Progarchives, the progressive rock ultimate discography
Electric Light Orchestra - On the Third Day CD (album) cover


Electric Light Orchestra


Crossover Prog

3.80 | 304 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

3 stars This is the switch.

On their first two albums, ELO were an art/progressive rock band, true innovators using strings and other instruments to forge new sounds. It is on this, their third (of course) album, that the switch occurs, redefining ELO as a smooth highly-produced AOR (even if quality AOR) commercial outfit. The switch is not like the night/day change that occurred for some bands so much that the band's sound was no longer recognizable ((like that which hit Renaissance in the early 80s). Indeed, there are still remnants of the former progressive ELO here, and this would even more the case on their next album, Eldorado. But that classic smooth AOR ELO sound was borne with this one, and it permeates the whole album, even the more progressive songs. Examples of the latter include the the first four songs that, although each is short itself, link together to form a suite of sorts. And of course the closing track, "Hall of the Mountain King", their classical re-make on this album. (ELO had interpretted Beethoven's 5th on their previous album, so it seems ELO thought they should be known for re-interpreting a new classical piece on each new album, or something. Saying this, this is the last time they do it). In between are some very radio-friendly smooth rock numbers, including the big hit "Showdown", which virtually epitomizes the smooth AOR sound that they would adopt from this point forward . The album is very carefully and smoothly produced. While I think they do a great job in making their music appeal to a wide audience, I have to admit I like the rough and raw sound of their first albums a lot more. Those early albums feel alive, while this one and each subsequent ELO album feels too smooth for my liking (although "Ma Ma Belle" here is actually still a bit rough and ready). Saying all this, the music is good, particularly the suite, but even the hits. I give this album 7.1 out of 10 on my 10-point scale, which places it squarely in the 3 PA star realm.

Walkscore | 3/5 |


As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Forum user
Forum password


Social review comments () BETA

Review related links

Copyright Prog Archives, All rights reserved. | Legal Notice | Privacy Policy | Advertise | RSS + syndications

Other sites in the MAC network: — jazz music reviews and archives | — metal music reviews and archives

Donate monthly and keep PA fast-loading and ad-free forever.