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ELECTRIC LIGHT ORCHESTRA

Crossover Prog • United Kingdom


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Electric Light Orchestra picture
Electric Light Orchestra biography
Founded in Birmingham, UK in 1970 - disbanded in 1986 - Reunited briefly in 2000/2001 - Reformed since 2014 (as "Jeff Lynne's ELO")

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...
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ELECTRIC LIGHT ORCHESTRA Videos (YouTube and more)


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Buy ELECTRIC LIGHT ORCHESTRA Music


All Over The World: The Very Best of Electric Light OrchestraAll Over The World: The Very Best of Electric Light Orchestra
Sony Legacy 2016
$24.31
$33.26 (used)
Out Of The BlueOut Of The Blue
Legacy 2008
$4.49
$3.84 (used)
TimeTime
Legacy 2010
$3.79
$7.16 (used)
Face The MusicFace The Music
Legacy 2011
$3.79
$2.53 (used)
Light Years: The Very Best OfLight Years: The Very Best Of
Sony Music Canada Inc. 2011
$7.17
$5.10 (used)
The Essential Electric Light OrchestraThe Essential Electric Light Orchestra
Sony Legacy 2011
$11.88
$7.40 (used)
ELO'S Greatest HitsELO'S Greatest Hits
CBS Associated / Jet Records 1986
$3.95
$1.38 (used)
Out of the BlueOut of the Blue
Sony Legacy 2017
$23.96
$21.27 (used)
EldoradoEldorado
Legacy 2011
$3.79
$6.93 (used)

More places to buy ELECTRIC LIGHT ORCHESTRA music online Buy ELECTRIC LIGHT ORCHESTRA & Prog Rock Digital Music online:

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)

3.61 | 248 ratings
Electric Light Orchestra [Aka: No Answer]
1971
3.56 | 226 ratings
ELO 2 [Aka: Electric Light Orchestra II ‎]
1972
3.79 | 246 ratings
On The Third Day
1973
3.87 | 351 ratings
Eldorado
1974
3.36 | 243 ratings
Face The Music
1975
3.37 | 267 ratings
A New World Record
1976
3.64 | 303 ratings
Out Of The Blue
1977
2.79 | 226 ratings
Discovery
1979
2.30 | 135 ratings
ELO & Olivia Newton-John: Xanadu (OST)
1980
3.37 | 246 ratings
Time
1981
2.59 | 155 ratings
Secret Messages
1983
2.09 | 129 ratings
Balance Of Power
1986
2.45 | 52 ratings
ELO Part II: Electric Light Orchestra Part Two
1990
2.52 | 52 ratings
ELO Part II: Moment Of Truth
1994
2.97 | 122 ratings
Zoom
2001
3.02 | 65 ratings
Jeff Lynne's ELO: Alone In The Universe
2015
2.30 | 11 ratings
Jeff Lynne's ELO: From Out Of Nowhere
2019

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

3.36 | 35 ratings
The Night the Light Went On In Long Beach
1974
1.75 | 4 ratings
Electric Light Orchestra - Greatest Hits Live [LIVE] (Electric Light Orchestra Part II: post ELO)
1992
1.98 | 7 ratings
One Night, Live in Australia (Electric Light Orchestra Part II: post ELO)
1996
1.88 | 5 ratings
Greatest Hits Live, Part II: The Encore Collection
1998
3.16 | 17 ratings
Live at Winterland '76
1998
1.78 | 11 ratings
Live at Wembley '78
1998
4.07 | 18 ratings
Live at the BBC
1999
3.00 | 2 ratings
The BBC Sessions
1999
2.50 | 7 ratings
greatest Hits Of E.L.O.- Part II
2001
1.25 | 4 ratings
Strange Magic (Electric Light Orchestra II: post ELO)
2003
3.55 | 11 ratings
Electric Light Orchestra Live
2013
3.92 | 13 ratings
Jeff Lynne's ELO - Wembley or Bust
2017

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

2.08 | 6 ratings
Live (Electric Light Orchestra Part II: post ELO) (VHS)
1991
3.60 | 5 ratings
The Very Best of ELO
1991
3.23 | 12 ratings
"Out Of The Blue" Tour Live At Wembley / Discovery
1998
3.68 | 21 ratings
Zoom Tour Live
2001
2.67 | 6 ratings
Access All Areas (Electric Light Orchestra Part II: post ELO)
2003
3.22 | 8 ratings
Live: The Early Years
2010
4.50 | 6 ratings
Wembley or Bust
2017

