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ON THE THIRD DAY

Electric Light Orchestra

Crossover Prog


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Electric Light Orchestra On The Third Day album cover
3.85 | 157 ratings | 22 reviews | 22% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
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Studio Album, released in 1973

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Ocean Breakup/King of the Universe (4:05)
2. Bluebird Is Dead (4:25)
3. Oh No Not Susan (2:52)
4. New World Rising/Ocean Break up (Reprise) (4:40)
5. Showdown (4:15)
6. Daybreaker (3:50)
7. Ma-Ma-Ma Belle (3:52)
8. Dreaming of 4000 (5:00)
9. In the Hall of the Mountain King (6:35)

Total Time 39:34

* Track lengths for original album differ from those of the remastered CD

Lyrics

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Music tabs (tablatures)

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Line-up / Musicians

- Bev Bevan / drums
- Michael De Albuquerque / bass
- Mike Edwards / cello
- Mike Kaminski / violin
- Jeff Lynne / guitar, vocals
- Richard Tandy / moog, piano

Releases information

Originally released on vinyl and 8-track in 1973, the album was reissued in 1990 on CD and cassette by Ket Records. This album featured the first of a string of prog-influenced pop hits with "Ma-Ma-Ma Belle" and "Showdown", and introduced the FM staple "In the Hall of the Mountain King,".

UK/Sweden 1973 United Artists LP/CS UAG 30091
US 1973 United Artists LP/CS/8T LA/CA/EA-188-G
Netherlands 1973 United Artists LP 5C 062 99115
US 1990 Jet CD/CS ZK 35525 digital remaster
Japan 1990 Jet CD SRCS-9429

Thanks to ClemofNazareth for the addition
and to SouthSideoftheSky for the last updates
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ELECTRIC LIGHT ORCHESTRA On The Third Day ratings distribution


3.85
(157 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(22%)
22%
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(47%)
47%
Good, but non-essential (29%)
29%
Collectors/fans only (1%)
1%
Poor. Only for completionists (1%)
1%

ELECTRIC LIGHT ORCHESTRA On The Third Day reviews


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Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by progaeopteryx
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars On the Third Day features the same lineup as ELO II, but with Mik Kaminski replacing Wilf Gibson on violin and cellist Colin Walker departing. Hugh McDowell, his replacement, does not appear in the credits, but is featured on the cover (which features the seven band members pointing to their bellybuttons!). On the Third Day is a departure from ELO II and another step in the evolution of ELO turning into a hit machine later in the decade. Lynne went with a shorter song format here, but did not abandon the the instrumental prowess the band displayed on ELO II. In addition, Lynne's vocals have improved dramatically and the production is very clear and squeaky clean.

On the Third Day starts off with a four-part suite of unconnected songs called Ocean Breakup. The first song is King of the Universe and although Lynne's singing gives this song a very powerful feeling, the lyrics pretty much come off as meaningless to me. Lines like "It's all making me ready, it's all doing what you gotta do, I know "A," I see my life come shine ..." are just mind boggling. Nevertheless, it retains the strong cello presence that was heard on ELO II.

Bluebird Is Dead is a nice, uncomplicated song, showing some Beatlesque influences. Bevan's drums are strong and mixed well. Oh Not Not Susan seems to be about a woman trapped in royal or rich la-dee-da circles and her feeling of this lifestyle not meaning a thing. It has a complex, powerful beginning and ending and some beautiful violin work. Also of note is that it is the only ELO song that uses the F-word, something Lynne would never do again.

The ending song of the suite is the energetic and positive song New World Rising. It oddly enough starts off with a repeating piano note like the future Mr. Blue Sky would use years later. Although this is a pop prog song, it is far superior to Mr. Blue Sky. The instrumental sections are stunning with beautiful violin and the Moog provides a remarkable sound scape. The ending from 3:07 to the end is superb, with the low notes on the Moog almost giving a shivering feeling.

