I’m not familiar with Electric Light Orchestra’s early discography, having only taken a passing interest, so I’ll wind back the clock, and dig into 1974’s ‘Eldorado’, which was apparently, a concept album.
Written by: gdmonline
ARTIST: Electric Light Orchestra
ALBUM: Eldorado (A Symphony)
LABEL/SERIAL: Warner Bros (UK), K56090 * United Artists (USA), UA-LA339-G
CD REISSUE: Reissue List
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: England
LINEUP: Jeff Lynne – lead and backing vocals, guitars, bass, moog, production, orchestra and choral arrangements * Bev Bevan – drums, percussion * Richard Tandy – piano, moog, clavinet, wurlitzer electric piano, guitar, backing vocals, orchestra and choral arrangements * Mike de Albuquerque – bass, backing vocals * Mike Edwards – cello * Mik Kaminski – violin * Hugh McDowell – cello
Additional Musicians: Peter Forbes-Robertson – spoken word * Louis Clark – orchestra and choral arrangements, conducting
TRACK LISTING: 01 Eldorado Overture (instrumental) * 02 Cant Get It Out of My Head * 03 Boy Blue * 04 Laredo Tornado * 05 Poor Boy (The Greenwood) * 06 Mister Kingdom * 07 Nobodys Child * 08 Illusions in G Major * 09 Eldorado * 10 Eldorado Finale *11 Eldorado Instrumental Medley * 12 Dark City
WEBLINKS: Official Website
I’ll admit to being only a fringe fan of the Electric Light Orchestra back in the day. However, they were always in my ear due to their songs being a regular occurrence on radio. I’m not familiar with their early discography, having only taken a passing interest with albums such as ‘A New World Record’, ‘Out Of The Blue’ and ‘Discovery’. So, I’ll wind back the clock, and dig into 1974’s ‘Eldorado’, which was apparently, a concept album.
According to Wikipedia: ‘the plot follows a Walter Mitty-like character who journeys into fantasy worlds via dreams, to escape the disillusionment of his mundane reality’. Sounds kinda cool, maybe they should make a TV Series out of it? Maybe they did.. Quantum Leap meets Sliders perhaps?
Anyway it’s the music on discussion here, and ‘Eldorado’ phases in and out of the storyline like former footballer Dave Thomas (QPR) weaving his magic down the touchline.
Moving on from the bombastic ‘Eldorado Overture’ opening, the Electric Light Orchestra jumps right into ‘Cant Get It Out of My Head’, which was released as the album’s first single. Funny, I remember the Silent Rage cover from 1989, and that was the first time I heard a rendition of the song, not having heard the original. Naughty I know.
‘Boy Blue’ is mildly amusing, with its opening fanfare horn blast, and cinematic delivery. It does eventually open out to something familiar to all Electric Light Orchestra fans. ‘Laredo Tornado’ has some compelling moments, including falsetto vocals and effective guitar lines, even if the tempo never reaches any great heights.
‘Poor Boy (The Greenwood)’ takes symphonic pop/rock to a new level, the string work is very prominent. ‘Mister Kingdom’ has been compared to The Beatles track ‘Across The Universe’, while ‘Nobody’s Child’ is another symphonic laden affair of wonder.
‘Illusions In G Minor’ is a power-packed 50’s rocker given a symphonic rock paintbrush, maybe slightly out of sync with the rest of the album, but still an effective listen. The obvious highlight of the album is the three-part ‘Eldorado’ trilogy, which is up and down like a yo-yo, cinematic, bombastic, but fascinating nonetheless.
The album concludes with the short ‘Dark City’, which according to Jeff Lynne, you hear the double bass players packing up their gear at the end of the recording session.
There are two interesting observations with this album. ‘Eldorado’ charted well in the USA, reaching gold certification relatively quickly, while it did no action whatsoever in Britain. How strange is that?
Secondly, Classic Rock magazine has gone on record saying that ‘Eldorado’ is one of the top 50 albums that built prog rock. That’s a strange call, but then anything coming out of the insular prog rock scene doesn’t surprise me. Anyway, there is more Electric Light Orchestra stuff on the way, with another two articles waiting in the wings.
Entire Album (Select Tracks)