Mr. Blue Sky

Seems like a perfect day for something uplifting, right? We’re halfway through 2020 and I’m sure that just like me, you can’t wait to see what the rest of the year brings. It’s a fair bet that whatever it is, you won’t expect it. So, get your blue sky where you can.

One of 1977’s catchiest songs

Released on 1977’s Out of the Blue album, Mr. Blue Sky was a modest hit for Electric Light Orchestra, a fun-synth-pop band that attracted a worldwide fanbase. It reached #35 in the US, and presaged a lot of the work that composer Jeff Lynne would do for movie soundtracks in the 1980s.

The song was largely forgotten for about 20 years, until a spotless mind brought it back to the public’s awareness.

Please tell us why you had to hide away for so long

Mr. Blue Sky was featured in the 2004 indie hit Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. That film was acclaimed in the year it was made and has only gotten more acclaimed in the years since. After a 27-year stretch, Mr. Blue Sky’s true genius was able to come through. The song no longer felt contemporary, but instead it felt timeless and optimistic, almost as if it were a skillfully created commercial jingle.

Spotless Mind used the song first. Others used it too, though, and in the last 16 years most people identify this song, more than any other, with Electric Light Orchestra. Take a look at this montage of nine films that use the song:

Here’s the list, by the way:

  • Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
  • Megamind
  • The Invention of Lying
  • Guardians of the Galaxy
  • Paul Blart: Mall Cop
  • Martian Child -Role Models
  • The Magical Roundabout
  • The Game Plan

The rest of the ELO catalog

If you like this song, and it’s the only song you know from Electric Light Orchestra, you owe it to yourself to find their stuff on Spotify, Apple Music, or your streaming provider of choice. I personally like this one a lot:

So much so, that when I started The Solid Signal Podcast, I wanted to use an excerpt from it, specifically the part where Mr. Lynne says “Talk is cheap on satellite but all I get is static.” It turns out the licensing was a little high for me at the time. Instead, I turned to the now-comfortable theme at the beginning and end of every podcast. That “bumper,” as we properly call it, doesn’t cost anything for commercial use, just right for my budget.

About the Author

Stuart Sweet
Stuart Sweet is the editor-in-chief of The Solid Signal Blog and a "master plumber" at Signal Group, LLC. He is the author of over 6,000 articles and longform tutorials including many posted here. Reach him by clicking on "Contact the Editor" at the bottom of this page.