Livin' Thing

"Livin' Thing" is a song written by Jeff Lynne and performed by Electric Light Orchestra (ELO). It appears on ELO's 1976 album A New World Record. Patti Quatro sang uncredited vocals, particularly the "higher and higher" parts.[1]

"Livin' Thing"
Livin Thing Single.jpg
Single by Electric Light Orchestra
from the album A New World Record
B-side
Released
  • 4 October 1976 (US)
  • 13 November 1976 (UK)
Format7" single
RecordedMusicland Studios, Munich; 1976
Length3:32
Label United Artists (US)
Songwriter(s)Jeff Lynne
Producer(s)Jeff Lynne
Electric Light Orchestra singles chronology
"Nightrider"
(1976)
"Livin' Thing"
(1976)
"Rockaria!"
(1977)
A New World Record track listing
9 tracks
Side one
  1. "Tightrope"
  2. "Telephone Line"
  3. "Rockaria!"
  4. "Mission (A World Record)"
Side two
  1. "So Fine"
  2. "Livin' Thing"
  3. "Above the Clouds"
  4. "Do Ya"
  5. "Shangri-La"
Audio sample
"Livin' Thing"
Music video
"Livin' Thing" on YouTube
45 RPM blue vinyl issue
Limited edition release
Limited edition release

In August 2006, "Livin' Thing" was named by the UK's Q as the number 1 "Guilty Pleasure" single of all time – a list designed to celebrate "uncool" but excellent records, and which received considerable publicity.[2] The original single had the bonus of having "Fire On High" on the flip side, a tune that became the band's most popular instrumental piece. The UK version was released in a blue vinyl format.

Critical receptionEdit

AllMusic's writer Stewart Mason described the song structure: "[it] opens with a mock-Spanish orchestral flourish before swinging into a more typical mid-tempo ELO rocker, driven by a battery of acoustic rhythm guitars on the verses and modulating upwards into a falsetto Jeff Lynne vocal on a chorus that’s powered by an even more prominent than usual contribution from the group's string section", adding that it lacks "that impossible-to-dislodge hook that typified Lynne's most successful songs from this era, but it's still a darn sight better than most of what was at the top of the charts in late 1976".[3]

Billboard said that it "moves through a dark U.K. rock distillation into a soaring, ethereal chorale and a return to the minor-key mode.[4]

ChartsEdit

Weekly chartsEdit

Chart (1976–1977) Peak
position
Australia (Kent Music Report)[5] 2
Austria (Ö3 Austria Top 40)[6] 3
Belgium (Ultratop 50 Flanders)[7] 8
Canada Adult Contemporary (RPM)[8] 41
Canada Top Singles (RPM)[9] 8
Ireland (IRMA)[10] 6
Netherlands (Dutch Top 40)[11] 6
Netherlands (Single Top 100)[12] 4
New Zealand (Recorded Music NZ)[13] 4
South Africa (Springbok Radio)[14] 1
Spain (AFE)[15] 11
Sweden (Sverigetopplistan)[16] 17
UK Singles (Official Charts Company)[17] 4
US Billboard Hot 100[18] 13
US Billboard Adult Contemporary[19] 36
US Cash Box[20] 10
US Record World[21] 10
West Germany (Official German Charts)[22] 5

Year-end chartsEdit

Chart (1976) Rank
Canada (RPM Top 200 Singles)[23] 106
Netherlands (Single Top 100)[24] 85
Chart (1977) Rank
Australia (Kent Music Report)[25] 27
Austria (Ö3 Austria Top 40)[26] 25
Canada (RPM Top 200 Singles)[27] 106
South Africa (Springbok Radio)[28] 16
US Billboard Hot 100[29] 77

CertificationsEdit

Region Certification Certified units/sales
United Kingdom (BPI)[30] Silver 200,000 

 sales+streaming figures based on certification alone

Jeff Lynne versionEdit

"Livin' Thing"
Song by Electric Light Orchestra
from the album Mr. Blue Sky: The Very Best of Electric Light Orchestra
Released
  • 8 October 2012 (UK)
  • 9 October 2012 (US)
Recorded2001–2012 Bungalow Palace
Length3:42
LabelFrontiers
Songwriter(s)Jeff Lynne
Producer(s)Jeff Lynne
Mr. Blue Sky: The Very Best of Electric Light Orchestra track listing

Jeff Lynne re-recorded the song in his own home studio. It was released in a compilation album with other re-recorded ELO songs, under the ELO name.[31]

CoversEdit

In 2001, PFR covered the track on the album Lynne Me Your Ears – A Tribute to the Music of Jeff Lynne.

