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Electric Light Orchestra - Electric Light Orchestra [Aka: No Answer] CD (album) cover


Electric Light Orchestra


Crossover Prog

3.63 | 307 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

4 stars If you think the Electric Light Orchestra was just a bunch of guys in tight satin pants singing cheesy love songs and sweet sounding choruses, boy are you in for a surprise when you listen to their debut album, No Answer. Easily their most experimental album and probably the hardest to actually listen to. Off-key cellos, bassoons, oboes, clarinets, and a French horn to boot are featured on this album, just chugging away almost haphazardly with little or no semblance of basic pop music song structures (with a few exceptions of course). This album was just as different and unique in 1971 as it is now. It's just so hard to believe that this group would turn into a big hit-making machine in only a matter of a few years. But I guess Jeff Lynne was a songwriter at heart and had to leave this experimental stuff behind.

As for comparisons, I'm not even sure where to begin. The closest I can come to is some of Univers Zero's material, but a bit more on the rock side of the rock/symphonic spectrum. Roy Wood plays nearly all the classical instruments and from what I understand was quite an adaptable individual in picking up various instruments on the fly. It's too bad he left during the recording for their second album as ELO could have been quite an interesting band if it had continued this exploration.

Even being so experimental, the group even managed to get a hit single out of it with 10538 Overture which was probably one of the most powerful songs ELO ever created. Most listeners should enjoy 10538 Overture, Mr. Radio, and First Movement as they are the most accessible. The rest of the album will take quite a bit of getting used to and is clearly a repeat-listening affair. An excellent addition to a prog rock collection, but not recommended for the casual listener. Four stars.

progaardvark | 4/5 |


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