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


Electric Light Orchestra


Crossover Prog

3.80 | 191 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
4 stars On my third try, I think I finally like this ELO band.

Note to any progsters that want to get into ELO; don't go for the material dated 1977 or after because you'll be disappointed with bland pop/rock or even disco. ON THE THIRD DAY is still blatantly pop/rock, but there's this added twist of a full implementation of a string section as part of the band.

While it took Jeff Lynne's imagination and the string section to create the atmospheres for the tracks, lost in the shuffle is keyboard player Richard Tandy. His work really accentuates some of the pieces when he's heard, and it's truly brilliant if you can. From the bouncy piano work of the big hit ''Showdown'' (precursor to disco but inventive enough for me to love it) to the Emersonian Moog work in ''Daybreaker'', the main could use at least a little bit of applause. He gives the album legitimacy in prog circles.

ELO, however, is mainly Jeff Lynne's product, and he'll insert copious amount of pop tunes when he wants to. Some like ''Dreaming of 4000'' and ''Ma-Ma-Ma-Belle'' are epic and fantastic (not hard when Marc Bolan of T. Rex fame guests on both), while ''Oh No Not Susan'' is too slow other than the string work in the very bookends.

The only real insult on the album is the blatant Beatles ripoff ''Bluebird Is Dead''; it's a terrible knockoff of a crappy Beatles song, ''I'm So Tired''. I understand Lynne had a Beatles obsession, but this is too schmaltzy and unbearable for me to take. The actual credited cover of Edvard Grieg's ''Hall of the Mountain King'', on the other hand, is done rather tastefully. I dare say it's better than most Emerson-covering-the-classics attempts.

As poppy as they are, ELO have prog connotations, and ON THE THIRD DAY is one for pop fans and prog fans to equally like.

Sinusoid | 4/5 |


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