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Electric Light Orchestra - Discovery CD (album) cover


Electric Light Orchestra


Crossover Prog

2.89 | 277 ratings

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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.

jamesbaldwin | 3/5 |


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