Friday, April 24, 2020

electricity: ELO galore

purchase [ole ELO compilation ]

As should be expected for any band that has been around for that long, Electric Light Orchestra has been through personnel changes. In fact, today's incarnation is officially Jeff Lynne's ELO and the only other original member of the 70's band who particiapted on the 2019 album is keyboardist Richard Tandy. Original members Roy Wood and Bev Bevan appear to still be involved in music one way or another.

ELO seemed like a logical choice for the theme. I mean, how many bands are there with the word <electric> in their names? More than I thought. Electric Prunes, Electric Toilet, Electric Express, Electric Elves and more.

Seems likely that most folk born after about 1990 wouldn't have many reference points for ELO, but throughout the 70 and some of the 80s, ELO was big - coming out with something like 10 top albums. Jeff Lynne is the name you would associate with the band, primarily vocals and guitars.

Wikipedia notes that when Lynne and Roy Wood started out, they aimed to mix rock and classical. The live version of Chuck Berry's <RollOverBeethoven> is a pretty good example: starts off VERY classical & essentially follows Berry's main style and showcases Lynne's abilities.

But most of ELO's hits were more melodic.
Their highest chartings were <Evil Woman>,

<Can't Get It Out of My Head>,

<Strange Magic>

and  <Sweet Talkin' Woman> - all from the mid-70s. All "pop melodic" verging on the dominant style of the decade: disco.

That said, they never made it into Rolling Stone magazine's list (and there are folks that pan the list as a result. Maybe so. I mean, they were all over the charts: 27 Top 40 songs in the UK/20 in the US)

I hadn't been following Electric Light Orchestra recently, so it comes as a kind of vindication of my choice for this theme: ELO's 2019 <From Out of Nowhere>  posted a top of the charts position at the end of 2019 - something like 35 years after their 1970's heyday. And you thought they were done for?
Lynne of course has done stints both as a sought-after producer and a member of the Travelling Wilburys

blog comments powered by Disqus