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ELECTRIC LIGHT ORCHESTRA

Crossover Prog • United Kingdom


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Electric Light Orchestra biography
An incredible 35 years since their formation, the music of the Electric Light Orchestra is still as popular as ever. All over the world, people are tuning into the sound of ELO via radio, the internet, cinemas and TV. The seemingly ageless songs of ELO leader Jeff Lynne are even being heard again in the singles charts, thanks to the cream of today's young dance acts sampling the band's original music and turning on a whole new generation of fans.

ELO thrived under the guidance of Lynne, recording twelve original studio albums and releasing twenty-eight hit singles in the UK alone. At their peak between 1974 and 1981, ELO amassed a string of nine consecutive gold, platinum and multi-platinum albums. The band were one of the biggest arena and stadium draws during the seventies and early eighties, with spectacular shows including massive flying saucer stage sets and vibrant light and laser displays.

Originally a 1970 experimental offshoot of sixties English hitmakers The Move, ELO's initial concept of a rock band augmented by a string section struggled to find success. Though early singles such as 'Showdown' and 'Ma-Ma-Ma-Belle' were hits, ELO albums failed to make the charts in the UK and the group was virtually ignored as a live act.

It was the USA that first embraced ELO, thanks to lengthy coast-to-coast tours that helped propel singles 'Evil Woman' and 'Strange Magic' and albums 'On The Third Day', 'Eldorado' and 'Face The Music' into the American charts. UK acceptance finally came in 1976 with 'A New World Record' and Top 10 singles 'Livin' Thing', 'Rockaria!' and 'Telephone Line'.

A double album masterpiece, 1977's 'Out Of The Blue' was a worldwide smash on pre-orders alone and featured global hits 'Turn To Stone', 'Wild West Hero', 'Sweet Talkin' Woman' plus the song Lynne considers to be his greatest ELO achievement, 'Mr. Blue Sky'. Recently voted "Anthem Of The Midlands" by the public, the track continues to appear in film soundtracks and ads to this very day. The bands' legendary 1978 tour set audience attendance records wherever it played and established ELO as one of the most popular acts in the world.

'Discovery' in 1979 consolidated that success with the singles 'Shine A Little Love' (sampled back into the charts in 2005 by The LoveFreekz), 'Don't Bring Me Down' 'The Diary Of Horace Wimp' and 'Confusion'. While subsequent albums 'Xanadu', 'Time', 'Secret Messages', and 'Balance Of Power' were huge sellers, to...
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A New World RecordA New World Record
SBME SPECIAL MKTS. 2006
Audio CD$2.85
$4.99 (used)
EldoradoEldorado
Sbme Special Mkts. 2001
Audio CD$1.98
$1.97 (used)
Light Years: The Very Best ofLight Years: The Very Best of
Import
Epic Europe 1997
Audio CD$6.99
$5.31 (used)
Out Of The BlueOut Of The Blue
SonyBMG Special Markets 2007
Audio CD$2.84
$1.89 (used)
TimeTime
SBME SPECIAL MKTS. 2001
Audio CD$3.04
$4.50 (used)
Mr Blue Sky: The Very Best of Electric Light OrchestraMr Blue Sky: The Very Best of Electric Light Orchestra
FRONTIERS 2012
Audio CD$8.50
$9.00 (used)
ELO'S Greatest HitsELO'S Greatest Hits
Sony 1990
Audio CD$2.64
$0.28 (used)
Balance of Power [Expanded Edition]Balance of Power [Expanded Edition]
SBME SPECIAL MKTS. 2007
Audio CD$1.99
$1.98 (used)
Secret MessagesSecret Messages
Sbme Special Mkts. 2009
Audio CD$4.65
$4.39 (used)
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3h 47m
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3h 47m
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ELECTRIC LIGHT ORCHESTRA " LIVIN THING " 1976 EXCELLENT 7" SINGLE USD $3.92 Buy It Now 12h 37m
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13h 31m
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14h 6m
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ELECTRIC LIGHT ORCHESTRA shows & tickets


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ELECTRIC LIGHT ORCHESTRA discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

