Calling America on the 4th of July

4 Jul


It figures that on this day of American independence I would choose a song from Birmingham natives Electric Light Orchestra. No, not Birmingham, Alabama; Birmingham, England. “Calling America,” though, features the name of our great nation, although it is used in the construct of an unfaithful lover going to America to perpetuate an affair. Yeah, America! Conquering the British through lust.

The song, though, which currently resides in my brain, is a true model of the ever-reaching hand of modernity. Jeff Lynne mentions the “modern world” that is represented by the satellite allowing his phone call to go through to America. The “modern world” has changed a bit in 30 years; now a brief text would suffice, albeit that could be ignored by an unfaithful lover just as easily as a transcontinental phone call. That said, the song itself was recorded in the Bahamas and in Germany, released by Epic in the UK and CBS Associated in the US, and the music video was shot in Paris, France. An Independence Day in the modern world.

The song itself has the unique mark of a Jeff Lynne ELO track. It is upbeat, semi-classical, vocally dulcet, and lyrically dark. Lynne is uber-talented and this track is an excellent example of his ability. There are so many components to the song that he weaves together with his band to make a tight, well-structured piece. Enjoy this as you chow down on a burger! Be safe and happy 4th

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