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Vadim Savin
Vadim Savin

Elo Elo


The Electric Light Orchestra (ELO) are an English rock band formed in Birmingham in 1970 by songwriters and multi-instrumentalists Jeff Lynne and Roy Wood with drummer Bev Bevan. Their music is characterised by a fusion of pop and classical arrangements with futuristic iconography.[3] After Wood's departure in 1972, Lynne became the band's sole leader, arranging and producing every album while writing nearly all of their original material. For their initial tenure, Lynne, Bevan, and keyboardist Richard Tandy were the group's only consistent members.




Elo Elo


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ELO was formed out of Lynne's and Wood's desire to create modern rock and pop songs with classical overtones. It derived as an offshoot of Wood's previous band, the Move, of which Lynne and Bevan were also members. During the 1970s and 1980s, ELO released a string of top 10 albums and singles, including the band's most commercially successful album, the double album Out of the Blue (1977). Two ELO albums reached the top of the British charts: the disco-inspired Discovery (1979) and the science-fiction-themed concept album Time (1981). In 1986 Lynne lost interest in the band and disbanded the group. Bevan responded by forming his own band, ELO Part II, which later became the Orchestra. Apart from a brief reunion in the early 2000s, ELO remained largely inactive until 2014, when Lynne re-formed the band with Tandy as Jeff Lynne's ELO.[8]


During ELO's original 13-year period of active recording and touring, they sold over 50 million records worldwide, making them one of the best-selling music groups of all time.[9] They collected 19 CRIA, 21 RIAA, and 38 BPI awards.[10][11] From 1972 to 1986, ELO accumulated 27 top 40 songs on the UK Singles Chart, and fifteen top 20 songs on the US Billboard Hot 100.[12][13] The band also holds the record for having the most Billboard Hot 100 top 40 hits (20) without a number one.[14][nb 1] In 2017, the key members of ELO (Wood, Lynne, Bevan, and Tandy) were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.[17][18]


On 12 July 1970, when Wood added multiple cellos to a Lynne-penned song intended to be a Move B-side, the new concept became a reality and "10538 Overture" became the first Electric Light Orchestra song. The original plan was to end The Move following the release of the Looking On album at the end of 1970, crossing over to the new unit in the new year. But to help finance the fledgling band, one further Move album, Message from the Country, was recorded during the lengthy ELO recordings and released in mid-1971. The resulting debut album The Electric Light Orchestra was released in December 1971. Only the trio of Wood, Lynne and Bevan played on all songs, with Bill Hunt supplying the French Horn parts and Steve Woolam playing violin. It was released in the United States in March 1972 as No Answer. The name was chosen after a record company secretary had tried to ring the UK company to get the name of the album. They were unavailable so she left a note reading "No answer".[20] "10538 Overture" became a UK top-ten hit. With both bands' albums in the stores simultaneously, the Move and ELO both appeared on television during this period.


ELO's debut concert took place on 16 April 1972 at the Greyhound Pub in Croydon, Surrey,[21] with a line-up of Wood, Lynne, Bevan, Bill Hunt (keyboards/French horn), Andy Craig (cello), Mike Edwards (cello), Wilfred Gibson (violin), Hugh McDowell (cello), and Richard Tandy (bass). However, this line-up did not last for long.[failed verification] First Craig departed, and then Wood, during the recordings for the band's second LP. Taking Hunt and McDowell with him, Wood left the band to form Wizzard. Both cited problems with their manager, Don Arden,[22] who Wood felt failed in his role, and an unsatisfactory tour of Italy, where the cellos and violins could not be heard over the electric instruments. However, Arden would manage Wizzard, despite Wood's negative comments towards Arden.[23] Despite predictions from the music press that the band would fold without Wood, who had been the driving force behind the creation of ELO, Lynne stepped up to lead the band, with Bevan, Edwards, Gibson and Tandy (who had switched from bass to keyboards to replace Hunt) remaining from the previous line-up, and new recruits Mike de Albuquerque and Colin Walker joining the band on bass and cello, respectively.[24]


The new line-up performed at the 1972 Reading Festival on 12 August 1972. Barcus Berry instrument pick-ups, now sported by the band's string trio, allowed them to have proper amplification on stage for their instruments, which had previously been all but drowned out by the electrified instruments. The band released their second album ELO 2 in early 1973, which produced their second UK top 10 and their first US chart single, an elaborate version of the Chuck Berry classic "Roll Over Beethoven" (which also incorporated the first movement of Beethoven's own Fifth Symphony).[25] ELO also made their first appearance on American Bandstand. During the recording of the third album, Gibson was let go after a dispute over money, Mik Kaminski joined as violinist, and Walker left since touring was keeping him away from his family too much.[citation needed] Remaining cellist Edwards finished the cello parts for the album. The resulting album, On the Third Day, was released in late 1973, with the American version featuring the popular single "Showdown". After leaving Wizzard, Hugh McDowell returned as the group's second cellist, also in late 1973, in time to appear on the On the Third Day cover in some regions, despite not having played on the album.