ELECTRIC LIGHT ORCHESTRA top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.60 | 170 ratings
Electric Light Orchestra (No Answer)
1971
3.54 | 154 ratings
Electric Light Orchestra II
1972
3.80 | 168 ratings
On The Third Day
1973
3.85 | 240 ratings
Eldorado
1974
3.29 | 166 ratings
Face the Music
1975
3.27 | 185 ratings
A New World Record
1976
3.58 | 197 ratings
Out Of The Blue
1977
2.68 | 164 ratings
Discovery
1979
2.25 | 96 ratings
Xanadu (Original Soundtrack)
1980
3.26 | 160 ratings
Time
1981
2.48 | 108 ratings
Secret Messages
1983
1.97 | 88 ratings
Balance of Power
1986
2.42 | 34 ratings
Electric Light Orchestra Part II (Electric Light Orchestra Part II: post ELO)
1991
2.55 | 34 ratings
Moment of Truth (Electric Light Orchestra Part II: post ELO)
1994
3.00 | 80 ratings
Zoom
2001

ELECTRIC LIGHT ORCHESTRA Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.36 | 25 ratings
The Night the Light Went On In Long Beach
1974
1.67 | 3 ratings
Electric Light Orchestra - Greatest Hits Live [LIVE] (Electric Light Orchestra Part II: post ELO)
1992
1.98 | 6 ratings
One Night, Live in Australia (Electric Light Orchestra Part II: post ELO)
1996
1.87 | 4 ratings
Greatest Hits Live, Part II: The Encore Collection
1998
3.16 | 13 ratings
Live at Winterland '76
1998
1.76 | 9 ratings
Live at Wembley '78
1998
3.88 | 15 ratings
Live at the BBC
1999
0.00 | 0 ratings
The BBC Sessions
1999
2.43 | 5 ratings
greatest Hits Of E.L.O.- Part II
2001
1.00 | 3 ratings
Strange Magic (Electric Light Orchestra II: post ELO)
2003
3.38 | 8 ratings
Electric Light Orchestra Live
2013

ELECTRIC LIGHT ORCHESTRA Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

2.04 | 4 ratings
Live (Electric Light Orchestra Part II: post ELO) (VHS)
1991
3.50 | 2 ratings
The Very Best of ELO
1991
3.04 | 7 ratings
"Out Of The Blue" Tour Live At Wembley / Discovery
1998
3.62 | 15 ratings
Zoom Tour Live
2001
2.50 | 4 ratings
Access All Areas (Electric Light Orchestra Part II: post ELO)
2003
3.17 | 4 ratings
Live: The Early Years
2010

ELECTRIC LIGHT ORCHESTRA Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.38 | 12 ratings
Showdown
1974
3.25 | 16 ratings
Olé ELO
1976
2.62 | 10 ratings
The Light Shines On
1977
2.82 | 27 ratings
Greatest Hits
1979
3.09 | 4 ratings
Classics
1990
3.14 | 11 ratings
Afterglow
1990
3.48 | 5 ratings
Burning Bright
1992
3.96 | 6 ratings
The Definitive Collection
1992
3.08 | 8 ratings
Strange Magic: The Best Of Electric Light Orchestra
1995
2.73 | 6 ratings
Roll Over Beethoven
1996
3.00 | 1 ratings
The Best of Electric Light Orchestra
1996
4.00 | 3 ratings
The Gold Collection
1996
3.09 | 7 ratings
Light Years, The Very Best Of
1997
1.50 | 2 ratings
Beyond The Blue
1999
2.26 | 4 ratings
The Essential ELO
2003
4.20 | 16 ratings
ELO 2/Lost Planet
2003
3.81 | 19 ratings
All Over The World: The Very Best Of Electric Light Orchestra
2005
4.08 | 4 ratings
The Harvest Years 1970-1973
2006
3.67 | 3 ratings
Ticket to the Moon: The Very Best of Electric Light Orchestra Volume 2
2007
3.19 | 7 ratings
Mr. Blue Sky: The Very Best Of Electric Light Orchestra
2012

