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Electric Light Orchestra - On The Third Day CD (album) cover


Electric Light Orchestra


Crossover Prog

3.78 | 239 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
5 stars In my opinion, On the Third Day is the best album by ELO during their early progressive rock period. Even though this album started showing signs of Lynne's movement towards more radio-friendly material and simpler song structures, it still has masterpiece written all over it. The most major improvement was clearly the quality of production, Lynne's improved vocal delivery and even better guitar playing from a performer who would never be known for his prowess on this instrument. Richard Tandy is cut loose here and there providing some well-fitting keyboard work on New World Rising, Daybreaker, Dreaming of 4000 and the Grieg tribute In the Hall of the Mountain King.

Violinist Mik Kaminski replaced Wilf Gibson sometime deep in the recording sessions for this album and does an admirable job filling his shoes, though I always thought Gibson was the more talented of the two. Gibson still performs on this album on the tracks of side two although he is unaccredited on the original release. Probably my favorite tracks on the album are from the Ocean Breakup suite which consisted of four tracks loosely tied together with similar musical themes although the subject matter seems to vary. This is probably the closest ELO came to a multi-track epic (Kuiama from ELO II could be loosely considered one).

On the Third Day was also the last album in which Lynne attempted to recreate an orchestral sound by multi-tracking the cellos and violin from the string trio band members. For the next album, Eldorado, he would use a real orchestra. After On the Third Day, ELO would quickly move entirely away from progressive rock over the next two albums. Though not complex like a Close to the Edge or a Brain Salad Surgery, On the Third Day nevertheless (at least to my ears) was a significant contribution to symphonic progressive rock. A worthwhile masterpiece from a band not commonly attributed to the progressive rock genre. Five stars.

progaardvark | 5/5 |


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