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ELDORADO

Electric Light Orchestra

Crossover Prog


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Electric Light Orchestra Eldorado album cover
3.85 | 223 ratings | 28 reviews | 35% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection


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Studio Album, released in 1974

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. El Dorado Overture (2:12)
2. Can't Get It Out Of My Head (4:26)
3. Boy Blue (5:17)
4. Laredo Tornado (5:26)
5. Poorboy (The Greenwood) (2:56)
6. Mister Kingdom (5:50)
7. Nobody's Child (3:40)
8. Illusions In 'G' Major (2:36)
9. El Dorado (5:20)
10. El Dorado - Finale (1:20)

Expanded reissue bonus tracks...

11. El Dorado (Instrumental Medley)
12. Dark City

Total Time 48:12


Lyrics

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Music tabs (tablatures)

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Line-up / Musicians

Bev Bevan / drums, percussion
Michael De Albuquerque / bass
Michael Edwards / cello
Mik Kaminski / violin
Jeff Lynne / guitar, vocals, Moog, backing vocals
Hugh Mc Dowell / piano, Moog, guitar, backing vocals
Louis Clark / conductor
Peter Ford-Robertson / spoken word

Releases information

UK/Germany 1974 Warner Bros. LP/CS K56090
North America 1974 United Artists LP/CS UA-LA339-G
UK 1976 Jet LP/CS 203
US 1976 United Artists LP/CS UA-L339-G
UK 1978 Jet LPYEL 203
UK 1983 Jet CS ZGT 38228 repackaged w. ELO II
WW 2001 Epic CD 501904 digital remaster w. bonus tracks

Thanks to ClemofNazareth for the addition
and to Snow Dog for the last updates
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The Essential Electric Light OrchestraThe Essential Electric Light Orchestra
Remastered
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EldoradoEldorado
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Light Years: The Very Best ofLight Years: The Very Best of
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ELECTRIC LIGHT ORCHESTRA Eldorado ratings distribution


3.85
(223 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(35%)
35%
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(37%)
37%
Good, but non-essential (23%)
23%
Collectors/fans only (4%)
4%
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)
0%

ELECTRIC LIGHT ORCHESTRA Eldorado reviews


Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Philrod
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars If Electric Light Orchestra was added to this site, this is the album why. On Eldorado, Jeff Lynne came to a point where some progressive aspirations could be seen. With a vague theme, the usual orchestrations and Beatles influences were mixed to maximum of its potential. The album starts out with the beautiful Eldorado Overture, a well orchestrated song that really sets the tone for the album. The real highlight of the album is definitely the second song, the Hit Single Can't Get it Out of My Head. Lynne melodic voice and beautiful piano part was the perfect for a commercial breakthrough, as this is most probably the best song in the ELO catalogue. Another great song is definitely Boy Blue, a song that did not passed well the test of time, but is still a strong composition. The remainder of the album cannot top those three first songs, but is still a quite enjoyable moment all the way through. ELO is not necessarily what you could call a generic progressive band, but this album should definitely please any fan of melodic, catchy music. Without being a masterpiece, it is still a nice addition to any collection, wether it is a progressive one or not. 4/5

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Send comments to Philrod (BETA) | Report this review (#64453) | Review Permalink
Posted Friday, January 13, 2006

Review by progaeopteryx
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars Eldorado was a turning point for ELO. Instead of recording with two cellists and a violinist, Jeff Lynne incorporated a 40-piece orchestra. This changed the sound of the band, leaning more towards the violin end of the strings and departing from the more heavily cello-based recordings of the previous two albums. This, in my opinion, was a mistake. Furthermore, the production on Eldorado is more muddier than On the Third Day.

ELO moved toward a more pop/art rock sound on Eldorado, featuring songs like the lush ballad Can't Get It Out of My Head, the Dylanesque Poorboy (The Greenwood), the jazzy lounge-like Nobody's Child and the driving old-style rock'n'roll Illusions in G Major. There are still some decent songs as well, including the powerful, although often repetitive Boy Blue, the soaring Laredo Tornado, and the nicely arranged Mister Kingdom which has a nice wall-of-sound ending. Also featured is an orchestral overture (with narration) and finale to this concept album of loosely related songs about a dreamer who fantasizes about travels, disillusionment, and paradise found in his dream world of Eldorado.

Overall, this is a good album, but not essential in any way. It pales in comparison to ELO II and On the Third Day, and that's because the production is poor, the songs are uninspiring, and Lynne's desire to achieve pop stardom. I would recommend starting with ELO II or On the Third Day. Three stars.

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Send comments to progaeopteryx (BETA) | Report this review (#69188) | Review Permalink
Posted Sunday, February 12, 2006

Review by Sean Trane
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Prog Folk
3 stars So far, I have rated ELO a little over their own real value (giving them a half-star over what I believe they really deserve - except for the debut album), but with this album, usually regarded by a lot of progheads as their masterpiece: I feel I have to set the record straight! If most progheads look down unnecessarily on previous album, they generally tend to regard this one a bit too highly. Yes, it is fully symphonic and conceptual (and therefore progressive in its own right), but it is POP rather than ROCK (something previous album were not) and just for that ELO loses a bit of credential to this reviewer's eyes.

But please do not let me be a party pooper as the songwriting on this album is still phenomenal - even though only written by Lynne himself, it must've been arranged by the whole group. With this album, Lynne actually veers away (finally some might say) from his Fab Four infatuation, but I feel this might be exactly where the weakness in this album lies. Although still plainly an ELO album and in itself a small tour de force, songwriting-wise it does not really resemble any other album of theirs. I think that my main gripe about this album is that the strings and full orchestras are over-used a tad (ton?) too much for my tastes. But some of the evident melodies of previous albums are lacking and even the hit Can't Get It INTO My Head is not catchy for me.

