21st Century Man

Album: TIME (1981)
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Songfacts®:

  • This song is a tribute to Beatles singer John Lennon, whom Jeff Lynne admired. Lennon was killed a year before TIME was released. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Logan - Troy, MT
  • Jeff Lynne produced the Beatles song "Free As A Bird," which was assembled after John Lennon's death.

Comments: 6

  • Ed from Canton, OhThis is very cool to find out that this song was a tribute to Lennon. When I saw ELO in Cleveland in 1981 on the Time tour, they played A Day in the Life as a tribute to Lennon. when you think of it....who else but ELO could play A Day in the Life?
  • Pepper from Athens, TnLast time I looked this was a tribute to Marc Bolan, whom Jeff Lynne was good friends with. Marc also played onstage with ELO a good number of times, and played on a few tracks on a 1977 album.
  • Todd from Brentwood, CaI've theorized about this album, written as a rock opera many times. Listening to the words of all the songs, it makes sense to me. If it's true, I would love to have seen it produced!
  • Mitch from Crown Point, InTime is actually a great album - just plain weird though - sent ELO to an early grave (that, and Xanadu).
  • Logan from Troy, MtPenny in Your Pocket - Penny Lane, Written by Paul McCartney and John Lennon.

    Suitcase in Your Hand - Lady Madonna, "Friday Night Arrives without a Suitcase/ Sunday morning's creeping like a nun."

    Fly Across the City - "Flying" - An Instrumental Beatles song from "Magical Mystery Tour", or it could refer to Heaven from John's Song, "Imagine".

    One day your a hero, next day your a clown - The infamous "Bigger Than Jesus" statement during the height of The Beatles career.

    You stepped out of the dream - Imagine - "You may say I'm a dreamer, but I'm not the only one."

    That's the best I can come up with.
  • Randy from Suburban, MnThe entire "Time" album is a sort of rock opera about a man who is sent forward, to a time not his own. It's a fearful look at a possible future. This song, in context, is about the fact that the man of the 20th century -- when the song was written -- will not find the 21st century to be what he'd expected.
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