ELECTRIC LIGHT ORCHESTRA Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

4.00 | 2 ratings
Roll Over Beethoven / Queen of the Hours
1973
2.51 | 3 ratings
Showdown / In Old England Town (Instrumental)
1973
0.00 | 0 ratings
Daytripper / Daybreaker
1974
0.00 | 0 ratings
Rockaria!
1976
0.00 | 0 ratings
Mr. Blue Sky
1977
0.00 | 0 ratings
Turn to Stone
1977
2.00 | 1 ratings
Rock 'n' Roll Is King / After All
1983
3.00 | 7 ratings
So Serious
1986
2.41 | 4 ratings
Getting to the Point
1986
2.31 | 11 ratings
Calling America (single)
1986

ELECTRIC LIGHT ORCHESTRA Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Eldorado by ELECTRIC LIGHT ORCHESTRA album cover Studio Album, 1974
3.85 | 240 ratings

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Eldorado
Electric Light Orchestra Crossover Prog

Review by Mr. Gone

4 stars Is this my favorite ELO album? No. Is it their most accomplished overall, their most ambitious, their most substantial? Probably. And certainly a terrific effort overall.

After "On the Third Day", Jeff Lynne eschewed the notion of overdubs for his string players and hired a full orchestra to give an expansive string sound to the "Orchestra". Additionally, bassist/backing vocalist Michael De Albuquerque, despite the credits here and on the album itself, was gone during this recording; Lynne himself sang all vocals and played bass on this album. So the sound is definitely different than its predecessor - and and while "Third Day" was certainly a solid album, this one stands almost on its own in their discography for quality and substance.

The bookend "Overture" and "Finale" segments are spoken word with somewhat interesting but ultimately non-essential musical elements. With that out of the way, much of what remains is interesting, distinctive and enjoyable.

"Can't Get It Out of My Head" is one of ELO's greatest songs. A huge hit, but just a great piece even without critical and pubic adulation. It sets the tone very nicely for this album.

"Boy Blue" is also awesome. Highly catchy and meaningful at the same time.

"Laredo Tornado" is almost disco-y, with its clavinet/guitar funkiness and its resigned anger. One of my favorite tracks on here and catchy without selling out.

"Poor Boy (The Greenwood)" is largely acoustically- based (for guitar, anyway), and while its meaning is still a mystery to me, it's fun and catchy - and a little lighter than its album bookends.

"Mr. Kingdom" is another of my favorites on here. Crunchy guitars and a bit of an angle of desperation here.

"Nobody's Child" is a bit Queen-ish and fun. An innocuous look at the protagonist in this complicated story.

The only song I've never liked is "Illusions in G-Major". Nothing horrid here - just a non-catchy melody and bizarre vocals.

The title cut, on the other hand, is almost as good as "Out of My Head". Great song. it sums up the "Walter Mitty" theme of the album, which has been slowly peeking out of corners of previous tracks along the way. A great penultimate album track with a catchy refrain and a lot of swirling backing vocals.

Like I said, this probably isn't my favorite ELO album. But it's almost certainly their most accomplished, and it's always a highly enjoyable listen. Four well-deserved stars.

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 Face the Music by ELECTRIC LIGHT ORCHESTRA album cover Studio Album, 1975
3.29 | 166 ratings

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Face the Music
Electric Light Orchestra Crossover Prog

Review by demolition man

5 stars An absolute gem of an album; probably my favourite of all the catalogue. Yes, the early albums are stunning, very different and timeless, but for me this is the album that I have consistently played over the last 39 years.

Without a weak track the whole album has a mixture of prog and some unique pop. What was to come next through the 70s was also very good (even Out of The Blue; mostly pop) but this for me was the greatest. Very surprising that none of this great band's album could muster even a 4 star here. Some band's albums transcended sound and some will forever remain in the favourites list; this album achieves both for me.

A special mention to the album opener; the haunting Fire on High which explodes into life......the band have really excelled themselves. Interesting enough the remastered CD comes with a very much different version. ELO have done a great job with all their re-masters and this track alone was well worth the purchase price. Even Evil Woman bonus comes with some fantastic piano work.

5 stars for my favourite ELO album.

