Don't Bring Me Down

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This article is about the Electric Light Orchestra song. For other uses, see Don't Bring Me Down (disambiguation).
"Don't Bring Me Down"
Single by Electric Light Orchestra
from the album Discovery
B-side "Dreaming of 4000"
Released 21 July 1979 (US)
24 August 1979 (UK)
Format 7" single
Recorded Musicland Studios
Munich, Germany (1979)
Length 4:02
Label Jet
Writer(s) Jeff Lynne
Producer(s) Jeff Lynne
Electric Light Orchestra singles chronology
"The Diary of Horace Wimp"
"Don't Bring Me Down"
"Confusion"/"Last Train to London"
Discovery track listing

"Don't Bring Me Down" is a song by the band Electric Light Orchestra (ELO), and is the last track from their 1979 album Discovery. It is their highest charting hit in the US to date.


"Don't Bring Me Down" is the band's second highest charting hit in the UK where it peaked at number 3[2] and their biggest hit in the United States, peaking at number 4 on the Billboard Hot 100.[3] It also charted well in Canada (number 1) and Australia (number 6). This was the first song by ELO not to include a string section.[4]

The drum track is in fact a tape loop, coming from "On the Run" looped and slowed down.[4]

The song was dedicated to the NASA Skylab space station, which re-entered the Earth's atmosphere over the Indian Ocean and Western Australia on 11 July 1979.[4]

On 4 November 2007, Lynne was awarded a BMI (Broadcast Music, Inc) Million-Air certificate for "Don't Bring Me Down" for the song having reached two million airplays.

Misheard lyric[edit]

A common mondegreen in the song is the perception that, following the title line, Lynne shouts "Bruce!". According to the liner notes of the ELO compilation Flashback, he is saying a made-up lyric, "Grroosss," which some have suggested sounds like the Bavarian expression "Grüß Gott." After the song's release, so many people had misinterpreted the word as "Bruce" that Lynne actually began to sing the word as "Bruce" for fun at live shows.[5]

Music video[edit]

A music video for the song was produced, which showed video of the band performing the song interspersed with various animations relating to the song's subject matter, including big-bottomed majorettes and a pulsating neon frankfurter. The band's three resident string players are depicted playing keyboards in the music video.

Jeff Lynne version[edit]

"Don't Bring Me Down"
Song by Electric Light Orchestra from the album Mr. Blue Sky: The Very Best of Electric Light Orchestra
Released 8 October 2012 (UK)
9 October 2012 (US)
Recorded 2001–2012 Bungalow Palace
Length 4:01
Label Frontiers
Writer Jeff Lynne
Producer Jeff Lynne
Mr. Blue Sky: The Very Best of Electric Light Orchestra track listing

Jeff Lynne re-recorded the song in his own home studio. It was released in a compilation album with other re-recorded ELO songs, under the ELO name.[6]

Cover versions, samplings and remixes[edit]

  • In 1998, punk rock band J Church recorded a version that appears on the Mailorder is Fun compilation released by Asian Man Records.
  • In 1998, North Carolina sludge metal band Buzzov•en covered the song on their album ...At a Loss.
  • In 2001, Op:l Bastards covered the song as a single.
  • In 2003, Status Quo covered the song on their album Riffs.
  • In 2005, Parthenon Huxley covered the song on his Homemade Spaceship album. Huxley's version is a Goons-ish sendup featuring ELO bassist Kelly Groucutt (credited as Jelly Donut) on spoken vocals and ELO violinist Mik Kaminski (credited as Poppadom Screech) on violin.
  • In 2006, L.E.O. includes a shortened cover of the song as a hidden track on their album Alpacas Orgling.
  • In 2006, J-pop band PUFFY (a.k.a. Puffy AmiYumi) have a cover of the song featured on the B-side of their single "Hataraku Otoko".
  • In 2007, Finnish symphonic metal supergroup Northern Kings covered the song on their album Reborn.
  • In 2010, Donna Loren covered the song on her album Love It Away.
  • In 2012, The Hives released a song called "Go Right Ahead". Though not a direct cover, the main riff in the song is nearly identical to the one in "Don't Bring Me Down",[7] and as a result Jeff Lynne was officially credited as a co-writer.
  • OK Go performed the song and released on their Live From SoHo EP in 2007.
  • The New Pornographers have covered this song in various concerts.[8]
  • Jungle Brothers sample the song on "Because I Got It Like That" from their debut album Straight out the Jungle in 1988.
  • "Don't Bring Me Down" was remixed by Remix Artist Collective member Karl Kling.

