“Xanadu” is the title song from the soundtrack album Xanadu, and is the title song from the 1980 film of the same name. A rare collaboration for ELO, the song is performed by the Electric Light Orchestra (ELO) and Olivia Newton-John. Newton-John sings the primary vocals, with ELO (Jeff Lynne) adding “parenthetic” vocals in the style of their other songs on the Xanadu soundtrack, along with providing the instrumentation.
The single reached number 1 in several countries, and was the band’s only UK number 1 single, when it peaked there for two weeks in July 1980. The song peaked at number 8 on the Billboard Hot 100 in the US.
“Wild West Hero” is a song by Electric Light Orchestra (ELO), and the closing track and third single from the album Out of the Blue. The song was written by lead singer Jeff Lynne. Melvyn Gale, normally the band’s cellist, provided the Western-style piano for this track.
It entered the UK Top 40 at No. 31 in June 1978 but fell to number 36 the following week. Thanks to a rush-release in 12″ format on yellow vinyl, its fortunes were reversed a week later, and within six weeks it had risen to a peak position of number 6. Coincidentally this was also the highest UK position achieved by the group’s previous single, “Mr. Blue Sky”, and the next two, “Sweet Talkin’ Woman” and “Shine a Little Love”.
“Twilight” is a song by Electric Light Orchestra (ELO), originally released on their 1981 album Time. The lyrics tell of a man who falls asleep while in a twilight state, where he imagines everything in his life that is going to happen to him. They contribute to the album’s overarching theme of time travel.
It was the second single released from the album, peaking at number 30 on the UK Singles Chart and number 38 on the US Billboard Hot 100.
“Turn to Stone” is a 1977 song by Electric Light Orchestra (ELO).
The song is the opening track to the double album Out of the Blue. It was the first song released as a single from the LP. The single reached No. 18 in the United Kingdom charts and spent twelve weeks on the chart. Out of four singles from the album, “Turn to Stone” was the only song not to reach the top ten in the United Kingdom singles charts. The song reached No. 13 in the United States and number one in Canada in early 1978.
The song was composed in Switzerland during Jeff Lynne’s two week writing marathon for his double album. Lynne played the Moog bassline of the song.
On 4 November 2008, Lynne was awarded a BMI (Broadcast Music, Inc.) Million-Air certificate for “Turn to Stone” for having one million airplays.
“Tightrope” is the opening track to A New World Record by Electric Light Orchestra.
Recorded in 1976 at Musicland, Munich, West Germany, the song features a dramatic orchestral opening before transforming into an upbeat rock song. Although never released as a single, the song was a fan favorite and was performed live at every ELO concert including the Zoom tour in 2001. It had been remastered in 2000 and included on the box set Flashback It is the opening number of set four on the 2016 Alone in the Universe tour.
“Ticket to the Moon” is a popular song written by Jeff Lynne and performed by Electric Light Orchestra (ELO).
It was track four on the album Time (1981) and was released as a Double A along with “Here Is the News” in January 1982, reaching number 24 in the UK charts. The song is somewhat reminiscent of their earlier output, featuring grand piano and more strings than their past few singles. Rainer Pietsch conducted the strings on the song. The promo video featured Mik Kaminski on violin.
The single was also released as a limited edition 12″ picture disc showing the ELO spaceship, The same image was later used as the sleeve design for the UK follow up single “The Way Life’s Meant to Be”.
The name was used for a compilation album in 2007, Ticket to the Moon: The Very Best of Electric Light Orchestra Volume 2.
“The Way Life’s Meant to Be” is a song written by Jeff Lynne and performed by Electric Light Orchestra (ELO). The single peaked at number 30 on the German Media Control Singles Chart.
The song is track five on the 1981 album Time and was the last track to be released as a single from the album in the UK. It starts with gentle violins, and continues with flamenco-like guitar playing, and castanets. The south Mediterranean sound continues throughout the vocal and choiring on the refrain.
It was the first single since “Nightrider” in 1976 that failed to chart in the UK. The B-side was “Wishing” taken from the Discovery album. The song was recorded at the Polar Studios in Stockholm, unlike the majority of the songs of the album that were recorded at Musicland Studios in Munich.
“ It seemed to be [a pessimistic view] on that song. Yeah, well, and absolute that song… He’s walking down the same street that it was before, like say a hundred years before. But uh, even though he’s on the same bit of ground, everything that he knew is, like, buried under this new shit, y’know, that’s growing up… on top of it, all these plastic towers and stuff. Ah, the castanets. It was a bit Russian but we put castanets on it and it became Spanish. ”
— Jeff Lynne (1981 – Interview with Jim Ladd)
“The Diary of Horace Wimp” is the fourth track on the Electric Light Orchestra album Discovery, written by Jeff Lynne.
Released in 1979 as a single, the song is Beatlesque in nature and became a Top Ten hit in the UK and Ireland. The lyrics describe a week in the life of a repressed man who nevertheless overcomes his shy nature with the help of “a voice from above.” The day Saturday is omitted – this is because, as explained by Jeff Lynne: “The football match is played on a Saturday”.
