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Electric Light Orchestra

The Electric Light Orchestra's ambitious yet irresistible fusion of Beatlesque pop, classical arrangements, and futuristic iconography rocketed the group to massive commercial success throughout the 1970s. ELO was formed in Birmingham, England in the autumn of 1970 from the ashes of the eccentric art-pop combo the Move, reuniting frontman Roy Wood with guitarist/composer Jeff Lynne, bassist Rick Price, and drummer Bev Bevan. Announcing their intentions to "pick up where 'I Am the Walrus' left off," the quartet sought to embellish their engagingly melodic rock with classical flourishes, tapping French horn player Bill Hunt and violinist Steve Woolam to record their self-titled debut LP (issued as No Answer in the U.S.). In the months between the sessions for the album and its eventual release, the Move embarked on their farewell tour, with Woolam exiting the ELO lineup prior to the enlistment of violinist Wilf Gibson, bassist Richard Tandy, and cellists Andy Craig and Hugh McDowell; despite the lengthy delay, Electric Light Orchestra sold strongly, buoyed by the success of the U.K. Top Ten hit "10538 Overture."

However, Wood soon left ELO to form Wizzard, taking Hunt and McDowell with him; Price and Craig were soon out as well, and with the additions of bassist Michael D'Albuquerque, keyboardist Richard Tandy, and cellists Mike Edwards and Colin Walker, Lynne assumed vocal duties, with his Lennonesque tenor proving the ideal complement to his increasingly sophisticated melodies. With 1973's ELO II, the group returned to the Top Ten with their grandiose cover of the Chuck Berry chestnut "Roll Over Beethoven"; the record was also their first American hit, with 1974's Eldorado yielding their first U.S. Top Ten, the lovely "Can't Get It Out of My Head." Despite Electric Light Orchestra's commercial success, the band remained relatively faceless; the lineup changed constantly, with sole mainstays Lynne and Bevan preferring to let their elaborate stage shows and omnipresent spaceship imagery instead serve as the group's public persona. 1975's Face the Music went gold, generating the hits "Evil Woman" and "Strange Magic," while the follow-up, A New World Record, sold five million copies internationally thanks to standouts like "Telephone Line" and "Livin' Thing."

The platinum-selling double-LP, Out of the Blue, appeared in 1977, although the record's success was tempered somewhat by a lawsuit filed by Electric Light Orchestra against their former distributor, United Artists, whom the band charged flooded the market with defective copies of the album. Columbia distributed the remainder of the group's output, issued through their own Jet Records imprint, beginning with 1979's Discovery, which notched the Top Ten entries "Shine a Little Love" and "Don't Bring Me Down." In the wake of ELO's best-selling Greatest Hits compilation, Lynne wrote several songs for the soundtrack of the Olivia Newton-John film Xanadu, including the hit title track. The next proper Electric Light Orchestra album, 1981's Time, generated their final Top Ten hit, "Hold on Tight." Following 1983's Secret Messages, Bevan left the group to join Black Sabbath, although he returned to the fold for 1986's Balance of Power, which despite the presence of the Top 20 hit "Calling America," received little interest from fans and media alike.

However, as Electric Light Orchestra's career descended, Lynne emerged as a sought-after producer, helming well-received comebacks from George Harrison (1987's Cloud Nine) and Roy Orbison (1989's Mystery Girl) and additionally re-teaming with both rock legends as well as Bob Dylan and Tom Petty in the hit supergroup the Traveling Wilburys. Lynne made his solo debut in 1990 with Armchair Theatre but otherwise spent the decade out of the limelight, instead producing material for Joe Cocker, Tom Jones, and Paul McCartney in addition to working on the Beatles' Anthology project. In 1988, meanwhile, Bevan formed Electric Light Orchestra Part II with vocalist Neil Lockwood, keyboardist Eric Troyer, and bassist Pete Haycock; although Lynne filed suit against the group (hence the "Part II" tag), a self-titled LP followed in 1991, with a live collection recorded with the Moscow Symphony Orchestra appearing a year later.

