Released in 1979 as a single, the song is Beatlesque in nature and became a Top Ten hit in the UK and Ireland. The lyrics describe a week in the life of a repressed man who nevertheless overcomes his shy nature with the help of "a voice from above." The day Saturday is omitted – this is because, as explained by Jeff Lynne: "'The football match is played on a Saturday".
"Down Home Town" contains an intro with a backmasking message, the backing chorus of the previous track, "Waterfall": "Face the mighty waterfall, face the mighty waterfall." This song includes an orchestral intro (after the "Waterfall" refrain) and a similar ending.
"Another backward message was used in the beginning of "Down Home Town" by singing twice: 'There is the mighty waterfall.' Those reverse recorded words were only used because of the sound effect, but some fanatical christians [sic] in the USA were sure they heard, as several hysterics put it 'satanic messages' hidden on the record".