Sunday, September 19, 2010

For the Birds: Bluebird Is Dead

Electric Light Orchestra: Bluebird Is Dead


Electric Light Orchestra cellist Mike Edwards died earlier this month in a freak hay bale incident.

Mike was in the band for ELO 2 and On the Third Day, the latter being one of the first albums I ever owned (as I recounted here), and I still have a soft spot for it. I didn't know it at the time, but it was probably my first taste of prog rock. This was ELO just before they became ubiquitous; before Jeff Lynne sanded down all the rough edges in his pursuit of pop perfection. It was also the last album for which ELO used its own members to create the illusion of orchestral backing. (By the next album, Lynne could afford to hire a real orchestra.) Mike Edwards was the lone cellist in the band at the time, so he had to overdub all the cello parts himself.

So I offer up "Bluebird is Dead" from On the Third Day as a tribute to one of the original rock cellists.

P.S. The photo accompanying this post is one of my own, taken earlier this year at the Negri-Nepote Native Grassland Preserve in central New Jersey.

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