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Electric Light Orchestra - Balance Of Power CD (album) cover


Electric Light Orchestra


Crossover Prog

2.12 | 143 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
1 stars After the delightfully interesting Secret Messages, the band kind of disappeared from the scene for a few years. But in 1986, they reappeared with a slicker, polished, and highly synthesized sound, kind of reminding me of the Cars' Heartbeat City but without the soul or energy or like Jethro Tull's lousy Under Wraps. Bassist Kelly Groucutt was missing and so was the orchestra (which only played a very limited, small appearance on Secret Messages). This would be the end of the group's long string of successful pop albums and a sad demise to what seemed like such a promising experimental debut in the early 1970's.

The album is full of sappy, cheesy, electronic pop songs just oozing with mind-numbing beeps and stabs from a mountain of digital synths and electronic drums. True, you might be able to dance to some of these vile creations, but you'll be lucky if your few remaining brain cells don't dissolve into a bowl of vichyssoise. And look at that album cover! Oye, oye, oye, oye...

This would be ELO's last album as a band. Jeff Lynne would become successful in the coming years as a producer, most notably of George Harrison, Tom Petty, the Traveling Wilburys (where he was also a member), and many others. Drummer Bev Bevan, after a tour with Black Sabbath, would reform the band and call it "ELO Part 2" with all new members and without Lynne's approval. Lynne didn't bother (to my knowledge) challenge them in court because of the time and costs involved. In any case, Bevan's version of ELO would bring back their classic mid 1970's pop sound, but with better guitar work. But the lyrics again were as cheesy as anything Lynne had created and there was very little interest in this resurrection. ELO Part 2 would disappear and later Lynne would bring ELO back in 2001 for Zoom, which was essentially a Jeff Lynne solo album.

As you can imagine from my description above, you are not going to find any progressive rock here. If you do, I hope your rinse cycle is over soon. This album is truly not worth anyone's time. Start with ELO II or On the Third Day and avoid this at all costs. One star.

progaeopteryx | 1/5 |


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