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Electric Light Orchestra

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Electric Light Orchestra Time album cover
3.42 | 299 ratings | 24 reviews | 34% 5 stars

Good, but non-essential

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Studio Album, released in 1981

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Prologue (1:15)
2. Twilight (3:35)
3. Yours Truly, 2095 (3:15)
4. Ticket To The Moon (4:06)
5. The Way Life's Meant To Be (4:36)
6. Another Heart Breaks (3:46)
7. Rain Is Falling (3:54)
8. From The End Of The World (3:16)
9. The Lights Go Down (3:31)
10. Here Is The News (3:49)
11. 21st Century Man (4:00)
12. Hold On Tight (3:05)
13. Epilogue (1:30)

Total Time: 43:38

Bonus tracks on 2001 remaster:
14. The Bouncer (3:13)
15. When Time Stood Still (3:31)
16. Julie Don't Live Here (3:42)

Line-up / Musicians

- Jeff Lynne / lead & backing vocals, acoustic & electric guitars, piano, synth, strings, producer
- Richard Tandy / piano, electric piano, synth, guitar, strings
- Kelly Groucutt / bass, backing vocals
- Bev Bevan / drums, percussion

- Rainer Pietsch / strings & strings conductor
- Ghislaine / French vocals
- Sandi Lynne / girl's voice

Releases information

Artwork: Guy Fery

LP Jet Records - FZ 37371 (1981, US)

CD Epic - EPC 460212 2 (1987, Europe)
CD Jet Records - ZK 37371 (1990, US) Remastered by Joe Gastwirt
CD Legacy - EK 85421 (2001, US) Remastered by Joseph M. Palmaccio with 3 bonus tracks

Thanks to progaeopteryx for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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ELECTRIC LIGHT ORCHESTRA Time ratings distribution

(299 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(34%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(29%)
Good, but non-essential (29%)
Collectors/fans only (7%)
Poor. Only for completionists (2%)


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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by progaeopteryx
2 stars Could ELO recover from the embarrassment of Discovery and Xanadu? I'm sure Jeff Lynne would disagree with me (as some die-hard ELO fans would) about those two dreadful albums being an embarrassment, but the answer to the question would be yes and no. Yes, because Time is a rather interesting concept album, with some of the freshest material Lynne had written since Eldorado. And the answer is also no, because the music is plainly still insipid even though they unloaded their "discoish" sound of 1979-1980. One aspect of their sound that changed significantly is a much lesser role of the trademark orchestra and a significant increase in the use of cheesy synthesizers. But that's a moot point, because again, none of the material on Time is progressive rock.

Most ELO fans will have you believe that this is one of the band's most underrated albums and I mostly agree with them on this. But that comment applies only to the pop music world because the music here is just that, pop music. Still, I think the production is high-class, the robot vocoder voices are cool in the beginning, and the concept is quite original, but that's as far as I'll go for the pluses of this release. For fans and collectors only, thus two stars. I would recommend starting with ELO II or On the Third Day if you're looking for progressive rock from this band.

Review by ClemofNazareth
3 stars Sure, this isn’t a progressive album in any real sense, but then again what music that came out in the 80’s really was? ELO rebounds well from their borderline disco Xanadu soundtrack and the rather boilerplate Discovery to produce a concept album that is actually quite listenable, and in a few places actually pretty good. I'm going to give it an extra star at the end of this review just for "Hold on Tight" and "Ticket to the Moon" - you watch me!

There’s a few minor annoyances to be sure. The over-use of voice synthesizers gets to be a bit much. It might have been an interesting addition to the album if it were used with some moderation, but right out of the gate “Prologue” kicks out with something that sounds like “Iron Man” on helium. “Yours Truly 2095” is a song about an electronic lover, and the lyrics here are really funny if you don’t take them too seriously (and really – how can you!):

“She is the latest in technology, almost mythology, but she has a heart of stone; She has an IQ of 1,001, she has a jumpsuit on, and she’s also a telephone”. Priceless.

“Twilight” is closer to normal vocals, but Lynne still sounds like he stole Thomas Dolby’s mike and added a few capacitors or something. If took a few listens before it dawned on me that the strings on this album were not the real thing. The use of synthesizers on this album is very extensive.