Funnily enough, it is the album that most everyone is ready to laud to the skies, and I personally cannot help feeling that ELO just missed the holy grail by a few hairs had they been a bit less pretentious with this one. But nevertheless, this album should be the proof to dubitative progheads, that ELO has its own full place in the Archives.

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Send comments to Sean Trane (BETA) | Report this review (#71299) | Review Permalink
Posted Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Review by Guillermo
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars This album is really a mixture of two styles: the Progressive arrangements done with Classical Music influences, and Rock music tending more to Pop music, which IMO, it is a very interesting mixture. So, this album is more balanced between the styles in which ELO`s music was created. Their next album, "Face the Music", is more oriented to Pop.

This album has very good orchestral arrangements, like influenced by Classical Music composers. Orchestral Conductor Louis Clark had his first appearance on an ELO`s album, and the arrangements wee done by Clark with Jeff Lynne and keyboard player Richard Tandy. These orchestral arrangements (and choir arrangements too) were going to appear regularly in later albums, but later albums were increasingly more oriented to POP music and Disco Music. Anyway, the quality of ELO`s music is very good, even in the context of music designed for the Hit Parade.

IMO, the most interesting songs in this album are "Eldorado Overture", with great orchestral arrangements. "Can`t Get it Out of my Head" is one of my favourite of ELO`s songs. "Boy Blue" has again a very good orchestral arrangement, sounding for me like influenced by one of J.S. Bach`s "Brandenburg Concertos". "Laredo Tornado" is one of the best, a rocker song, with some use of lyircs written in Spanish: "Adiós amigos". "Mister Kingdom" also has the use of contrabasses playing low notes, a remembrance of their first album, maybe. In this song, again, the Classical Music arrangement theme used in "Boy Blue" appears again.

The rest of the songs are good too, but are more "conventional". One funny thing for me is the orchestral and choral arrangement used in the end of the "Eldorado" title track: it sounds to me like influenced by the background music used by Hollywood films done in the 40s!

In conclusion, this album has very good arrangements and a balance between their Progressive and Pop/Rock tendencies. Their later albums are increasingly more Pop influenced, but ELO`s music is very good. Jeff Lynne is a very good lead singer and composer, not matter if his music became more commercial with the passing of time.

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Send comments to Guillermo (BETA) | Report this review (#73804) | Review Permalink
Posted Saturday, April 01, 2006

Review by Easy Livin
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
4 stars I can't get it out of my head

After Roy Wood left ELO, it was with some trepidation that I continued to follow the career of the band. The first single they released without him, a stonking cover version of "Roll over Beethoven" indicated that while they may be collectively competent in performance terms, there were doubts about their song writing ability. For me, "ELO2" and "On the thrid day" only served to emphasise those doubts. "Eldorado" however served to dispel any such fears.

Here we have a bold statement by a band with which they identified their own territory, and laid claim to it in the best way possible with what is arguably the best album of their entire career. "Eldorado" (sub-titled "a Symphony by the Electric Light Orchestra") is a symphonic concept album about "goings on in a dream world", which fuses bombastic orchestration with supreme melodies, and a notable variety of styles.

The album opens with the "Eldorado overture", an instrumental with full orchestration which soars and dives like a flock of demented eagles, the violin players sawing through their strings with unrestrained enthusiasm. A piano restores order though to introduce the reflective ballad "Can't get it out of my head", surly one of ELO's most appealing songs. With these first two tracks, Jeff Lynne set out his stall, and stated once and for all that the ELO project was in fact only just starting.

"Boy blue" picks thing up again, being a mini-epic with true prog ambitions. "Larado tornado" is more in the vein of a power ballad, the chorus having something of a menacing overtone. Side one of the album closes with the Robin Hood era inspired "Poorboy" which soars once again, the orchestra testing Lynne's vocal by sending him to ever increasing heights.

Side two opens with Mr Kingdom, a tasteful but thinly veiled parody of the Beatles "Across the universe". "Nobody's child" is the only nondescript track on the album, being a bluesy late night barroom sway-a-long. The strangely named "Illusions in 'G' Major" is an absolute belter of a rock and roll song, which thunders along driven by a Roy Wood's Wizzard like wall of sound. Its closest relative is probably the Moody Blues "I'm just a singer in a rock and roll band". The album closes with the title track, a reflective power balled with wonderful lyrics which tie the whole album together. This leads into a reprise of the opening overture which builds to a climactic conclusion before being brought down to earth with the spoken coda "The dreamer, the unwoken fool, high on a hill in Eldorado".

One can only speculate what Roy Wood must have thought when he heard "Eldorado". Undoubtedly it contained everything he had declared ELO intended to represent when he was one of the project's main protagonists. ELO's early albums, including the one Wood played on, failed to meet the lofty ambitions laid out for them of "picking up where the Beatles left off with "I am the walrus"". With "Eldorado", ELO arguably fulfilled that ambition.

The expanded remaster has a couple of bonus tracks, an early version of "Larado tornado" called "Dark city", and a collage of extracts from orchestral backing tracks.

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Send comments to Easy Livin (BETA) | Report this review (#85260) | Review Permalink
Posted Monday, July 31, 2006

Review by ClemofNazareth
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Prog Folk Researcher
4 stars El Dorado was the first true concept album by ELO and was almost completely a Jeff Lynne creation. While the sound is musically quite dated, it also stands the test of time very well, and is just as inspiring to listen to today as it was more than thirty years ago. One of my favorite ELO albums.

