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Electric Light Orchestra - A New World Record CD (album) cover


Electric Light Orchestra


Crossover Prog

3.40 | 330 ratings

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Easy Livin
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
3 stars Fades like the Beatles on "Hey Jude"

The progression, if it can be called that, of ELO from their early prog influenced roots through the prog pop of "Eldorado" to becoming a singles focused pop rock band was pretty much completed with this album.

When you bear in mind that "Livin' thing" was recently voted number one in Q magazine's "guilty pleasures - uncool songs that are OK to love" you get a pretty good indication of how far they had shifted. That said, this is still a highly enjoyable and undoubtedly accomplished album. Yes, we have the sophisticated 10CC type pop in songs such as "Rockaria" (the inspiration for Genesis "Duchess" perhaps), "So fine" and indeed "Livin' thing". Jeff Lynne does however craft such songs with great attention to detail. Their longevity is no co-incidence, and they sound as fresh and appealing today because they have been put together with a great deal of care and attention. Listen closely to any of these pop songs and you'll find a lot more going on than is at first apparent.

The album also contains some fine, slightly more intricate album tracks. "Mission (A new world record") is a fine space ballad, the precursor to the band's "Time" album. The closing "Shangri-La" has a supreme melody and an effective double ending. The chorus lyric "My Shangri-La has gone away, faded like the Beatles on Hey Jude" may be a little corny, but it reflects the major influence of the Beatles music on Lynne's compositions.

Among the remaining tracks are a routine ballad ("Telephone line") and a reworking of the classic Move track "Do ya". The version here is extra heavy with some wonderful guitar riffs.

There is no question this is a pop orientated album. It is however unfair to simply label it as such without recognising the quality of the compositions, the production, and the performances. This is an album of very high quality.

Easy Livin | 3/5 |


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