“Ticket to the Moon” is one of the better songs on the album. Lynne’s voice is pretty much used the way God intended (sans digital manipulation), and the theme is actually quite funny a quarter-century where we are now further away from putting a man back on the moon then we were back in 1981.

The sound on “The Way Life’s Meant to Be” is closer to Out of the Blue than it is to Discovery. This is a sort of ‘lost love’ song, and it actually has a nice beat, but you can’t really dance to it.

“Another Heart Breaks” is an instrumental of the uber-techno variety, nothing wrong with it, but it probably goes on a minute or two longer than necessary. This one doesn’t really help the theme of the record out any, and probably should have been worked into the end of “Twilight”.

“Rain is Falling” very much has the 70’s ELO sound, slightly synthetic but enough of an actual human voice and some guitar to make it at least mildly interesting.

On “From the End of the World” Lynne takes a bit of a step backwards into his recent disco past with a thumping dance beat and McCartney-meets-digital vocals. This is supposed to be some sort of dream sequence, leading into “The Lights Go Down”, which is my favorite. Kelly Groucutt kicks up a funky little bass rhythm, Lynne’s semi-falsetto voice is almost lounge-act smooth, and Bevan‘s drumbeat is well accented by Lynne’s sporadic guitar. This probably could have sold well as a single.

I guess “Here is the News” is supposed to be some kind of Orwellian inspired piece, with rather silly lyrics and more syntho vocals: “Here is the news, somebody has broken out of satellite two, here is the news, look very carefully – it may be you”. This one was released with “Ticket to the Moon” and became a Top-40 hit in the States.

“21st Century Man” is the most memorable song on the album. This is a soft tune with some decent fake piano and lots of echo. This is a bit of a progress protest of sorts, and is most marked by the distinctive soaring accompanying vocals of Groucutt and Lynne’s overdubbed falsetto.

The album closes with the rocking “Hold on Tight”, a screw-the-man anthem for the 80’s decade, apparently about a guy who’s off on an interstellar journey. This one rose to #4 in the U.S. and is still played fairly regularly on FM radio today. The lyrics are sappy, but kind of endearing (again, if you don’t take them too seriously): “It’s a long time to be gone, time just rolls on and on. When you need a shoulder to cry on, when you get so sick of trying – just hold on tight to your dreams”.

Thanks, I will.


Review by Easy Livin
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
4 stars Is this the way life's meant to be?

OK, "Time" might not be the most challenging album you'll ever hear, but it is a masterpiece of symphonic pop, and a fine concept album. Jeff Lynne gathers together some of his strongest compositions ever, adds some delightful orchestration, and comes up with an album full of tracks which stand up well as great pop songs individually. Where "Time" really succeeds though is that the songs come together to form an album which demands to heard as a complete piece.

It may seem sacrilegious to mention "Supper's ready" in the same breath, but the basic idea is the same, a number of individual pieces segued together with occasional recurring themes, to create a much stronger whole. The main difference here is that virtually any of the tracks would have enjoyed success as a single.

After the brief overture of "Prologue", we dive straight into the totally infectious "Twilight", and the mood for the album is set. "The way life's meant to be" has more than a hint of George Harrison about it, "Hold on tight" is a Wizzard like romp through a wall of sound, and "Here is the news" has some truly inspired satirical lyrics.

There are several slower ballad style songs, of which "Ticket to the moon" is the highlight. This pained sci-fi love song bemoans the fact that the ticket is "just one way", Lynne giving one of his most emotive performances ever. "21st Century man" paints a reflective picture of the future (now the now!), while "Another heart breaks" is primarily an instrumental piece, broken only by the repeated title.

There is a real temptation to dismiss "Time" as a pop album, and to judge it on a superficial basis. To do so is a real injustice, this is a truly superb piece of work by any standards. Lynne's attention to detail is constant throughout, indeed, it is ironic that were it not for the fact that his compositions are so commercially successful, he would undoubtedly gain far more recognition as a musical genius.