Showdown is the next track, being one of the most popular of ELO's hits with its signature cellos and toe-tapping, funky bass line. Unlike the cheesy stuff ELO would do in later years, this truly is a great pop song. This is followed by the instrumental Daybreaker which features some great Moog playing by Richard Tandy. Tandy apparently really did have the ability to play keys remarkably well, but in future albums he would never be given the opportunity to shine like this. This is a very melodic song with lots of energy. The strings complement the keys nicely.

Ma-Ma-Ma Belle is the second pop song on On the Third Day. It's basically good old rock and roll, with pointless repetitive lyrics. Nothing fancy, but the cello parts blend in perfectly for this style. This is followed by Dreaming of 4000 which seems to be about dreaming and seeing the light, whatever that means, with a character that seems to me to be religious in nature. The song is highly energetic, with Lynne showing some very good vocal range, wonderful violin lines, and having a strong ending.

The final song is a cover of Grieg's In the Hall of the Mountain King. This is a truly stunning performance, with some incredible drumming by Bevan. The violin solo is great and the cellos are just amazing. The song speeds up as it approaches the end with a superb classical ending.

Although the production on this is remarkably better than on ELO II (in fact I would consider it better than Eldorado and Face the Music), the music is more accessible (but still in the art rock/symphonic vein), and Lynne's lyrics are much less inspired. Lynne's vocals, although sometimes undecipherable without reading the lyrics, have dramatically improved showing strong emotion and range. Although, Bev Bevan's performance on the drums is more subdued here, he nevertheless sounds great. Again, the cellos and violin are vital components to the sound making them sound unique compared to their contemporaries. Lynne's guitar playing has improved, but this performance will never win an award. On the Third Day is missing most of the rawness of ELO II, but the performance is much more skilled.

Even though this is more accessible than ELO II, musically it is still quite interesting. If I were to rate this in the art rock subgenre alone, I would give it five stars (okay, go ahead and call me crazy), but in the grand scheme of things, it simply does not compare to the other masterpieces in the whole progressive rock genre. It still is an excellent work, thus four stars seems appropriate to me. Highly recommended and one of the two best ELO albums ever made, far superior to anything made by this band from 1974 to present.

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Send comments to progaeopteryx (BETA) | Report this review (#64447) | Review Permalink
Posted Thursday, January 12, 2006

Review by Sean Trane
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Prog Folk
4 stars With their third album (I wonder how you guessed that one ;-), ELO is continuing its transformation into a poppier outfit and this album is great step "forward" in that process, but you might want to still hang on to your prog-ropes for a few albums. Compared to the previous album, only one more "permanent member" (of the classic commercial line-up ) Kaminsky enters . Apparently this album, like its predecessors came out also with two different covers on both sides of the pond with again another spacey theme at hand on the other version than the one here in our beloved archives.

Opener Ocean Breakup/King Of The Universe are somehow still the fruits of their first astounding album, and can only impress the nay-sayers and its book-ending New World Rising is very impressive and should convince most stubborn and deaf progheads of ELO's prog credentials. In the meantime we had listened to Bluebird and Susan with its huge Beatles-esque flaunt of strings (and it is a treat especially with Lynne not really hiding his infatuation on the fab Four) especially on the awesome closing minutes. Following this almost uninterrupted flow of music (the tracks are almost linked), comes a huge hit Showdown, really setting in place the future of ELO's later 70's music. Deceptively simple and on a descending scale, this track is blood curdling if you dare let yourself get carried away by the easy melodies. This track (originally a non-lp single) has come under different version and the best one is not on this album, though. Apparently a concept album, (I can see a thread between some tracks) but the full story does not pop-up obviously to the eyes, I am not sure this track belonged to the album's storyline.

Side 2 starts with a rather upbeat instrumental Daybreaker, yet another rather impressive and inventive track (ELO are not virtuosi but these guys are a tight bunch of musos who know a thing or two about arrangements) but unfortunately the more RnR Ma-Ma Belle is rare flaw in an otherwise very good album. 4000 is a rather endearing but hardly perfect pop track that was probably a bold try, but came away flawed, but not failed. The finale of this album is yet another highlight heavily borrowing on you-know-who (nope, not those four ;-) for the main wolf theme although a tiny bit too repetitititititive.

