What does the Electric Light Orchestra and Velvet Revolver have in common? The song – Can’t Get It Out Of My Head.

Here is the cover version of Can’t Get It Out Of My Head by Velvet Revolver:

Here is the original album version of Can’t Get It Out Of My Head by the Electric Light Orchestra:

Which version of Can’t Get It Out Of My Head do you like better? For me, it’s ELO’s original. Listening to ELO’s original just takes me back to when I first really became interested in music. The exploration and journey into the vast world of music, of Rock and Roll, was a profoundly exhilarating and personal experience for me as a kid. Just hearing the orchestration and the arrangements, makes me marvel at how this song was put together. There is emotion that seeps from both ELO’s original and Velvet Revolver’s cover version, only the ELO original really packs in the higher emotion, due to the string arrangements, in my Metal opinion.

Velvet Revolver substitutes an electric guitar courtesy of the ultra great Slash, in exchange for the piano and synthesizer that ELO used, making for a more harder and edgier sound. Velvet Revolver makes Can’t Get It Out Of My Head really Rock, for certain… while still not losing sight of the song’s original outpouring of emotion, that it is so well known for. My personal feeling, is that this is one of Scott Weiland’s finest moments as a vocalist in his entire career… Stone Temple Pilots, his solo album and Velvet Revolver combined. I do embrace this cover version from Velvet Revolver, no question about it, making for one of my more favorite Velvet Revolver songs from their two albums.

This is the cover for the ELO single Can’t Get It Out Of My Head, released in 1974.

* Electric Light Orchestra released Eldorado, their fourth studio album, back in 1974.

* Velvet Revolver released Libertad, their second studio album, back in July of 2007.

At the end of my Metal day, I can easily recommend both versions of Can’t Get It Out Of My Head to anyone. Yet ELO’s original can never be topped.



  1. I like the original E.L.O. version by far.

    Man they were lookin’ mighty scruffy in that video!

    You know something I just realized while watching this video is: how much they apparently influenced the FLAMING LIPS.

    You know which E.L.O. I still like best (hint: X-Mas present)…

    Rock on…


    • metalodyssey Says:

      “Discovery” is Classic ELO. My favorite ELO album EVER is “Out Of The Blue”. It’s not just my Metal opinion, yet if you read and research around… many, many, bands and/or musicians state just how influential ELO has been to their music. Granted, it may be the “veteran” musicians who state this, I only hope the younger crowd gets into ELO as well. I’m sure there are plenty though that do.

      Progressive Rock Icons. ‘Nuff said by this ELOhead.


  2. The originals USUALLY ARE the best version, even if the cover version is heavier. At least that’s my usual opinion….

    • metalodyssey Says:

      I can’t disagree with your opinion. I’ve always stated… “nothing beats the original”. Yet, if the cover song is done right and sounds cool… I’m down with it. Tommy Shaw and Jack Blades did their album together – “Influence” and Overkill’s album – “Coverkill” are two full albums of just cover songs that I can’t get enough of. Still… hearing the Mama’s & The Papa’s original “California Dreaming” is always better than the Shaw/Blades cover version… to my ears.

      There are those “certain” cover songs though… that come close to being a tie with the original. One song in particular is “American Woman” by Krokus. Man, it comes close to being as great as The Guess Who original… IMO.


  3. I never understood why ELO (minus its creator, underrated genius Roy Wood) morphed into some huge colossus bestriding America. 10538 overture, Showdown, Ma Ma Ma Belle, all great, and they were just about done for me. ‘Mr Blue Sky’ Sounded like the kids’s story ‘Sparky’s magic piano’ and for me, all this Horace wimp business sounded like the ultimate in naffness. ‘Don’t bring me down’ must’ve been the low point though, boring overblown rock’n’roll with horrendously pedestrian drum fills from the one great ex-Move drummer Bev Bevan. Sigh. We deserved punk to be inflicted on us, in retrospect.

    • metalodyssey Says:

      There definitely was a contrast in style, from say… “A New World Record” to “Discovery”. For me, personally, it is the music of ELO that affects me in a positive, many times inspirational way, something that can be too tedious to explain I guess. Jon Oliva himself, (Savatage/Trans Siberian Orchestra), told me he is hugely influenced by ELO. There’s something about ELO that “hits’ some people.

      America really never had “another” band like ELO back in the 70’s and 80’s. The “closest” cousins “might” be in some instances… The Moody Blues and Yes, (as two examples). Of course, these are progressive comparisons. There were for sure, more bands out there that did the Progressive style too. These bands came to America as another whole new “British Invasion”, IMO.

      ELO seemed to be “sandwiched” in between the choices of Disco (!) and Hard Rock during those late 70’s, they were very different compared to what was being played on American radio back then. Then, ELO was not as “serious” with their mood and lyrics as say, the ultra legendary Pink Floyd, so maybe people took a liking to their “fun” side? I’m just making a guess on that one… I do agree with you on “The Diary of Horace Wimp” though… not every ELO song can go down as Classic.

      It’s funny how you brought up Punk… I without doubt, listen to the Misfits and Ramones as much as ELO. I stand accused as a Rockaholic.

      (Sorry for so many “quotation marks”… it’s my way of emphasizing my word choices)

      Thanks for the cool comment/visits 🙂


  4. Rockaholics you and me both! 🙂

    I just feel that somewhere down the line they lost sight of their remit. I do feel Jeff Lynne redeemed himself however through his work with Tom Petty and of course the Travelling Wilburys. I shouldnt knock punk however, having been a part of The Gonads when they toured the States in’98!

    Thanks for taking the time to reply.

    • metalodyssey Says:

      There will never be any vocals that sound even close to Roy Orbison, George Harrison, Tom Petty and Bob Dylan. Those four guys have incredibly legendary voices. I’m not picking on Jeff Lynne’s vocals, only he is probably the “easiest” one to cover for his voice out of the five.

      The Traveling Wilbury’s I did gravitate to, due to my admiration for George Harrison and of course, ELO.

  5. Ha ha – that’s funny – as I am just the opposite. I could not stand most of the Traveling Wilburys.

    Back to E.L.O. :

    Different bands and or different situations usually dictate “how” a band reacts to critical acclaim and or mainstream pop success (whether that was the intended goal or not).

    Being in bands myself, I know how it is to get bored and or do the same thing over and over. It’s a double-edged sword though and usually when you try to please everybody, you end up not pleasing ANYBODY. So when a band experiments and tries different things then of course the masses are not going to like it. And no band wants to do the same song over and over…despite what the record companies think.

    Nonetheless, they are a fine band that have many, many great songs. I just look at the bands entire catalog and or works of art and take it for what it is.

    Which is just music – something meant to be experienced and enjoyed!

    Do I listen to ELO everyday? No, of course not, but I did grow up hearing them on the radio and their pop/rock was infectious and really stuck in my young (impressionable) mind over 80% of the other pop crap out at the time.

    *I did however, see a live concert one time on TV (late 70’s/early 80’s perhaps) and yeah. they seemed like they turned into a large, bloated (blown out of proportion) rock/opera act that was just plain awful to see!

    I personally never went to any of their shows, so I do not know if this is an accurate representation or not. Just my $0.02.

    Love these Rock + Metal blogs for allowing us the chance to discuss these topics and create a network of like-minded individuals!

    Rock On!


    *Who is thinking about digging out his ELO, Ted Nugent and KISS 8-tracks today.

    • metalodyssey Says:

      Hey Kinger… I really kinda miss that “smell” and “hiss” of the old 8-track being played in an overheated tape deck on a lazy Summer afternoon. Maybe your comment caught me in a nostalgic mood, I guess. :>

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