The music video references Citizen Kane in its ending, showing a closeup of Jeff Lynne saying “Horace Wimp,” echoing Orson Welles’ character in the film saying “Rosebud” as he dies.
“Telephone Line” is a song by Electric Light Orchestra (ELO).
The song is track two on their 1976 album, A New World Record, and was the final single to be released from the album until September 2006, when “Surrender” was released from the expanded reissue of the album. It became their biggest single success in the US and was their first UK gold award for a single. With ELO’s continuing success in America it seemed obvious to Jeff Lynne to use an American ring tone during the song.” Writer/guitarist, Lynne explained:
To get the sound on the beginning, you know, the American telephone sound, we phoned from England to America to a number that we know nobody would be at, to just listen to it for a while. On the Moog, we recreated the sound exactly by tuning the oscillators to the same notes as the ringing of the phone.
The song charted in the Top Ten in both the UK and the US, peaking at number 8 in the UK and number 7 in the US. The tune was on the Hot 100 for 23 weeks, nearly a full month longer on that chart than any other ELO tune. Billboard ranked it as the No. 15 song of 1977. In 1977, the song would reach number 1 in New Zealand and Canada. “Telephone Line” and Meri Wilson’s “Telephone Man” were back-to-back on Hot 100’s top 40 for two non-consecutive weeks in the summer of 1977.
As was the norm, many ELO singles were issued in different colours, but the US version of this single was the only green single ELO issued. It became the band’s first single to achieve Gold sales figures.
“Sweet Talkin’ Woman” is a 1978 song by Electric Light Orchestra (ELO) from the album Out of the Blue. Its original title was “Dead End Street”, but it was changed during recording, perhaps to avoid confusion with a 1966 hit of the same title by The Kinks. Some words that survived from that version can be heard in the opening of the third verse, “I’ve been livin’ on a dead end street”.
The track became the third top ten hit from the LP in the UK, peaking at number 6. As a novelty, initial copies of the 12″ and 7″ formats were pressed in transparent purple vinyl.
The version released in the United States was 10 seconds shorter than its British counterpart due to a slightly faster mix. In the US, it reached number 17 on the Billboard Hot 100.
“Surrender” is a song by the Electric Light Orchestra (ELO), and was released as a bonus track on the 2006 remastered version of their 1976 studio album A New World Record.
The track was originally written in 1976 for a cancelled film soundtrack. In 2006 Jeff Lynne finished the song and included it on the remastered version of the album A New World Record. The song became the band’s first new single release in twenty years and the first download from the band available online. Eventually charting at number 81 in the UK Singles Chart, “Surrender” was the band’s first song to chart since “Getting to the Point”.
“Stranger” is a song written by Jeff Lynne and performed by the Electric Light Orchestra (ELO).
This song first appeared on the band’s 11th studio album, Secret Messages. Stranger also was the third single from the LP.
The small quiet opening is one of the many messages that takes place in this album. A high pitched backmasked voice is heard during the opening, played in reverse the voice is actually saying “You’re playing me backwards.”
“Recorded this in Holland, where I was looking through the eyes of a stranger.” Jeff Lynne (2001 – Secret Messages Remaster)
“Strange Magic” is a song written and performed by the Electric Light Orchestra (ELO). It was released on their 1975 Face the Music album.
Released as a single in 1976, the single was edited in the US, whereas in the UK the song appeared as the album cut minus the orchestral intro. The US single edit can be found on the remastered Face the Music released in September 2006. The song was also included on the band’s 1978 The ELO EP. A remastered version was included on the box set Flashback in 2000. The ‘weeping’ guitar lick was provided by keyboardist Richard Tandy while Jeff Lynne played a 12-string acoustic guitar fed through a phase shifter.
“So Serious” is a song by the rock music group Electric Light Orchestra (ELO) from their 1986 album Balance of Power released in the UK as the second single from the album in 1986.
The songs lyrics hint at Jeff Lynne’s growing disenchantment with his involvement with ELO at this point, much like the majority of the songs from the album the lyrical content was in sharp contrast to the upbeat synthpop of the album.
There was also a UK 12 inch EPIC 3 Track version with the “A Matter of Fact (Alternate Lyrics)” on the B-Side.
“Showdown” is a song written by Jeff Lynne and recorded by the Electric Light Orchestra (ELO). It was the band’s last contemporary recording to be released on the Harvest label.
In the US the song was included on the album On the Third Day (1973), while in the UK the song was omitted from this album but later featured on the band’s first compilation album, also called Showdown, a year later. In 2006 the remastered issue of On the Third Day would feature the song on the album on both sides of the Atlantic for the first time.
The song was a change of pace for ELO, with a funkier backbeat, including clavinet, beneath the band’s trademark sweeping strings. The record was a favourite of John Lennon at the time, who dubbed the band “Son of Beatles” in a US radio interview.
Jeff Lynne played the lead guitar part using Marc Bolan’s Gibson Firebird guitar.
“Shine a Little Love” is a song by the Electric Light Orchestra (ELO). It was released as a single in the US and UK in May 1979.