After the average but open-minded proghead, this album will be anything but a masterpiece, but it will still be a bloody good album, much worthy of its collection and I certainly hope this review will set the record straight.

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Send comments to Sean Trane (BETA) | Report this review (#71298) | Review Permalink
Posted Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Review by Guillermo
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.

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Send comments to Guillermo (BETA) | Report this review (#73285) | Review Permalink
Posted Monday, March 27, 2006

Review by Easy Livin
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
3 stars And on the third day, Jeff Lynne found a concept

With "On the third day", ELO began their migration from the muddled symphonic prog of their second album towards world conquering symphonic pop. The album consists of two sides of segued songs loosely linked by concept. That concept is based around the birth or creation of the world and its people, hence the title which also reflects the ordinal number of this release.

The album opens with a rather ham-fisted overture "Ocean break-up", which moves into the rather lifeless "King of the universe". Despite the orchestration and slight phasing, the song has a flat feeling. "Bluebird is dead" with its obvious Beatles, and especially McCartney, references is something of a plodder too. Is this really the band who recorded such an over the top version of "Roll over Beethoven"? After a brief frantic link section, things take an even more understated turn with "Oh no not Susan". Only when we get to "New world rising" and the reprise of "Ocean break-up" do things finally pick up and some life is injected into the proceedings.

The second side points the way the band would go with their "Eldorado" album, as it contains "Ma-ma-belle", the first truly pop composition by Lynne for ELO. This one song become the template for many of their subsequent hit singles, including "Showdown". While "Showdown" appears on CD versions of this album at the midway point, it was not included on the original LP, so its positioning on the CD in such a way is misleading.

Side two opens with "Daybreaker" an orchestrated overture which would be repeated on future albums on tracks such as "Fire on high". The only real weak point of the side is "Dreaming of 4000" which is reminiscent of tracks on the band's first album, but is unfocused and messy. The album closes with a rendition of the classical piece "In the hall of the mountain king", as used by Rick Wakeman on his "Journey to the centre of the earth" album. This cello based rendition is fun, in the same way as Mike Oldfield's "Sailor's hornpipe is fun, but does not bear repeated listening.

Lynne himself admits that he was still "learning his trade" when this album was recorded. This refers not only to the song writing aspects, but also to the performance. Lynne's vocals and the production thereof would improve immensely on later albums. In all, a decent album, but not one of my favourites by the band.

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Send comments to Easy Livin (BETA) | Report this review (#95532) | Review Permalink
Posted Monday, October 23, 2006

Review by ClemofNazareth
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Prog Folk Researcher
3 stars This was the first completely Jeff Lynne product for ELO, with Roy Wood long gone and drummer Bev Bevan as the only other original member left. As with most ELO albums there are some interesting bits of trivia surrounding this one. “Showdown”, the first of the album’s singles to chart in America, wasn’t even on the UK release. The U.S. release had a different cover, as did their second album. This one featured a photo of the band standing with all their navels exposed for some reason. High McDowell appears in the photo but not on the album itself, and his name is misspelled on the cover. Marc Bolan plays on "Ma-Ma-Ma Belle" and "Dreaming of 4000" but is not listed in the liner credits, at least not on the U.S. version. And the band managed to sneak the word “fu**ing” into “Oh No Not Susan” several times by leaving it out of the printed lyrics and basically not telling anyone. This is also the album that featured the band’s ‘General Electric’ logo, a round symbol on the back cover that led to their being sued by that mega-corporation for copyright infringement. Somehow Lynne got the brilliant idea to cop a Wurlitzer logo as a replacement, and got away with that one.

This is a bit more polished than the first two albums, but the contrast between the artsy and commercial sides of Jeff Lynne’s compositions are remarkably pronounced. The instrumental “Daybreaker” and “In the Hall of the Mountain King” are full of strings and lively moog and are quite beautiful, as is “Ocean Breakup/King of the Universe”, while “Ma-Ma-Ma Belle” and “Showdown” are as light and poppy as anything the band would put out on “Discovery” or “Out of the Blue”. This is a band in rapid transition, and are only months away from a five year run of more than a dozen Top-10 pop hits over their next six albums. Except for ‘Hall’ these are all Lynne compositions, and feature several conventions that would become trademarks of the band: female backing vocals, Lynne’s overly-modulated vocal manipulations, synth strings laid on top of real ones, and tempos that border perilously close to disco at times. If you don’t take this stuff too seriously, it makes for a fun listen once and a while.

