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


Electric Light Orchestra


Crossover Prog

3.63 | 312 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

4 stars Unique. Very close to 5 Stars!

The first ELO album is by far the best, most musical, and the only one that is anywhere in the same league as the great progressive albums listed in the top 100 here on PA. The main reasons for this are the exceptional contributions from Roy Wood, one of the three founders of ELO who unfortunately left the band after this album. His pieces on this album ("Look at Me Now", "Battle of Marston Moor", "First Movement" and "Whisper in the Night") are THE best-ever ELO songs, even though they sound very little like anything else that came after (because Wood left the band). Wood played all of the cellos on this album, and his saw-like style is one of the main characteristics of its sound. His vocals, too, are unique, and on this album the lyrics to his two vocal pieces are more haunting and evocative than most he would write later. Saying this, even Jeff Lyne's songs on this album, even though more commercial-minded and 'Beatle-esque', are really excellent, and among the best ELO would ever offer. Two of the instrumentals here are particular unique and interesting: Wood's "Battle of Marston Moor" and Lynne's "Manhattan Rumble". These tunes are like very complex mini-movies, and stand up well to the test of time. I always look forward to them when I listen to this album. I am not sure why other reviewers single these out for criticism, but I think it is because they are so unlike the ELO sound that fans of ELO's later more-commercial music must find these two pieces difficult and impenetratable, totally out of left field. But for me, these are the real progressive gems here. Only ELO II would come close to (some of) the sounds on this album. It stands are a real unique document, inventive, breaking new ground, but never to be repeated. Unfortunately, the sound quality is not great, even on the re-mastered version, but the music still shines through. I give this album 8.9 out of 10 on my 10-point scale, which is 0.1 shy of 5 stars (so, 4 PA stars).

Walkscore | 4/5 |


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