Review by Tom Ozric
3 stars The year is 1981 - E.L.O. had just 'got over' their alleged 'disco' phase (never listened to 'disco', not even fully sure what it is) and those particular albums don't seem to agree with me, but by the time of this release, 'Time', they seemed to have redeemed themselves somewhat. Not the sort of music I'd call 'progressive' per se, but well thought out never-the-less, with attention to detail. From the opening, 'Prologue', we are greeted with a vocoder manipulated voice (an idea they actually flogged to death on this album) backed by an attractive synth melody, giving the album a somewhat futuristic setting. The songs loosely hang together with the concept of 'time', thus giving the overall listen of the LP a certain degree of continuity, with well written songs (I always recall Buggles 'Age of Plastic' album when I listen to this) that may not strictly be the complex music prog-heads seek, but is a very intelligently performed recording. The string section of previous albums have disappeared, leaving more room for Richard Tandy's keyboard/synth work to 'fill out' the sound, Bev Bevan is still keeping to his solid, 4/4 drumbeats (his best drumming can be found on Move's 'Shazam' album IMO), the bass-lines are well constructed and played, and most everything else is left to Jeff Lynne. Peaks of the album include (in order of appearance) - 'Yours Truly, 2095', 'Ticket to the Moon' (with some proggy quiet sections, short, but sweet) 'From the End of the World', the highly melodic and memorable song 'The Lights Go Down' and 'Here Is The News'. The remaining tracks are quite enjoyable, with the lowest point being the commercial hit 'Hold on Tight' ; a neat little song which I never miss out on, but way too 'pedestrian'. The album ends appropriately with 'Epilogue' - a track which reprises the opening melody, and various parts of the album in a minute and a half, bringing to a close this chapter of Mr Lynne's musical vision. I'd recommend any of their first 3 releases before coming here, but this one is still worthwhile - 3 stars.
Review by Windhawk
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Electric Light Orchestra were one of the great bands of mainstream rock in the 70's, with the early nucleus of the band consisiting of former members from British rock band "The Move". Band leader supreme for most of the bands career was Jeff Lynne, and his love of pop greats The Beatles had a big influence on the sound of this band. The 1981 release Time was the last release from ELO that had notable commercial success, and is an album generally regarded as a weak release by the group.

Musically this release is rather confusing. Most of the songs here seems to be part of a concept story, set sometime in the future. And the album starts out with what was quite futuristic sounding tunes back in 1981, very heavy on the synths, with a clear pop approach to the songs, and with influences from symphonic prog and disco being mixed together in some driving pop songs.

But after an interesting opening, this release veers out in different directions left and right; with a rather weak reggae inspired tune, one song sounding like a slightly modernized rockabilly tune with Beatles influences, and one almost instrumental film-score sounding synth track being mixed with ballads and a couple of more tunes made in the same vein as the opening songs.

Which makes for a slightly confusing album overall; where main man Lynne's musical nods to The Beatles is more of a red thread than the synths dominating many of the songs here.

And the album is a mixed affair when it comes to song quality as well. Many songs have aged poorly; with the futuristic sounds sounding cheesy now. The first three tracks are the best ones on the album, and the ballad "Rain Is Falling" still sounds rather good. The rest of the songs really doesn't hit it now; unless you have personal memories to those songs that makes them sound better in your ears than they really are.

It's not a bad album as such though; but more of a mixed affair that was good when it was new and that hasn't aged all that well. Worth checking out for fans of the group, as well as people interested in early 80's pop with disco and prog influences.

Review by ZowieZiggy
1 stars It is not so often that I read some reviews before posting mine. What I want to say here, is that on the contrary of the feeling that this album is one of the most underrated ELO album, I would on the contrary say (when I look at the ratings) that it is substantially overrated.

Jeff is again willing to reproduce a symphonic and concept album like "El Dorado" on and on. A "Prologue" to start like in the good old days ... But, gosh ! What a miserable one. "Twilight". is one of the very few bearable track to my ears.

Disco is almost everywhere, poor melodies are reigning (what happened to you Jeff ?). If it were not such a pity, one could laugh at least. But there are no reasons to laugh. Only cry my friend.