The song is the first track on their 1979 album Discovery. This was one of the band’s most commercially successful singles, peaking at no. 1 in Canada, no. 6 in the UK Singles Chart and no. 8 in the US Billboard Hot 100. The song subsequently became one of their biggest worldwide hits as well. The 12″ release was also available in white vinyl. Two different promotional videos were filmed for the single, a recording studio version shot on 35mm film, minus the band’s three string players and a video-taped version made for the Discovery video album, featuring the full touring line-up.
“A bit of a disco beat on this one, and quite a lot of things going on, forty piece string section and all. It’s very jolly and bouncy and I must have been in a very good mood when I wrote it! ”
— Discovery remaster (2001), Jeff Lynne
The song was later sampled as a club remix by Lovefreekz and featured on their club hit “Shine”. This version was featured in the episode “Okay Awesome” during season 1 of the TV show How I Met Your Mother.
In 2007, the Starlight Children’s Foundation of Australia promoted their national Starlight Day on 4 May through television advertisements featuring this song.
The Norwegian comedy group band Prima Vera also used the 14-second long intro in their song “Den Sinte Festus”, which also features the melody of the title song from the popular western series Bonanza.
“Secret Messages” is a song recorded by Electric Light Orchestra (ELO) and is the title track (and opening track) of the 1983 album Secret Messages.
The song begins with strange effects and a backmasked voice (saying “welcome to the show”) followed by a burst of morse code spelling out E.L.O., something Jeff Lynne did also 10 years earlier on “Ocean Breakup/King of the Universe” from On the Third Day. The song and album were recorded very much tongue in cheek with Jeff Lynne’s love of hidden messages in songs.
The single peaked at 48 in the UK Singles Chart and at number 14 in the Irish Singles Chart.
Parts of the music video featuring a radio telescope were filmed at Jodrell Bank in Cheshire, England.
“Rockaria!” is a song by Electric Light Orchestra (ELO), written by Jeff Lynne. It was the third track on the band’s successful 1976 album, A New World Record and was the second single from the album. On some CD pressings of A New World Record, it appears without the exclamation point.
Featuring the operatic voice of Mary Thomas during the introduction, on the first recording take, she mistakenly started the vocals too early. However, Lynne elected to use the take (complete with her interjection, “Oops!”) anyway (although some later pressings of the album are missing this part). During live performances, the ‘aria’ was provided by the band’s bassist Kelly Groucutt, illustrating his wide-ranging vocal talents.
“Rock ‘n’ Roll Is King” is a song written and performed by Electric Light Orchestra (ELO) released as a single from the 1983 album Secret Messages. With this song the band returned to their rock roots. It features a violin solo by Mik Kaminski.
The song went through many changes during recording and at one point was going to be called “Motor Factory” with a completely different set of lyrics. The single proved to be ELO’s last UK top twenty hit single, and reached no. 19 in the US in August 1983.
“I sang on quite a few tracks; I sang on Rock ‘N’ Roll Is King. I played on that one, but it wasn’t called that, it was something about something about working at Austin Longbridge! It was full of car plant sounds, you could hear it going clank, clank, clank, like somebody hitting a lathe with a hammer, and Jeff went away and made it into Rock ‘n’ Roll Is King, wiped off everything we’d done, no, there was still some backing left in there, It was much better how he finished it off than it was before.” Dave Morgan (4 March 1999 – King Of The Universe #8)
“Rain Is Falling” is a song written and performed by Electric Light Orchestra (ELO).
It was track seven on the album Time (1981) and was released as the third single from the album in the US in 1982.
“Another Heart Breaks” is a song written and performed by the Electric Light Orchestra.
It was track six from their 1981 album Time. It was the band’s first instrumental since “The Whale” which first appeared on their 1977 album Out of the Blue.
“Poor Boy (The Greenwood)” is a song written by Jeff Lynne and the Electric Light Orchestra (ELO).
The song is track number 5 from their 1974 album Eldorado and tells the story of the Dreamer on the hill fantasising he is one of Robin Hood’s merry men, this forms the fourth dream.
“A Robin Hood type character who actually maid Marion.” Jeff Lynne (2001 – Eldorado Remaster)
It was released as the second single A-side from Eldorado in The Netherlands, but failed to chart.
The song was used as the B-side for “Telephone Line” in the US, and in the UK the song was joined with “King of the Universe” on the flip side.
The version performed on their concert film, “Fusion – Live in London” uses the last couple of seconds, 2:27 – 2:57, reprise of “Eldorado Overture”, as used for the ending of side 1 of the album.
“One Summer Dream” is a song written and performed by the rock group Electric Light Orchestra (ELO) which made its first appearance on the band’s fifth album, Face the Music, as the last track off the album. It also appeared on the box sets, Afterglow and Flashback.
It was released as the B-side of the hit single “Mr. Blue Sky” in 1978. The album version includes an orchestra intro but part of it was cut for the single. “One Summer Dream” (on different singles with “Mr. Blue Sky”) has a fading difference for unknown reasons. Backing vocals by Ellie Greenwich.