The production is much improved from the band’s second album, although the absence of a second cello causes the remaining one to become a bit tedious at times. Kind of sounds like half of a stereo recording.

Of the songs not mentioned so far “Bluebird is Dead” is probably the strongest other track, except that the drums are rather overpowering at times as a result of a lopsided track mix. “Oh No Not Susan” is unremarkable beyond the dirty words, and “New World Rising” gets forgotten at the end of the first side of the album.

This album gets overrated at times as far as I’m concerned, as it is a bit better than the second but not quite as good as ‘El Dorado’. It’s a must-have for ELO fans, but not much better than pretty-good for anyone else. Three stars for sure, but probably not more than that.

peace

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Send comments to ClemofNazareth (BETA) | Report this review (#111381) | Review Permalink
Posted Friday, February 09, 2007

Review by ZowieZiggy
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars SHIVERING

This third effort is more pop oriented than the previous ones and is an indication of what comes next : "El Dorado".

The opener "King of the Universe" is a great, melodious song. It bears the ELO trademark. We'll always get this type of tracks (or attempt to it after ELO's best period) to start their albums. An impressive start representative of the album, so that the listener knows exactly what he"ll get (is this called concept album) ?. The melody of the chorus is sublime. A shivering number. The first one.

"Bluebird Is Dead" could have appeared on "El Dorado" without any problem. It is a Beatlesque wonderful track like another dozen or so Lynne will write in his carreer. Great string arrangements during the chorus. The second shivering number.

"Oh No Not Susan" is another of the so typical ELO one : great violin/cello intro and then a fantastic melody : one will never thank Mr. Lynne enough for the great work he has provided and his contribution to music. No wonder that he will be very close to some of the Fab Four. The third shivering number.

"New Word Rising" sounds a bit like "Mr. Radio" (from their first album) but again the melody and the instrumentals are another good example of ELO's production : I strongly believe only Mc Cartney has surpassed him in terms of melodies. Keys work combined with the strings is so light and harmonious...ELO will really be one of the most emotional band for several albums (till "Out Of The Blue"). This is the fourth shivering number.

It has been quite a while since I listened to this album for the last time and thanks to this review I rediscover how great it was.

"Showdown" is a bit more rocky and will be a hit. it is again a good track, but IMO it's the least interesting so far (but I have to admit competition it was tough a cometition!). The catchy and poppy sound is precursory of more to come in that genre. not disturbing as long as it is good.

"Daybreaker" is another of those superb moments ELO has delivered. An all instrumental short rocky piece. Just great. Although ELO has produced a lot of Beatles oriented songs, " Ma Ma Ma Belle" sounds like a Rolling Stones one. Maybe a tribute to this other great rock band ? Good rock'n'roll number.

"Dreaming of 4000" is another highlight (one more). Another of those wonders from Jeff Lynne. Very nice chord and fantastic vocal arrangements. This songs switches from rock to symphony (but again it is only one example out of many ELO songs.It is a masterpiece, really. My fave on this album and the fifth shivering number.

"In the Hall of the Mountain King" is a bit too lenghty and repetitive. Hypnotic as well. It gets crazier during its finale.

This album is really good. Not as innovative as ELO II, not really prog any more. But still a very good piece of music. Four stars.

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Send comments to ZowieZiggy (BETA) | Report this review (#112523) | Review Permalink
Posted Saturday, February 17, 2007

Review by progaardvark
PROG REVIEWER
5 stars In my opinion, On the Third Day is the best album by ELO during their early progressive rock period. Even though this album started showing signs of Lynne's movement towards more radio-friendly material and simpler song structures, it still has masterpiece written all over it. The most major improvement was clearly the quality of production, Lynne's improved vocal delivery and even better guitar playing from a performer who would never be known for his prowess on this instrument. Richard Tandy is cut loose here and there providing some well-fitting keyboard work on New World Rising, Daybreaker, Dreaming of 4000 and the Grieg tribute In the Hall of the Mountain King.