When I selected the first fifteen bands I would review on this site, I decided to do it all the way through : from start to finish. I picked up ELO since it was a band I quite appreciated in my youth (74-76 period). How is it possible in such a short period of time to go from the Capitol to the Tarpeian Rock ?

We'll even have to suffer a reggae-ish disaster with "The Lights Go Down". Please, when will this nightmare stop ? Not with "Hold On Thight" and its ridiculous French wordings I'm afraid. I can only be glad to have reached the "Epilogue" : this one is not so bad (but lasts only for 1'31").

There are almost not a single good track on this album. Just a collection of useless songs and boring moments. A VERY weak ELO album.

Even their participation on "Xanadu" was better ! Fortunately, in these days there were real good bands emerging to avoid us being completely devastated with stuff like this. FYI, I have liked ELO quite a lot : my previous reviews speak for themselves (up to "Out Of The Blue") but this is really a bad effort to which I can only apply the one star rating.

I really had a hard time with this review (but, unfortunately there are more ELO albums to come). Sorry Jeff, but you did this, not me.

Review by progaardvark
COLLABORATOR Crossover/Symphonic/RPI Teams
2 stars Many ELO fans consider Time to be Jeff Lynne's forgotten masterpiece, and although I can see the reason why, musically it's not quite on par with A New World Record or Out of the Blue (the band's best pop albums) and a far cry from the progressive rock on their first three albums. Probably the reason they think of this as a masterpiece is because Lynne really put some effort into a fairly well-written concept (kind of on the same level as the Eldorado concept), even though Lynne admits that Time was just a contractual obligation. It basically involves a man that was transported in time from 1981 to the late 21st century, who enjoys his time there but longs for returning back to his time. It's a bit deeper than that and more involved, but takes a few listens before the concept can unfold in one's mind.

Musically Time is better than Discovery and Xanadu, but it's chiefly pop rock similar to Out of the Blue, but significantly more keyboard-based. The orchestra only seems to play a limited role and again their string trio is completely absent. If you're really into conceptual-based pop rock, Time is definitely a worthwhile purchase. Indeed, it has been claimed to be influential for Steve Winwood, Grandaddy, and the Flaming Lips. But alas, it's sorely lacking in progressive rock (no matter what the die hard fans say). Because of this I have to assign it two stars. If this were "Pop Rock Archives," it probably would be worth four stars.

Review by Cesar Inca
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Back in the early 80s, when I was a collector freshman (actually, a teenager with a few records collected), I remember "Time" being my first ELO vinyl ever. I enjoyed it very much at the time, and I still enjoy it although it is not my favorite album by a band that is not my favorite (not even in my Top 20). Yet, all things considered, being an older and wiser collector, I can regard "Time" as the last expression of real art-rock creativity by a band that had passed its prime in terms of creativity and had been undergoing a phase of artistic futility with the previous "Discovery" and "Xanadu" efforts. "Time" finds the band exploring the evidently pop-oriented trend that had somewhat got started in the overall good "A New World Record" item and ultimately deepened in the very irregular "Discovery". But this time (pun intended), Jeff Lynne and the rest of the ELO guys (three of them, since the string section had definitely been dropped out) found a consistent way to deal with its pop-related concerns: heading for a more synthesized sound and giving more room for the elaboration of clever, massive keyboard orchestrations, ELO could say that it was a powerful sounding band again. There is a certain relatedness with the sort of American AOR and British new wave that one could find each second of the day in the radio waves, but mostly, this is a recapturing of 76-78 ELO with a modern sensibility. The sequence of 'Prologue', 'Twilight' and 'Yours Truly 2095' has punch, catchiness and sensible use of synthetics - this is the sort of progressive pop that beats the inanely complex pop that Genesis (our favorite example of progressive betrayal) figured out for itself in "Abacab" and 2/5 of "Duke". 'Ticket to the Moon' is a lovely ballad with a definite Bachian feel to it, while 'The Way Life's Meant to Be' is a mid- tempo semi-acoustic piece very much in the late Beatles-meets-Wings fashion. 'Another Heart Breaks' mixes techno-pop and Pulsar-style space-rock in the framework of a slow instrumental: this is really an underrated gem in ELO's catalogue. The album's second half starts with another lovely ballad, 'Rain is Falling', less dramatic than 'Ticket to the Moon'. The up-tempo moods return with 'From the End of the World', 'The Lights go Down' and 'Here Is the News'. Since the one in the middle is just a futile attempt at recreating the spirit of white R'n'B a-la early Beatles, this leaves the former as a catchy rocker with a slight techno hint and the latter as an effective techno-rocker that wouldn't have been out of place in any 78-81 Saga album. '21st Century Man' has nothing to do with the schizoid prog anthem by King Crimson: it is a ballad that somehow replicates the solemn mood of 'Ticket', without equaling the drama - it is really a serene ballad, not a sad one. The funny 50s-style rock'n'roller 'Hold On Tight' ends the min repertoire on a positive note before the 'Epilogue' brings a properly pompous closure with calculated psychedelic effects. A very good album indeed: it was this album, not "Out of the Blue", the farewell of ELO's better days. 3.30 stars for this one.
Review by SouthSideoftheSky
3 stars A surprising return to form after several weak albums!