“The seven ELO members outdo themselves, however, on One Summer Dream, a beautiful and evocative tune sung touchingly by Lynne. A trifle sentimental perhaps, but lyrically and musically, it displays more emotion (not to mention pure ability) than one ordinarily hears from a rock group.” Charley Walters (1 January 1976 Rolling Stone issue 203)
“Nightrider” is a song from Electric Light Orchestra’s (ELO) album Face the Music.
The song’s title is a titular tip of the hat to Lynne’s first major band, The Nightriders. This was the third single released from the album after “Evil Woman”, in 1976. The B-side on the single was a live version of “Daybreaker” taken from the 1974 live album The Night the Light Went On in Long Beach. Despite ELO’s rising popularity, the song failed to chart. The song was also included as the B-side on the US hit single “Do Ya”.
Between 3:16 and 3:19, the song features a string crescendo which was reused (played backwards, from 2:40 to 2:44) on another of the album’s tracks, “Evil Woman”.
“I took the high string part of Nightrider that climbs up to a climax, and used it backwards in Evil Woman as a big effect. I was amazed when it slotted in seamlessly.” – Jeff Lynne (Face the Music remaster liner notes)
During live performances, Jeff Lynne and Kelly Groucutt would swap vocals during the song.
“Mr. Radio” is a song recorded by the Electric Light Orchestra.
The song was the scheduled second single release from the band’s debut album written by Jeff Lynne and is track number six on their 1971 debut album, The Electric Light Orchestra (No Answer in the US). The song is written in a 1920s American style about a man whose wife has left him and his only companion is his radio. The orchestral intro to the song is played backwards and is an early example of what would be Lynne’s trademark ELO production style; another oddity is that the track does not feature any bass notes.
The single edit can be found on a 2005 compilation album, Harvest Showdown. A remastered version would appear on the box set Flashback and later on remastered versions of their first album.
“Mr. Blue Sky” is a song by British rock group Electric Light Orchestra (ELO), featured on the band’s seventh studio album Out of the Blue (1977). Written and produced by frontman Jeff Lynne, the song forms the fourth and final track of the “Concerto for a Rainy Day” suite, on side three of the original double album. “Mr. Blue Sky” was the second single to be taken from Out of the Blue, peaking at number 6 in the UK Singles Chart and number 35 in the United States. The song was played as a wake-up call to astronaut Christopher Ferguson on Day 3 of STS-135, the final mission of Space Shuttle Atlantis.
“Mister Kingdom” is a symphonic rock song written by the Electric Light Orchestra (ELO).
The song first appeared as the opening track of side 2, track number 6 from their 1974 album, Eldorado. It was the B-side to the 1977 hit, “Turn to Stone”, found on their album, Out of the Blue.
On the single version the solo slowly fades from 5:05 all the way to the very end, 5:29. But on the Flashback boxset, the solo fades about 16 seconds earlier than the LP version, also cutting the small orchestra intro.
Some will find that the song has a similar style to The Beatles’ song “Across the Universe”. The song features an extended orchestral playout starting from 4:16 to 5:29 transiting into Nobody’s Child.
“This guy’s always looking for a pot of gold.” Jeff Lynne (2001 – Eldorado Remaster)
“God knows what this is about, but I like the sound” – Jeff Lynne 2000 Flashback liner notes
“Ma-Ma-Ma Belle” is a song recorded by the Electric Light Orchestra (ELO).
It was taken from the 1973 album On the Third Day. In the UK, the single version had a slightly different mix from the album original featuring a descending string crescendo and was edited in length. Marc Bolan plays twin lead guitar on the track alongside Jeff Lynne and features on a number of takes from the April 1973 ELO session, such as “Dreaming of 4000”. “Ma-Ma-Ma Belle” also featured on The ELO EP in 1978. In the UK the B-side “Oh No Not Susan” found its way on to various DJs’ playlists at the BBC, unaware that the songs lyrics contained profanity. In the United States “Daybreaker”, the single’s flip side, proved more popular and the song was relegated as a b-side in 1976 on “Livin’ Thing”.
Early working titles for the song were “Auntie” and “My Woman”, both of which have found their way onto various compilations.
“Loser Gone Wild” is a song by the Electric Light Orchestra. It is the second song in their 1983 album Secret Messages. It has a jazzy, gloomy and slow electronica beat which then switches to a dance beat rhythm. It has a saxophone and strong bass guitar playing in the background. The beginning of the song has some cut off Morse code from the previous song “Secret Messages”. At the end of the song, it fades out. It is played in the chords of A minor and C.
“Livin’ Thing” is a song written by Jeff Lynne and performed by Electric Light Orchestra (ELO). It appears on ELO’s 1976 album, A New World Record. Patti Quatro, Brie Brandt, both of Fanny, and Addie Lee sang uncredited vocals, particularly the ‘higher and higher’ parts.
