listen to the song.
• Ping back to this post or place your link in the comments section below.
• Read at least one other person’s blog, so we can all share new and fantastic music and create amazing new blogging friends in the process.
• Feel free to suggest future prompts.
• Have fun and enjoy the music.

Image result for electric light orchestra 1977
Electric Light Orchestra (ELO) l-r back row = Louis Clark (keyboards), Richard Tandy (guitar), Jeff Lynne (guitar), Melvyn Gale (cello/piano), Bev Bevan (drums). bottom l-r = Kelly Groucutt (bass) and Mik Kaminski (violin)

I had this 2-LP set when it first came out in ’77, then lost it and had to reacquire it, this time in CD format, back in 1990’s. It’s an album I’ve listened to countless times. It’s one that I turn to when I need a lift in mood and energy. The whole album alternates between frenetics and starbursts. The song I chose is the last one on the album and the sunset mood it evokes is perfect to end it with.  There is a mantra-like feeling to it that I love.

Out of the Blue is the seventh studio album by the British rock group Electric Light Orchestra (ELO), released in October 1977. Written and produced by ELO frontman Jeff Lynne, the double album is among the most commercially successful records in the group’s history, selling about 10 million copies worldwide. Jeff Lynne wrote the entire album in three and a half weeks after a sudden burst of creativity while hidden away in his rented chalet in the Swiss Alps. It took a further two months to record in Munich.

The large spaceship on the cover (by now symbolic of the group) was designed by Kosh with art by Shusei Nagaoka. It was based on the logo Kosh designed for ELO’s previous, A New World Record, and looks like the space station with a docking shuttle from 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968). The number JTLA 823 L2 which is featured on the shuttle arriving at the space station is its original catalogue number. The album also included an insert of a cardboard cutout of the space station as well as a fold-out poster of the band members. The space theme was carried onto the live stage in the form of a huge glowing flying saucer stage set, inside which the band performed.

Wild West Hero” is the closing track and third single from the album. It was written reputedly by lead singer Jeff Lynne in 4 minutes. Melvyn Gale, normally the band’s cellist, provided the Western-style piano for this track.

It entered the UK Top 40 at No. 31 in June 1978 but fell to number 36 the following week. Thanks to a rush-release in 12″ format on yellow vinyl, its fortunes were reversed a week later, and within six weeks it had risen to a peak position of number 6. Coincidentally this was also the highest UK position achieved by the group’s previous single, “Mr. Blue Sky”, and the next two, “Sweet Talkin’ Woman” and “Shine a Little Love”.

The chorus of the song has the same chord progression as Pachelbel’s Canon but transposed from D to G, which is the tonality of “Wild West Hero”. The only exception is the 7th chord of the chorus, which is A instead of C.

Sometimes I look up high
And then I think there might,
Just be a better life
Away from all we know
That’s where I wanna go
Out on the wild side,
And I wish I was
Oh oh oh oh, a wild west hero.

Ride the range all the day
Till the first fading light
Be with my western girl
Round the fire oh so bright
I’d be the Indians’ friend
Let them live, to be free
Ridin’ into the sunset
I wish I could be.

I’d ride the desert sands
And through the prairie lands
Tryin’ to do what’s right
The folks would come to me
They’d say we need you here
I’d stay there for the night,
Oh I wish I was
Oh oh oh oh, a wild west hero

Ride the range all the day
Till the first fading light
Be with my western girl
Round the fire oh so bright
I’d be the Indians’ friend
Let them live, to be free
Ridin’ into the sunset
I wish I could be.
Songwriters: Jeff Lynne

25 thoughts on “#SLS — Wild West Hero by Electric Light Orchestra

    1. Now that you and others mention it, it does have that Beatles feel to it. I get a vision of a crew of seasoned cowboys sitting around a campfire out on the range, eating grub, shootin’ the sh*t, and watching the big sky’s colors as the sun goes down.

      Like

  1. Mr. Blue Sky, which many could argue that it was the most successful single from `Out of the Blue`, was the first song from ELO that I listen to. It was featured in a Japanese drama about a nerdy boy loving a beautiful girl.

    I never heard of “Wild West Hero” but I love it. I really enjoy the sound from `Out of the Blue`, I don’t why though (maybe it is mellower).

    Liked by 1 person

    1. In the concept of the album, much of the rest of it is either super high energy or outer space stuff, where this one is a simple wind-down/outro. Glad you enjoy it, Ai.

      Like

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