Calling America

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Calling America is my favorite Electric Light Orchestra song. It is track 8 on the album Balance of Power. The single was recorded in 1985 and released in January of 1986. It was written and produced by Jeff Lynne, and is a good example of British synth pop in the mid-1980s.

The topic of the song is common, it's about a man trying to get in contact with a woman who is unreachable, kind of similar to their earlier song Telephone Line. But the subject of the song isn't why I like it, the primary reason I love this song is due to the amazing sound it has. The intro is perfect, beginning a capella, and very quickly introducing a nice dance beat. All of the backing vocals are highly overdubbed, and occasionally the lead vocals are mechanized or echoed. Also, there is wonderful use of synthesizers to perform little ditties throughout the whole song.

Lyrics

Somebody
Told her that there was a place like heaven
Across the water on a 747
Yeah, we're living in
In a modern world.

And pretty soon she's really got the notion
Of flying out across the big blue ocean
Yeah, we're living in
In a modern world.

Talk is cheap on satellite
But all I get is static
Information, I'm still here
Re-dial on automatic.

Calling America. Can't get a message through.
Calling America. That's what she said to do.
Calling America. That's where she has to be.
Calling America. She left a number for me.
Calling America.

But I'm just talking to a satellite
Twenty thousand miles up in the sky each night
Yeah, we're living in
In a modern world.

All I had to do was pick up the phone
I'm out in space, trying to talk to someone
Yeah, we're living in
In a modern world.

She left a number I could call
But no one's there, no one at all
There must be something going wrong
That number just rings on and on.

Calling America. Can't get a message through.
Calling America. That's what she said to do.
Calling America. That's where she has to be.
Calling America. She left a number for me.
Calling America.

Said she'd call when she'd been gone a while
Guess she's missing me across the miles
Yeah, we're living in
In a modern world.

Calling America. Can't get a message through.
Calling America. That's what she said to do.
Calling America. That's where she has to be.
Calling America. She left a number for me.

Calling America, calling America,
Calling America, calling America.

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