In August 2006, “Livin’ Thing” was named by the UK’s Q as the number 1 ‘Guilty Pleasure’ single of all time – a list designed to celebrate ‘uncool’ but excellent records, and which received considerable publicity. The original single had the bonus of having “Fire On High” on the flip side, a tune that became the band’s most popular instrumental piece. The UK version was released in a blue vinyl format.
“Little Town Flirt” is a song by Del Shannon, which he released as a single in 1962 and on the album Little Town Flirt in 1963. The song spent 14 weeks on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, peaking at No. 12, while reaching No. 1 on the Irish Singles Chart, No. 1 in Australia, No. 4 on the UK’s Record Retailer chart, No. 7 on New Zealand’s “Lever Hit Parade”, and No. 9 on Canada’s CHUM Hit Parade.
“Last Train to London” is the fifth track from the Electric Light Orchestra (ELO) album Discovery.
The song was released in 1979 in the UK as a double A-side single with “Confusion”. It peaked at number 8 in the UK Singles Chart. However, in the US the two songs charted separately, with “Confusion” in late 1979 followed by “Last Train to London” in early 1980. It peaked at number 39 on the Billboard Hot 100. In Spain the single was released with the Spanish title “Ultimo tren a Londres”.
“There was a certain period when it seemed we spent years on trains going back and forth from Birmingham to the various TV and radio stations in London. There’s the CS-80 again on the solo ”
— Discovery remaster (2001), Jeff Lynne
“Kuiama” is a song written by Jeff Lynne and performed by Electric Light Orchestra. Singer Jeff Lynne pronounces it ‘Ki-ama’.
The song is the last track of the ELO 2 LP. At 11:19, it is the longest track on the album, and the longest song ever recorded by Electric Light Orchestra. It tells the tale of a soldier who has found an orphan girl wandering the ruins of a battle-ravaged village in the Vietnam war. The soldier is trying to comfort the girl and also to explain how he was the one who killed her parents.
Although not released as a single, the song has been included on many compilation albums, such as Olé ELO, Afterglow, and The Light Shines On Vol 2, and has been performed live. It was also a favorite of the ELO band members during the time.
“This one, without doubt, is the favourite of all the band. It’s a sad story about a war orphan with a soldier explaining to her all about the war — and that it was he that killed her parents. The most sensitive thing we do.” – Bev Bevan (1973, Birmingham Post & Mail article entitled: Chart Boost Coming For Brum And E.L.O.)
“I like Kuiama even though the opening reminds me of the opening of You Only Live Twice.” – Wilfred Gibson (October 2003, Martin Kinch’s Cherry Blossom Clinic website)
“That aside, however, we still have only a tenuously connected group of songs, as opposed to anything on the order of ‘Kuiama,’ on the last album, which used its length and the group’s unique approach to music to achieve real emotional impact.” (Greg Shaw in his January 31, 1974 Rolling Stone magazine review at the Wayback Machine (archived August 25, 2007) of ELO’s next album, On the Third Day.)
“It’s Over” is a song recorded by the Electric Light Orchestra (ELO).
The song is the second track from the LP Out of the Blue. It was the last single to be lifted from the album and was released in the United States only, becoming a minor hit. The orchestral beginning was actually the end of “Mr. Blue Sky” reversed.
In 2007, hip hop artist and producer will.i.am sampled parts of the song, and it formed the backbone of his opening track “Over” from the album Songs About Girls.
“In the Hall of the Mountain King” (Norwegian: I Dovregubbens hall) is a piece of orchestral music composed by Edvard Grieg for the sixth scene of act 2 in Henrik Ibsen’s 1876 play Peer Gynt. It was originally part of Opus 23 but was later extracted as the final piece of Peer Gynt, Suite No. 1, Op. 46. Its easily recognizable theme has helped it attain iconic status in popular culture, where it has been arranged by many artists (See Grieg’s music in popular culture).
The English translation of the name is not literal. Dovre is a mountainous region in Norway, and “gubbe” translates into (old) man or husband. “Gubbe” is used along with its female counterpart “kjerring” to differentiate male and female trolls, “trollgubbe” and “trollkjerring”. In the play, Dovregubben is a troll king that Peer Gynt invents in a fantasy.
“Illusions in G Major” is a song recorded by Electric Light Orchestra (ELO) and is track eight on the band’s highly acclaimed 1974 album Eldorado.
It was used as the B-side to the popular hit “Can’t Get It Out of My Head”, a 1975 hit in the United States. The song clocks in at 2:37, making it one of the shortest on the album. The theme of the song is about a rock star talking to his psychiatrist about his mysterious visions, he even mentions “I heard the crew a hummin’ tunes that sounded like The Rolling Stones and Leonard Cohen”, then also “I heard the pilot saying, poems that were written by John Keats and Robert Browning”. It was remastered and included in 2000 by Jeff Lynne on the box set compilation Flashback.
“I’m Alive” is a song by the Electric Light Orchestra (ELO), released as a single in May 1980. It is featured in a sequence near the beginning of the feature film Xanadu. The song also appears on the soundtrack album Xanadu.
