Electric Light Orchestra

Mr. Blue Sky

Song Review by

Electric Light Orchestra was often rejected by critics as a pallid 1970's imitation of psychedelic-era Beatles. This critique was unfair and shortsighted but there is no doubt that group mastermind Jeff Lynne wore his Beatles influence on his sleeve. The ultimate example of this tendency was "Mr. Blue Sky," a multi-layered pop treat that was a pure Beatles pastiche. This song closed the "Concerto For A Rainy Day" side of Out Of The Blue and its lyrics celebrate the emergence of the title character to end a day of rain: "Mister Blue Sky/Please tell us why/ You had to hide away for so long/Where did we go wrong?" The music divides its time between verses that repeat the same two notes to hypnotic effect a la "I Am The Walrus" and an effervescent, constantly-ascending chorus that recalls . Electric Light Orchestra’s recording of "Mr. Blue Sky" takes the Beatles references even further: the staccato bassline recalls the chorus of "Hello Goodbye" and pounding piano lines and panting background vocals recall the midsection of "A Day In The Life." However, the swirling strings, the call-and-response interplay between Lynne and his falsetto vocal overdubs, and the use of a choir make sure listeners know this is an Electric Light Orchestra tune. The group blended all these elements with care and turned "Mr. Blue Sky" into a miniature pop symphony that became a top-40 hit in the U.S. and did even better elsewhere in the world. It remains a favorite with the group’s fans and Jeff Lynne’s ultimate tribute to his heroes in ‘the fab four.’

Appears On

Year Artist/Album Label Time AllMusic Rating
Out of the Blue 1977 Legacy / Epic 5:03
ELO's Greatest Hits 1979 Jet Records 5:05
The Very Best of the Electric Light Orchestra [Telstar] 1989 Telstar 5:03
Afterglow 1990 Epic 3:47
No Image 1994
Various Artists
Castle Music Ltd.
Strange Magic: The Best of Electric Light Orchestra 1995 Legacy / Epic Associated 5:03
Light Years: The Very Best of Electric Light Orchestra 1997 Sony Music Distribution 5:03
Fantastic 70's 1998
Various Artists
Sony Music Distribution 5:02
Definitive Collection 1999 Sony Music Distribution 5:04
Sounds of the 70's [Global TV] 1999
Various Artists
Global TV 5:01
Flashback 2000 Legacy / Epic 5:07
The Essential Electric Light Orchestra 2003 Epic 5:08
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind 2004 Hollywood 5:03
Capital Gold 70's Legends 2004
Various Artists
EMI Music Distribution 5:01
Capitol Gold Legends, Vol. 2 2004
Various Artists
EMI Music Distribution 5:02
No Image 2005
Various Artists
Sony Music Distribution 5:01
Let It Grow 2005
Various Artists
River Cottage 5:00
All Over the World: The Very Best of Electric Light Orchestra 2005 Legacy / Epic 5:04
Playlist: The Very Best of Electric Light Orchestra 2008 Playlist 5:08
The Collection [SBC] 2009 Camden / sbc / Sony BMG 5:05
Happy Songs [Virgin 2010] 2010
Various Artists
EMI / EMI Music Distribution 5:02
Pure... Summer 2011
Various Artists
Sony Music 5:02
Can't Get It Out of My Head 2011 Pazzazz 5:00
Mr. Blue Sky: The Very Best of Electric Light Orchestra 2012 Frontiers Records 3:44
Guardians of the Galaxy: Awesome Mix, Vol. 2 2017
Original Soundtrack
Hollywood 5:03
The Classic 70s Collection [Sony]
Various Artists
Sony Music 5:03