Violinist Mik Kaminski replaced Wilf Gibson sometime deep in the recording sessions for this album and does an admirable job filling his shoes, though I always thought Gibson was the more talented of the two. Gibson still performs on this album on the tracks of side two although he is unaccredited on the original release. Probably my favorite tracks on the album are from the Ocean Breakup suite which consisted of four tracks loosely tied together with similar musical themes although the subject matter seems to vary. This is probably the closest ELO came to a multi-track epic (Kuiama from ELO II could be loosely considered one).

On the Third Day was also the last album in which Lynne attempted to recreate an orchestral sound by multi-tracking the cellos and violin from the string trio band members. For the next album, Eldorado, he would use a real orchestra. After On the Third Day, ELO would quickly move entirely away from progressive rock over the next two albums. Though not complex like a Close to the Edge or a Brain Salad Surgery, On the Third Day nevertheless (at least to my ears) was a significant contribution to symphonic progressive rock. A worthwhile masterpiece from a band not commonly attributed to the progressive rock genre. Five stars.

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Send comments to progaardvark (BETA) | Report this review (#145377) | Review Permalink
Posted Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Review by ghost_of_morphy
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars This is probably the pinnacle of what the Electric Light Orchestra acheived during the years when you could still call them progressive. This album makes it painfully clear where they found their progressive inspiration as well, as certain songs can't help but recall The Beatles to your memory. Ocean Breakup, New World Rising, and Dreaming of 4000 are all solid prog tracks, while the two instrumentals, Daybreaker and In The Hall of the Mountain King, stack up well against what other prog groups were doing during the heart of the Golden Age.

Nevertheless, I can't in good conscience give this more than 3 stars. It's good, but it just doesn't compare with the masterpieces that were being put out by other groups at the time. Sadly, the Electric Light Orchestra would prove to be at it's best when putting out progressive pop instead of pure prog.

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Send comments to ghost_of_morphy (BETA) | Report this review (#146428) | Review Permalink
Posted Monday, October 22, 2007

Review by Gatot
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars I have always adored Jeff Lynne's capability as songwriter and composer where most (even all?) material in ELO albums have been written by him. But his creation has always created some negatives as well as positive even though the latter contributes more. Take an example of their previous album ELO II which really works fine with single but: why Chuck Berry's "Roll Over Beethoven" was there? This song really destroys the whole mood of the album. This "On The Third Day" album also features someone else' material who luckily is my favorite blues man: John Mayall especially on the musicall riffs.

Some critics have considered that this album represents ELO's most spiritual work and in fact some consider it as the most progressive album. It kicks off nicely with "Ocean Breakup" which depicts an intense drama in instrumental fashion. This opening track has become the recurring theme for the album. It flows with King of the Universe, which you might presume from its title that Lynne seeks for God The creature of the universe. It sounds like a ballad which gradually moves into dynamic drumming combined with symphonic nuance. The Beatles influenced "Bluebird Is Dead demonstrates how Lynne vocal reminds us to Lennon's. This song has emotional lyrics with great violin works combined with stunning guitar solo.

The next track Oh No Not Susan is performed by Jeff with dark lyrics. The music picks up dramatically with New World Rising which has some good combination of Tandy's keyboards and the string arrangements. Ocean Breakup (Reprise) brings the opening song cycle to a close.

Showdown brings a funky style. Jeff Lynne plucks an amazing guitar solo that stings and bites and leaves a mark...in its most bluesy tune of this album. With Daybreaker, ELO brings back into the pop arena with a bit of prog elements with some stunning guitar and rhythm. Marc Bolan of T Rex plays guitar in Ma-Ma-Ma Belle. Dreaming of 4000 is a spiritual theme, visionary lyrics, and experimental in nature. In the Hall of the Mountain King, is a reworking of Grieg's classical masterpiece.