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

3.43 | 11 ratings
Showdown
1974
3.27 | 15 ratings
Olé ELO
1976
2.64 | 12 ratings
The Light Shines On
1977
2.82 | 30 ratings
Greatest Hits
1979
0.00 | 0 ratings
The Light Shines On Vol. 2
1979
3.08 | 5 ratings
Classics
1990
3.23 | 14 ratings
Afterglow
1990
3.48 | 5 ratings
Burning Bright
1992
3.96 | 7 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 | 2 ratings
The Best of Electric Light Orchestra
1996
4.00 | 3 ratings
The Gold Collection
1996
3.13 | 10 ratings
Light Years, The Very Best Of
1997
1.50 | 2 ratings
Beyond The Blue
1999
0.00 | 0 ratings
Flashback
2000
2.26 | 4 ratings
The Essential ELO
2003
4.45 | 11 ratings
ELO 2/Lost Planet
2003
3.91 | 15 ratings
All Over The World: The Very Best Of Electric Light Orchestra
2005
4.14 | 5 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
3.21 | 9 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)

4.17 | 6 ratings
Roll Over Beethoven / Queen of the Hours
1973
2.60 | 7 ratings
Showdown / In Old England Town (Instrumental)
1973
3.00 | 2 ratings
Daytripper / Daybreaker
1974
3.00 | 1 ratings
Can't Get It Out Of My Head
1974
4.00 | 2 ratings
Rockaria!
1976
4.00 | 1 ratings
Mr. Blue Sky
1977
4.50 | 2 ratings
Turn to Stone
1977
0.00 | 0 ratings
The ELO EP
1978
2.05 | 3 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 | 12 ratings
Calling America (single)
1986

ELECTRIC LIGHT ORCHESTRA Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Out Of The Blue by ELECTRIC LIGHT ORCHESTRA album cover Studio Album, 1977
3.64 | 303 ratings

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Out Of The Blue
Electric Light Orchestra Crossover Prog

Review by Jochanan

3 stars After many years of avoiding ELO's production of the second half of the 70's, and rather prefering the first half with the Eldorado highlight, I finally found enough courage to go through the "sweet" disco era.

I got interested in this 2 LP album to start with. And I find the album very pleasant, listening-friendly, colourful and idea-full. It showed me nice idea- It is better to do sincere and common stuff than trying to create something sophisticated, but failing, because it is not just my true way:

There comes to me a comparison of this album with ELO2. The average length of songs on ELO2 is somwhere about 8 minutes per song (which is an utter rarity for ELO :-)), I found the album empty and rigid- Roll over Beethoven could have been done within 5 minutes IMO, avoiding boring repetions, but that's a different story. I believe that Roy Wood's departure meant death of progressivity with ELO. Trying to be proggresive for Jeff Lynne and his band was not the way. Jeff Lynne's recipe is Sweet Talking Woman, Living Thing, a little bit of Fire on High and then some Xanadu and Mr. Blue Sky.

I pricked up my ears for some Gilmourish guitar solo, for an Emersonish keyboard solo, for some improvisation and they are very very scarce. What is rather important is consciousness in composing and richness of sound. Eveything here is neat, yes, there are a lot of ideas and colours, but they are subtle, somehow balanced. It is like a sightseeing in a tour bus. It's comfortable. You are taken everywhere and told everything imporatnt. Everything is safe: "See, there's museum, and there's parliament, and there's the oldest bookshop in the city and see- there's city park".

So, I want to say that I enjoy the sightseeing ride, it is sincere and fresh. My favourite higlights are Sweet Talking Woman, Believe Me Now, Sweet is the Night with beautiful Jeff's background singing and Concerto for a Rainy Day for its violin parts. It's better than 3 ***, but I don't want to give it 4, I don't know, all the songs are good, but in the end, it doesn't matter if they are part of this album, or that best of, or other platinum collection cd- 3,5 is a deal.

 ELO & Olivia Newton-John: Xanadu (OST) by ELECTRIC LIGHT ORCHESTRA album cover Studio Album, 1980
2.30 | 135 ratings

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ELO & Olivia Newton-John: Xanadu (OST)
Electric Light Orchestra Crossover Prog

Review by patrickq
Prog Reviewer

3 stars First and foremost, it should be made clear that Xanadu: From the Original Motion Picture Soundtrack is not a prog-rock album. At all. It's really not even a "crossover prog" album. As siLLy puPPy and other reviewers have stated, this is a pop album, half of which is performed by the Electric Light Orchestra (ELO), a sometime semi-prog group. I'll also mention that although it was released in 1980, this is not a stereotypical eighties record; it's a big-production late-1970s album with live musicians, orchestral overdubs - - each and every one of the proverbial nine yards. Luckily for the producers, this (presumably) big-budget product was a hit, reaching #4 in Canada and the US, #2 in the UK, and #1 in Australia and several European countries. Furthermore, in the summer and fall of 1980, Xanadu spawned five top-twenty hits on the Billboard Hot 100 and six top-forty hits on the UK Official singles chart - - not to mention hundreds of thousands of copies in other countries.

