What Song Goes “It’s a livin thing, it’s a terrible thing to lose?”

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ELO New World Record coverSong: Livin’ Thing (1976)

Artist: ELO

Album: A New World Record (United Artists)

It just so happens that I began writing this post a week before I wrote my post on my favorite song from Guardians of the Galaxy. I ended up posting the latter first. Upon writing the latter, I found out that this song was also slated to be in the soundtrack.

The song is called Livin’ Thing and it is by ELO (Electric Light Orchestra), from their sixth studio album, A New World Record, released in 1976 (Jet).

Livin’ Thing by ELO Chorus

And you, and your sweet desire,
You took me, higher and higher
It’s a livin’ thing,
It’s a terrible thing to lose
It’s a given thing
What a terrible thing to lose.

About the Album

Some of ELO’s greatest songs come from this album, including Telephone Line, in which the Beatles influence shows through, in a Lennon and McCartney kind of way.

Jeff Lynne wrote and produced all the songs, as well as playing many instruments. The album has ELO’s signature blend of classical music, densely laid harmonies, and great melodies that can’t help but reel you in. Unfortunately, it also suffers from the machine-like precision and almost passionless passion of most of their material. Despite this, the songs are unforgettable, like another favorite from the album is Do Ya (do ya do ya want my love?).

During the period between around 1976 and 1981, ELO had most of their biggest hits, including the aforementioned songs from A New World Record, and also from the albums Out of the Blue and Discovery. This included songs such as Turn to Stone, and Sweet Talkin’ Woman (Out of the Blue), and Don’t Bring Me Down (Discovery)

Livin’ Thing is one song you are likely to hear on the radio more often than other ELO songs. The scene from Guardians of the Galaxy in which Livin Thing’ was featured was cut from the film. Reportedly, in the deleted scene the grown-up Groot (as opposed to the baby Groot at the end) danced to the Livin’ Thing and annoyed Drax, similar to the end of the movie with the baby Groot in his pot.

Livin’ Thing is not a stranger to movie soundtracks. It played during the closing credits to “Boogie Nights” for instance, and many ELO songs have been heard in movies. In fact, Jeff Lynne, along with John Farrar, wrote the songs for the film Xanadu, and ELO performed songs such as I’m Alive and All Over the World, the latter appearing somewhat recently in the sci-fi comedy Paul.

Listen to Livin’ Thing

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