Appearances in other media[edit]

Chart and sales[edit]

Preceded by
"I Was Made for Lovin' You" by Kiss
Canadian RPM 100 Singles number-one single
6 October 1979 (1 week)
Succeeded by
"Bad Case of Loving You (Doctor, Doctor)" by Robert Palmer


  1. ^ a b Guarisco, Donald A. "Don't Bring Me Down – Song Review". AllMusic. All Media Network. Retrieved 26 May 2013. "a song that was (...) dance-friendly enough for the disco set. Thus, "Don’t Bring Me Down" got plenty of play in discos" "It’s an ambitious melange of pop-rock styles" 
  2. ^ a b "Archive Chart" UK Singles Chart. Retrieved 5 March 2013.
  3. ^ a b "Electric Light Orchestra – Awards". AllMusic. All Media Network. Retrieved 5 March 2013. 
  4. ^ a b c Porter, Robert (May 2013). "Electric Light Orchestra and Jeff Lynne -- Don't Bring Me Down: An in-depth song analysis". Retrieved 26 May 2013. 
  5. ^ Wild, David. "The Story of a Rock and Roll Band and the Pop Genius Who Dared to Go Baroque." Flashback.
  6. ^ "Mr. Blue Sky – The Very Best of Electric Light Orchestra". 5 October 2012. Retrieved 28 February 2013. 
  7. ^ Johnston, Maura (27 March 2012). "The Hives: Go Right Ahead". Rolling Stone. Jann Wenner. Retrieved 14 July 2014. 
  8. ^ Padgett, Ray (20 August 2010). "Consequence of Sound Presents…Best Fest Covers". Consequence of Sound. Retrieved 14 July 2014. 
  9. ^ Kent, David (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970-1992. St Ives, NSW: Australian Chart Book. ISBN 0-646-11917-6. 
  10. ^ "Electric Light Orchestra – Don't Bring Me Down –" (in German). Ö3 Austria Top 40. Retrieved 1 June 2013.
  11. ^ " – Electric Light Orchestra – Don't Bring Me Down" (in Dutch). Ultratop 50. Retrieved 1 June 2013.
  12. ^ (Dutch) "Don't Bring Me Down – ELECTRIC LIGHT ORCHESTRA". Top 30. Retrieved 14 July 2014. "Hoogste notering in de top 30 : 6" 
  13. ^ CHART NUMBER 1181 – Saturday, September 01, 1979 at the Wayback Machine (archived 29 July 2007). CHUM. Retrieved 14 July 2014.
  14. ^ "RPM Top Singles." RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved 1 June 2013.
  15. ^ (French) "InfoDisc : Tous les Titres par Artiste". InfoDisc. Select "Electric Light Orchestra" from the artist drop-down menu. Retrieved 14 July 2014. 
  16. ^ "Electric Light Orchestra – Don't Bring Me Down". GfK Entertainment. Retrieved 1 June 2013.
  17. ^ "The Irish Charts – All there is to know". Retrieved 6 March 2013. 
  18. ^ "Nederlandse Top 40 – Electric Light Orchestra - Don't Bring Me Down search results" (in Dutch) Dutch Top 40. Retrieved 1 June 2013.
  19. ^ " – Electric Light Orchestra – Don't Bring Me Down" (in Dutch). Single Top 100. Retrieved 1 June 2013.
  20. ^ " – Electric Light Orchestra – Don't Bring Me Down". Top 40 Singles. Retrieved 1 June 2013.
  21. ^ "South African Rock Lists Website SA Charts 1969 – 1989 Acts (E)". Retrieved 29 April 2013. 
  22. ^ (Spanish) Salaverri, Fernando (September 2005). Sólo éxitos: año a año, 1959–2002 (1st ed.). Spain: Fundación Autor-SGAE. ISBN 84-8048-639-2. 
  23. ^ "Electric Light Orchestra – Don't Bring Me Down –". Swiss Singles Chart.
  24. ^ CASH BOX Top 100 Singles – Week ending SEPTEMBER 22, 1979 at the Wayback Machine (archived 5 February 2011). Cash Box magazine. Retrieved 14 July 2014.
  25. ^ RECORD WORLD 1979 at the Wayback Machine (archived 11 May 2005). Record World. Retrieved 14 July 2014.
  26. ^ "Forum – ARIA Charts: Special Occasion Charts – Top 100 End of Year AMR Charts – 1970s". Hung Medien. Retrieved 14 July 2014. 
  27. ^ (Dutch) "Jaaroverzichten 1979". Ultratop. Hung Medien. Retrieved 14 July 2014. 
  28. ^ "Top Singles – Volume 32, No. 13, December 22, 1979". RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved 14 July 2014. 
  29. ^ (Dutch) "Single Top 100 1979" (PDF). Dutch Top 40. Retrieved 14 July 2014. 
  30. ^ (Dutch) "Jaaroverzichten – Single 1979". Single Top 100. Hung Medien. Retrieved 14 July 2014. 
  31. ^ "Top 100 Hits for 1979". The Longbored Surfer. Retrieved 14 July 2014. 
  32. ^ The CASH BOX Year-End Charts: 1979 at the Wayback Machine (archived 25 August 2012). Cash Box magazine. Retrieved 14 July 2014.
  33. ^ "British single certifications – ELO – Don't Bring Me Down". British Phonographic Industry.  Enter Don't Bring Me Down in the field Search. Select Title in the field Search by. Select single in the field By Format. Click Go
  34. ^ "American single certifications – Electric Light Orchestra – Don_t Bring Me Down". Recording Industry Association of America.  If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Single, then click SEARCH

External links[edit]