One more bit of background: the first side of the album (not "Side One," but the "ONJ Side") is performed by Olivia Newton-John. Two of the five songs she performs solo; each of the others is co-performed with a well-known act. The "ELO Side" has four songs by ELO and one by ELO with lead vocals by Newton-John.

As is so often the case, the singles from Xanadu tend to be the strongest. Among the minor hits, ELO's "Don't Walk Away" and the Newton-John/Cliff Richard duet "Suddenly," both aimed at the adult-contemporary market, are decent tunes, although neither is among anybody's greatest or most-remembered hits. Two other ELO songs did a bit better on the charts: "I'm Alive" (#20 UK, #16 US) and "All Over the World" (#11,13), and both are fantastic pop-rock numbers. Among ELO's six US top-forty hits from August 1979 to 1980 (beginning with "Don't Bring Me Down"), these are easily the best. An added plus is that "I'm Alive" seems to relate specifically to the movie: it's said to underpin a scene in which ancient characters come to life.

The two biggest hits from Xanadu are also wonderful pop songs, and each relates to the otherworldly theme of the movie. "Magic" is one of Olivia Newton-John's absolute best songs (in my opinion only "Make a Move on Me" is better); its chart success (#1 for four weeks in the US and for two in Canada) was no accident. And someone should give John Farrar, who wrote and produced the song, a medal for the guitar part he plays beginning at 3:11 of the album version. Her follow-up single was "Xanadu," a #1 hit in at least eight European countries. I was a kid when it came out and I must have heard it a thousand times before I realized that it was, in effect, an ELO song - - down to Jeff Lynne's backing vocals and Louis Clark's orchestral arrangements - - with Newton-John singing leads.

Although it's not quite at the level of "Magic," "I'm Alive," or "All Over the World," my pet song on this album is "Dancin'," credited to Olivia Newton-John with the Tubes. Indeed, four members of that band are credited on the track: singer Fee Waybill, keyboardist Michael Cotton, and guitarists Roger Steen and Bill Spooner. Coming as it did after what many fans consider the Tubes' masterpiece Remote Control, "Dancin'" is probably seen as the beginning of the end of the group. But I love it. It's essentially a faux mash-up; first Newton-John performs a 1940s dance number; then the Tubes cut in with an opposing, then-modern rock song. Back to Newton-John, then back to the Tubes, and then both sections, revealed to be mating parts, are played simultaneously. Very clever.

Rating Xanadu has been tough. It has five very strong songs, and five ho-hum tunes. It doesn't especially hang together as an album, but many of the songs were obviously written expressly for the movie, which is something I appreciate.* I guess it's one good song short of a four-star album. But it's good. ELO fans should definitely have this one, as should fans of late-1970s / early-1980s soundtracks.

====

*I'm not saying I appreciate the movie, btw. I've only seen a few scenes and they're not too promising.

 Jeff Lynne's ELO: From Out Of Nowhere by ELECTRIC LIGHT ORCHESTRA album cover Studio Album, 2019
2.30 | 11 ratings

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Jeff Lynne's ELO: From Out Of Nowhere
Electric Light Orchestra Crossover Prog

Review by TCat
Collaborator Eclectic Team

2 stars "From Out of Nowhere" is the 2nd album released under the moniker "Jeff Lynne's ELO" and was released on October 31, 2019. This album continues along the same lines as the previous album also released under the same name. The music is very radio- friendly, Beatle-esque, and completely accessible. Lynne performs all vocals and instrumentals, except for Steve Jay who helps on percussion and engineering.

There are 10 tracks, all of them in the 3-minute mark, with a total run time of 32 minutes. The drums are all pretty much programmed and sound like the drum machines of the 1980's. As a matter of fact, all of the tracks sound like they could have come from any of the albums that came from that era, and those albums were unfortunately the most commercial of all of them. Now the music only sounds uninspired, dated, and even worse than what it did back then. Every one of these songs sounds like it was put through an automatic song maker machine. There is no emotion and the music doesn't even evoke any sense of nostalgia from the 80's, from The Beatles or from Roy Orbison.

Unless you are a big fan of the ELO of the 80s, there is really nothing much of interest here.

