Friday, April 21, 2017

"Video!" by Jeff Lynne

Song#:  2018
Date:  07/18/1984
Debut:  87
Peak:  85
Weeks:  3
Genre:  Pop, Soundtrack

Pop Bits:  The quirky rom-com film Electric Dreams, which starred Virginia Madsen and Lenny Von Dohlen, didn't do a whole lot of business at the box office in 1984. But it's girl-boy-computer love triangle did get some notice along with the movie's soundtrack. Featuring contributions from Europop artists like Culture Club and Heaven 17, the album found a few fans and arguably became more popular than the film. Two of the LP's songs were written and performed by Electric Light Orchestra's leader Jeff Lynne. It was this song by Lynne that was chosen to be the soundtrack's first single. Unfortunately, it was barely a blip on the Pop chart. It would be Lynne's first and last solo single to reach the Pop chart.

ReduxReview:  When it came down to it, the Electric Dreams soundtrack mainly consisted of some second-tier material from the artists invovled, but several of the songs were fairly solid. This one in particular straddles the line a bit. It's a fun song that I like and a pretty good effort from Lynne. It's not quite second-rate ELO, but it also doesn't rank among Lynne's finest moments. It's more of a curiosity in his catalog.

ReduxRating:  6/10

Trivia:  Lynne's original intent for ELO's 1983 album Secret Messages was for it to be a double-LP, but the label balked at the cost of doing one, so the album was a single-disc release. Lynne had already recorded a lot of the songs for the album, so that meant he had several leftovers that didn't make the final single-LP edition. Most of these tracks have shown up on other releases, but one still remains vaulted. A track titled "Beatles Forever" was recorded, but did not make the cut for Secret Messages and ended up shelved. However, it seems that Lynne did reuse a portion of the song. Apparently the chorus part of "Beatles Forever" was refurbished and used on the chorus of "Video!" A long-time fan of The Beatles, Lynne later got to work with three of the Beatles on various projects including on their 1995 Anthology 1 compilation, which featured the updated "new" song "Free As a Bird" (#6).


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