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Electric Light Orchestra’s ‘Evil Woman’ Featured in Super Bowl Commercial

For one of Hyundai’s two big Super Bowl XLVIII commercials, the automaker lined up a couple of stars, plenty of special effects and one instantly recognizable classic-rock hit.

As you probably already know if you watched the game last night, we’re talking about Electric Light Orchestra‘s ‘Evil Woman,’ used as the soundtrack for a spot used to promote the new Hyundai Elantra. Featuring ‘Big Bang Theory’ star Johnny Galecki and a cameo from comedian Richard Lewis, the clip finds Galecki haplessly trying to pick up on a woman in the next car while dodging explosions and sailing off a flaming ramp. Why does she speak only in rhyme? Why are the roads in Galecki’s town so dangerous? Why is Lewis in the back seat all of a sudden? Couldn’t tell you, but ‘Evil Woman’ is a pretty good way to tie it all together. (You can watch the commercial above.)

ELO’s first big hit, ‘Evil Woman’ was released as a single in the fall of 1975, spun off from the band’s fifth album, ‘Face the Music.’ It ended up breaking the band through in a big way, reaching No. 10 in the U.S. and peaking at the same spot in the group’s native U.K. while going on to score major airplay all over the world (it achieved its biggest chart success in France, where it hit No. 2).

Funnily enough, the song was reportedly written as filler; as legend has it, ELO frontman Jeff Lynne composed it so quickly that he ended up finishing the lyrics in another room while the band rehearsed the arrangement. You can’t argue with results, though, and ‘Evil Woman’ was just the beginning for the band, which kept scoring Top 40 hits through the mid-’80s, when 1986’s ‘Calling America’ peaked at No. 18.

Will it make you want to buy a Hyundai? Probably not. But if you find yourself wanting to break out your ELO box set today, you can thank Johnny Galecki.

Next: Top 10 Electric Light Orchestra Songs

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