This is an album I would never have bothered to check out if it wasn't for some positive reviews here on Prog Archives. I did not particularly like Face The Music, A New World Record nor Out Of The Blue (all of which I rated with two stars) and Discovery I found unbearable (one star). My interest in this band is largely confined to their first four albums and I particularly like the self-titled debut (aka No Answer), On The Third Day and the conceptual Eldorado. The present album can actually be seen as a kind of follow-up to Eldorado in that both being conceptual Art Rock albums.

Time is a very nice symphonic Pop album and clearly the most interesting ELO album since Eldorado. It can certainly be considered to be a return to form for the band. The individual songs are short and not really progressive in themselves, but the way the whole album is tied together is very appealing. This album will appeal to fans of Alan Parsons Project of which several tracks remind me. Especially, From The End Of The World.

If you are new to ELO, start with the self-titled debut, On The Third Day and Eldorado and then skip directly to this one.

Review by ProgShine
COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Electric Light Orchestra (or ELO) was a band that used to deliver the perfect mix between Prog Rock and Pop music. Along with The Alan Parsons Project they were the best ones in what I call Soft Prog along the 70's.

Time (1981) is their 9th studio album and shows the band going for a new sound on the 80's. After the departure of their violin player Mik Kamiski and the album Discovery (1979) and their colaboration on the Xanadu soundtrack the band was now searching for a new sound for a new decade.

Time (1981) is a loose concept album about time-travel and the first side of the album has strong nice tracks like 'Twilight' and 'The Way Life's Meant To Be' but on the second side of the LP the tracks are lower and lower.

In the end what we have is an album that is not strong and not that weak, but ultimately only for fans. My CD version has 3 bonus tracks, but again, they were B-Sides and everybody knows that usually B-Sides are not good enough thats why they were not on the albums. Good extra for fans.

Review by AtomicCrimsonRush
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars After ELO recovered from Disco's "Discovery" and Xcruciating "Xanadu", it would be only fair to suspect that the next album would be a vast improvement. Thankfully it is and for my money this one really is consistent in quality and hides some genuine treasures within, many of which are quite unknown, and criminally not appearing on the swag of ELO compilations.

This concept album begins with the awesome majestic Prologue and Twilight. From the outset listening to this on vinyl I was totally drawn in to the wall of sound, the spaceyness and atmospheres. The sci fi elements continue on Yours Truly, 2095, and Ticket to the Moon, that are melodic and full of amazing classical textures. The Way Life's Meant to Be has a more traditional sound but is no less memorable.

The next gem on the album is on side 2, namely From the End of the World, followed y the tremendous The Lights Go Down. My favourite is definitely Here is the News with some stirring lyrics and special effects. The use of synths and echo effects along with downbeat vocal technique is memorable. It is a chilling song in some ways and I love the way it breaks into different rhythms. This is followed by a cool song 21st Century Man, though he is not schizoid here, and the smooth single that everyone heard back then, the optimistic Hold on Tight.

Overall my first ELO vinyl album here really peaked my interest in the band and listening to this again takes me back to sitting in a lounge room in my teens, with old phonograph player crackling, turning the sound up loud and closing my eyes to allow this music to soak through my system. I could never get it out once ELO entered my conscious and there was nothing like it back then.