Overall, this third album from ELO would favor those who like ELO II especially on the prog as well as classical motifs. Recommended.

Peace on earth and mercy mild - GW (i-Rock! Music Community)

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Send comments to Gatot (BETA) | Report this review (#176632) | Review Permalink
Posted Sunday, July 13, 2008

Review by tszirmay
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Crossover Team
4 stars The Electric Light Orchestra, cool name and very cool band for the times, who had the audacity of taking the George Martin/Beatles orchestrations into a highly compact and mobile unit both in the studio and live and then setting standards that have rarely been improved on to this day. "On the Third Day" remains my favorite ELO record mainly because I still have my original vinyl copy from 1973, zillions of scratches applauding my continued fascination (no not the Bowie song!) for that HUGE drum bash manifesto, Bev Bevan being the closest to John "Zep" Bonham in terms of "thud" power, Rick Tandy's eclectic keyboard playing, Jeff Lynne's Lennonesque vocals and the hardest guitar sound this side of early BeBop Deluxe! The hit single was and still is a classy affair, "Showdown" being a rollicking fat cello mammoth tune that still explodes, stings and sizzles to this day. But these boys could seriously blitz as well, witness the speedy insanity of "Ma-Ma-Belle" and the turbo-charged "Dreaming of 4000", a truly masterful piece of hyper-hard guitar prog that still sounds fresh today. Toss in some overt Fab Four -infused concoctions like "Bluebird is Dead" and "Oh No Not Susan", plus a few more orchestrated pieces such as Edvard Grieg's famous "In the Hall of The Mountain King", the slithering majesty of "Daybreaker". While some find this 3 star material, I have very strong emotional ties to this disc, snuggling up to my first babe, mouthing "There's gonna be a showdown, tonight, the longest night!" and waiting for the explosion of passion. If you need to get an ELO record, get this one. 4.5 phosphorescent cellos

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Send comments to tszirmay (BETA) | Report this review (#178925) | Review Permalink
Posted Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Review by SouthSideoftheSky
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Symphonic Team
3 stars Third light

As implied by the title, On The Third Day is Electric Light Orchestra's third album. In many respects it is also their best and most consistent album ever. The previous, second album had been especially weak and sloppy despite a few decent moments. On The Third Day, though much better, still suffers from some of the same problems. The instrumental playing is better but still not perfect, the production is also much better but also far from perfect. The material is very good, though. Together with the debut and also Eldorado, On The Third Day is easily ELO's best and most progressive album. While Eldorado and all subsequent ELO albums were very polished and perfectly produced albums, On The Third Day is bit more raw, but not at all sloppy like the previous one.

While Eldorado was held together by a concept, there is no overreaching concept to this album. However, the first four songs here could be seen as a concept song.

This album is probably the best place to start for the prog fan who wants to explore ELO. But don't miss out on the debut and Eldorado! The rest of their output, however, should be approached with considerable caution.

Good, but non-essential.

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Send comments to SouthSideoftheSky (BETA) | Report this review (#188235) | Review Permalink
Posted Friday, November 07, 2008

Review by ProgShine
COLLABORATOR Errors & Omissions and Crossover Team
4 stars 01. Ocean Breakup/King Of The Universe Fantastic what the beginning, the quartet (that they in fact are only two musicians) already begins devastating, the disc at several moments is taken by the pair Mike Edwards and Mike Kaminski. The music has a deep melody to devastate senses, this is the introduction Ocean Breakup. Already in the second part in King Of The Universe, the vocal melody enters in action together with a simple and pretty line melody. The vocal of Jeff Lynne is very pretty. The melody of the refrain where he sings the name of the song is very good, and it has a very quite worked line of bass of Michael De Albuquerque. The last part seems the test of an orchestra to the bottom, then it enters .

02. Bluebird Is Dead That one that is one of those typical tracks of the LINK, pretty, emotional ballad and simply of devastating the senses. Again the vocal ones are sensationally quite sung in falsetto. Emotional refrain, the ropes always doing a sensational work. Beautiful keyboards. A music that should always be touched.

