Sweet Talkin' Woman

Album: Out of the Blue (1978)
Charted: 6 17

Songfacts®:

  • This was a hit single from British pop rock band Electric Light Orchestra's double album, Out of the Blue, recorded at Musicland Studios in Munich, Germany during the summer of 1977. The song finds ELO leader Jeff Lynne searching for the elusive sweet talkin' woman. He asks everyone he knows where he can find her, and even calls the operator to ask about her whereabouts, but his search is fruitless. Seems she doesn't want to be found.
  • The song was originally called "Dead End Street" before Jeff Lynne decided he wasn't happy, so he erased the vocal track and re-wrote the lyrics. Some words that survived from that version can be heard in the opening of the third verse, "I've been livin' on a dead end street." Lynne recalled in an interview with Uncle Joe Benson on Off the Record: "It was a song called Dead End Street. I'd done all the words and everything, finished it. And I came down the next day in the studio and I went, 'I hate that. Let's rub all the vocals off.' And so, he goes, 'Really?' Y'know, me engineer. And I said, 'Yup. Get rid off everything off there. Whatever to do with the vocals.' And he did. He rubbed 'em all off. And I'd been sitting up in the hotel, which is above the studio, working at night just trying to think of a new tune and new words, which I did. And tried it the next day and there they worked. So, it was a good job I did, but it also meant changing the arrangement slightly. So a lot of pairs of scissors were used that day."
  • The USA single release was ten seconds shorter than its British counterpart due to a slightly faster mix. It is not known whether it was purposely edited to help the song to get more airplay or a simple error due to the tape machine being run at the wrong speed.
  • Like several songs on Out of the Blue, this song made use of the Vocoder 2000. ELO were one of the first music acts to make extensive use of the vocoder, which could synthesize voice into a robotic sound.
  • Robert John "Mutt" Lange inadvertently ripped off this track when he wrote the Huey Lewis & the News song "Do You Believe In Love?," for their 1982 Picture This album. The verses have the same melody and the lyrics of the opening verse are remarkably similar. "I was walking down a one way street; Just a looking for someone to meet; One woman who was looking for a man."

Comments: 8

  • Sandman from Washington StateThis is my all time favorite song since I was 12 y.o. I could listen to it several times a day and never grow tired of it. Wish I still had my 8 track tape and player. Great memories! Rock on Jeff Lynne
  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn February 12th 1978, "Sweet Talkin' Woman" by the Electric Light Orchestra entered Billboard's Hot Top 100 chart at position #78; and on April 23rd it peaked at #17 (for 2 weeks) and spent 16 weeks on the Top 100...
    Was track three of side one on the group's seventh studio album, 'Out of the Blue', and the album reached #4 on Billboard's Top 200 Albums chart...
    Three other tracks from the album also made the Top 100; "Turn To Stone" (#13), "Mr. Blue Sky" (#35), and "It's Over" (#75).
  • Oldpink from Farmland, InThis great song never fails to make me smile.
    Lynne's singing and lyrics full of simple joy really carry this.
  • Melissa from Windsor, CanadaThis is one of my absolute favourite songs by ELO. My others are "Livin' Thing" which is somehow happy, intense, and a little sad all at once, and "Mr. Blue Sky" for its brilliance and ability to fill me with optimism. I always wish I know whether or not there is more of a story behind the meaning of songs like this, but even if there are, it seems like they always remain secret to fans.
  • Jeff from Boston, MaThe US single was also pressed from colored vinyl, but I believe it was a trannslucent blue to go with the name of the album.
  • Alma from Laredo, TxI love this song. I wish there had been more of a romantic story premise to this song. However, it is still one of ELO's best.
  • Jennifer Harris from Grand Blanc, Miat first I thought this song was called Hoedown.
  • Zabadak from London, EnglandThis single was issued on purple vinyl in the UK.
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