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For the search engine: Electric Light Orchestra aka ELO - Don't Bring Me Down
|Posted: 18†October†2014 at 9:50pm | IP Logged
This was ELO's highest-charting single in the US, peaking at #4 in 1979. It's formed around a drum loop taken from another song on the Discovery album ("On The Run") and slowed down. The guy on the Discovery album cover is a very young Brad Garrett, the meaningless word in the chorus is "Grroosss", and that weird sound at the end is the sound of the fire door to the studio slamming shut. So much trivia.
In a 2001 interview, Jeff Lynne commented on the song, "It's a great big galloping ball of distortion". I agree. It's never going to sound great. The various CDs that feature the song try to EQ the weirdness as best as they can, but it'll always sound a bit off.
The very old promo disc CBS Records Compact Disc Demonstration (1983) runs at 115.2 BPM throughout, and sounds a little dull, but only a little.
The early Japan-for-US mastering of Discovery, with matrix number 35DP-24, is ear-bleedingly bright, at least for "Don't Bring Me Down". It runs at 115.0 BPM throughout. Two others that also run at 115.0 BPM and sound similarly bright are:
Much better is Time-Life's Sounds Of The Seventies Vol. 9 1979 (1990), which sounds the best out of everything I own for "Don't Bring Me Down". It runs at 115.3 BPM throughout. The same analog transfer is used for:
- Telstar UK's 2-CD The Very Best Of (1989)
- EMI's 5-CD Pop Complete (1999)
Finally, one last new analog transfer, on the 2-CD Strange Magic ELO collection (1995), where it runs 115.8 BPM throughout. I don't like this one as much as the Time-Life mastering. Others that use the same analog transfer:
- Time-Life's Guitar Rock Vol. 2 1978-1979 (1993)
- Time-Life's 2-CD Classic Soft Rock Vol. 9 Cool Night (2007; digitally exactly 1.13 dB louder)
There are perhaps hundreds of ELO compilations out there, and I don't know how those others sound. Overall, I really like Strange Magic, but not for this one song.
- Razor & Tie's 2-CD Super '70s (1995)
- Sony's 2-CD Pop Music The Modern Era 1976-1999 (1999)
Edited by crapfromthepast on 20†October†2014 at 7:25am
There's a lot of crap on the radio, but there's only one Crap From The Past.