Friday Song: “Evil Woman”

Written to fill a gap, this song became ELO's first worldwide hit.

Written in haste at the piano by Jeff Lynne to fill a gap on ELO’s 1975 album Face the Music, “Evil Woman” reached the Top 10 in both the US and UK, and was ELO’s first worldwide hit. The band would go on to have dozens of hits in the US and UK, but this one has an hook to its title that many readers can surely bring to mind.

This week’s song is offered in tribute to Richard Tandy, Lynne’s right-hand man and the keyboardist in ELO, who passed away last week at the age of 76.

Tandy started as the bassist for ELO, but switched to keyboards in the mid-’70s. Proficient on keys and guitars, he was also a gifted arranger and producer. In 2017, he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame along with three other main members of ELO.

“Evil Woman” is a simple, bitter breakup song.

Lynne, a massive Beatles fan who would later work with George Harrison as a producer and in the Traveling Wilburys, included the lyric, “There’s a hole in my head where the rain comes in” as a tribute to the Beatles’ song, “Fixing a Hole.”


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