In 2001, having successfully secured the rights to the Electric Light Orchestra name, Lynne recorded the album Zoom -- largely by himself -- and released it as an ELO album. After Zoom, Lynne took time off from ELO, working on several projects including his 2002 collaboration with George Harrison, Brainwashed, and his 2009 collaboration with Tom Petty, Highway Companion.

In 2012, Lynne returned to ELO with Mr. Blue Sky, an album of re-recorded Electric Light Orchestra songs. In 2013, Lynne released a solo album of '50s and '60s pop hits titled Long Wave, as well as the ELO album Live, which featured concert performances ELO recorded during the tour for Zoom. ~ Jason Ankeny, Rovi
full bio

Selected Discography

Comments

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Fan-Fuggin-T a s t i c band!!!! I agree ROCK n ROLL HALL of FAME!!!!!!
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Bought the album on iTunes, one of the best decisions I've made, I listen to it literally day!
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Telephone line, nice! & good memories.
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What's not to like... one of my favs on my Pandora feed!
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sacredfun6
I was never a big fan, but the music doesn't sound dated at all... after all these years it's fresh
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tmoe6
I never knew what to make of ELO's music back then....all I knew was it was great. Only recently I listened to all the ELO music I could find. Memories!
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Jeff Lynne we NEEEEEEEEEEE E E E D a new album :-)
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How can you not love Jeff?
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Great band so many great songs Jeff rocks
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Do ya, Do ya want my love. Nice ELO song, one of many
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Remember listening to albums? ELO was extra good under the headphones.
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dragonlady60 8 8
Love the moody blues ...hey now61
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dragonlady60 8 8
Elo...!!!!!
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What a light show in concert. 70's live
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Turn to stone
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Why Jeff Lynde or ELO are not in the Rock N Roll Hall is beyond me. Jeff Lynde could write, sing, and produced some of the best rock songs of all time.
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It's a living thing, love E.L.O.
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Love this song Strange Magic by Electric Light Orchestra
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Out of the blue appeared a green space ship with people playing these cool sounding instruments with racks of Roland echo machines, and that is the impression in my head still and am 53 this year and elo opened the doors to magnificent life of concerts but they were what I know to be thee Trip of a lifetime
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this is the best band EVER!!!!!
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alexandraabe l l a 1 7
Great band
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Let me see, 10 cents!!! Times 100,000 equals 10,000 dollars. Not bad! lol good luck.
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Could I trouble you for a 10¢ College Fund Donation?

http://david s c o l l e g e f u n d . w e e b l y . c o m /
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It's A NEW WORLD RECORD! Now that was a concert....
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If u want the LYRICS so bad. SEND OUT TO ALL PANDORA LISTENERS. ON THIS DAY. ALL FOR LYRICS. OR JUST LEARN THE WORDS WITH HEADPHONES. lol have nice,& great life
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I like cream to
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amy.smay
Lyrics?
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where are the lyrics????
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Please, Pandora, bring back the lyrics! :-(
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John is my friend at meat heads
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Beings back so many good times.
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mewilcox5
ELO was the very first concert I attended...i t was 1974 and I was 12 years old, the show was great.
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I said this 4 years ago- A very underrated band- great music and lyrics- Jeff Lynne loved the Beatles and their influence certainly is shown in it. I love their older stuff before they went pop. Anything up to Out of the Blue was Great!
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Nice
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mmetzung
It's a living thing! Classic
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badbob669
#rd. day shodown by ELO
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ELO is superb!
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ELO is classic rock at its best !!
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ELO rips it up
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More ELO, OK, don't mind if I do. Ty
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ELO, you give me those sunny days
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ELO: You keep rolling cross my mind
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Todays Forecast: BLUE SKIES
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Back again, can't get it out of head!!!
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Good morning, ELO.
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Classic.
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toddsliberto
Reminds me of that movie Xanadu...... . L o v e it!!!!!!!!
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lovin the bass line, freakin cool!
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Great music and for sure great times
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Last train to london
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