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 Calling America (single) by ELECTRIC LIGHT ORCHESTRA album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 1986
2.31 | 11 ratings

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Calling America (single)
Electric Light Orchestra Crossover Prog

Review by Guillermo
Prog Reviewer

3 stars "Calling America", another good song from their "Balance of Power" album from 1986, was played very much in some FM radio stations in my city (maybe more than "So Serious"). Maybe it was the best choice from the songs of this album to be released as a single, and in fact it was the most successful single in the Hit Parade charts from all the singles released from this album (it reached #28 in the U.K. and #18 in the U.S.). Even with this success, maybe the members of ELO (and maybe the record company too) were not very happy with the situation that ELO was having then as a band, and maybe they also were tired of being in a band too. In fact, the "Balance of Power" album sounds in some places like being recorded and released more as a "contractual obligation album", but it still has some very good quality in some places. Maybe they were a tired band recording a somewhat sounding "tired" last album. In my opinion, they said a temporal "goodbye" for several years as a band in a very good way until Jeff Lynne recorded and released the "Zoom " album as an ELO album (with some collaborations from Richard Tandy). An album which is more like a solo album from Lynne but which was released under the ELO`s name for good marketing reasons.

Anyway, "Calling America" is a good song, with, as I have mentioned in other reviews, all the "ingredients" that made a very characteristic song from the mid eighties: good keyboards arrangements with very typical eighties sounds, electronic drums, and in the case of ELO, very good vocals arrangements by Jeff Lynne. In this album in particular his guitar playing was mostly put in the background by him, and more emphasis was given to the keyboards, maybe due to the absence of orchestral arrangements, a thing which also put this album as "different" in comparison to other albums from their discography.

"Caught in a Trap" is also a good song, very "programmed" in some sound terms (even the drums could have been, at least in some parts, being programmed). Again, this song has very good vocals arrangements by Jeff Lynne. It also has a brief but good keyboard solo by Richard Tandy. This song was also released (with another song called "Destination Unknown", antother B-side song which was released in the 12" version of this single) in the remastered and expanded version of their "Balance of Power" album in 2007.

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 So Serious by ELECTRIC LIGHT ORCHESTRA album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 1986
3.00 | 7 ratings

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So Serious
Electric Light Orchestra Crossover Prog

Review by Guillermo
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Well. It is curious, but sometimes I tend to like the music and albums that many people don`t like. This is the case with ELO`s "Balance of Power" album, a very underrated album by some of the Prog Rock music fans of the band. Well. I also like other types of music, so sometimes as a Prog Rock fan I "tolerate" and in fact I like some of the mostly Pop Rock music that some Prog Rock bands of the seventies recorded in the eighties. Some of that music has some good quality.

"So Serious" was played in some FM Radio stations in my city. It is a very Pop Rock song from ELO. Very characteristic from the eighties in terms of production values, but anyway with good qualities such as very good vocals and keyboards arrangements. Give good credit to very good musicians like the members of ELO to produce good music even in their last days as a band in the eighties. "Balance of Power" as an album to me was like a "bittersweet" combination of some sad lyrics and very good Pop Rock music. It still is a very special album for me from ELO`s discography.

"A Matter of Fact" in the B-side is also a good song, also very eighties in style, with very good keyboards arrangements (maybe some of them were programmed, I think). I read in the web that in fact there were two released versions of this song, one of them with alternate lyrics and maye some mixing differences, as I could listen to both of them thanks to youtube. None of the versions of this song was included in the remastered and expanded CD version of the "Balance of Power" album from 2007, but if I remember well one of them was released in the "Afterglow" Box Set from 1990, an album which I still don`t have in my record collection.

I am not a fan from most of the music which was produced in the eighties. But some very good albums like "Balance of Power" still are among my favourites.

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 On The Third Day by ELECTRIC LIGHT ORCHESTRA album cover Studio Album, 1973
3.80 | 168 ratings

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On The Third Day
Electric Light Orchestra Crossover Prog

Review by sgtpepper

4 stars The last really progressive album by ELO. I find Eldorado already too much polished and approachable.

