Paul McCartney Felt ELO’s ‘Mr. Blue Sky’ Was Based on 1 Beatles Song

Paul McCartney discussed what he thought of ELO’s “Mr. Blue Sky” while John Lennon revealed what he thought about the band in general.

The Beatles influenced everybody but it’s not every day that Paul McCartney called out that influence. Paul once told Jeff Lynne that ELO’s “Mr. Blue Sky” was partly based on one of The Beatles’ songs from Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. Lynne discussed what he thought of Paul after that. John Lennon also revealed his feelings about ELO years after The Beatles broke up.

Paul McCartney felt ELO’s ‘Mr. Blue Sky’ was based on The Beatles’ ‘A Day in the Life’

ELO has genres numerous comparisons to The Beatles. According to a 2022 article from The Telegraph, Lynne discussed meeting Paul for the first time. “He said to me, ”Mr. Blue Sky?’ I know where you got that riff from,’” Lynne reminisced. “He didn’t mince words. He thought I took it from the middle of ‘A Day in the Life.’ But we became great pals.”

When asked about the origin of ELO’s “Mr. Blue Sky,” Lynne did not cite “A Day in the Life” or any other Beatles tunes as an influence. According to the BBC, Lynne locked himself in a Swiss chalet to pen the follow-up to ELO’s album A New World Record. Lynne recalled that the weather was “dark and misty for two weeks.” He couldn’t think up anything.

After that, the sunshine came through. In response, Lynne wrote “Mr. Blue Sky” and 13 other tracks over the following two weeks. Those tracks became the backbone of ELO’s next album, Out of the Blue.

John Lennon felt ELO was inspired by The Beatles, especially ‘I Am the Walrus’

During a 1980 interview in the book All We Are Saying: The Last Major Interview with John Lennon and Yoko Ono, John discussed his opinion of ELO. “Painting wallpaper or making Muzak is not what I want to do, although I have nothing against it,” he said. “I’m just trying to put a clear moment on canvas. If people don’t like it, well … It’s the same as wanting The Beatles back.”

“You want music from me, you’ll get it,” he added. “But don’t tell me which music to make or suggest how I do it. Otherwise, you go do it yourself. There’s room for everybody. Somebody else can go do that.”

“And people have,” John said. “I mean ELO is son of ‘I Am the Walrus.’ If somebody wants ‘I Am the Walrus’ music, they just have to buy ELO records. Different schools of ‘Son of Beatles’ exist continually.”

How ‘Mr. Blue Sky’ impacted movies, television, and other rock bands

“Mr. Blue Sky” went on to become a timeless classic. “Mr. Blue Sky” punctuated the opening sequence of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, making it one of many 1970s songs in that franchise. The tune graced the film’s soundtrack as well. “Mr. Blue Sky” also appeared in Megamind and the American Dad episode “Fart-Break Hotel.” In addition, “Mr. Blue Sky” was covered by The Muppets, Weezer, and Pomplamoose.

Whether it was inspired by “A Day in the Life” or sunshine, ELO’s “Mr. Blue Sky” is a mind-blowing pop classic.

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