Lost in the ’70s: Jeff Lynne, “Doin’ That Crazy Thing”

Written by Lost in the '70s, Music

Remember when the Hustle swept through discos everywhere?  People were taking Hustle classes, the nightly news reported on the fad, there were instructional records and books.  Hey, remember when everyone did the bump to, say, “Lady Bump?”  How about in 1977, when everyone was doing the latest dance, the “Crazy Thing,” to Jeff Lynne’s “Doin’ That Crazy Thing?”

No?  Oh, sorry.

Creating a new dance craze was definitely on someone’s mind when Jeff Lynne took a short break from leading the Electric Light Orchestra to release this forgotten single.  “Doin’ That Crazy Thing” (download) was released with the mugshot picture sleeve overseas, but here in the States the 12″ version can with a sleeve complete with step-by-step instructions on how to do the “Crazy Thing,” the new moves that were destined to sweep the nation.  Except, like, they didn’t.  The copy I found was sadly saddled with a generic Jet Records sleeve, damn it.

“Doin’ That Crazy Thing” was a strange detour for Lynne, a downtempo, straight-ahead disco tune slipped out under his own name rather than ELO’s, even though the group would flirt with and nearly fully embrace disco a short two years later.  You don’t hear about the one-off solo single, it’s never been released on CD (to my knowlege) and along with its almost identical B-side, “Goin’ Down To Rio,” (download) it’s been written off in Lynne/ELO history.

Lynne would further scratch his disco itch, minus any contrived dance crazes on ELO’s next album, Discovery.  As far as solo work, he scraped the bottom of the Hot 100 in 1984 with “Video” from the Electric Dreams soundtrack before moving on to production work for Tom Petty, George Harrison and others.  There’s been some solo stuff here and there as well, most notably 1990’s, Armchair Theater.

“Doin’ That Crazy Thing” did not chart.

Get Jeff Lynne/ELO music at Amazon or on Electric Light Orchestra