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