The intro “El Dorado Overture” is not an overture per se, but it is an elegant introduction that sets a dream-like atmosphere thanks to the 30 piece orchestra that presents to open the album. This instrumental lead-in gets the listener’s attention and signals that this is not going to be an ordinary pop album.

I have such wonderful memories of listening “Can’t Get it Out of My Head” as a young teen in the summer of 1974. This is basically a song about daydreaming – frankly, the whole album is one big daydream. The lyrics here are kind of nonsensical, half-formed thoughts in much the same manner that our own daydreams are incomplete ruminations of fantasy loosely intermingled with reality. The strings are just beautiful, gracefully complementing Lynne’s vocals and providing a context for some very faint backing vocals that are almost chamber-like. There are also some unaccredited horns which get a more proper treatment on “Boy Blue”. This was the first significant hit for the band in America, and the references to exotic faraway places and mystical historic figures combined with the orchestral treatments really caught the attention of those of us who were growing tired of blues-based pothead music, but hadn’t quite built up to progressive heavyweights like King Crimson or even Yes way back in the early 70s.

“Laredo Tornado” is a nostalgic bit recalling simpler days when the world wasn’t covered in concrete and skylines were open instead of framed with steel and glass buildings. Lynne’s falsetto projects a sense of this loss of innocence and the intruding brunt of progress on the carefree summer days of youth. Musically there’s nothing particularly complex here – this is just a great song to listen to in the park during the summer while lounging around with good friends and a Frisbee.

For “Poor Boy” Lynne cranks up the piano overlaid with strumming guitar and those flowing strings once again. This is a little tale about a Robin Hood-like character who saves the fair maiden and slays a dragon (okay, there’s no dragon, but you get the idea). The backing vocals here are an early incarnation of the same type of haunting voices that would make Out of the Blue such a treat. “Mister Kingdom” is a similar character sketch, this one about a guy who’s looking for what lies at the end of the rainbow (El Dorado!).

“Nobody’s Child” actually sounds more like Klaatu than ELO, largely due to the vocals which I think are mostly Richard Tandy rather than Lynne. Tandy has much more of the British nasally vocal attribute than Lynne. This is a short fantasy ditty about a young lad who is being seduced by a mature lady, kind of a Mrs. Robinson in the dream world of Jeff Lynne. I’m not sure why this is on the album, but then again we’re usually not sure why our dreams wander to certain places and certain themes either, so maybe that’s the point.

The title of “Illusions in G Minor” is rather misleading, since the song is really a late 50s/ early 60s throwback in the vein of performers like early Kinks or Jerry Lee Lewis – rocking piano, upbeat guitar and a thwacking one-two dancing drum beat. This is about a disjointed old rocker revealing some of his dreams and thoughts to his shrink.

In “El Dorado” the dreamer awakes, finds himself in a much more drab and uninteresting world of reality, and struggles unsuccessfully to return to his dream world. Kind of like when you get woken up from a great dream and try like hell to reenter, only to come to the realization that world is lost to you. Another great tune for lazy afternoons in the park.

The “El Dorado Finale” is another full orchestra instrumental, this one a bit more complex than the opening, and a great way to bring this rock ‘symphony’ to a close.

The digital remaster is technically well-done, with all the instrumentation coming across quite clearly and the vocals just brilliant. But frankly the original vinyl was pretty well engineered, so there’s no real surprises here. The additional tracks include a wonderful orchestra and chamber choir instrumental simply titled “El Dorado”, and a rough early demo of “Laredo Tornado” entitled “Dark City”. I would have loved to see a more detailed set of liner notes to include full attribution for all the players, and maybe even some anecdotes from the band members, but neither of those appear here. There is a great concert photo on the inner CD sleeve I found quite funny, but I won’t spoil the surprise by sharing that here.

All told this is a very good album that, much like Face the Music, shows a band in the process of perfecting their craft and developing a signature sound that would propel them into the stratosphere of music stardom. I wouldn’t call this an essential piece of progressive music history, but its certainly a worthwhile addition to any collection. Four stars without reservation.

peace

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Posted Friday, August 04, 2006

Review by ZowieZiggy
PROG REVIEWER
5 stars SYMPHONIC MASTERPIECE

In 1974, I read a very good review in a local magazine of which six pages or so a week were dedicated to rock music (merci Télémoustique et Piero). The reviewer was so impressed and his review was so exhuberant about this record that I went to purchase it without knowing the band. What a wonderful surprise I got !

For several reasons, I stopped almost completely to listen to music for about ten years (1986 to 1995), and more specifically to prog music for almost twenty years (1977 to 1995).

When I re-discovered this album in 2001, I was immediately brought back to 1974 and therefore I can only confirm that "El Dorado" (The Golden One) is a pure gem of symphonic music that left an indelible mark on me.

From the very first seconds till its very end "El Dorado" is a monster of melody, nice music and brilliant vocals arrangements : a total beauty.

It is of course very much Beatles-esque, but Lynne really surpassed himself and produced such a beautiful album that he should be remembered (and probably will) for the decades to come as one of the best songwriter in pop music. He is such a master to write great pop tunes (maybe some will regret the time of Kuiama and the prog side of ELO) but boy ! This one is so melodramatic in its harmonies than it just deserves the greatest respect.

During the recording, the work with the orchestra was rather difficult. The musicians paying very little attention to the band's work. This seems to be rather frequent : the classical musicians snobbing pop music as if it is not on par with their "art".

If you have read some of my earlier reviews, you know already that I usually do not appreciate too much the combination of rock and classic music. This particular album is a noticeable exception. I'm so found of it ! ELO (or should I say Jeff) putting together what will be probably remembered as the best symphonic pop album of all times.

