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Old 10-15-2021, 07:51 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Thoughts on Electric Light Orchestra

Just got into them, pretty good stuff. Just wondering what folks think of them. Also, they are commonly referred to be the continuation of the Beatles, I wonder what people think of that. Did they accomplish that or was it more of a flashy "big headline".
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Old 10-15-2021, 09:02 PM   #2 (permalink)
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One of my favourite bands ever. Jeff Lynne was influenced by the Beatles, certainly, but I don't think the band was ever intended to be, nor referred to as, a continuation of the Fab Four. What Lynne and Roy Wood did was pretty unprecedented at the time, bringing in string sections - cellos, violin, woodwinds and so forth, all sorts of orchestral instruments - to pop and rock music, and it yielded them some phenomenal successes. For a time from about 1977 to 1982 they were kings of the charts, with tracks like "Mister Blue Sky", "Livin' Thing", "Don't Bring Me Down" and "Telephone Line" bossing the radio waves and selling huge numbers. Their concerts were said to be amazing affairs of light show and video effects (I never saw them live myself) and they influenced a lot of major acts too. Great band.
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Old 10-16-2021, 05:17 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Also, they are commonly referred to be the continuation of the Beatles, I wonder what people think of that. Did they accomplish that or was it more of a flashy "big headline".
They're not a continuation of the Beatles.

The thing came from Lynne being friends with George, and John saying once that "ELO started where the Beatles finished" or something.

A pretty decent band in my opinion. I was a big fan 2 or 3 years ago for some time. Much love for the track "Evil Woman", gets me every time
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Old 10-16-2021, 06:13 AM   #4 (permalink)
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What albums have you heard yet? Are you going chronologically or just choosing the most famous/best known? Check the Album Reviews section soon for their entire discography...
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Old 10-16-2021, 06:31 AM   #5 (permalink)
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ELO are a second-tier band for me. I like a lot of their songs, but I only own one album (Out of the Blue).

Talk of them being a continuation of The Beatles is nonsense. This is the sort of line dreamed up by music journalists who do not actually have anything intelligent to say about the act they are rewriting about. So Jeff Lynne listened to The Beatles a lot. So what? So did just about everyone. Tony Banks has said he listened to them a lot and that he was influenced by them, but I don't think anyone would claim that Genesis sounded anything like The Beatles.

If ELO are musically indebted to anyone, I say it would be The Moody Blues. This may be the reason ELO are not higher in my list of top bands. When I want to hear dramatic rock with a semi-classical sound, the Moodies usually scratch that itch for me.

Oh, and I doubt I will ever want to own "A New World Record", because I hate that song "Telephone Line" with a passion.
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Old 10-16-2021, 07:32 AM   #6 (permalink)
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I don't know. ELO had a much harder edge than the Moodies. The best comparison would be with the Beatles via Eleanor Rigby/I Am the Walrus/Glass Onion but, as other have noted, ELO had a sound all its own.

What albums would I recommend? I'm partial to the earlier albums (Self Titled, On the Third Day, Eldorado), but there is a lot to be said on the more commercial records of the late seventies and even into the eighties. I think they were underrated at the time and I think that had a lot to do with their long wait to get in the R&R HOF.

Anyway, great band with their own distinctive sound. Beatles influenced to be sure but still unique in their way.
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Old 10-16-2021, 10:54 AM   #7 (permalink)
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I don't know. ELO had a much harder edge than the Moodies. The best comparison would be with the Beatles via Eleanor Rigby/I Am the Walrus/Glass Onion but, as other have noted, ELO had a sound all its own.

What albums would I recommend? I'm partial to the earlier albums (Self Titled, On the Third Day, Eldorado), but there is a lot to be said on the more commercial records of the late seventies and even into the eighties. I think they were underrated at the time and I think that had a lot to do with their long wait to get in the R&R HOF.

Anyway, great band with their own distinctive sound. Beatles influenced to be sure but still unique in their way.
I did a bit more investigation. It seems the Beatles comparison originated with a comment by Roy Wood that he wanted the band to "pick up where the Beatles left off".

I'm not sure what you mean by "underrated"; they seemed to be everywhere from about 1976 to 1982 or so.

Trivium: ELO hold the record for the band with the most singles (20) in the Billboard Top 40 without ever reaching number one.

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Old 10-16-2021, 11:02 AM   #8 (permalink)
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I mean underrated in terms of history. When they talked about the great artists of the seventies, ELO seemed to be one of the ones that were omitted. Sort of like how the Zombies (another fave band of mine)were overlooked when they talked about the British Invasion. Yeah, at the time, ELO was huge, but they seemed to fade from memory a lot faster than the Eagles or Fleetwood Mac for example.
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Old 10-16-2021, 03:13 PM   #9 (permalink)
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I mean underrated in terms of history. When they talked about the great artists of the seventies, ELO seemed to be one of the ones that were omitted. Sort of like how the Zombies (another fave band of mine)were overlooked when they talked about the British Invasion. Yeah, at the time, ELO was huge, but they seemed to fade from memory a lot faster than the Eagles or Fleetwood Mac for example.
Yeah you put that how I was thinking...
ELO I only owned Out of the Blue, but that is not a reflection of the amount of my time spent listenning to them.

I can see why there's gossip/talk of the Beatles connection..stuff written like this for example:-

Cloud Nine Review by Stephen Thomas Erlewine
Teaming with legendary Beatles obsessive Jeff Lynne, George Harrison crafted a remarkably consistent and polished comeback effort with Cloud Nine. Lynne adds a glossy production, reminiscent of ELO, but what is even more noticeable is that he's reined in Harrison's indulgences, keeping the focus on a set of 11 snappy pop/rock numbers. The consistency of the songs remains uneven, but the best moments -- "Devil's Radio," "Cloud 9," "Just for Today," "Got My Mind Set on You," and the tongue-in-cheek Beatles pastiche "When We Was Fab" -- make Cloud Nine one of his very best albums.

I just enjoyed the music...
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Old 10-16-2021, 03:44 PM   #10 (permalink)
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It's pretty much nonsense really. Did the crawling ones ever use violins or cellos? Did they compose any concertos? Any concept - well, okay, but you know what I mean. When the Police hit they too were touted as "the next Beatles". It's all hype based on nothing more than a limited frame of reference for music, like how every new metal band can be described as "the new Iron Maiden" or "the new Metallica". ELO never wanted to be the "new" anything: they were unique and I believe took pleasure in being unique, in bringing classical music to the ears of people who might never have heard it otherwise, and into the mainstream of music and the charts. Sure, bands like ELP (no relation duh) and The Moody Blues did that too, but other than one major hit for the latter you couldn't really say either did anything for mainstream music. ELO did. Who can forget the cello (violin? Never sure) intro to "Livin' Thing" or the superb "Concerto For a Rainy Day" which gave way to superhit "Mister Blue Sky"?

In terms of albums, I bought them as follows (number in brackets is my rating as to how high they are on my list as essential albums)

Out of the Blue (1)
Discovery (3)
A New World Record (7)
On the Third Day (9)
Face the Music (6)
Eldorado (2)
Xanadu (11)
Time (4)
ELO (10)
ELO 2 (12)
Secret Messages (5)
Balance of Power (13)
Zoom (8)
Alone in the Universe (Haven't heard yet)
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