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Single by Electric Light Orchestra
from the album On the Third Day
B-side "In Old England Town"
Released October 1973
Format 7" vinyl
Recorded 1973, Air Studios
Genre Classic rock, R&B
Length 4:09 (LP/UK single length)
3:53 (USA single edit)
Label Harvest
United Artists (USA)
Writer(s) Jeff Lynne
Producer Jeff Lynne
Electric Light Orchestra singles chronology
"Roll Over Beethoven"
"Ma-Ma-Ma Belle"
Flashback track listing
"10538 Overture"
"Ma-Ma-Ma Belle"

"Showdown" is a song written by Jeff Lynne and recorded by the Electric Light Orchestra.

It was the band's last contemporary recording to be released on the Harvest label. In the US, the song was included on the album On The Third Day (1973), however in the UK the song was omitted from the album and would later be featured on their first compilation album , also called Showdown a year later instead. In 2006 the remastered issue of On the Third Day would feature the song on the album on both sides of the Atlantic for the first time.

The song was a change of pace for ELO, with a funkier backbeat. It was a favourite record of John Lennon's at the time, who dubbed them "Son of Beatles" in a US radio interview.

Jeff Lynne played the lead guitar part using Marc Bolan's Gibson Firebird guitar.


Chart performance

Chart (1973/1974) Peak
UK Singles Chart[1] 12
Canadian RPM Top Singles[2] 47
Dutch GfK chart[3] 25
Dutch Top 40[4] 28
Norwegian Singles Chart[5] 9
US Billboard Pop Singles[6] 53

Covers and media use

  • Odia Coates charted in 1975 with her cover.
  • Candi Staton covered the song in the seventies.
  • The song was covered in 1996 by Asia with would-be ELO Part II vocalist John Payne. The song is included on the Archiva Vol. 2 compilation album.
  • In the 1996 comedy movie Kingpin, the song was used as background music during a one-on-one bowling tournament.
  • In the 2007 movie Wild Hogs the song "Showdown" was used. Shortly after the song stopped playing Ray Liotta stated "At least someone's here to face the music".
  • The song is featured in both the opening movie and soundtrack of EA's 2009 video game Skate 2.


In Old England Town

"In Old England Town (Boogie No. 2)" is an Electric Light Orchestra song composed by Jeff Lynne.

An edited instrumental version of the song was included as the B-side to their early hit single "Showdown" in 1973, with the title "In Old England Town". The Moog intro of the edited version was later sampled and included on Paul Weller's hit single "The Changingman" as well as the main riff from "10538 Overture".

Recorded in 1972 this was the opening track of the bands second LP ELO 2, and was one of two songs that featured Roy Wood on cello and bass guitar, the other was "From the Sun to the World". Shortly after recording these tracks Wood abandoned ELO to form Wizzard and was not originally credited on the LP sleeve. Normally Wood and Lynne co-produced all their collaborations, but it is unknown whether these two tracks had any Roy Wood production involvement.

"A planned concept album entitled The Lost Planet was quietly abandoned and sessions for the second LP proper began May 1972. Two new Jeff Lynne songs, From The Sun To The World and In Old England Town were the first to be recorded and included Roy Wood on bass guitar and cello, but in little more than a month, the co-founder of the ELO concept left the group." - Rob Caiger (March 28, 2006 - ELO II Remaster)

Before it was recorded the song was already included in ELO's first 1972 tour playlist ,simply titled Jeffs Boogie #2 and had a different set of lyrics. The early live version of this song was filmed by Granada's Set of Six in 1972 and is the only footage of the original live ELO concert known to exist, these songs were released on a 2006 DVD called ELO - Total Rock Review.


External links


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