The "El Dorado Overture" is bizarre, scary and highly symphonic. It leads to the pure beauty of "I Can't Get It Out My Head". I guess only Mc Cartney could have done a similar one (but I already have made this comment in a previous review). The difference though is that Lynne reaches this incredible quality level almost throughout the whole album, which has never been achieved before.

"Laredo Tornado" is quite shivering but words are difficult to find to describe the feelings / emotions one can go through when listening to this album. At least it is my opinion. "Poor Boy" is another great piece of melodious rock / pop song. It is the fourth highlight of side one.

"Mister Kingdom" which opens side two is one of the very few average tracks, a bit too long and repetitive. "Nobody's Child" on the contrary is a very good tune : it has a complex intro and marvelous cellos/ violins arrangements. A very pleasant song that keeps the level of the whole work to a very, very high level.

"Illusions in G Major" brings us back to the pure rock'n'roll atmosphere : a song a la Chuck Berry if you see what I mean. Great rythm that breaks a bit with the general mood of this wonderful album which is somewhat sweet all the way through.

"El Dorado" (the Golden One) is one of the most lyrical / emotional tune on this album. Probably a song that I would request for my burial party (I will once post my wish list for this "happening").

The "Finale" is the logical end to this conceptual masterpiece : we are basically brought back to the start actually of this jewel. I guess you all have understood that I can only rate "El Dorado" as a five star masterpiece.

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Posted Sunday, February 18, 2007

Review by Chicapah
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars By the time that this, their fourth studio album, arrived in the record bins any trace of co-founder Roy Wood's influence had long been washed away and ELO was pretty much Jeff Lynne's baby. He sang, wrote, arranged and produced every note. While the first three efforts were very inconsistent, "Eldorado - A Symphony by the Electric Light Orchestra" was a step forward. It was a concept album, for one thing, but really only in the musical sense because lyric content was never Jeff's strongpoint. The awesome cover art depicting Dorothy's ruby slippers unequivocally repelling the green, spindly fingers of the Wicked Witch of the West encapsulates the 1939 atmosphere that Lynne was shooting for. In that sense he succeeded on a grand scale but the album as a whole is far from being a masterpiece.

The "Eldorado Overture" lays down the foundation for this adventure by creating a nostalgic aura; complete with a haunting voice-over that sounds as if it were lifted intact from any number of fantasy movies made in the 30s and 40s. "Can't Get it out of My Head" is just a great pop ballad, no question about it. The backing chorale and flowing orchestration that characterize most of the tunes on the album work to perfection on this song and the public couldn't resist, sending it soaring to the top of the singles charts and solidifying ELO's significance in popular music. "Boy Blue" follows and, after a short intro that sounds suspiciously like Handel, they break into this incredibly catchy tune that is joyous in its delivery. It mixes rock and roll with symphonic themes beautifully and is a great example of why these guys were so hard to ignore. "Laredo Tornado," has a bluesy rock track running underneath Jeff's over- the-top vocalizations as the members of the band chime in with some rather wolf-ish animal howls throughout. It's an odd duck of a song, that much is certain. Unfortunately, it suffers mightily from Bev Bevan's clumsy drumming (as do many of the tunes ELO recorded). "Poor Boy (The Greenwood)" is straightforward rock that features a swirling whirlwind of strings but it's no better than mediocre when all is said and done.

I hope Lynne was attempting to pay homage to The Beatles on the next song because he couldn't have come closer to actually copying the melody to "Across the Universe" than he does on "Mister Kingdom." It's an okay song if you can manage to ignore Bevan's tasteless banging from start to finish. (Makes you wonder how good ELO could have been with even a half decent drummer). With "Nobody's Child" things take an upward turn. It's a cabaret-style, big band jazz tune that has the boys singing "painted lady" in unison and it's yet another memorable number that will stick in your head for days. There's even a refreshing horn section starting to take part in the proceedings and they reappear from time to time in the album's remaining songs. "Illusions in G Major" is a throwback rock and roll ditty that reminds me of Jeff's former band, the magnificent "Move." That group loved to recreate the raw ambience of 50s studio techniques (on songs like "Don't Mess Me Up, " "California Man" and "Down on the Bay") and here Lynne does it again splendidly. "Eldorado" is a dramatic ballad in which Jeff's unenhanced voice is so dry that it sounds as if he recorded his vocal inside a cardboard box but it serves as a neat contrast to the rich, sweeping chorale behind him. It's a good tune and it leads directly into "Eldorado Finale" which is exactly what you would expect it to be in that it's a recap of the album's themes with the melodramatic voice-over returning to bookend the whole package.

My feeling about ELO is that they were progressive only in the fact that, rather than merely utilizing a string section, they made them full-fledged members of the group. If anything it made them different. Jeff Lynne was no fool, however, and knew how to manufacture hit singles with uncanny regularity. The quirkiness and wry humor that he and Roy Wood had exploited in The Move was also a part of this band and that's what gave them their unique identity. I feel that "Eldorado" is one of their finer creations and, by reaching #16 on the charts, expanded their audience and took them to the next level of popularity, paving the way for many more years of productivity.

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Posted Sunday, April 29, 2007

Review by progaardvark
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars With Eldorado, Jeff Lynne moved from overdubbing his trio of string artists (Kaminski, Edwards, and McDowell) to hiring an actual orchestra which was conducted and arranged by Louis Clark. For me, this marked a change in the "ELO sound." As another reviewer mentioned that I agree with, what's missing is the cello sound. It's shifted too much towards the violin sound. This would then be the orchestral sound behind ELO from this point forward until total abandonment by the 1980s. Another change was the departure of bassist Mike de Albuquerque before recording ever began on Eldorado, so despite the credits, Jeff Lynne played the bass. At best, Lynne is adequate, but I'm sure it would have sounded better with a seasoned bassist. I also found the production of Eldorado to be muddier and less clear than their masterpiece On the Third Day. The Moog synthesizer that is so dominant on the last two albums is used sparingly here.