03. Oh In the Not Susan After a beautiful introduction 'disposed well' to make appearing, more one of Jeff's beautiful melodies comes to the surface, here it is the violins what distinction has. The second part of the melody is already much more psychedelic, with good instrumental parts.

04. New World Rising/Ocean Break Up (Reshowing) Does a keyed stranger do the melody for which Jeff (with an effect in the voice) begins the melody, knows of a thing? I always found the vocal of quite similar Jeff with it of George Harrison (The Beatles) at several moments, it must be an influence since Jeff worked with George in his run ground of the same thing during several years, being musical partners in many George's discs.

05. Showdown Well before the Disc Music (more or less approximately 4 years) there was Showdown. (Completely well what reminds of me and very much to melody of I Heard It Through The Grapevine in the version of the Creedence Clearwater Revival that is of 1970, but completely well). The first ground of guitar of the disc appears only here, which is a pity since it is very good by the way.

06. Daybreaker Deep melody, inebriant grounds of violins, a disruptive guitarrinha, and a melody of keyboards that takes the song in a status of atmospheric, space. Out Of The Blue! A very good instrumental space one!

07. Me her Belle suckles Ahá! Here we have of the most pure Rock and roll, riff of guitar I make a mess and distorted as must be, some insertions of the ropes, and to vary, Jeff detonates the vocal ones, and the one who makes the part of the guitar they are the ropes, sensationally. End with the vocal thing devastating, even without band.

08. Dreaming Of 4000 More riff of guitars, sensational. But the song in you is calm, with a pastoral air in the first verse, and pretty and 'cheerful' refrain. It breaks much different they compose this track, you link all if gathering to mount a single song sometimes sad, sometimes very pretty, a little of each. Animal violins in the end.

09.In The Hall Of The Mountain King In The Hall Of The Mountain King. Any world knows that one from here! Melody conhecidíssima, but what the people of the LINK managed to modify, maintaining the whole classic influence of the band, but when Roll is putting a pinch of Rock 'n' in everything, and also great travel. Beautiful passages of battery of Bev Bevan. Accelerating in the end of the song is an excellent end for disc!

This disc for me is classic! (More one of 1973!) and in fact for me Electric Light Orchestra is classic, since I am a great fan of the band!

www.progshine.com

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Send comments to ProgShine (BETA) | Report this review (#194189) | Review Permalink
Posted Thursday, December 18, 2008

Review by Sheavy
COLLABORATOR Progressive Electronic Team
5 stars The third time is the charm. This for me is the absolute best album by ELO, and a masterpiece at that. ELO has definitily found there ditinctive sound, and Jeff Lynne has finally found his singing voice. The instruments sound like the muscians really are comfortable with them, and know what they are doing. They are some wonderful orchestral songs, like Ocean Breakup songs and the very, very outstanding rendition of Hall Of The Mountian King. They are also some wonderful balladesque songs, like Bluebird, and Oh No Not Susan ( which also features THE bad word), and then the more known poppier songs, Showdown and Ma-Ma-Ma Belle. This and the following record were the pinnacle of ELO's career.

A must own.

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Send comments to Sheavy (BETA) | Report this review (#474284) | Review Permalink
Posted Saturday, July 02, 2011

Review by Warthur
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars ELO's steady process of improvement continued with On the Third Day, which features a streamlined sound which manages to be catchy without sacrificing too much in the way of complexity. Album opener King of the Universe sounds like Jeff Lynne trying to be Freddie Mercury, songs such as Showdown and Ma-Ma-Ma-Belle take a symphonic prog approach and apply it to short and snappy pop numbers, and closer In the Hall of the Mountain King is one of the few rock adaptations of classical music standards which succeeds at sounding appreciably different from The Nice/ELP and their imitators. ELO might have tried their damnedest on their first couple of albums, but they only awoke to their true potential On the Third Day. (Pun very much intended.)