 Electric Light Orchestra [Aka: No Answer] by ELECTRIC LIGHT ORCHESTRA album cover Studio Album, 1971
3.61 | 248 ratings

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Electric Light Orchestra [Aka: No Answer]
Electric Light Orchestra Crossover Prog

Review by siLLy puPPy
Collaborator PSIKE, JR/F/Canterbury & Eclectic Teams

4 stars By the time Jeff Lynne got to recording and releasing the very first ELECTRIC LIGHT ORCHESTRA album, the idea for the band had been on the drawing board for quite a few years. After all, Lynne's modus operandi from his late 60s days in the band Idle Race was to replicate all those brilliant harmonic laced melodies so perfectly executed by The Beatles only the ones that were accompanied by the lush symphonic orchestration of classical instruments. However at the time The Beatles was still an active band, Idle Race was a great gig so Lynne hadn't didn't exactly have the freedom to bring his musical visions into reality. It was during these same years when Lynne had met Roy Wood who himself had considerable success with his own progressive pop band The Move. The two hung out for many years before they decided that their musical interests were so aligned that they simply must join forces.

While the whole ELO thing had been the plan from the start, how could a hugely successful band like The Move be broken up in its prime? The answer was for Lynne to join The Move and become one of the principle songwriters which gave the two albums "Looking On" and "Message From The Country" a completely different style than the band's first two albums. It was during these days that the ideas for the future ELO started pouring in. Despite tracks like "10538 Overture," the very first track on the very first ELO album having been written and recorded al the way back in 1970 for inclusion on one of The Move's albums, it instead was shelved until the ELECTRIC LIGHT ORCHESTRA was formed due to the fact that it perfectly encapsulated the prospects of a future ELO (the band name had been planned from the start.)

This was all laid out meticulously by Wood and Lynne and after the release of "Message From The Country," the fourth and final album from The Move, Wood decided to switch gears. Despite The Move still cranking out singles and existing officially, ELO was born and became the focus of Lynne and Wood. As they juggled the interests of both bands for a short time, ELO obviously won out and The Move was retired. Going along for the ride was drummer / percussionist Bev Bevan who as a founding member would also stick around for the majority of ELO's existence unlike Wood who would immediately depart after this debut that was released twice with two different titles. First time out was on the 1st of December 1971 as a self-titled album but due to a hilarious error with United Artists Records, an executive mistook some notes that had NO ANSWER written on it and presumed it was the title, therefore the album was released in March 1972 under that title in the USA.

Any fans of ELO will surely get to this debut eventually which stands out like a sore thumb in the band's canon. Noticeably less slick and polished than what even was created on the following "ELO 2," NO ANSWER was primarily crafted by the trio of Roy Wood, Jeff Lynne and Bev Bevan, all from The Move. Wood became quite the multi-instrumentalist as his personal collection of exotic instruments continued to grow. He mastered the cello, classical guitar, bass, double bass, oboe, bassoon, clarinet, recorder and slide guitar, all rather strange instruments to be included on a rock album but are showcased on NO ANSWER with superb performances. Lynne contributed the more traditional rock instruments such as piano, electric guitar, acoustic guitar, percussion, bass and Moog synthesizer. Bevan provided the lion's share of the drums, percussion as well as timpani. Two other members were recruited for even more unconventional sounds for a rock album. Bill Hunt was featured on French horn, hunting horn and piccolo trumpet and Steve Woolam provided the unconventional role of the violin.

All of the instruments stood out amongst the rock world even in the wildly experimental times of the early 70s. What would have usually been played on guitars in a typical rock band were replaced by a "sawing" cello and the myriad wind instruments conspired to create what many have called "Baroque-and-roll," which ironically were inspired by Tony Visconti's orchestral arrangements in The Move. Given that the members were for the most part unfamiliar with the the proper techniques of playing classical instruments, they pretty much made it up as they went along and although the sessions were riddled with headaches, the members were determined to bring the vision to life despite some of ELO's most grueling session workouts. The results of all this novice intro to classical music composition ensured that NO ANSWER existed in its own world with only Beatles' references in the melodic hooks and harmonic interplay keeping it grounded in the zeitgeist of the early 70s.

Overall the tracks are quite bold and daring and quite different from one another. NO ANSWER ranges from a more familiar ELO sounds of their future as a hybridized rock band with the electric guitar domination of the opening "10538 Overature" however right away the chugging cello riffs that usurp what would usually be performed on an electric bass give the album an instant exotic flair all the while sucking you in with suave seductive melodic hooks with all the Beatle-isms they could muster up. The second track "Look At Me Now' takes on a much more authentic Baroque feel being mostly composed of wind instruments and the cello whereas "Battle Of Marston Moor" exists almost exclusively in the classical world with Wood strutting his multi-instrumental skills to the max. "Manhattan Rumble" stands out as adopting some sort of tango beat while the dramatic piano and screeching violin sound like some sort of soundtrack to one of the Godfather films.