The negatives I have about the sound aside, Eldorado was the first concept album Lynne constructed, although the subject matter loosely fits together. It is chiefly about a Walter Mitty-like character in a fantasy world he creates in his dreams to escape reality. Using a still from The Wizard of Oz film as the cover is a clear indication of this concept. For me, Boy Blue, Laredo Tornado, and Mister Kingdom are the most interesting songs on this album.

Eldorado is also a shift away from the progressive rock on ELO's first three albums. The songs, although nicely arranged and interesting, resemble a sort of art rock/pop rock mix with symphonic tendencies. This shift would quickly grow and be almost entirely pop rock over the next few albums. Eldorado is probably the last ELO album to fall under the progressive rock genre, but only loosely speaking. Still, it's an enjoyable listen. I recommend getting their first three albums before this one. Three stars. Good, but not essential.

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Posted Thursday, October 18, 2007

Review by ghost_of_morphy
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars Jeff Lynne discovered how to create good prog music on the third day. On the fourth day (or the fourth album, if you prefer) he started exploring how to make it popular. Not surprisingly, the recipe included less prog. Jeff followed this recipe faithfully for every succeeding ELO release, and prog quickly evaporated from the music.

But on Eldorado, the fourth ELO album, there still was a fair amount of prog in the mix and what else was added was usually of a pretty high quality as well. Let's take a look at the tracks.

El Dorado Overture/Finale -- As the firstt and last tracks are based on more or less the same idea, I'll cover them together. These are a short instrumental intro and outro, with some narration and sound effects in the intro. Not bad tracks in themselves, they bookend the album well and are short enough not to prove tiresome.

Can't Get It Out Of My Head -- My favorite ELO track. This one is not particularly progressive, but it is a lush ballad that is romantic in the classical sense. A great piece of music.

Boy Blue -- If Can't Get It Out Of My Head weren't my favorite ELO track, this one would probably be that. It's a stirring piece of progressive rock that never fails to bring chills to my spine, from the brash brass opening to the piano and string interludes to the catchy rock song parts.

Loredo Tornado -- This is the track that I actively dislike on the album. It has a laid-back, almost bluesy feel, but it just doesn't do anything for me.

Poor Boy -- A nice rocker that gets shown up by the later Illusions in G major.

Mister Kingdom -- Another boring one, driven by a monotonously pounding electric piano.

Nobody's Child -- A witty tune with a retro, vampish style (complete with muted trumpet.) Not the masterpiece of the album by any means, but a nice change of pace song that adds a fair amount of interest.

Illusions in G major -- Ok, a catchy pure rocker here, but a really really good one. My only complaint is that I have no idea what Jeff is singing about.

Eldorado -- I can't understand how this song missed out being included in their Greatest Hits compilation. It's in the same vein as Can't Get It Out Of My Head, nearly as good, and probably my fifth or sixth favorite ELO track.

This album is often referred to as a concept album. Of course the main reason for that is that Jeff Lynne told us that what it was. Orchestral interludes link the tracks together and themes of legends and heroes often pop up, but if you weren't told that it was a concept album, you might not notice.

Electric Light Orchestra has begun to drift away from prog, but they haven't drifted so far as of yet that they can't earn 4 stars for Eldorado.

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Send comments to ghost_of_morphy (BETA) | Report this review (#158711) | Review Permalink
Posted Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Review by Gatot
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars If my memory still works properly, this might be the first album that I heard from Electric Light Orchestra. I was so impressed with the word "orchestra" prior to buying the cassette at record store at that time. As the first song is a symphonic music using orchestra, so I purchased this album. The good thing about this album when I did a bit of research was that this is the first concept album ELO has ever made where Jeff Lynne wrote the whole story first prior to any idea on what sort of music he and his band mates were about to make. It's basically similar with adopting the book to a concept album. The difference is on the way the story was conceived as it tells the story of a character who experiences mental journeys into fantasy through dreams in order to runaway from a mundane reality the character can not tolerate.

The use of "real" orchestra .

Well, as the name of the band implies, it's actually no harm at all if Jeff Lynne composed the music with electric orchestration as far as there is a great representation of violin and cello throughout the album. Jeff did not manipulate on this and he did not overdub the record by putting real orchestra, conducted by Louis Clark, in every single piece of its music. The result is truly a lively record demonstrating excellent stream of music which flows naturally into my mind. By that time I was not posed to any significant exploration of string orchestration in rock music. So this kind of move by a pop / rock band had made me quite impressed with the sound.

Even though the basic structure of its music is a pop rock style, the augmentation of orchestra has improved the musical impact on my head. Right after great overture the music follows with "Can't Get it Out of My Head" (4:26) which was my favourite at first listen of the cassette. This track was also released as a single. The song has beautiful structure and melody. "Boy Blue" (5:17) reminds me to a heroic nature of a battle especially with the use of brass section at the opening part followed brilliantly with dynamic orchestration, combined with spoken words. The main body of the song is actually a pop rock song with excellent vocal line. It continues with guitar solo as an intro of "Laredo Tornado" (5:26) where it flows nicely in dragging style of vocal and nice rhythm section augmented by orchestra (violin and cello).