Improvements include arrangements, potentially Lynne's voice and the overall audio sound. There is a right balance of instrumental prowess, accessibility and prog/pop/rock flair. The album starts on a high note in instrumental fashion. The minisuite lasts until New World Rising Ocean Breakup Reprise featuring great instrumental moments where drums and keyboards and orchestra stand out. Dramatic moments are supported by violoncello and deep moog tones. Showdown is a great pop yet inventive tune offering a break for attentive listener. Daybreaker is my favourite instrumental track by ELO, closest track to the traditional progressive rock albeit lighter in complexity. Keyboard work of Richard Tandy shines through. This was often played at the concerts in their early career.

Ma-ma-ma belle is a letdown for me, just as for other listeners. The last song on the album makes up for it - In the hall of the mountain king. Good choice of a classical track for a cover version.

All in all, ELO demonstrated their advanced vision of orchestra use in popular and rock music on this album and positioned it closer to the popular music unlike on their first two albums. Highly recommended and their last excellent prog album. I personally like all their albums except Discovery and Calling America which show the signs of lack of inspiration.

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 A New World Record by ELECTRIC LIGHT ORCHESTRA album cover Studio Album, 1976
3.27 | 185 ratings

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A New World Record
Electric Light Orchestra Crossover Prog

Review by thebig_E

4 stars I didn't think I would be a big ELO fan but this album has helped me get into them. One of the best collections of songs by ELO is presented on this album. Every track has nice melodies and catchy hooks. A few personal favourites are "Telephone Line", "So Fine", "Livin' Thing", and "Shangri-La".

By the time of this album's release, 1976, they had almost abandoned prog rock. The songs are much more poppy here and they have more immediacy. There is no bad song to be found on this album really, it all works.

I'm still wondering why Electric Light Orchestra would be on ProgArchives. Maybe it's because of their album Eldorado being a sort of semi-symphony. Anyway, this is a fine album with lots of hit songs that any ELO fan shouldn't be without.

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 Xanadu (Original Soundtrack) by ELECTRIC LIGHT ORCHESTRA album cover Studio Album, 1980
2.25 | 96 ratings

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Xanadu (Original Soundtrack)
Electric Light Orchestra Crossover Prog

Review by siLLy puPPy
Prog Reviewer

3 stars This is the soundtrack that everybody LOVES to hate! It's admittedly the perfect recipe for the ripest stinkiest cheese this side of the French Riviera and I for one absolutely think the movie for which this soundtrack is supposed to represent is a big fat stinker indeed. It has been a very long time since i've seen the movie and I only remember that it was so very very bad that I will not be seeing it again while I am inhaling oxygen on this good Earth.

The soundtrack however isn't as bad as all that. Far from being a masterpiece it is not the total rubbish that it's made out to be. First of all it must be taken for what it is, namely a POP album. Although the Electric Light Orchestra is on here, put all notions aside that there is anything even remotely progressive and then, unless you are closed minded to pop music in general, you may find something to enjoy here.

I have never been the hugest fan of Olivia Newton-John but can't say she makes me want to vomit chunky puke either. In fact, I think some of the best stuff i've ever heard from her is on this soundtrack. The first track and huge hit "Magic" is a phenomenal pop song and perhaps my favorite track here is the duet of her with The Tubes called "Dancin." Basically she does a vocal jazz number part reminiscent of The Andrews Sisters and trades off with a rockin' part by The Tubes. At the end they come together and do their parts simultaneously. The ELO tracks are good catchy pop sounding like any others they did during their late 70s albums. Listening to this after many many years I have to say that I haven't changed my mind that this is hardly a throwaway.

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 Rock 'n' Roll Is King / After All by ELECTRIC LIGHT ORCHESTRA album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 1983
2.00 | 1 ratings

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Rock 'n' Roll Is King / After All
Electric Light Orchestra Crossover Prog

Review by progaardvark
Prog Reviewer

— First review of this album —
2 stars Rock 'n' Roll Is King was a 45 rpm single released by the Electric Light Orchestra in June 1983. After many years of a much more synthesized (and at times "disco-ized") version of ELO, Jeff Lynne started showing signs of returning to his early rock roots with the song "Hold On Tight" on ELO's previous Time album, and now with Rock 'n' Roll Is King, off of the Secret Messages album. This single did fairly well for Lynne charting rather high on many music charts throughout the world, including making it to #2 in Poland. In the UK it made it to #13, and in the US to #19.

