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Electric Light Orchestra - A New World Record CD (album) cover


Electric Light Orchestra


Crossover Prog

3.40 | 330 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
4 stars ELO is not prog but sort of innovative, mainly due to the arrangements. Often they are such horrible bubblegum pop hits. (I voted NO, but since they're here, I give the first written review of this classic pop album.) Before I had ever put a vinyl on the turntable, I was paying some attention to what my elder sis and brother played, and I remember this was at some moment my favourite album. I was eleven or twelve. Later I've listened more ELO (never getting enthusiastic) and without a doubt I can call this their (only?) masterwork.

'Tightrope' is a marvelous opener with its dramatic cello riff. It becomes clear at once how well the album is produced. 'Telephone Line' is a melancoly ballad mourning about loneliness. The quiet parts with moog and the sound of the phone when "no one's answering" almost makes one shiver. The chorus is less nice, one of many that show ELO's closeness to 50/60's syrupy pop. The official hit rockers of the album are 'Rockaria!' and 'Do Ya Do Ya'. 'Livin Thing' was also a hit and IMO a better one; again it's the stuff in-between the chorus that makes it enjoyable to ears. Jeff Lynne's skill of writing effective pop songs is undeniable.

'Above the Clouds' is a tiny song that somehow is essential to the overall charm. The city at night in the cover reflects that charm - fruit of the mastery production. The closing song 'Shangri-La' is a sweet ballad, the protagonist missing in self-pity something dear now lost. (Shangri-La refers to James Hinton's famous novel about a secret country of happiness.) When the song has faded, the music creeps back to repeat a symphonic phrase with some background choir and distant vocals. That's another magic moment of the album that made me dig it as a kid. An album which deserves a place in lists like '200 Rock/Pop Albums of All Time', not necessarily in the shelf of a prog lover.

Matti | 4/5 |


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