It moves to an upbeat music of "Poorboy" (The Greenwood) which lends in itself with a style of "Boy Blue" in the vein of pop rock. "Mister Kingdom" (5:50) is a ballad with catchy melody with nice orchestration. "Nobody's Child" (3:40) intro lends exactly from "Boy Blue" at the opening orchestra but it then moves differently with a bit of jazz influence music. It's really a nice musical composition and the singing style is something like a monologue. The insertion of piano has made it really nice. "Illusions in 'G' Major" (2:36) is a straight pop rock in the vein of The Beatles. The album title track shows another example that this album was crafted really well so that every details of the song sounds nice. The album concludes brilliantly with "El Dorado - Finale" (1:20) to close down all chapters which have been discussed.

Overall, this is an excellent addition of any prog music collection. Do not miss this album. Keep on proggin' ..!

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

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Posted Saturday, June 14, 2008

Review by SouthSideoftheSky
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Symphonic Team
3 stars I can get it out of my head!

Eldorado was the first explicitly conceptual album by Electric Light Orchestra and also the first ELO album with high production values. Sadly, it was also their last progressive album, turning after this one to a more commercial approach that gained them much more success in the charts. Indeed, the signs of what was to come were apparent already on their second and third albums. On the present album, songs like Can't Get It Out Of My Head and Boy Blue gives a strong indication of the band's commercial future. However, Eldorado as a whole is a pleasant listen and it is of some interest to Prog and Art Rock fans. It is certainly well-crafted, arty and conceptual Pop.

Even though the sleeve features a still from the film The Wizard Of Oz, the concept of the album has nothing as such to do with the famous film. Rather, it is based on an original story by Jeff Lynne.

Recommended in addition to the previous On The Third Day and the self-titled debut (aka No Answer).

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Posted Saturday, March 28, 2009

Review by aapatsos
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Prog Metal and Heavy Prog Teams
3 stars Transitional phase?

ELO's sound has moved distinctively from the heavy cellos of their debut album to more string arrangements and softer symphonic melodies. Whereas nobody can deny the existence of a full orchestra delivering attractive melodies, the musical approach has shifted significantly to less challenging patterns.

The album mainly consists of slow compositions, often hypotonic, that are based on the skilled execution of arrangements and instruments rather than on creative song-writing. Overall, good ideas and a very pleasant atmosphere from beginning to end, but with only a few high points that would produce the spark required to catch the listener. There is variety in musical styles ranging from ballad-like tracks (Can't Get it out of my Head, Mister Kingdom) to bluesy (Nobody's Child) and rock 'n roll (Illusions in G Major). However, the product seems like a mix of pop-derived songs rather than prog or symphonic rock.

The major highlight of the album is the opening (and subsequently closing) theme of album that creates high expectations with the storming and melodic violins generating a majestic atmosphere. Other interesting moments include the rocking Boy Blue and Poor Boy which include the most interesting symphonic arrangements (not coincidentally). Vocal performance is at high standards and the variety of singing approaches is a positive element.

A relatively interesting album, Eldorado, does not match the experience of the debut release (set as standard for quality comparison). While the compositions are arranged almost perfectly, the musical approach is much more commercial; prog fans that are keen on symphonic arrangements might find some interest here.

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Posted Thursday, July 01, 2010

Review by Rune2000
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Prog Metal Team
5 stars Eldorado was my introduction to Electric Light Orchestra and I remember picking it up after reading all the praise that it had received. Since I never cared much for compilation albums, this felt like the natural first step and I wasn't disappointed!

While listening to it for the first time I could already foresee Eldorado becoming one of my all time favorite albums! It's all about the great songwriting and this release has plenty of just that. From the majestic sounds of crashing violins on Overture, we are taken on a journey through a fantasy world that features a bunch of memorable characters which all add to the magnitude of this album's greatness. Can't Get It Out Of My Head is probably the most recognized tune out of the bunch and it's clearly why that is so. For me personally, it's mostly notable for its simplistic by very memorable drum intro halfway through the first minute of the song. This rather insignificant fill always manages to make me feel right at home with the tune and I gradually sink in and begin singing along to the backing vocals towards the chorus section.

I agree that Mister Kingdom sounds more and more like a rip-off of John Lennon's Across The Universe but Jeff Lynne's vocals really add a new dimension to the composition that still makes it one of the album's highlights for me. After a much bluesier Nobody's Child and a nosedive in an out of place rock & roll number, Illusions In G Major, we finally get to the album's crown jewel in the form of the title track. What a perfect conclusion to such a great album!

I'm clearly biased about this record but I really can't help myself. This material really speaks to me and I'm happy that I gave it a go since it has now grown into one of my biggest album favorites. Eldorado will definitely be a disappointment to anyone expecting skillful instrumental arrangements, especially since Electric Light Orchestra has never been about that. This is an album for fans of great pop music with a touch of Art Rock added to it and a masterpiece at that!

***** star songs: Eldorado Overture (2:12) Can't Get It Out Of My Head (4:21) Boy Blue (5:18) Mister Kingdom (5:29) Eldorado (5:17) Eldorado Finale (1:34)

**** star songs: Laredo Tornado (5:29) Poor Boy (The Greenwood) (2:57) Nobody's Child (3:56)

*** star songs: Illusions In G Major (2:37)

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Posted Monday, October 11, 2010

Review by kenethlevine
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Prog-Folk Team
3 stars I remember reading an article about ELO around the time of the release of "Eldorado" that tried to establish the origins of the rather unique group sound at the time. The author seemed transfixed on the BEATLES, the mini symphony at the end of Abbey Road, etc. That it didn't mention some of the other groups who had pioneered the rock symphony concept already - MOODY BLUES and PROCOL HARUM for instance - reflected the author's tunnel vision. I did not fully appreciate at the time that there are parts of "Eldorado" that sound like GEORGE HARRISON on strings, but at times we also get BOB DYLAN and, no surprise, CHUCK BERRY, so why focus on just one of the major influences? What remains is that, for a half an album at least, this was as close as ELO came to a masterpiece in their own right.