Review by siLLy puPPy
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!

Review by TCat
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
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.

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4 stars First of all let me say I am NOT an big ELO fan, and i don't really like their 'classic' 70's output that much - even though the melodies were more then often very good, the string arrangement was something that for most cases put me off. Having said that, I must also add, I do acknowledge the ... (read more)

Report this review (#800418) | Posted by nuncjusz | Saturday, August 4, 2012 | Review Permanlink

3 stars Cheesy at times? Yes. Sometimes dated? Yes. A bit of (gulp) disco? Yes. Progressive? Barely...but yet, I can't help liking this ELO album from 1981. It has some of the catchiest lyrics and songs out there. After XANADU and ELDORADO I had all but given up on Jeff Lynne and company but this alb ... (read more)

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5 stars This is the one of the best theme albums ever recorded. The synth sounds and overall sound production is amazing. Every track is solid on this album, but must be listened to in order to appreciate the overall theme. I remember listening to the Side A of this album night after night whe ... (read more)

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3 stars A jolly good TIME Bad Mustache...check. Short shorts...check. Nose candy...check. Now, grab a hold of your Mork & Mindy lunch box and let's travel back to a silly TIME when big hair and plastic earrings were a must. In the early 80's the land of pop-rock was transitioning from the dying groov ... (read more)

Report this review (#298170) | Posted by Sgt. Smiles | Thursday, September 9, 2010 | Review Permanlink

3 stars To be honest i only bought this album cause i like the song 'Mr Bluesky' even though its not in this album, but i heard about this album so i bought it, and reall, i didnt like it. Not that its a pop and not a prog album, i just thought the songs to be uninteresting and not as strong as some of t ... (read more)

Report this review (#284266) | Posted by FarBeyondProg | Sunday, May 30, 2010 | Review Permanlink

5 stars As an ELO fan, I enjoy all of their albums and the work Jeff Lynne has had his hand on. Time is one of their perfect albums. The mixture of technology in synth work, recording technique and production values are perfectly married to some of the best songs Lynne ever wrote for the ELO project. ... (read more)

Report this review (#188056) | Posted by tacos2go | Wednesday, November 5, 2008 | Review Permanlink

1 stars This has nothing to do with prog rock and it should not be listened by nobody who was a little more expectation from music. Is just a bunch of pop music very dissapointing to a prog fan. And the disappoint is even greater when some good musician make such comercial albums. Or maybe they just can ... (read more)

Report this review (#173602) | Posted by chaos8619 | Wednesday, June 11, 2008 | Review Permanlink

3 stars Well-done, solid album of hits in a vein of Phil Collins and Co. All tracks are well composed, aranged and performed. The only problem is they are not progressive at all. 5 stars for perfomance and arrangement, 1 star for progressive inspiration. (5+1)/2 = 3 stars really! ... (read more)

Report this review (#150280) | Posted by groon | Monday, November 12, 2007 | Review Permanlink

3 stars Well, this is my first review and it's dedicated to my first ELO album. It seems a strange choice, but back in the college days everybody despised ELO as a sort of symbol of 70's worst music. I picked Time in a old-albums shop and was a little bit surprised. Actually "Twilight" was some kind o ... (read more)

Report this review (#108654) | Posted by moodyxadi | Wednesday, January 24, 2007 | Review Permanlink

4 stars "Time" is a fantastic concept album, a classic ELO album, and (because it's ELO) one of the most underrated albums in the history of rock. The lush production brims with ideas and intricacies and Jeff Lynne's consistently amazing tunesmithery does the rest. This is as good as proggy-pop-rock get ... (read more)

Report this review (#68449) | Posted by | Sunday, February 5, 2006 | Review Permanlink

3 stars Well, well, well. I must say that it is about time that ELO was added to this site. While obviously not ful-blown prog they definitely had their moments. I'd like to preface my review with a bit of info on myself. I amm a huuuuge fan of progressive rock, specifically symphonic. My favorite ... (read more)

Report this review (#64452) | Posted by | Friday, January 13, 2006 | Review Permanlink

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