There really isn't anything progressive about this single. It's just another in a long series of enjoyable pop music singles dating back to the mid-1970s. As such, and also due to it being in a format not highly sought after these days, I can only recommend this to collectors. Both songs are more readily available on the 2001 edition of Secret Messages (the version with the three bonus tracks). Two stars.

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 The Night the Light Went On In Long Beach by ELECTRIC LIGHT ORCHESTRA album cover Live, 1974
3.36 | 25 ratings

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The Night the Light Went On In Long Beach
Electric Light Orchestra Crossover Prog

Review by Guillermo
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Originally only released on LP in some countries on which the band still had not played concerts then (in Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, and in Continetal Europe in France, Netherlands and Germany, as the booklet notes of the 1998 CD version say) in August 1974, this live album was recorded in 12- May- 1974 at Long Beach Auditorium in California. It was remastered and released on CD in 1998 in the UK. Despite the remastering, the recording and the mixing of this album are not very good, but not too bad. This live album was recorded during the time the band was recording their "Eldorado" album, so maybe that is the reason this live album doesn`t have any songs from that album. But it has one song from their first album ("10538 Overture"), one from their second album ("Roll Over Beethoven") and two from their third album ("Daybreaker" and Grieg`s "In the Hall of the Mountain King"), plus "Showdown" (which was previously released as a single and later also included in later pressings of their thid album in the U.K.), and three previously unreleased tracks (The Beatles` "Day Tripper"), a violin solo played along with the band ("Mik`s solo / Orange Blossom Special") and "Great Balls of Fire", which I think that it was originally recorded by Rock and Roller Jerry Lee Lewis.There is also a brief instrumental fragment of "Do Ya" (a song which Jeff Lynne and Bev Bevan recorded with The Move in 1972 but they later re-recorded it with ELO in 1976) included at the end of "10538 Overture".The band shows very well, really sounding like having a lot of fun despite not having enough time for a sound check as their equipment arrived very late to the venue before the concert due to some problems. Anyway, the arrangements are very good, particularly for "Day Tripper", with very good keyboards by Richard Tandy. Maybe this album could have been better if it was released with less covers of songs and with more original songs. Maybe at the time of release of this album Jeff Lynne wasn`t very happy with the live recordings of the band. But maybe it could have been better to re-issue the album in the CD format as a double album with more tracks recorded at that concert or at others from the same period of time. As a one CD album it really sounds as a very short in time duration live album, but it is very enjoyable anyway.

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 Showdown / In Old England Town (Instrumental) by ELECTRIC LIGHT ORCHESTRA album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 1973
2.51 | 3 ratings

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Showdown / In Old England Town (Instrumental)
Electric Light Orchestra Crossover Prog

Review by Guillermo
Prog Reviewer

3 stars "Showdown" is a song from Electric Light Orchestra which originally was released as a single in September 1973, and it reached the Numbers 12 and 53 in the U.K. and U.S. charts, respectively. It wasn`t released in the original U.K. version of their "On the Third Day" album , but was released in the U.S . version of that same album. It was later released as part of that album in very re-issue of that album. The B-side, an instrumental version of "In Old England Town" from their "ELO2" album, is a shorter version of this song without vocals on which the melody of the vocals is played in a moog synthesizer, and it includes Roy Wood on bass and cello (as the album version). I think that "Showdown" shows a gradual change from the band from their more Progressive Rock albums between 1971 and 1973 to a more commercial approach. It sounds like a Pre-Disco song with Pop Music influences. This commercial approach became more clearly established from their "Face the Music" album from 1975. At the time of the release of this single , John Lennon was once a guest in an U.S. Radio programme on which the song was being broadcasted. He said that he liked the song very much and he called it "Son of The Beatles". The B-side is more close to their Progressive Rock origins as a band.

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