In the days of the LP, Side 1 was a TKO, a free flowing yet lovingly connected story line that takes the listener along breathlessly. One forgets that 1974 was not that far removed from the peak of psychedelia, hence the stoned narration of the intro sounds quaint considering the production values and technology mustered here, but the overture, the reverent "Can't Get it Out of My Head" and the rousing "Boy Blue" possess a timeless charm. In particular, "Boy Blue" combines a sweet rock melody with all out orchestration and cascading keys. The next couple of tracks are also strong, and the end of "Poor Boy" sounds for all the world like a finale. In some sense it was, for what follows simply doesn't measure up. It ranges from dispirited and mundane to more of their "Roll Over Beethoven" overkill to an attempt at swing, none of it convincing. The title cut is better, but only if you like 2nd rate PROCOL HARUM or BARCLAY JAMES HARVEST from several years prior. The CD version includes an instrumental medley which could have served as a more involved overture and done quite well.

On Eldorado, even during its weaker latter half, ELO showed they had the capacity to do more with their arrangements than boorish cellofied rock and roll and superficial twiddly bits. Unfortunately, before long they would reach the end of that road. It's funny, because the album always conjured for me the great "Wizard of Oz" film for some reason. Perhaps I subconsciously remembered the red glass slippers on the sleeve even though I never owned the LP, or perhaps the connection was achieved simply through the power of rock fantasy.

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Posted Saturday, November 13, 2010

Review by Finnforest
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Symphony for a daydreamer

ELO is a post-Beatles group whose founding members sought to pick up where the Beatles left off, and along with bands like the Moodies continue the integration of classical music into their rock and roll. They were somewhat successful making inroads into the progressive community but they were commercially very successful, and in my view their real strength was as a singles band. "Eldorado" was the first album where Lynne was able to surpass simple overdubbing and use an actual orchestra which was a huge deal for them. The songs are connected and concern a daydreamer's trip to his dream world Eldorado. The tracks are essentially good pop songs which are seriously dressed up by orchestration and sound effects, the results being highly palatable and lush, dreamy and otherwordly. They are not all that complex below the icing however, in fact I'm amazed Bev Bevan didn't fall asleep during some of these sessions...his drum parts are less challenging than Mick Fleetwood...I could play them as they plod along. Not that music needs to be complex to be good, just noting this for those who love intense drumming. The orchestration never felt all that interesting or unique to me, it's a fairly traditional use of strings. Swelling oohs and ahhs to narrarate the journey to Eldorado, with the feel of a classic film score. Nevertheless tracks like "Cant get it out of my head" and "Laredo Tornado" are ELO classics and wonderful art rock. As ELO gets tons of airplay, readers already know if they like this band. If you do, there is no risk in buying the lovely escapism that is Eldorado. It's a fine release, but for me this is a band which maxes out at three stars.

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Posted Sunday, August 28, 2011

Review by Warthur
PROG REVIEWER
5 stars Eldorado is the album where it all came together for the Electric Light Orchestra. A little Beatles appreciation on Mister Kingdom, orchestral participation on the opening overture and finale and cropping up here and there throughout the album, and exceptional pop-prog songwriting throughout the album. The loose concept is vague enough to permit a range of interpretations (I personally am quite fond of the idea that the protagonist is a rookie bank robber who's lying low after a job gone bad and has been fatally wounded, and is retreating into a world of dreams to avoid acknowledging the turn his life has taken), Jeff Lynne's slurred singing is perfect for the dreamlike material, and the band plays spectacularly. ELO's true masterpiece.

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Send comments to Warthur (BETA) | Report this review (#526385) | Review Permalink
Posted Sunday, September 18, 2011

Review by Epignosis
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Eclectic Prog Team
4 stars El Dorado is an album of firsts, including the first ELO concept album and the first time ELO hired an orchestra. The theme here is that of being preoccupied with fantasy and a longing desire to leave the ordinary. It is therefore one of ELO's most cohesive, romanticist albums and, unsurprisingly, very enjoyable.

"El Dorado Overture" The dreamy orchestra opens with strings and a science-fiction voiceover from the early days of television. The music grows more dramatic until it flutters into something recognizably like the Electric Light Orchestra.

"Can't Get it Out of My Head" A title that, for me, may well describe a large number of ELO songs, represents one of the band's most beautiful, dreamy pieces. The wistful vocals during the verse describe a Walter Mitty-like everyman daydreaming, enjoying several romanticist visions during his mundane job at a city bank. Perhaps Robin Hood, William Tell, Ivanhoe, and Lancelot would have envied his relatively peaceful life and air conditioning- who is to say? I cherish the romantic nostalgia of this song, as I have fond memories listening to it many times on that bargain bin six-song compilation disc my brother bought me for Christmas when we were kids.

"Boy Blue" And on that bargain bin six-song compilation album that my brother bought me for Christmas when we were kids was "Boy Blue." It was, unbeknownst to me at the time, edited, cutting out the baroque horns and dreamy symphonic strings in the introduction, launching directly into the repeated rock riff over changing chords that signifies the start of the song proper. I loved it, and was mystified when I heard the full version- I mean, it was so cool to hear it unedited. "Boy Blue" sits among my favorite ELO songs, with its jubilant tone and upbeat nature. After the first vocal section, the dreamy atmosphere returns with sweet violin and piano. The lyrics describe the homecoming of a war hero, who, disillusioned with the grandeur or honor of war, proclaims to the people that he never wants to fight again. So much orchestration takes place behind the upcoming series of verses. Plucked strings bounce around whimsical violin and slide guitar, welcoming the enthusiastic refrain.

