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"Boy Blue"
Boy Blue single.jpg
Single by Electric Light Orchestra
from the album Eldorado
B-side" Eldorado"
ReleasedApril 1975 (US)
Recorded1974 De Lane Lea Studios
Length5:19 (Album version)
4:13 (US single edit)
Label United Artists
Songwriter(s) Jeff Lynne
Producer(s)Jeff Lynne
Electric Light Orchestra singles chronology
" Can't Get It Out of My Head"
"Boy Blue"
" Evil Woman"
Eldorado track listing
10 tracks

"Boy Blue" is a song written by Jeff Lynne and performed by the Electric Light Orchestra (ELO) which first appeared as track number 3 from their 1974 album Eldorado.



The album version of the song starts with a Baroque-style brass fanfare – reminiscent of Jeremiah Clarke's " Prince of Denmark's March" (ca. 1700) — and then develops into a minimoog sequence before the song properly begins. The song includes a midway solo of the band's three string players. At the end of the song the string instruments quickly fade, immediately leading into the LP's fourth track "Laredo Tornado".

Bassist Mike de Albuquerque sings on the song - one of his final appearances in the ELO catalogue. [1]

The US edited single version of the song is missing the fanfare intro, parts of the orchestral bridge, and the second to last chorus.[ citation needed]


A song about an all-conquering hero from the middle ages.

—  Jeff Lynne, Eldorado Remaster, 2001 [2]

The song is an anti-war song set during the Crusades[ citation needed] and forms the second dream as part of the overall Eldorado dreamscape. It tells the story of Boy Blue, a war hero returning from a far-off war and the rapturous welcome he receives from his town folk. Boy Blue rebuffs the hero worship and declares his hatred of war, stating his refusal to ever “take up arms again”. [2]


The song was released as the second single from the Eldorado album but failed to chart. [3] Billboard said that it had a catchy hook and a similar "smooth sound" to ELO's previous single " Can't Get It Out of My Head," and had expected it to achieve similar chart success. [4] Cash Box said "a big symphonic sound surrounds and cushions a driving rock beat on this excellently produced Jeff Lynne track." [5] Record World said that the song "is just familiar enough on the first listen. This azure lad brings on visions of ' Hang On Sloopy,' then heads out on its own." [6]

The song was covered by Rick Altizer on the tribute album Lynne Me Your Ears in a harder rock style. [7]


  1. ^ Guttenbacher, Haines & von Petersdorff (1996): "Mike de Albuquerque left the group after the recording session of Eldorado, on which his mighty voice could be heard for the last time on an E.L.O. record in the sixth verse of Boy Blue."
  2. ^ a b Eldorado - A Symphony By The Electric Light Orchestra (liner notes). 2001.
  3. ^ Van der Kiste (2017): "The album was loaded with excellent songs, from the single, the infectious 'Boy Blue' (also a single in America, which failed to chart)"
  4. ^ "Top Single Picks" (PDF). Billboard. 19 April 1975. p. 62. Retrieved 17 July 2020.
  5. ^ "CashBox Record Reviews" (PDF). Cash Box. 19 April 1975. p. 22. Retrieved 11 December 2021.
  6. ^ "Hits of the Week" (PDF). Record World. 26 April 1975. p. 1. Retrieved 10 March 2023.
  7. ^ Damas, Jason. "Lynne Me Your Ears: A Tribute to the Music of Jeff Lynne – Lynne Me Your Ears : Songs, Reviews, Credits, Awards". AllMusic. Retrieved 7 March 2013.