Rock and Roll With a Symphonic Beat
This is another fantastic British rock group that comes from Birmingham, England. Actually if you just hear their name they sound like a symphonic orchestra. During their popularity in the years between 1971 and 1986 they came out with 11 studio albums and added on one more in 2001. This band came together as the creation of Roy Wood and Jeff Lynne whose dream it was to add classical overtones to rock and pop songs. Wood departed the band after they came out with their debut album but Lynne stayed and wrote and arranged all of their original compositions and also produced all of their albums.
When ELO reached the U.S. they became even more popular than they ever were in the U.K. By the time the mid-70s rolled around they had become one of the biggest-selling acts in music. The band holds the record for having the most Billboard Hot 100 Top 40 hits. They have received many different awards and have sold more than 50 million records all over the globe.
The idea for the band began in the late 60s by Roy Wood who thought it would be great to create a band that used instruments that would usually be used by symphonic orchestras so that their music would have a classic sound. Their first song was “10538 Overture” and the debut self-titled album came out in 1971 and released in the U.S in 1972 titled “No Answer”. “10538 Overture” became a top-10 hit in the U.K. Lynne. Wood and Bev Bevan were the founding members and were later joined by Bill Hunt (keyboard, horns) and Steve Woolam (violin).
Their first U.S. chart single was a very elaborate version of Chuck Berry’s classic “Roll over Beethoven” ELO also made their first appearance on the popular TV show “American Bandstand”. Their third album On the Third Day came out in 1973 and included the popular single “Showdown”.
Their first U.S. Top 10 hit was “Can’t Get It Out of My Head” from their fourth album Eldorado, A Symphony which became their first gold album. Other hits followed like “Evil Woman” and “Strange Magic”. Their sixth album went platinum A New World Record and included the hit singles “Livin’ Thing”, “Telephone Line”, “Rockarial” and “Do Ya”. More albums and more singles followed including “Turn to Stone”, “Sweet Talkin’ Woman”, “Mr. Blue Sky” and “Wild West Hero”.
In 1979 they released the multi-platinum album Discovery which included one of ELO’s biggest hits “Don’t Bring Me Down”. The album also had the hits “Shine a Little Love”, “Last Train to London”, “Confusion” and “The Diary of Horace Wimp”. They continued to record and roll out the hits until 1989 when ELO officially disbanded. Remaining members of ELO continue to record and tour calling themselves The Orchestra.
© 2016 Gypsy Rose Lee
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