Living Thing by Electric Light Orchestra (United Artists, 1977)

When my mom dropped this 45 onto the record player, and I heard that opening violin solo, that was my cue to go apeshit. I loved to run around the house when my mom played her stack of 45s, but I have no idea why this song would make me so crazy. Sometimes I would bury my head into a pillow and wiggle from side to side until I would get dizzy and pass out. That’s borderline psychotic, but that’s how much this song made me react.

And yet I remember a few years ago that this song was rated #1 in a Guilty Pleasures poll in Q Magazine. Did this song make other kids go crazy too? Is Jeff Lynne a bigger genius than he’s credited for? Did he have the record pressing plant put drops of PCP in the vinyl of his records so that when they are playing, they make you high?

I wanted to break this song down to see what the deal was, but I’m not sure I can. On the surface, it feels like he wrote this while stoned. The words talk about slipping, sliding, taking a dive, sailing, floating…you get the picture….for me, I guess, perfect, dreamlike images or just hanging out in the pool. I really have no idea what he’s talking about. Is this Living Thing, love? Money? Weed?

Who cares? Turn it up and enjoy!