For the band's fourth album, Eldorado, a concept album about a daydreamer, Lynne stopped multi-tracking strings and hired Louis Clark as string arranger with an orchestra and choir.[26] ELO's string players still continued to perform on recordings, however. The first single off the album, "Can't Get It Out of My Head", became their first US top 10 hit, and Eldorado, A Symphony became ELO's first gold album. Mike de Albuquerque departed the band during the recording sessions as he wished to spend more time with his family, and consequently much of the bass on the album was performed by Lynne.


Following the release of Eldorado, Kelly Groucutt was recruited as bassist and in early 1975, Melvyn Gale replaced Edwards on cello. The line-up stabilised as the band took to a decidedly more accessible sound. ELO had become successful in the US at this point and the group was a star attraction on the stadium and arena circuit, and appeared on The Midnight Special more than any other band in that show's history with four appearances (in 1973, 1975, 1976, and 1977).


Face the Music was released in 1975, producing the hit singles "Evil Woman", their third UK top 10, and "Strange Magic".[25] The opening instrumental "Fire on High", with its mix of strings and acoustic guitars, saw heavy exposure as the theme music for the American television programme CBS Sports Spectacular in the mid-1970s. The group toured extensively from 3 February to 13 April 1976, playing 68 shows in 76 days in the US.


Their sixth album, the platinum selling A New World Record, became their first UK top 10 album when it was released in 1976.[25] It contained the hit singles "Livin' Thing", "Telephone Line", "Rockaria!" and "Do Ya", the last a re-recording of The Move's final single. The band toured in support in the US only from September 1976 to April 1977 with a break in December, then an American Music Awards show appearance on 31 January 1977,[27] plus a one-off gig in San Diego in August 1977.


A New World Record was followed by a multi-platinum selling album, the double-LP Out of the Blue, in 1977. Out of the Blue featured the singles "Turn to Stone", "Sweet Talkin' Woman", "Mr. Blue Sky", and "Wild West Hero", each becoming a hit in the United Kingdom. The band then set out on a nine-month, 92-date world tour, with an enormous set and a hugely expensive spaceship stage with fog machines and a laser display. In the United States the concerts were billed as The Big Night and were their largest to date, with 62,000 people seeing them at Cleveland Stadium.[28] The Big Night went on to become the highest-grossing live concert tour in music history up to that point (1978).[29] The band played at London's Wembley Arena for eight straight sold-out nights during the tour, another record at the time.


In 1979, the multi-platinum album Discovery was released, reaching number one on the UK Albums Chart.[25] Although the biggest hit on the album (and ELO's biggest hit overall) was the rock song "Don't Bring Me Down", the album was noted for its heavy disco influence. Discovery also produced the hits "Shine a Little Love" (their only No. 1 hit on a US singles chart---Radio & Records (R&R)),[31][32] "Last Train to London", "Confusion", and "The Diary of Horace Wimp". Another song, "Midnight Blue", was released as a single in southeast Asia. The band recorded promotional videos for all the songs on the album.


By the end of 1979, ELO had reached the peak of their stardom, selling millions of albums and singles, and even inspiring a parody/tribute song on the Randy Newman album Born Again, titled "The Story of a Rock and Roll Band". During 1979, Jeff Lynne also turned down an invitation for ELO to headline the August 1979 Knebworth Festival concerts. That allowed Led Zeppelin the chance to headline instead.


In 1980, Jeff Lynne was asked to write for the soundtrack of the musical film Xanadu and provided half of the songs, with the other half written by John Farrar and performed by the film's star Olivia Newton-John. The film performed poorly at the box office, but the soundtrack did exceptionally well, eventually going double platinum. The album spawned hit singles from both Newton-John ("Magic", a No. 1 hit in the United States, and "Suddenly" with Cliff Richard) and ELO ("I'm Alive", which went gold, "All Over the World" and "Don't Walk Away"). The title track, performed by both Newton-John and ELO, is ELO's only song to top the UK singles chart.[33] More than a quarter of a century later, Xanadu, a Broadway musical based on the film, opened on 10 July 2007 at the Helen Hayes Theatre to uniformly good reviews. It received four Tony Award nominations. The musical received its UK premiere in London in October 2015.[34] 041b061a72


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