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" first appeared on the band's fifth album Face the Music. It also featured as the flip side to the US single "Confusion".
"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. These 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".