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Electric Light Orchestra - On The Third Day CD (album) cover


Electric Light Orchestra


Crossover Prog

3.78 | 225 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
4 stars In 1974, one cousin lent to one of my brothers this album, but that copy of this album had a different cover, was released by Warner Bros. Records, and it didn`t include "Showdown", a song which was released as a single in September 1973 and became a hit. This album was first released in December 1973. The other version of this album, with the more familiar cover shown in this discography, included "Showdown", added at the end of Side One of the LP. In late 1978, when ELO`s full discography was re-issued on Jet Records in the U.S.(distributed by Columbia/CBS), I bought the second version of this LP, released under the Epic Records label in my country.

This album has a better recording than their previous albums. It sounds like the band had more time to spend in the studio, so the sound of the band is more "polished", IMO. As one previous reviewer mentioned, Hugh McDowell appears in the front cover, but not in the credits printed in the inner sleeve which also included the lyrics. When ELO became a touring band after their first album in 1972, McDowell joined the band, but when Roy Wood left the band to form the band Wizzard, Mc Dowell went to that band with him, but for this third ELO`s album, McDowell returned to ELO.

Tracks 1 to 4, in the order given in the CD (without including "Showdown", which wasn`t originally included in the LP) are linked like in a "mini-suite", but I can`t see it as a "concept", because the lyrics are not about the same subject. It stars with "Ocean Breakup" and it ends with "Ocean Breakup (Reprise)". The arrangements are so good than each song is followed by the other with a "natural sequence". The cellos and the violin are used very much in all parts of the album.

Track 5 in the CD, is "Showdown", a Pop song really, pre-Disco music, diferent in sound in comparison to the other songs of the album. One funny thing was that when ELO became more successful between 1975 and 1976, I saw in the record shops this album with printed words in the front cover which said "Sonido Disco" ("Disco Sound"). I think that the record label which had the rights then to release this album in my country wanted to lure people who only knew this band by hit songs like "Telephone Line" to buy an album which wasn`t originally recorded in 1975 or 1976. Their idea was more to "fool the people", really, as the only song which was commercial in this album was "Showdown", and it wasn`t really recorded as a Disco Music song to be danced at Disco parties! (When the album was re-issued in 1978 in the Epic label, these printed words were erased from the cover).

Tracks 6 to 9 in the CD are also linked. "Daybreaker" is an instrumental song, like an "overture", with good synth sounds and strings. "Ma-Ma-Ma Belle" was released as a single in 1974, and it also was a minor hit in England. It has good guitars, and it is a bit "heavy". "Dreaming of 4000" is a good song too, a fast song. The LP ends with a very good, heavy arrangement of "In the Hall of the Mountain King", composed by Norwegian classical musician Edvard Grieg (originally included in his "Peer Gynt Suite Nr. 1"). This arrangement by ELO has heavy guitars, very good drums, and a violin solo section. It closes the album with energy.

Although I still prefer "ELO2" more than this album, as I explained before this album is more "polished" in comparison to their first two albums.

Guillermo | 4/5 |


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