Personally i think this debut is woefully under appreciated. True that the future sounds of ELO fit the band's persona but this one stands out as one of the coolest experimental pop rock album's i've ever heard and a substantial improvement in writing skills compared to the final installation of The Move's canon. The album was roughly divided into Lynne and Wood sharing songwriting duties. Lynne's are the catchier more accessible tracks like "Nellie Takes Her Bow," "Mr Radio" and "Queen of the Hours" whilst Wood's are the choppier forays into yester-century with tight cello chugs and wind rich tunes such as "Look At Me Now," "The Battle of Marston Moor" and "Whisper In The Night." This one has long been one of my favorite exotic sounding albums and ranks high if i were to make a list for my favorite ELO albums. Unlike anything they did afterwards due to Wood leaving the band so soon as Lynne wrested complete domination, NO ANSWER was not only the perfect album to connect what The Move released prior with the future sounds of ELO but also demonstrated that the sounds of The Beatles lived on beyond the solo albums of its respective members. Not a bad track on this one.

 Time by ELECTRIC LIGHT ORCHESTRA album cover Studio Album, 1981
3.37 | 246 ratings

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Time
Electric Light Orchestra Crossover Prog

Review by TCat
Collaborator Eclectic Team

2 stars The thing about Electric Light Orchestra is that there are fans out there that just can't let go of them. By the time "Time" came out, ELO and Jeff Lynne had sold themselves out to your basic pop music based loosely off of their unique sound. This album might sound good to the masses, but all semblance of progressive rock had left the band's sound by 1981, some people survived the disco era, but it was only a few of the classic bands that would be able to make music as good as they did in the glory days. Oh yes, they are out there, but ELO wasn't one of them. Part of the problem there is that they pretty much gave up on their best output only after their 2nd album. That's not to say that some of those albums weren't any good, most of them had some great music on them, just not up to the progressive standard of the debut album and the second album.

"Time" however, really didn't have much of a chance. Sandwiched in between disco and new wave, they did their best to sound current. They actually did very well because music sales were out through the roof. But the band would also die one hundred deaths, especially when it was discovered that most of their music in concert was pre-recorded. Back then, something like that meant something, even in pop music, but it had a devastating effect on ELO and they actually disbanded when ticket sales plummeted. These days, pop music in concert is pretty much all prerecorded and fans will pay a pretty penny even if its just to see their heroes lip sync.

Anyway, by the time this album came out, I had lost all hope in ELO. The last album that I bought was "Out of the Blue" and, even though it wasn't really progressive either, at least all of the songs still had some heart and variety to them. Each one of the songs on that big double album had its own personality. That all died after that album, and I just couldn't see the point of buying a record full of songs that all sounded the same and had no heart. So, needless to say, I didn't and still don't like this album. Lynne still borrowed from his inspirational artists like The Beatles and Roy Orbison and on and on, but at least, even in their most commercial years, those artists still had soul in their music.

For those who are wondering, Time has nothing progressive on it, and the songs are performed with no emotion. A robot could perform these songs and not sound any different. The fans love it though as do lovers of commercial music, so it gets 2 stars at least.

 Discovery by ELECTRIC LIGHT ORCHESTRA album cover Studio Album, 1979
2.79 | 226 ratings

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Discovery
Electric Light Orchestra Crossover Prog

Review by jamesbaldwin
Prog Reviewer

3 stars "Discovery" is the first record I've listened by "Electric Light Orchestra": I was a teen ager so I'm fond of it. It's a symphonic melodic pop album, where orchestral arrangements are entrusted to Richard Tandy (who plays piano and electric piano) and Louis Clark. All tracks are composed by Jeff Lynne, who sings and plays guitars, piano, synths (and he is the producer). He does everything. With this Lp ELO reached a big commercial success on pop charts.

"Shine A Little Love" has an excellent melody, and shows the clean and smooth, but also layered sound of the ELO. Excellent rhythm section, drums and bass, on which develops an engaging melody sung in falsetto with strings and synths in the background. All with a lightness that touches parody. A blinding music for young people who want to relax with the melody and dance with the rhythm. Vote 8.

The second song ("Confusion", vote 6,5/7) is a weak mid-tempo ballad, built on drums and keyboards. The third ("Need Her Love") is a romantic song, forbidden to diabetics, but very well arranged. From the point of view of the composition it's very well taken care of and if you enter with the heart in the artifact sound (voice treated, synth, choirs in falsetto, emphatic atmosphere) of the track (or of the entire album?), it sounds nice. Vote 7,5/8.

