|Single by Electric Light Orchestra|
|from the album Balance of Power|
|Electric Light Orchestra singles chronology|
"Calling America" is a song by the rock music group Electric Light Orchestra (ELO) released as a single from their 1986 album Balance of Power. The single reached number 28 in the United Kingdom and peaked at number 18 on the Billboard singles chart, making it their 20th and final Top 40 hit single in the United States.
Like most of the songs on Balance of Power, "Calling America" is musically upbeat and bright. Lyrically, it features a similar theme to ELO's earlier single "Telephone Line", where the narrator is longing for a lover from across the telephone.
However, what differentiates the song is a focus on communication via satellite and problems with such. Appropriately, the song pays homage to the track "Telstar", which had celebrated the communication satellite of the same name, in the instrumental section. In his column Real Life Rock (published in The Village Voice), Greil Marcus called the song an "answer record to [the] 24-year old hit". Fellow American music journalist Chuck Eddy said, "Greil Marcus was the only person besides me who realized that 'Calling America' by ELO was one of the most brilliant records of last year. I thought it was really neat that it ended up on both our top 10s."
In the UK there was also a 12-inch EPIC three-track version with "Destination Unknown" as the B-side.
All songs written by Jeff Lynne.
|Australian Kent Music Report Singles Chart||47|
|Austrian Ö3 Austria Top 40||22|
|Canada RPM Top Singles||28|
|French SNEP Singles Chart||10|
|German Media Control Singles Chart||31|
|Irish Singles Chart||16|
|South Africa (Springbok)||23|
|UK Singles Chart||28|
|US Billboard Hot 100||18|
|US Billboard Mainstream Rock Tracks||22|
|US Billboard Adult Contemporary||20|
|US Cash Box Top 100 Singles||26|
|US Radio & Records (R&R)||20|
The video was shot in Paris and contains shots of Centre Georges Pompidou; the band plays in front of Pompidou.