Album: Electric Light Orchestra

Although ELO quickly became Jeff Lynne’s baby, it was launched as a collaboration between Lynne and his band-mates in The Move, multi-instrumentalist Roy Wood, and drummer Bev Bevan. Most histories claim that the initial idea for the spin-off group combining rock and classical music was Wood’s, not Lynne’s. Wood and Lynne split the song writing duties on Electric Light Orchestra, much as they did on late-period Move albums, but it seems like their visions of what ELO was were widely divergent. Wood’s songs are clearly more classically influenced, with the string and horn sections driving the songs rather than merely colouring them, as they do on Lynne’s tunes. The difference between Wood’s baroque “Look at Me Now” and Lynne’s hard rocking “10538 Overture” is obvious, and Lynne never wrote anything as purely classical as Wood’s “The Battle of Marston Moor (July 2nd, 1644)” in his entire career. (The Gershwin-like piano jazz of “Manhattan Rumble (49th Street Massacre)” is Lynne’s equivalent piece, and suggests an intriguing avenue he unfortunately never explored further.) This dichotomy makes Electric Light Orchestra in some ways much more interesting than later ELO albums. When Wood left to form Wizzard after the release of this album, the tension generated by that clear difference between his and Lynne’s song writing styles was gone. Later ELO albums were much more commercially successful, but they were also considerably more stylistically attenuated. As good as they are, all of the later ELO albums sound pretty much exactly alike. Electric Light Orchestra sounds like nothing either Jeff Lynne or Roy Wood did before or after, and therein lies its fascination. - Stewart Mason, allmusic - Track Listing 01 - 10538 Overture 02 - Look at Me Now 03 - Nellie Takes Her Bow 04 - Battle of Marston Moor (July 2nd 1644) 05 - 1st Movement 06 - Mr. Radio 07 - Manhattan Rumble (49th St. Massacre) 08 - Queen of the Hours 09 - Whisper in the Night Personnel Roy Wood – Vocals, cello, oboe, acoustic guitar, bass guitar, string bass, bassoon, clarinet, recorders, slide guitar and percussion. Jeff Lynne – Vocals, piano, electric guitar, percussion and bass. Bev Bevan – Drums and percussion. Bill Hunt – French horn and hunting horn. Steve Woolam – Violin. Recorded and mastered at Philips Studios, London. Produced by Roy Wood and Jeff Lynne. User-contributed text is available under the Creative Commons By-SA License; additional terms may apply.