Electric Light Orchestra - Telephone Line (Album Version)


This Song is track two on their 1976 album, A New World Record. It became their biggest single success in the US and was their first UK gold award for a single. With ELO's continuing success in America it seemed obvious to Jeff Lynne to use an American ring tone during the song:


To get the sound on the beginning, you know, the American telephone sound, we phoned from England to America to a number that we know nobody would be at, to just listen to it for a while. On the Moog, we recreated the sound exactly by tuning the oscillators to the same notes as the ringing of the phone.



Jeff Lynne about the meaning of the song:


“I sound really desperate and lonely on this one, and maybe I was. It’s about trying to find a girl every night and you just can’t get through to her. It was a scenario I thought of, but maybe it was prompted by the fact that I wasn’t happy at the time. When I was a kid, I loved the plaintive songs of Del Shannon and Roy Orbison. They wrote songs that were really sad and those were the best. I thought I was writing those sort of songs. People tell me the song gives them a boost, but I never dreamed I was doing that for anybody.”



Lyrics


Hello, how are you? Have you been alright through all those lonely Lonely, lonely, lonely, lonely nights? That's what I'd say, I'd tell you everything If you pick up that telephone, yeah, yeah, yeah

Hey, how you feelin'? Are you still the same, don't you realize the things we did We did were all for real, not a dream I just can't believe they've all faded out Of view, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, ooh

Blue days, black nights I look into the sky (the love you need ain't gonna see you through) And I wonder why (the little things you planned ain't comin' true) Oh, oh, telephone line, give me some time, I'm living in twilight Oh, oh, telephone line, give me some time, I'm living in twilight

Okay, so no one's answering Well, can't you just let it ring a little longer Longer, longer oh, I'll just sit tight Through shadows of the night Let it ring forever more, oh

Blue days, black nights, doo wah doo lang I look into the sky (the love you need ain't gonna see you through) And I wonder why (the little things you planned ain't comin' true) Oh, oh, telephone line, give me some time, I'm living in twilight Oh, oh, telephone line, give me some time, I'm living in twilight

Oh, oh, telephone line, give me some time, I'm living in twilight Oh, oh, telephone line, give me some time, I'm living in twilight





Songwriters: Jeff Lynne Telephone Line lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC