Tuesday, 29 September 2015

Life at 33 1/3: ELO: Close to perfection

I was an Electric Light Orchestra follower from the moment I read about the project. After all, they were The Move in disguise, and I loved The Move. There’s no denying that I struggled with the first ELO- album. The music sounded unstructured and weird, and to my surprise this was particulary due to Roy Wood. Jeff Lynne was responsible for the album’s more accessible moments, including the hit single with the enigmatic title “10538 Overture”. I was in for another shock as Wood suddenly left the band, taking some key players with him, and formed Wizzard.

Wizzard got off to a flying start with a stack of brilliant hit singles that stuffed 50’s rock’n’roll, 60’s pop, 70’s glam, blasting woodwind and see-sawing cellos into a Spectorian “wall of sound”, topping it all with sing-along-choruses that even a goldfish could hum.

Jeff Lynne struggled on with the residual ELO-members, adding some new names to the line-up. “ELO 2” was certainly more striking than the debut, but most of it sounded hesitant and lacked direction. The fun, but very obvious cover version of Chuck Berry’s “Roll Over Beethoven” (incorporating the famous riff from Beethoven’s 5th symphony) saved the day, providing the band with a sorely needed hit single.


The Lost Broadcasts
DVD - £9.99

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