"The Diary Of Horace Wimp" is a piece in perfect English style, that could have written McCartney, with an extremely ruffian text, with an electronic sound due to the synth, and which however has a beautiful progression. I remember that when I was young I was ecstatic listening to this song. The story of the loser Horace who meets a girl and get married is really naughty and goliardic. Prohibited to those over 25 years. Vote 7,5/8. End of side A.

Side B opens with (maybe) the best song of the album: "Last Train To London". It is a track with a fast and pounding rhythm, perfect background with bass and synth, refrain in the upbeat with highlighted by the strings. Keyboards solo. In 1979 you could dance in disco listening to a song with orchestral arrangement like this. And be happy. Vote 8+.

"Midnight Blue" is another romantic ballad, this time more serious than "Need Your Love" (despite the synth that speaks). The melodies certainly do not lack on this record. The Beatles come to mind again. And even the choirs in falsetto, Bee Gees style. Vote 8.

"On The Run" is a sort of "Confusion" with twice as fast rhythm. It's maybe the less significant song on the record. Electronic carpet. Vote 6+. "Wishing" has an atmosphere that confirms its title: it is dreamy, dreamlike, thanks to the sound of the keyoboards. It has a piano solo, a languid melody, supported by the strings. Vote 7+.

"Don't Bring Me Down" (vote 7) is a different track from the others: much more rowdy, as it is based on percussion (Bev Bevan) and not on the melody. It is very pounding: at his time it must have made epoch in discos where they played disco music. I remember it in the soundtrack of the movie "Donnie Brasco", with Al Pacino and Johnny Depp, while (if I'm not mistaken) the two protagonists are driving a car after one of their hits.

The Lp ends in decline. The first side was better. Anyway, the music is catchy, melodic, pop, captivating, with baroque arrangements at the edge of the parody... in practice reminiscent of the Beatles (in particular McCartney), but with the late seventies style: falsetto choirs in "Saturday Night Fever" style. Discovery is Beatles + Bee Gees. Plus orchestral (strings) arrangements. In fact, success assured.

Medium quality of the songs: 7,44. Vote: 7+. Three Stars.

 Electric Light Orchestra [Aka: No Answer] by ELECTRIC LIGHT ORCHESTRA album cover Studio Album, 1971
3.61 | 248 ratings

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Electric Light Orchestra [Aka: No Answer]
Electric Light Orchestra Crossover Prog

Review by GruvanDahlman
Collaborator Heavy Prog Team

3 stars When The Move was laid to rest Electric Light Orchestra was born. Jeff Lynne and Roy Wood got on with business but with a slight change in direction. The eclectic but heavy rock of The Move was replaced by a far mor progressive approach which had a strong flavor of The Beatles. I have heard or read that their intention was to take the legacy of The Beatles and revive it, as a sort of covers band but with original material. Did they succeed? Well, there are an abundance of Beatles paraphernalia but that can easily be put aside and instead I hear a highly original band that concentrated on some sort of baroque flavored progressive pop-rock that is both, as a whole, unfocused but very pleasant and listenable. ELO would become megastars, once Wood had left and Lynne shaped things up and brought the ship into waters of his own making. I think that this, the first, album is by far the most interesting and exciting of all ELO albums. That is not to say that it holds their best material, because it doesn't, but the experimentation and oddities found on here is mesmerizing. In many ways the album expresses the early prog movements eclectic side where everything goes and the will, need or urge to explore any and all genres and directions are evident.

The album kicks off with the only track usually included on "Greatest hits" albums of the band, "10538 Overture". The name is grand and pompous, like it ought to be. I hear a lot of the ELO to come in this track. A track that is forceful in a poppy way with a prominent violin. It is a magnificent opener, but really not one of my favorites. "Look at me now is a fine track in it's own right with baroque instrumentation. It's like queen Elizabeth I were to hire some minstrels and demand they play 20th century pop music. The result is not bad at all. A really fine track with som wonderful time changes and stabs of strings.

The first really amazing track is the dancehall-esque "Nellie takes her bow", blending the popular music of the early 20th century with all the ingredients of early prog. A weird, off-beat section with brass and string instruments that goes off the wall. The melody is amazing and I love this track to bits. It is perfect in every way. Dramatic, surprising and pushes the boundaries a bit. There are remnants of The Move on here but to me that is only the great finishing touch to a perfectly constructed prog song, laced with pop and classical music.

Another favorite, though of totally different reasons, is "The battle of Marston Moor". The English Civil War is a period in history that is fascinating, with a king being decapitated and Cromwell on his high horses. The track opens up with a dramatic spoken intro before a forceful and (a bit) strange instrumental section tells the story of, I suppose, the battle itself. It is really not one of prog's finest hour but still it manages to do the job and offer a baroquely progressive moment in time that is quite unique. You could argue that this is as close to the likes of Gentle Giant and Gnidrolog ELO would come and maybe that is a fair point to make.

