This was the first ELO song that did not use strings. After recording it, they fired their string section, leaving four members in the band.
This is the highest charting ELO hit in both the UK and US, although ELO's "Xanadu
" collaboration with Olivia Newton-John did hit #1 UK.
Richard - Vancouver, BC
ELO leader Jeff Lynne wrote this song late in the sessions for the Discovery album. He came up with the track by looping the drums from a song he recorded earlier in the session, then coming up with more music on the piano. The words came last, as Lynne put together some lyrics about a girl who thinks she's too good for the guy she's with.
As a little joke, Lynne put a count-in at the beginning of the song, even though there was nobody he was counting in.
This turned out to be a good theme song for astronauts enjoying their time in space. The song was played to astronauts on the Space Shuttle Columbia as their wake up call on July 6, 1996 - they were in flight longer than expected because of bad weather on the ground. ELO's record company also tried to tie in the song with the Skylab space station, which crashed to Earth on July 11, 1979 after six years in space. They placed ads in trade magazines promoting the new single "Don't Bring Me Down" by dedicating it to Skylab.
Wondering why Jeff Lynne repeatedly sings the word "groose" after the song's title line? Apparently it was a made-up place-keeper word to fill a gap in the vocals when he was improvising the lyrics.
When the German engineer Reinhold Mack heard the ELO frontman's demo he asked Lynne how he knew "Gruss" means "greetings" in his country's language. Upon learning the German meaning, Lynne decided to leave it in.
Many fans misinterpreted "groose" as "Bruce." In fact, so many people misheard the lyric that Lynne actually began to sing the word as "Bruce" for fun at live shows.