"Laredo Tornado" This slightly Old West-flavored song features a strong Jeff Lynne vocal performance. While not complex, it has a pleasant string arrangement and a moderate foot-patting goodness.

"Poorboy (The Greenwood)" This short pop song relays the protagonist's imagining himself as a part of Robin Hood's band of merry men. Strings and choir spiral and stomp at the end.

"Mister Kingdom" Beginning with an unassuming vocal and minimal instrumentation, this distrait piece has the daydreamer imagining all manner of scenarios, like rainbows' ends and flying away from the city. The song has a wonderful symphonic motif.

"Nobody's Child" "Nobody's Child" initially reprises the orchestral theme of "Boy Blue" before easing into a blues-based, show tune-like number. The lyrics seem to indicate an illusory seductress.

"Illusions In G Major" The misleading title represents a song that is one of ELO's Chuck Berry-inspired tunes. In a roundabout way, I think I can relate to the lyrics, as they seem to describe the elusive nature dreams have on our creativity; I myself have heard songs in my dreams that sound like a band I enjoy (I have heard such material from Kansas, Seven Nations, and The Mars Volta), but are not really songs by those bands. Then upon waking, I can recall the music for about four seconds before it fades away. I wish I could write it down.

"El Dorado" Returning to the pensiveness of "Can't Get it Out of My Head," the title track makes great use of the strings and the choir. The lead vocals have an old country and western vibe to them (like Elvis), describing how the protagonist has fallen in love with his dreams and wishes to remain there, forsaking the humdrum nature of his life.

"El Dorado- Finale" Revisiting the opener, this is more intense, with heavy orchestral music and the fat, silky choir.

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Send comments to Epignosis (BETA) | Report this review (#759355) | Review Permalink
Posted Sunday, May 27, 2012

Latest members reviews

3 stars I hate to give a record to low rating but now I am going to do it. 3,5 stars would have been absolutely fair according to my opinion but neither 4 nor 3 is juste. Prog archives' definition "good but not essential" will be my help because that explains how I feel about this record. Eldorado is ... (read more)

Report this review (#1021892) | Posted by DrömmarenAdrian | Thursday, August 22, 2013 | Review Permanlink

3 stars Best of ELO orchestrated. The orchestral arrangements are thoughtful and keep good relationship with the compositions. Something that other good works of the band occurred only partially. As for the natives of Birmingham, I find it difficult, in general hear a record without getting exhausted ... (read more)

Report this review (#986573) | Posted by sinslice | Wednesday, June 26, 2013 | Review Permanlink

4 stars ELDORADO from Electric Light Orchestra is one of their stronger releases and one of the last ones that had strong prog elements. Of course the hit is here" "Can't Get it Out of My Head". But other songs are good including an orchestral overture and finale. The entire album really flows together well ... (read more)

Report this review (#733588) | Posted by mohaveman | Friday, April 20, 2012 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Rating: 10/10 Along with Paul Mc Cartney and his Wings, Emerson, Lake & Palmer, Yes and Genesis, Jeff Lynne and his main project "Electric light orchestra" embodied a drastic shifting into musical statements and audience preferences. While radio playing was debated on 2 very different wav ... (read more)

Report this review (#461075) | Posted by Mattiias | Tuesday, June 14, 2011 | Review Permanlink

3 stars The sappy pop elements such as BeeGees falsetto voices and flirtations with disco, increasingly prevalent on subsequent albums, are mitigated here by beautiful melodies and competent arrangements. However this is not rock in any real sense, nor is it very progressive unless the inclusion of stri ... (read more)

Report this review (#176636) | Posted by Tylosand Ektorp | Sunday, July 13, 2008 | Review Permanlink

5 stars This album is my first real taste of ELO and it is safe to say this album totally blew me away. The song selection is really varied channeling everything from blues to rockabilly and binding it all seamlessly together with the smooth and sweet sounds strings, horns and choir. Of the songs the toe ... (read more)

Report this review (#158305) | Posted by R-A-N-M-A | Friday, January 11, 2008 | Review Permanlink

4 stars I never thought the day would come when I would buy an ELO album. Of course back in high school in the 70's I just didn't think they were "cool". Well like many things since I have learned I was wrong ...you live and you learn. Now as a 40 something year old I decide to pick up an ELO alb ... (read more)

Report this review (#118759) | Posted by madgo2 | Tuesday, April 17, 2007 | Review Permanlink

4 stars I don't own a lot of ELO but this one has been in my collection on vinyl and in CD format for over 25 years. I have no argument with those that say it's more pop than prog and my rating will reflect its prog value rather than my personal ranking (it's a 5 in my book, desrt island disc mater ... (read more)

Report this review (#105512) | Posted by zedkatz | Thursday, January 04, 2007 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Everyone seems to have said it all, so this is brief. Yes, it's a great cocept album that smacks of a concert. Yes, I think people tend to overrate it a little (including me, I suppose), but I agree that this was a turning point in ELO's history. For me it is the weaker of the albums in the ... (read more)

Report this review (#81200) | Posted by | Thursday, June 15, 2006 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Eldorado is a fine concept album that really feels like a symphony. The lush strings, intricate production and excellent compositions combine brilliantly to produce a genuinely progressive, interesting and moving piece with an atmosphere all of its own. If you like post-pepper Beatles, you'll ... (read more)

Report this review (#68453) | Posted by | Sunday, February 05, 2006 | Review Permanlink

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