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Send comments to Warthur (BETA) | Report this review (#506363) | Review Permalink
Posted Saturday, August 20, 2011

Review by Tarcisio Moura
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars ELO´s third album is another step towards their trademark sound of the mid 70´s, I guess. Much of the experimentalism was gone by this time, but still On The third day has its share of whimsical and different sounds to make it quite unique, if not exactly great. Jeff Lynne´s songwriting here is more consistent than on the previous two albums, the arrangements are tighter and the use of the cello and the violin reached its peak on this record. Also his vocals are much stronger and convincing, the bad production of the other releases is replaced by a very good, clear sound (ok, the drum sound is not that good, but the rest did improve).

This is definitly one of the best mixtures of ELO´s progressive and pop sound (at this stage, more prog than pop). It takes some time to really get the album´s musical intersting tapestry of sound. At first I didnp´t like much of what I heard here, but after a few spins I changed my mind. It begins quite slowly and I wonder if the choice of tralist was the best. Still, it works. Obviously the strong Beatles influence (around the time of Revolver/Sargeant Pepper) is here too (Bluebird Is Dead is pure Paul McCartney, even though Lynne´s vocals are much more like Lennon´s). But the real masterpeace for me is Showdown, with its infectious beat, great melody line, funky bass and fine use of the string section. Accessible and inventive at the same time, a real gem.

All in all I really liked this album. it´s not ELO´s classic line up (in fact ther is one cellist missing. Hugh McDowell is featured on the cover of the Brazilian version of the LP, but only rejoined after all the traks were recorded), but On the third Day they did come across as one of the most interesting bands to appear in the 70´s. After much confusion and the lack of a strong music direction of their two first effords they were on their way to do something worth all the waiting.

Rating: something between 3.5 and 4 stars.

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Send comments to Tarcisio Moura (BETA) | Report this review (#611814) | Review Permalink
Posted Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Review by Sinusoid
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.

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Send comments to Sinusoid (BETA) | Report this review (#808587) | Review Permalink
Posted Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Latest members reviews

3 stars The third album from this rather strange band. Their sound and music very much reminds me about The Beatles masterpieces Eleanor Rigby and A Day In Life. Jeff Lynne, who later played with George Harrisson in Travelling Wilburys, really put his mark on this album with his vocals and music. I ... (read more)

Report this review (#576171) | Posted by toroddfuglesteg | Sunday, November 27, 2011 | Review Permanlink

3 stars This release features the same type of ELO sound that was showcased on their first 2 albums, but with more pop leanings. There is some very fine music here: "New World Rising/Ocean Breakup", "Daybreaker", "Dreaming of 4000". However, there are also some weaker tracks that tend to bore me: "Blu ... (read more)

Report this review (#299299) | Posted by mohaveman | Wednesday, September 15, 2010 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Years later I got a taste of the early ELO music. This one stands out the most to me as the most listenable from start to finish. Bluebird is dead is highly addictive as is Dreaming of 4000 and In the Hall... I know Lynne geared the band more towards pop afterwords but you have to admit he had a ... (read more)

Report this review (#209309) | Posted by Joe Rockhead | Monday, March 30, 2009 | Review Permanlink

4 stars I've always looked at ELO this way: they are a guilty pleasure band for prog heads, sort of like Styx or Kansas. Unlike Styx however, ELO has more than two great songs, most of them taking up residence on this album. There should be no shame in admitting a healthy love for this album as ELO ce ... (read more)

Report this review (#198926) | Posted by manofmystery | Tuesday, January 13, 2009 | Review Permanlink

4 stars This was my first exposure to ELO, and I had been interested in exploring the first three or so progressive related albums. I was quite impressed. The music right away appealed to me and was very accessible, great rock songs with the strings so perfectly incorperated I knew I had discovered a n ... (read more)

Report this review (#104415) | Posted by OGTL | Monday, December 25, 2006 | Review Permanlink

4 stars A brilliant album, if a little dated. Not as progressive or as experimental as its predecessor, " ELO2" , or as refined as its successor, "Eldorado", it is nonetheless a work of character and quality. Some great, proggy songs; some very-seventies production values, it all adds up to an intrigui ... (read more)

Report this review (#68463) | Posted by | Sunday, February 05, 2006 | Review Permanlink

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