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Electric Light Orchestra - Eldorado CD (album) cover


Electric Light Orchestra


Crossover Prog

3.86 | 338 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
3 stars With Eldorado, Jeff Lynne moved from overdubbing his trio of string artists (Kaminski, Edwards, and McDowell) to hiring an actual orchestra which was conducted and arranged by Louis Clark. For me, this marked a change in the "ELO sound." As another reviewer mentioned that I agree with, what's missing is the cello sound. It's shifted too much towards the violin sound. This would then be the orchestral sound behind ELO from this point forward until total abandonment by the 1980s. Another change was the departure of bassist Mike de Albuquerque before recording ever began on Eldorado, so despite the credits, Jeff Lynne played the bass. At best, Lynne is adequate, but I'm sure it would have sounded better with a seasoned bassist. I also found the production of Eldorado to be muddier and less clear than their masterpiece On the Third Day. The Moog synthesizer that is so dominant on the last two albums is used sparingly here.

The negatives I have about the sound aside, Eldorado was the first concept album Lynne constructed, although the subject matter loosely fits together. It is chiefly about a Walter Mitty-like character in a fantasy world he creates in his dreams to escape reality. Using a still from The Wizard of Oz film as the cover is a clear indication of this concept. For me, Boy Blue, Laredo Tornado, and Mister Kingdom are the most interesting songs on this album.

Eldorado is also a shift away from the progressive rock on ELO's first three albums. The songs, although nicely arranged and interesting, resemble a sort of art rock/pop rock mix with symphonic tendencies. This shift would quickly grow and be almost entirely pop rock over the next few albums. Eldorado is probably the last ELO album to fall under the progressive rock genre, but only loosely speaking. Still, it's an enjoyable listen. I recommend getting their first three albums before this one. Three stars. Good, but not essential.

progaardvark | 3/5 |


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