Group co-founder Jeff Lynne wrote “Sweet Talkin’ Woman,” and ELO released it on their 1977 album Out of the Blue. They released it as a single in 1978, backed with “Fire on High” in the U.S. and “Bluebird is Dead” in the U.K. Lynne wrote all the songs for the Out of the Blue album, performed on it and produced it. They recorded the album at Musicland Studios in Munich, Germany.
“Sweet’ Woman” charted well internationally. In 1978, it went to #6 in the U.K. and Ireland, #17 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100, #16 in Canada, and in the top 40 in The Netherlands, Australia, and Belgium. The song originally had different lyrics, Lynne has said, and was called “Dead End Street.” However, he did not care for those lyrics and rewrote the song about trying to reconnect with that sweet talkin’ woman. One line of the original idea remains: “I’ve been livin’ (livin’) on a dead-end street.”
Casey Kasem said that ELO was the “world’s first touring rock ‘n’ roll chamber group.” The band, indeed, combined pop music with classical arrangements and the futuristic sonic landscape of the studio. “Sweet Talkin’ Woman” uses a Vocoder 2000, and ELO was one of the first bands to make extensive use of it. Vocoders analyze and synthesize the human voice signal for things such as audio data compression and voice transformation. For Out of the Blue, the personnel included Lynne, Bev Bevan, Richard Tandy, Kelly Groucutt, Mik Kaminski, Hugh McDowell, and Melvyn Gale.