In the film the song is heard as the Muses emerge from a graffiti-like portrait; Olivia Newton-John, playing Kira (Terpsichore), emerges last. The film’s version of the song contains a fairly lengthy instrumental introduction, a small segment of which is used for the album version.
The song has been recently covered in the version of Xanadu on Broadway.
Included in the song’s closing coda is Morse code which spells out “E.L.O.”, they did something similar to this on two of their other songs, “Ocean Breakup” from 1973’s On the Third Day and 1983’s “Secret Messages”.
“Hold On Tight” is a song written and performed by Electric Light Orchestra (ELO).
The song is track twelve on the band’s 1981 album Time and was the first song released as a single. The song went top ten in most countries, hitting the top spot in Spain and Switzerland, number two in Germany, number four in the UK, and number ten on the US Billboard Hot 100, as well as number two on the US Billboard Top Rock Tracks chart. It has a verse sung in French, which is a reprise of the first verse of the song.
“Here Is the News” is a 1982 song written and performed by Electric Light Orchestra (ELO).
It is track ten on the album Time (1981) and was released as a double A-side along with “Ticket to the Moon” in January 1982, reaching number 24 in the UK charts. The song makes heavy use of synthesizers but also includes guitar, bass guitar, piano, and a drum kit. The song is in Strophic form, lasts 3 minutes 43 seconds and ends with a fade out. The song is about the news programmes of 2095 and voices from news reports can be heard in the background during the song. A number of news reporters claim that their voices were used for this song, but Lynne said that the snippets featured the voices of band members.
“Grieg’s Piano Concerto in A Minor” is an abbreviation of a piano concerto written by Edvard Grieg and performed by Electric Light Orchestra on the box set Flashback.
Originally this was just a sound check at Wisseloord Studios, Hilversum, the Netherlands prior to recording the album Secret Messages with Richard Tandy on piano and Jeff Lynne on drums, finished in 2000 and included on the box set. This was the second time Lynne had adapted one of Grieg’s works, the other being “In the Hall of the Mountain King” in 1973.
“Getting to the Point” is a song by the rock music group Electric Light Orchestra (ELO) from their 1986 album Balance of Power. Released in the UK as the last single from the album in July 1986, it would be the last original release from the band for some fifteen years.
Due to a strike on Epic’s distribution department at the time of its release, the single did not make much of an impression on the singles chart. Its highest position was reported at number 95 in the UK. There was no release in the rest of Europe. A small number of copies were sold by a German reseller called DISC CENTER.
The B-Side of this single is the 1986 Balance of Power album-track “Secret Lives”. It was meant to be a separate single outtake as labelled on the Balance of Power album cover (Dutch pressings with JET or EPIC Label Catno. 26467).
There was also a UK 12 inch Epic 3 track version with the “ELO Megamix” on the B-side. The mix featured the songs from A New World Record, Out of the Blue, Discovery, Time and Balance of Power. Mixed by Paul Dakeyne for DMC, the sound quality of it was somewhat poor.
The song was later covered by Mark Bram, from the band Ruby Topaz, on the Ruby Topaz “Rarities” CD (CD Baby and iTunes). Mark did all the instruments and vocals.
“Four Little Diamonds” is a song by the British rock music group Electric Light Orchestra (ELO) from their 1983 album Secret Messages. It was also featured on their compilation albums Afterglow (with a slightly longer intro) and Flashback. The single did not do very well in the US, spending only 2 weeks on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and peaking at number 86. It also charted low in the UK peaking at number 84.
The song refers to the search made by the singer for his cheating lover who emotionally conned him out of a ring which had ‘four little diamonds’ set into it.
There was also a UK 12 inch JET 3 Track version with the “The Bouncer” on the B-side.
“Fire on High” is the opening instrumental track from the 1975 Electric Light Orchestra (ELO) album Face the Music.
The song was the UK B-side to the band’s worldwide hit single “Livin’ Thing”, issued in blue vinyl. It was also later included — in an edited form minus the backwards vocals — as the flip side of the United States hit single “Sweet Talkin’ Woman” in 1978.
The album version contains an opening with a backwards message. When the song is played in reverse, the message, in a masked heavy voice (performed by ELO drummer, Bev Bevan), can be heard stating, “The music is reversible but time is not. Turn back. Turn back. Turn back. Turn back.” — ostensibly Jeff Lynne’s shot at backmasking hysteria, after satanic allegations were made against their song “Eldorado” by Fundamentalist Christianity members. Snippets of Messiah by Handel can be heard during the album opening as well.
“Fire on High” was used as the opening theme for the CBS Sports Spectacular TV show in the Mid-1970s. In 2000, The New Jersey Devils used the song, accompanied by visuals, in the opening ceremony for all their home games. Much of the song was also played prior to every Atlanta Thrashers home game.
Despite being almost entirely instrumental, the song’s title can be faintly heard near the end of the track by the chanting chorus.
“Evil Woman” is a song written by lead vocalist Jeff Lynne and recorded by Electric Light Orchestra (ELO). It was first released on the band’s fifth album, 1975’s Face the Music.
