I suspect many of you will know my top legends of pop music. The fabulous ELO.
They have never done a song I did not like, be them singles or albums. I often play their songs in the car and have spent many a night with them in concert on the telly.
The Electric Light Orchestra (ELO) are an English rock band formed in Birmingham in 1970 by songwriters and multi-instrumentalists Jeff Lynne and Roy Wood with drummer Bev Bevan. Their music is characterised by a fusion of pop, classical arrangements and futuristic iconography. After Wood’s departure in 1972, Lynne became the band’s sole leader, arranging and producing every album while writing nearly all of their original material. For their initial tenure, Lynne, Bevan and keyboardist Richard Tandy were the group’s only consistent members.
ELO was formed out of Lynne’s and Wood’s desire to create modern rock and pop songs with classical overtones. It derived as an offshoot of Wood’s previous band, the Move, of which Lynne and Bevan were also members. During the 1970s and 1980s, ELO released a string of top 10 albums and singles, including the band’s most commercially successful album, the double album Out of the Blue (1977). Two ELO albums reached the top of British charts: the disco-inspired Discovery (1979) and the science-fiction-themed concept album Time (1981). In 1986 Lynne lost interest in the band and disbanded the group. Bevan responded by forming his own band, ELO Part II, which later became the Orchestra. Apart from a brief reunion in the early 2000s, ELO remained largely inactive until 2014, when Lynne re-formed the band with Tandy as Jeff Lynne’s ELO.
During ELO’s original 13-year period of active recording and touring, they sold over 50 million records worldwide, making them one of the best-selling music groups of all time. They collected 19 CRIA, 21 RIAA, and 38 BPI awards. From 1972 to 1986, ELO accumulated 27 top 40 songs on the UK Singles Chart, and fifteen top 20 songs on the US Billboard Hot 100. The band also holds the record for having the most Billboard Hot 100 top 40 hits (20) without a number one single of any band in US chart history. In 2017, the key members of ELO (Wood, Lynne, Bevan and Tandy) were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
It was a difficult task to decide the featured song, could have been any of them. I have selected some of my favourites but they have a huge back-catalogue, so please post your favourites.
We start at the beginning when Roy Wood as around:
ELO – 10538 Overture Live @ Civic Hall Guildford UK 7th May 1972, an interesting tune, sounds a bit like The Move as well. However, once heard I just knew this would be a super-group.
Electric Light Orchestra – Roll Over Beethoven (Live 1976). If you are not tapping your feet and wanting to dance, you must be quite seriously ill. Classic stuff, done by several bands including The Beetles, but ELO do it better than any.
ELO-Showdown.1973 From ToTP in 1973. Jeff Lynn still looks the same today.
ELO Ma-Ma-Ma Belle 1974 – Rare video as Jeff does not have his glasses on.
Electric Light Orchestra (ELO) “Can’t Get It Out of My Head” Zoom Tour 2001. Lovely slow song.
Jeff Lynne’s ELO – Evil Woman (Live at Wembley Stadium)
Jeff Lynne’s ELO Live with Rosie Langley and Amy Langley, Glastonbury 2016 – Livin’ Thing
Jeff Lynne’s ELO – Rockaria! (BBC Radio 2 In Concert 2019) (Melanie Lewis-McDonald is the gorgeous lady singing the aria sections)
ELO – The Diary of Horace Wimp.
“Do Ya” Jeff Lynne’s ELO Live 2019 Tour North American – Super song.
Telephone Line Jeff Lynne’s ELO Live with Rosie Langley and Amy Langley, Glastonbury 2016 – You know this song after the first second of it starting, lovely.
Wild West Hero Jeff Lynne’s ELO Live with Rosie Langley and Amy Langley, Glastonbury 2016.
Jeff Lynne’s ELO “Sweet Talkin Woman” Live 2018 UK Tour
Jeff Lynne’s ELO – Shine a little love – Glastonbury 2016
Jeff Lynne’s ELO – Don’t Bring Me Down (BBC Radio 2 In Concert 2019)
Jeff Lynne’s ELO “Last Train To London” Live 2018 UK Tour
Jeff Lynne’s ELO – Rock ‘N’ Roll Is King (Live in Hyde Park_14th September 2014) – Always been one of my favourites, cannot help but singalong.
I have selected this song as I was at Wembley stadium in 2017, the audience reaction of people of around my age bouncing around and waving was quite incredible: Jeff Lynne’s ELO – Turn to Stone (Live at Wembley Stadium)
Singalong, enjoy and be happy!
Links to previous Legend articles:
© Phil the ex test manager 2022