Evil Woman (Electric Light Orchestra song)

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"Evil Woman"
Single by Electric Light Orchestra
from the album Face the Music
B-side "10538 Overture (Live)"
Released October 1975 (US)
10 January 1976 (UK)
Format 7"
Recorded 1975 at Musicland Studios
Genre Symphonic rock
  • 4:19 (album version)
  • 4:12 (UK single edit)
  • 3:15 (US single edit)
  • 5:17 (Full-length version)
Label Jet (UK)
United Artists (US)
Writer(s) Jeff Lynne
Producer(s) Jeff Lynne
Electric Light Orchestra singles chronology
"Boy Blue"
"Evil Woman"
"Strange Magic"
Face the Music track listing

"Evil Woman" is a song written by lead vocalist Jeff Lynne and recorded by Electric Light Orchestra (ELO).

First released on the band's fifth album, 1975's Face the Music. Released as a single in late-1975, the song became the band's first worldwide hit. According to Lynne this song was the quickest he had ever written, in thirty minutes, originally as 'filler' for the group's Face the Music album. The song placed in the top ten on both sides of the Atlantic in early-1976. The song became a hit again in the UK in 1978 when it featured on The ELO EP. The lyric "There's a hole in my head where the rain comes in" in the song is a tribute to The Beatles' song "Fixing a Hole".

Chart performance[edit]

Weekly charts[edit]

Chart (1976) Peak
Australia (Kent Music Report)[1] 23
Canada (CHUM)[2] 6
Canada Top Singles (RPM)[3] 6
Ireland (IRMA)[4] 10
Italy (FIMI)[5] 29
Netherlands (Dutch Top 40)[6] 20
Netherlands (Single Top 100)[7] 21
New Zealand (Recorded Music NZ)[8] 8
UK Singles (Official Charts Company)[9] 10
US Billboard Hot 100[10] 10
US Cash Box[11] 9
US Record World[12] 9
US Radio & Records (R&R)[13][14] 5

Year-end charts[edit]

Chart (1976) Position
Canada (RPM 200 Singles)[15] 81
US Billboard Hot 100[16] 70
US Cash Box[17] 54

Jeff Lynne version[edit]

"Evil Woman"
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 4:30
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.[18]

Other uses[edit]

In 1995, Michael Stipe imitated Jeff Lynne at an R.E.M. concert at Madison Square Garden on their Monster Tour, he wore a frizzy wig and sang "Evil Woman" before the show with Luscious Jackson playing the music.

In 2002, the song was used in the film Austin Powers in Goldmember during the jail scene with Dr. Evil receiving a visit from Mindy Sterling's character Frau Farbissina, the movie's soundtrack album featured a version by Soul Hooligan and featuring Diana King.

In 2006, a part of the song was sampled in the Pussycat Dolls single "Beep".

The band moe. covered the song three times in 2005.

In 2008, singer/songwriter Mike Posner included a cover of the song on his mixtape, "A Matter of Time", and as a bonus track on selected editions of his first album "31 Minutes to Takeoff".

The song is being performed as part of the 2007 Broadway musical Xanadu.

The 1987 TV special DTV Monster Hits! also featured a short music video of the song, set to clips of all the female villains featured in Disney cartoons up to that point.

The song was also featured in a 2009 episode of the TV series Community.

The song appeared in the 2008 video game Grand Theft Auto IV on the fictional radio station Liberty Rock Radio 97.8

A cover version of the song was performed by Oh Mercy on Triple J's Like a Version segment in April 2011.

The song appeared in a TV commercial for Hyundai that aired during Fox's coverage of Super Bowl XLVIII on 2 February 2014.

The song appeared in a 2005 episode of the TV series Medium_(TV_series) (5th season Episode 2).

The song appeared in a 2008 episode of the TV series My Name Is Earl.


  1. ^ Kent, David (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970-1992. St Ives, N.S.W.: Australian Chart Book. ISBN 0-646-11917-6. 
  2. ^ CHART NUMBER 993 – Saturday, January 31, 1976 at the Wayback Machine (archived 29 July 2007). CHUM. Retrieved 16 July 2014.
  3. ^ "Top RPM Singles: Issue 4081a." RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved 6 March 2013.
  4. ^ "The Irish Charts – Search Results – Evil Woman". Irish Singles Chart. Retrieved 6 March 2013.
  5. ^ "Indice per Interprete: E" (in Italian). Hit Parade Italia. Creative Commons. Retrieved 5 July 2013. 
  6. ^ "Nederlandse Top 40 – Electric Light Orchestra - Evil Woman search results" (in Dutch) Dutch Top 40. Retrieved 5 July 2013.
  7. ^ "Dutchcharts.nl – Electric Light Orchestra – Evil Woman" (in Dutch). Single Top 100. Retrieved 5 July 2013.
  8. ^ "Charts.org.nz – Electric Light Orchestra – Evil Woman". Top 40 Singles. Retrieved 5 July 2013.
  9. ^ "Archive Chart: 1976-01-31" UK Singles Chart. Retrieved 5 March 2013.
  10. ^ "Electric Light Orchestra – Awards". AllMusic. All Media Network. Retrieved 5 March 2013. 
  11. ^ CASH BOX Top 100 Singles – Week ending FEBRUARY 14, 1976 at the Wayback Machine (archived 2 September 2012). Cash Box magazine. Retrieved 16 July 2014.
  12. ^ RECORD WORLD 1976 at the Wayback Machine (archived 14 May 2005). Record World. Geocities.com. Retrieved 16 July 2014.
  13. ^ ELO
  14. ^ Charts!
  15. ^ "Top Singles – Volume 26, No. 14 & 15, January 08 1977". RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved 17 July 2014. 
  16. ^ Billboard, December 25, 1976 ("Billboard's Annual Talent in Action", Pop Singles of 1976)
  17. ^ The CASH BOX Year-End Charts: 1976 at the Wayback Machine (archived 28 December 2012). Cash Box magazine. Retrieved 17 July 2014.
  18. ^ "Mr. Blue Sky – The Very Best of Electric Light Orchestra". Elo.biz. 5 October 2012. Retrieved 28 February 2013. 

External links[edit]