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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

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Steven in Atlanta
5 stars One of the most challenging releases by a name group on a major label ever. Not even the two previous Move albums, both fairly daring albums in their own right, could have prepared you for the wild and bold new sonic world that is the first Electric Light Orchestra album.

And have cellos - i.e. LOTS of cellos - ever been used so upfront and center on a contemporary rock album before? All overdubbed to the nth degree by Roy Wood, the cellos are pretty much THE rhythm section here, with apologies to the otherwise fine drummer Bev Bevan who is hardly even needed. The fact that Wood is self-taught on the instrument is a key component to this fascinating sound - surely a quartet of formally trained cellists would have turned this album into something else entirely. Perhaps even perceived as amateurish to a degree, Wood's raw and very rhythmic cello chops make this album truly one of a kind. Also key is the fact the cellos were mic'ed for this recording rather than fitted with pickups which would become the norm from this point forward.

The songs, or perhaps compositions would be a better term, sound like something never heard before or since. Yes, Jeff Lynne's tunes do feature the odd Beatles suggestion, but they're tucked away snugly within his tracks rather than being all that overt. Actually for this record, as well as the subsequent ELO II, I think Lynne's main songwriting influence is probably Roy Wood himself. And Wood's own fascinating tunes are virtually indescribable, so I won't bother venturing that way.

The fact that this album sold so well (in Britain, at least) really tickles me as few records of such musical daring-do have ended up in so many households. Can't imagine something like that happening today.

I'm pretty chintzy with 5-star ratings, but this baby deserves it. Required listening!

Steven in Atlanta | 5/5 |


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