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Electric Light Orchestra - Eldorado CD (album) cover

ELDORADO

Electric Light Orchestra

 

Crossover Prog

3.86 | 403 ratings

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iluvmarillion
1 stars Jeff Lynne is an extraordinary talent, a bit like his fellow troubadour, Justin Hayward. They have that unique ability to turn out guitar ballads which resonate on the ears. Writing rocker numbers is a bit more difficult. Hayward wrote a beauty, Question, while Lynne hit the jackpot with Livin' Thing. On The Third Day is a continuation of the Roy Wood formula of lifting classical music pieces such as Hall Of The Mountain King and applying rock musical instruments to them. The issue is when Roy Wood leaves the band many of the progressive elements which make the style of ELO distinctive depart with him and Jeff Lynne has to assume the direction for the band. On the evidence of On The Third Day Lynne is still feeling his way, writing good tunes, but still searching for a formula that moves the band forward.

With Eldorado Jeff Lynne tries to hedge his bets and fails to make either a solid pop album, or a satisfying rock album that builds on the ideas of On The Third Day. Firstly, basing an album around a concept isn't particularly new, or fresh at this time and doesn't suit his style of song writing. Secondly, ELO are their own orchestra. Why would they get Louis Clark to do string arrangements for the band when they have all the strings they need to make their concept album?

The album doesn't start well. We get a prologue of spoken word which may have worked well in 1967 for Days Of Future Passed, but here in 1974 it comes across as pretentious. For good measure the voice is distorted. After the strings overture we get to the best song on the album, a ballad, Can't Get It Out Of My Head, but it's treatment of choruses and strings almost ruins the simple piano theme of the song. After that it's no better. The baroque sounds of trumpets introduce Boy Blue, a very ordinary rocker that goes on and on. Guitars and everything except the kitchen sink drag the music along until we get to the piano riffs of a John Lennon like song in Mister Kingdom, but all that is ruined by more violins. Nobody's Child has a catchy tune but even that reminds me of something else I've heard before. More strings and rock and roll leads into the finale of more strings and spoken voice until it all thankfully comes to an end.

There are dozens of musicians featured in this album, Little Richard, Chuck Berry and John Lennon to name a few. The only one missing is Jeff Lynne.

iluvmarillion | 1/5 |

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