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Electric Light Orchestra Discovery Album Review
One of my favorite pastimes as a kid, growing up in the late 1970s, was to frequent our local record store in our Cleveland suburb called "Peaches". I was and still am fascinated by the vinyl album cover art. I often wondered why the band choose the cover art they did to represent the album.
I was captivated by the cover art of the ELO (Electric Light Orchestra) Album, Discovery. The album cover depicts a young man in middle eastern garb looking down at a glowing ELO symbol. It looks like the young man has "discovered" something very valuable. The back side of the album cover depicts a man dressed as a menacing palace garb who is drawing his scimitar. Here is some interesting trivia, the gentleman on the back album cover is none other than a young Brad Garrett, who is noted for his role as the older brother of Robert Barone in the sitcom Everybody Loves Raymond, and his own sitcom show Til Death. Both the front and back cover reminded me of a scene from silent movie.
The album art motivated me to purchase the album right on the spot, there went a week of money made mowing yards! I immediately rode my bike home clutching the plastic bag with my new purchase.
My father let me set up his old Heathkit turntable and amplifier, that he built in the 1960s, in my bedroom. He had long ago abandoned it in the basement in favor of a new “solid state” Pioneer turntable and amplifier he purchased in the early 1970s. I put the Discovery record on the turntable. The first song up was Shine A Little Love, a song influenced by the Disco sound of the time and probably why some people refer to this able as “disco very” instead of Discovery. My next favorite song on this album is Last Train To London, about a young man torn between his new love and the last ride back home from Birmingham to London. I love the use of Yamaha CS-80 synthesizer and classical string instruments.
Finally the last song on the album is Don’t Bring Me Down, in an interview with Jeff Lynne in 2001 he confided that he wrote it at the last minute “cos I felt there weren’t enough loud ones on the album” This song is still the biggest hit of ELO in the United States and one of my favorites. Honestly there is not a bad song on this album and I never found myself skipping ahead.
I have long since retired the Heathkit turntable and vinyl in favor of my iPhone with iTunes installed. Every time I hear Last Train To London it takes me back to a simpler time of listening to this album on my borrowed “Hi-Fi”. I encourage you to rediscover this album and all the memories of youth that it will bring back.
Complete remastered ELO Album collection. This will surely be on my Christmas list this year!
Great ELO Compilation Album
ELO Last Train To London Music Video