In 2004, The Beautiful South covered the track for their covers album Golddiggas, Headnodders and Pholk Songs. It reached number 24 on the UK charts and number 26 on the Irish charts.[32][33]

Livin' Thing – CD1 (Sony Music UK; 6753711)
  1. Livin' Thing [3:17]
  2. I'm Living Good [4:00]
Livin' Thing – CD2 (Sony Music UK; 6753712)
  1. Livin' Thing [3:17]
  2. Lovin' You [2:53]
  3. Another Night with the Boys [3:32]
Chart (2004) Peak
position
Ireland (IRMA)[32] 26
UK Singles (Official Charts Company)[33] 24

Uses in other mediaEdit

In 2017, "Livin' Thing" was featured in Telltale's Guardians of the Galaxy game.[34] The 2017 Guardians sequel of the 2014 original film also contains music from ELO.[35]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Quatro, Suzi (2008). Unzipped. Hodder & Stoughton. ISBN 978-0-340-93751-8.
  2. ^ "ELO top 'guilty secret' song list". BBC News Online. 2 August 2006. Retrieved 5 May 2014.
  3. ^ Stewart, Mason. "Electric Light Orchestra – Livin' Thing – Song Review". AllMusic. Retrieved 26 January 2020.
  4. ^ "Billboard's Top Single Picks" (PDF). Billboard. 9 October 1976. p. 64. Retrieved 13 July 2020.
  5. ^ Kent, David (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970—1992. St Ives, NSW: Australian Chart Book. ISBN 0-646-11917-6.
  6. ^ "Austriancharts.at – Electric Light Orchestra – Livin' Thing" (in German). Ö3 Austria Top 40. Retrieved 5 May 2014.
  7. ^ "Ultratop.be – Electric Light Orchestra – Livin' Thing" (in Dutch). Ultratop 50. Retrieved 5 May 2014.
  8. ^ "Top RPM Adult Contemporary: Issue 4446." RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved 5 May 2014.
  9. ^ "Top RPM Singles: Issue 5169a." RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved 6 March 2013.
  10. ^ "The Irish Charts – Search Results – Living Thing". Irish Singles Chart. Retrieved 6 March 2013.
  11. ^ "Nederlandse Top 40 – Electric Light Orchestra - Thing" (in Dutch). Dutch Top 40. Retrieved 5 May 2014.
  12. ^ "Dutchcharts.nl – Electric Light Orchestra – Livin' Thing" (in Dutch). Single Top 100. Retrieved 5 May 2014.
  13. ^ "Charts.nz – Electric Light Orchestra – Livin' Thing". Top 40 Singles. Retrieved 5 May 2014.
  14. ^ "South African Rock Lists Website SA Charts 1969 – 1989 Acts (E)". Rock.co.za. Retrieved 29 April 2013.
  15. ^ Salaverri, Fernando (September 2005). Sólo éxitos: año a año, 1959–2002 (in Spanish) (1st ed.). Spain: Fundación Autor-SGAE. ISBN 84-8048-639-2.
  16. ^ "Swedishcharts.com – Electric Light Orchestra – Livin' Thing". Singles Top 100. Retrieved 5 May 2014.
  17. ^ "Official Singles Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 5 May 2014.
  18. ^ "Electric Light Orchestra – Awards". AllMusic. All Media Network. Retrieved 5 March 2013.
  19. ^ Whitburn, Joel (1993). Top Adult Contemporary: 1961–1993. Record Research. p. 79.
  20. ^ "CASH BOX Top 100 Singles – Week ending DECEMBER 25, 1976". Archived from the original on 5 March 2013.. Cash Box magazine.
  21. ^ "Song artist 137 – Electric Light Orchestra". TsorT. Retrieved 1 December 2016.
  22. ^ "Offiziellecharts.de – Electric Light Orchestra – Livin' Thing". GfK Entertainment Charts. Retrieved 5 May 2014.
  23. ^ "Top Singles – Volume 26, No. 14 & 15, January 08 1977". RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved 5 May 2014.
  24. ^ "Jaaroverzichten – Single 1976" (in Dutch). Single Top 100. Hung Medien. Retrieved 5 May 2014.
  25. ^ "Forum – ARIA Charts: Special Occasion Charts – Top 100 End of Year AMR Charts – 1970s". Australian-charts.com. Hung Medien. Archived from the original on 6 November 2013. Retrieved 5 May 2014.
  26. ^ "Jahreshitparade 1977" (in German). Austriancharts.at. Hung Medien. Retrieved 5 May 2014.
  27. ^ "Top Singles – Volume 28, No. 14, December 31, 1977". RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved 5 May 2014.
  28. ^ "Top 20 Hit Singles of 1977". Rock.co.za. Retrieved 1 May 2014.
  29. ^ "Top 100 Hits for 1977". The Longbored Surfer. Archived from the original on 28 January 2010. Retrieved 5 May 2014.
  30. ^ "British single certifications – ELO – Livin' Thing". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved 29 February 2020.
  31. ^ "Mr. Blue Sky – The Very Best of Electric Light Orchestra". Elo.biz. 5 October 2012. Retrieved 28 February 2013.
  32. ^ a b "The Irish Charts – Search Results – Livin' Thing". Irish Singles Chart. Retrieved 7 May 2015.
  33. ^ a b "Official Singles Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 7 May 2015.
  34. ^ Virtue, Graeme (4 April 2017). "Telltale's Guardians of the Galaxy gets off to a great start". Eurogamer. Retrieved 21 April 2017.
  35. ^ Lewis, Rebecca (19 April 2017). "The Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 2 soundtrack is full of 70s goodness". Metro. Retrieved 21 April 2017.

External linksEdit