When released as a single in late 1975, the song became the band’s first worldwide hit. According to Lynne this song was the quickest he had ever written, in thirty minutes, originally as ‘filler’ for the group’s Face the Music album. The song placed in the top 10 on both sides of the Atlantic in early 1976. The song became a hit again in the UK in 1978 when it featured on The ELO EP. The lyric “There’s a hole in my head where the rain comes in” in the song is a tribute to The Beatles’ song “Fixing a Hole”.
“Eldorado Overture” is the opening track on Electric Light Orchestra’s 1974 concept album Eldorado.
It was a new experience for Jeff Lynne to use a full orchestra and choir for the band’s songs. The opening starts with haunting sounds provided by Richard Tandy on the synthesizer. A deep voice (Peter Forbes-Robertson) speaks out the first lyrics of the entire album.
The dreamer, the unwoken fool,
In dreams, no pain will kiss the brow.
The love of ages fills the head.
The days that linger there in prey of emptiness,
Of burned out dreams.
The minutes calling through the years.
The universal dreamer rises up above his earthly burden.
Journeys to the dead of night.
High on a hill in Eldorado…
The words fade into an orchestra that opens the concept of the LP from 1:11 to 2:11, an excerpt from Edvard Grieg’s piano concerto. The orchestra slows and segues into the next track “Can’t Get It Out of My Head”. Since the two tracks fit together well, they were performed together until the Time tour in 1981.
“Eldorado Finale” is a song by Electric Light Orchestra. The song appears as the finale to the Eldorado concept which includes a heavy orchestra and a strong choir. The song did appear on the boxset, Flashback.
“I like the heavy chords and the slightly daft ending, where you hear the double bass players packing up their basses, because they wouldn’t play another millisecond past the allotted moment.” Jeff Lynne (2000 – Flashback)
“This is a bit like Eldorado Overture but goes to many more places.” Jeff Lynne (2001 – Eldorado Remaster)
“Eldorado” is the title track from the 1974 album of the same name by the Electric Light Orchestra (ELO).
The song was used as the B-side of the United States single “Boy Blue” in 1975 and later as the flip side to the UK hit single “Wild West Hero” in 1978.
According to the song’s composer Jeff Lynne
“This song is where the dreamer wakes up to reality, then decides he likes his dream world better and tries to get back to Eldorado.” – Eldorado (remastered) liner notes by Jeff Lynne, 2001
The title track gained a certain notoriety when it was claimed by some Christian Fundamentalists that “Eldorado” contained some “satanic messages.” Purportedly, the line in the song that went “Here it comes, another lonely day; Playing the game. I’ll sail away; On a voyage of no return to see” was claimed to sound something like “He is the nasty one – Christ you’re infernal – It is said we’re dead men – Everyone who has the mark will live” when played backwards. Lynne denied these allegations, then further asserted his point to his accusers — in his typical tongue-in-cheek manner — by inserting an obviously and deliberately backmasked segment into ELO’s next album (Face the Music), within the opening portions of the famous “Fire On High” track. He further satirised it by releasing an entire album strewn with backmasking.
The song was also covered by Fleming & John on the tribute album Lynne Me Your Ears.
“Don’t Walk Away” is a song by the Electric Light Orchestra (ELO). It is featured in the 1980 feature film Xanadu in an animated sequence by Don Bluth.
The song also appears on the soundtrack album Xanadu. It was the last single released from the album.
The song is being performed as part of the 2007 Broadway musical Xanadu.
The song is written in a standard key signature of C Major and was number 21 hit in the UK.
According to the foreign versions, it was famous the Italian Mi mancherai (“You’ll miss me”), recorded in 1981 by the Sicilian singer Marcella Bella as a theme for a popular TV show, on air on Sunday afternoons for Rete Uno (today’s RAIUNO). The Italian text was written by Giorgio Calabrese.
“Don’t Bring Me Down” is the ninth and final track on the Electric Light Orchestra’s 1979 album Discovery. It is their highest charting hit in the US to date.
“Don’t Bring Me Down” is the band’s second highest charting hit in the UK where it peaked at number 3 and their biggest hit in the United States, peaking at number 4 on the Billboard Hot 100. It also charted well in Canada (number 1) and Australia (number 6). This was the first song by ELO not to include a string section.
The drum track is in fact a tape loop, coming from “On the Run” looped and slowed down.
The song ends with the sound of a door slamming. According to producer Jeff Lynne, this was a metal fire door at Musicland Studios where the song was recorded.
The song was dedicated to the NASA Skylab space station, which re-entered the Earth’s atmosphere over the Indian Ocean and Western Australia on 11 July 1979.
On 4 November 2007, Lynne was awarded a BMI (Broadcast Music, Inc) Million-Air certificate for “Don’t Bring Me Down” for the song having reached two million airplays.
“Do Ya” is a song written by Jeff Lynne, that was originally recorded by The Move, which became a hit for the Electric Light Orchestra (led by Lynne, ELO originally being a side project of The Move) in 1976.
