ELO – Can’t Get It Out Of My Head

The song is appropriately named because it’s hard to get it out of your head after you listen to it. The song peaked at #9 in the Billboard 100 in 1975. The song was on the Eldorado album that peaked at #16 in 1975.

Jeff Lynne recalled that he found inspiration for the song in the unfulfilled duties of an everyday guy. “It’s about a guy in a dream who sees this vision of loveliness and wakes up and finds that he’s actually a clerk working in a bank,” he said. “And he hasn’t got any chance of getting her or doing all these wonderful things that he thought he was going to do.”

From Songfacts

This is one of several fan favorites from the Eldorado, considered by many to be Jeff Lynne’s best album. The album cover shows what appears to be the scene from the movie The Wizard Of Oz, as the Wicked Witch tries to snatch Dorothy’s Ruby Red Slippers. 

This was Electric Light Orchestra’s first Top 40 hit in the US, however, it did not chart in their native UK, despite their four previous Top 40 hits there.

Jeff Lynne wrote this track. Lynne had previously led The Idle and later co-founded The Move with Roy Wood and Bev Bevan before creating ELO. The album Eldorado sold gold, becoming the sixteenth Best-Selling Album in 1974 in the US.

“Can’t Get It Out Of My Head” was featured on the 1977 soundtrack of the film Joyride.

This song was later covered live by Fountains of Wayne on their 2005 Out of States Plates album and in 2007 by Velvet Revolver on their 2007 set Libertad.

Jeff Lynne revealed during an interview with Uncle Joe Benson on the Ultimate Classic Rock Nights radio show that he wrote the song to prove a point to his dad. He explained that they were arguing about something when his father said, “That’s the trouble with your tunes… They’ve got no bloody tune!'”

So Lynne said to himself, I’ll show you a tune then, and wrote “Can’t Get It Out Of My Head,” “just to show him I could write a tune!”

Can’t Get It Out Of My Head

Midnight, on the water
I saw the ocean’s daughter
Walking on a wave’s she came
Staring as she called my name

And I can’t get it out of my head
No, I can’t get it out of my head
Now my whole world is gone for dead
‘Cause I can’t get it out of my head

Breakdown on the shoreline
Can’t move, it’s an ebbtide
Morning, don’t get here tonight
Searching for her silver light

And I can’t get it out of my head
No, I can’t get it out of my head
Now my whole world is gone for dead
‘Cause I can’t get it out of my head, no how?

Bank job in the city
Robin Hood and William Tell
And Ivanhoe and Lancelot
They don’t envy me
Sitting ’til the sun goes down
In dreams the world keeps going ’round and ’round

And I can’t get it out of my head
No, I can’t get it out of my head
Now my whole world is gone for dead
‘Cause I can’t get it out of my head

And I can’t get it out of my head
No, I can’t get it out of my head
Now my whole world is gone for dead
‘Cause I can’t get it out of my head, no how, no now

Author: badfinger20 (Max)

Power Pop fan, Baseball fan, old movie and tv show fan... and a songwriter, bass and guitar player.

29 thoughts on “ELO – Can’t Get It Out Of My Head”

  1. I liked the 70’s ELO- it seems once the decade turned they went down hill- like that song Rock and Roll is King- was awful. But their 70’s stuff- great.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Jeff was so productive through the seventies…I guess it came to an end. Funny thing is they didn’t try to follow the 80s sound…I hated Rock and Roll is King… Hold On Tight was not as bad but yea it went down hill.

      Liked by 2 people

    2. Off Topic – 430 million for Trout. The Angels are smart in locking him up unless he gets hurt really bad but that is with any player….I still think the Angels got a much better deal than the Phillies.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I was glad to see Trout sign with the Angels.. I hate the Phillies and its kind of nice to see those Philly fans suffer they thought that they had Trout for sure. Hopefully Trout stays healthy and has a dozen more fantastic years- and the Angels build a good team around him.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Their farm system is improving so they should be able to build something around him. I think that Harper remark may have nudged the Angels a little…because if he keeps it up…he is only going to cost more in two years.
        Plus we won’t have this circus in two years which is great.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. This all seemed done pretty quietly- and quickly. Yes I think if they didn’t move this spring-it would have been more and more difficult down the line.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. This is one of my most fave ELO songs. The backstory with his dad sure inspired a lovely tune. I’d never paid much attention to what the lyrics were saying, but I should have–an average working guy yearning for a more fulfilling life.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I listened a lot to ELO in my youth. Regarding my favourite, it’s between this and Telephone Line. But I am probably not familiar with a lot of their music.
    I like that story about Lynn showing his Dad he could write a tune. Great post Bad.
    Can I recommend you listen to Mike Batt’s album ‘Tarot Suite’ which often gets overlooked as far as great 70 albums go. It’s easily in my top 10 albums of all time.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Jeff Lynne can write a pop song. They are not a rock band nor progressive. It is kind of hard to place them.

      Off Topic What did you think of Primus? They are an acquired taste.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I can take Hold On Tight but Rock and Roll is King…is Lynne trying to hard. I believe he was getting on the Stray Cats bandwagon


      1. It was big here in the 70s and 80s and 90s and it’s still may be… just wasn’t my thing. My grandmother loved it


      2. Ken was watching it when John Cena was really active, before he got married and became an actor. Even he got fed up with the nonsense. It’s like a soap opera, now, but with crazy outfits, crazy hair and cleavage.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. We had local ones…the biggest I remember it getting was when Jerry Lawler and Andy Kauffman did their thing on the Letterman show.


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