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Electric Light Orchestra - Out Of The Blue: Deluxe Edition (2007) Retail CD
"Critical reappraissal is due".
Couldn't agree more, like ABBA, it's time to look past the supposed "cheesiness" factor and appreciate this great band for what they were.
They weren't just Beatle rip off merchants, they weren't just trying to fuse Rock and Classical music, they weren't a "Progressive Rock" band.
I grew up with E.L.O. and they first came to my attention when I heard a performance of a song called "Evil Woman" on Top Of The Pops and heard a short section of string playing in the middle that was so bizarre, that it blew my young musical mind..I decided to keep track of this bandmore….
The next thing I knew was that everyone seemed to be raving about an album called "A New World Record", which produced a number of very catchy, big selling singles.
I bought the album and almost wore it out, wondering how they could get such a polished, big sound, especially the drums.
While many were raving about Queen's innovations, I was captivated by what Jeff Lynne was doing, instrumentally, harmonically and vocally.
For me, "Out Of The Blue", shows the man and his band at the peak of their powers, though I disagree with many who claim that it was all down hill from that point on.
There are marvellous moments in all of the subsequent albums, though I think only "Time", comes near to the overall consistancy.
People complain that the songs on "Out Of The Blue", and indeed all other ELO albums all "sound the same", nothing could be further from the truth.
Yep, Lynne has a few favourite chord progressions and his backing vocals can follow predictable paths, but there are so many original diversions, in so many of the individual songs that I'm not too concerned about that..
I'll highlight just three:
1. The section in the middle of "Turn To Stone"..
2. The section towards the end of Summer And Lightning,where Lynne echoes the chord progression of Spector's "You've Lost That Loving Feeling", and builds to the climax in much the same way.
3. The "static" area, over a repeated bass riff, in "Birmingham Blues", where he sings "across the world I've seen, people and places, could be the same", and the almost frozen nature of this section is a musical reflection of the lyrics.
There is some very clever musical thinking going on here.
However, on top of all the song writing skills, it's the production skills of Jeff Lynne which still stand up today.
I think it's this contribution which marks this man out as a genius.
Like Spector and Steinman, it's easy to know when a work has the "Lynne" mark on it, and the later works of Roy Orbison, Tom Petty and George Harrison, all of whom went back to him time and again, shows how much they respected his skills.
And, it's kind of poetic, for me that the people who he's always accused of "ripping off" came to him in order to get them to bring John Lennon "back to life"..
And, his skills are in full view on "Out Of The Blue", the huge amount of work that went into this album, is hard to fathom.
All in all, I believe this album to be one of the all time greats, not just of that era, but along with "Rumours" and "Hotel California", of all time.
|1||Turn To Stone|
|3||Sweet Talkin' Woman|
|4||Across The Border|
|5||Night In The City|
|8||Believe Me Now|
|10||Standin' In The Rain|
|12||Summer And Lightning|
|13||Mr. Blue Sky|
|14||Sweet Is The Night|
|17||Wild West Hero|
|18||Wild West Hero|
|19||Quick And The Daft|
|20||Latitude 88 North|
- Electric Light Orchestra - Out Of The Blue: Deluxe Edition (2007) Retail CD
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- 15/04/07 by bki
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