Written by Jeff Lynne in 1971, it was one of two songs featured on the B-side of the UK hit “California Man” credited to The Move (the other was Roy Wood’s “Ella James”). In the US the B-side proved to be more popular than the A and so the song became The Move’s only hit in the US albeit a minor one (number 93 on the Hot 100 chart). The song was originally titled “Look Out Baby, There’s a Planet Comin'” (which is sung by Wood at the end of the song). The song was later included on the 2005 remastered version of the Message from the Country album, in both the original single version and an alternate take.
The song was recorded on the same multireel tapes alongside the Electric Light Orchestra (ELO) tracks “From the Sun to the World” and “In Old England Town”, the two songs that Wood appeared on from the ELO 2 album.
“Confusion” is the second song from the 1979 Electric Light Orchestra (ELO) album Discovery. It features acoustic guitar and vocoder.
It was released in the UK as a double A-side single with “Last Train to London”. It peaked at number 8 in the UK Singles Chart. In the United States the song was released as a single with “Poker” on the B-side becoming a more modest hit, reaching number 37 on the Billboard Hot 100.
“ I’d just got hold of the very latest synthesizer, the Yamaha CS-80. The song is based entirely on the sound it made. ”
— Discovery remaster (2001), Jeff Lynne
“Can’t Get It Out of My Head” is a song written by Jeff Lynne and originally recorded by Electric Light Orchestra (also known as ELO).
First released on the band’s fourth album, Eldorado, in September 1974, the song is the second track on the album and follows “Eldorado Overture.” The song was released in November of that same year as a single.
The song became the band’s first top ten single in the United States, reaching number 9, and helped boost public awareness of the band in America; however, back in the UK the single and LP failed to chart. In 1978 the song was included on a four-track ELO EP (UK release) reaching number 34 on the UK charts. The song has appeared on many ELO compilation albums.
“Calling America” is a song by the rock music group Electric Light Orchestra (ELO) released as a single from their 1986 (see 1986 in music) album Balance of Power. The single reached number 28 in the UK and peaked at number 18 on the Billboard singles chart, making it their final hit single in the United States.
The song is, like most of the songs on Balance of Power, musically upbeat and bright but lyrically darker, concerning a dishonest lover. This was similar to earlier ELO songs that were musically upbeat with lyrics about failed romance, such as “Turn to Stone,” “Don’t Bring Me Down,” and “Yours Truly, 2095.”
There was also a UK 12 inch EPIC 3 Track version with “Destination Unknown” as the B-side.
“Boy Blue” is a song written by Jeff Lynne and performed by the Electric Light Orchestra (ELO) which first appeared as track number 3 from their 1974 album Eldorado.
The album version of the song starts with a Baroque-style brass fanfare – reminiscent of Jeremiah Clarke’s “Prince of Denmark’s March” (ca. 1700) — and then develops into a minimoog sequence before the song properly begins. The song includes a midway solo of the band’s three string players. At the end of the song the string instruments quickly fade, immediately leading into the LP’s fourth track “Laredo Tornado”.
Bassist Mike de Albuquerque featured on the song but it is unknown just how many tracks he contributed to on the album as he left the band during the recording sessions.
“Mike de Albuquerque left the group after the recording session of Eldorado, on which his mighty voice could be heard for the last time on an E.L.O. record in the sixth verse of Boy Blue.” — Patrik Guttenbacher, Marc Haines, & Alexander von Petersdorff (1996 Unexpected Messages).
“All Over the World” is a song by the Electric Light Orchestra (ELO). It is featured in the 1980 feature film Xanadu in a sequence with the film’s stars Olivia Newton-John, Gene Kelly, and Michael Beck. The song also appears on the soundtrack album Xanadu, and was performed as well in the 2007 Broadway musical Xanadu.
Released after the single “Xanadu” (a collaboration with Olivia Newton-John), this was the third Top 20 ELO single released from the 1980 soundtrack, peaking at number 13 on the US Billboard Hot 100.
The sequence in the Xanadu movie was filmed on location at the Beverly Hills Fiorucci store.
One section of the lyrics lists a number of famous cities; London, Hamburg, Paris, Rome, Rio, Hong Kong, Tokyo, L.A., New York, Amsterdam, Monte Carlo and Shard End. The last place named in the list is Shard End, the suburb of Birmingham, England, where Jeff Lynne was born.
This song featured prominently in the trailer for the Simon Pegg science fiction comedy movie Paul and also played at the end of the film before the credits.
“10538 Overture”, released in 1972, was the first single by The Electric Light Orchestra (ELO).
The song, written by Jeff Lynne, was first recorded as a B-side on one of The Move’s singles. Roy Wood and Lynne shared vocal duties on the song, much like The Move’s “California Man”. The song is about an escaped prisoner, but Lynne wanted to give the character in the song a number as opposed to a name when he chanced upon the number 1053 while looking at the mixing console. Wood suggested adding an “8” to fit the melody better. Although intended to be a song for The Move, after multiple cello parts were added, it became the Electric Light Orchestra’s first release. It was during the single’s chart run that Wood left ELO, emerging later in the year with a new band called Wizzard.