"First movement" is a great little instrumental of which there is little to say other than it's nice. "Mr. Radio" once again harkens back to times gone by and evokes images of the 30's and 40's popular music, laced with a bit of The Beatles and wrapped up in Lynne's vision of music. "Manhattan rumble" is sort of avant garde, but only slightly. Interesting piece and surely one of the more proggier of the album, along with "Battle of Marston Moor" and "Nellie takes her bow". The track "Queen of the hours" is more in the pop direction but with a slight Kinks-ish touch. Great track. The ending "Whisper in the night" is a beautiful way to end an album of a wonderfully disjointed character.

To conclude I would say that this is not the ELO one is accustomed to, so do not expect to hear the carefully recorded studio albums of years to come. What you get is a moment in time, a photograph of the infancy of ELO. The raw product, the rough sound and heartwarming vision is unique in the discography and offers so much more. I am a fan of ELO through the years but this is my favorite album. I adore everything on it but still I cannot say that it is an essential album in any sense. If you like ELO and want to explore their humble beginnings, do have a listen, but as far as prog goes there are other, better albums. Having said that I'll give it three stars but add that my love of the album holds no limits.

 Zoom by ELECTRIC LIGHT ORCHESTRA album cover Studio Album, 2001
2.97 | 122 ratings

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Zoom
Electric Light Orchestra Crossover Prog

Review by TCat
Collaborator Eclectic Team

2 stars This is Electric Light Orchestra's return, though it was without the orchestra, only Jeff Lynne singing and playing all instruments, plus a few guests. Jeff said it was a return to form to the old ELO sound, but he didn't mention it was a return to the "Out of the Blue" era sound, not the Electric Light Orchestra I or II sound, which was their two best album, their first two. "Out of the Blue" was enjoyable, if not poppy, but nothing was even close to interesting after that.

So since this is a return to the "Out of the Blue" sound, it is somewhat enjoyable but it is also mediocre and boring at other times. The songs that harken back to the doo-wop or rockabilly sounds are the best, like "In My Own Time" and "Easy Money". Also, "Just For Love" actually tries to pull some of the sound of the "Showdown" era, so it's not bad. The songs have some variation to them at least, but all of the songs come in under 4 minutes, so there is no development here. Also, the songs tend to wear thin by the half way point, and become boring. It sounds like he was just trying to fill up a CD after track 7. He tries to emulate The Beatles and comes out sounding like the "Cracker Jack Plastic Beatles Substitute" version. Doesn't help that he has half of The Beatles on here either.

If you like the simple, pre-disco days of ELO, then you will enjoy this. If you like the progressive sounds of ELO's debut and Electric Light Orchestra II albums, then you will be sorely disappointed. It is a little better than the disco years, but not as good as "Out of the Blue" and "A New World's Record". That should give you an idea. Yes he tries, but most of the time it sounds forced, where before it was more natural. No prog. Nothing inventive. Fans can have this one, and hold on to my favorite three songs.

 Time by ELECTRIC LIGHT ORCHESTRA album cover Studio Album, 1981
3.37 | 246 ratings

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Time
Electric Light Orchestra Crossover Prog

Review by siLLy puPPy
Collaborator PSIKE, JR/F/Canterbury & Eclectic Teams

5 stars The late 70s had been a roller coaster ride of success for Jeff Lynne and his ELECTRIC LIGHT ORCHESTRA as they shifted gears from the more classically induced take on Beatles harmonies and experimental pop to the more sophisticated produced disco pop right out of the Abba playbook that made them extremely successful. After the growing fan base that the band had gained from their hugely popular albums like "New World Record" and "Discovery," it seemed that ELO had gone totally disco pop and sold their soul to the devil. This mood was only amplified by their collaboration with Olivia Newton-John on the soundtrack to the lackluster movie "Xanadu." However into the 80s following all the increasing blandification into the ever sterilizing world of the pop music world, Lynne was utterly exhausted from the direction the record label was steering ELO and all that stemmed from all the world that casted their gaze and attention upon their endless tours, stream of top 40 hits and Beatle-esque harmonic ear worms. On TIME, Lynne focused on the futuristic effects of synthesizers which creates layers of pleasing counterpoints placing it firmly in the period of which it was composed while allowing the liberties of embellishing it with the concepts of time travel.

After a trilogy of albums that focused on banal lyrics and often saccharine pop hooks, ELO retrograded back to their more progressive years and opted to follow in the footsteps of their concept album phase as heard on "El Dorado." As their first album of the 80s, TIME turned back the clock while intrepidly racing towards the future as a concept album that takes a man from the 1980s and catapults him into the year 2095 where he struggles with not only the anachronistic longing for the past but also struggling with acclimation to the technological advances of the future. While the theme of the album is clearly set in another century as heard on the super slick futuristic synthesizer sophistication of tracks like "Yours Truly 2095" and "Here Is The News," there is just as much reflection on the past. Not only in Jeff Lynne's personal life lyrically speaking with much of the turmoil surrounding his career as the leader of the ELO outfit adding an element of emotional reflection but also musically speaking as TIME is an outright salute to the great artists of the 50s, 60s and 70s covering the spectrum of everyone from the ubiquitous harmonics delivered in the perfect cross-pollinating forces of The Beatles, Queen as well as The Beach Boys as well as a healthy dose of old school pop artists such as Roy Orbison on tracks like "The Way Life's Meant To Be."

TIME is not only a beautifully crafted journey into the future with the production taking all kinds of liberties of crossing every "t" and dotting every "i" with every pop sensibility explored to the nth degree but also by creating some of the most sophisticated ELO ear worms of their entire career leaving absolutely no note on this release without an addictive coating! The tracks are all reminiscent of the true classic bands whether it take form of The Beatles in "Rain Is Falling" or a disco laden Donna Summer feel (from "I Feel Love") on "From The End Of The World," or the rockabilly 50s feel of their single "Hold On Tight," TIME manages to celebrate the harmonic and pop achievements of the previous three decades all the while adding progressive touches that embellish TIME to a new level of ambitiousness. It's almost as if the band felt the finality of their career and were going for the pop hook jugular and with TIME i personally find that they achieved exactly what they set their sights for.

It was never a secret that Jeff Lynne's ambition after departing from The Move in the early 70s that his goal with his ELECTRIC LIGHT ORCHESTRA was to take the classical ambitions of The Beatles and expound these possibilities into a blossoming fruition, however with most albums ELO failed to deliver entirely cohesive and satisfying albums with extremely satisfying pop hooks surrounded by mediocrity that resulted in dysfunctional and derailing filler. On TIME, Jeff Lynne and the band totally went for it and created an entire album of equally satisfying tracks that not only navigate a saga of a futuristic concept but at last deliver upon the ideals set forth with the band's formation with extremely strong pop hooks interspersed with vocal harmonies off the hook, production values that audiophile dreams are made of and perfectly paced rhythmic cadences that create their absolute zenith of musical creativity. Personally, i find TIME to be the absolute best example of the ELO sound with every possible ingredient sifted into its proper place. TIME is the perfect mix of synth pop, disco, new wave, retro old school rock 'n' roll mixed with progressive rock and rock opera to create one of my absolute most favorite progressive pop albums of the ages. This is one that i literally have to let play out in its entirety if i dare put it on for one track and then i want to hear it again!

 Eldorado by ELECTRIC LIGHT ORCHESTRA album cover Studio Album, 1974
3.87 | 351 ratings

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Eldorado
Electric Light Orchestra Crossover Prog

Review by Walkscore

3 stars ELO's Third-Best Album.

The best of their smooth AOR period, which began with the previous album (On the Third Day) and never let up, Eldorado is a very listenable and accessible, yet still progressive, concept album. They must have felt some pressure to live up to the expectations set by their name and use of strings, and so wrote a musically-intricate long suite that weaves together themes very nicely. But don't misunderstand - this album shares the same smooth highly-produced AOR sound as those albums that would follow. It thus has more in common sonically and musically with Face the Music, and Out of the Blue, than with ELO I or ELO II, despite its deliberate progressive concept. It begins and ends with the brief Eldorado overture, a great piece of music and one that immediately marks this as touch more serious that your typical commercial album. In between are a number of short songs, yet most of these segue together to form a continuous listening experience. These include the hit single "Can't Get It Out of My Head", as well as similarly accessible songs like "Boy Blue" and "Poor Boy". The song "Eldorado" is one of the best here. I personally wish they had included more of the instrumentals. The CD edition I have includes a 7-minute extended instrumental Eldorado medley, and a short instrumental "Dark City", both of which are better than anything released on the actual album (!) These instrumentals would have been great to include in the actual album on first release. But I guess the band or record company really wanted to make sure more commercial audiences and radio corporations were not turned off, and so left those off the original release. But regardless, I still think it (the original album) is up there among ELO's better albums. It is the best of their post-1972 commercial period, and the third-best overall (after ELO I and ELO II). I give this ablum 7.5 out of 10 on my 10-point scale, which translates to 3 PA stars.

Thanks to yanns for the artist addition. and to Quinino for the last updates

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