ELO’s First

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by vinyl diehard, Jan 10, 2019.

  1. vinyl diehard

    vinyl diehard Two-Channel Forever Thread Starter

    Just listening to a first German (Harvest) vinyl pressing. Haven’t heard this album before now. Enjoying the Wood wonkiness, but I find the vocals rather grating. The album as a whole seems well recorded but those vocals! They sound overdriven at times and truthfully hard to understand (a lyric sheet would have been helpful).
    Maybe I’m being too critical. Any comments on this one appreciated.
    Darren Richardson likes this.
  2. Man at C&A

    Man at C&A Forum Resident

    There was a lyric sheet in the first UK pressings but it's very hard to find one with it now. I've never seen one.

    A very strange album and far less commercial than ELO would become. I don't know what to think of it to be honest! The Move's Message From the Country album compliments it well. If they weren't recorded at the same time there's not much in it. I think they were.
    Darren Richardson likes this.
  3. Andrew J

    Andrew J Forum Resident

    South East England
    Good in places but more austere than the later stuff. Sound a lot like what it probably was: an experiment, without a sense of cohesion. Agree about the vocals.
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2019
    Darren Richardson likes this.
  4. abzach

    abzach Forum Resident

    Great album!
  5. Darren Richardson

    Darren Richardson Well-Known Member

    Uncle Miles and vinyl diehard like this.
  6. Thoughtships

    Thoughtships Forum Resident

    Devon, UK
    I love it. It's a baroque, unique, weird yet lovable thing.
  7. The first 2 ELO's are the only ones that matter to me. Great Stuff!
  8. c-eling

    c-eling Forum Resident

    And it kicked off a great run of ELO catalog album closer's :)
  9. HoratioH

    HoratioH Amateur Sparkspert

    Look at Me Now is a brilliant song.
    willboy and Derek Slazenger like this.
  10. MarcS

    MarcS Forum Resident

    Oradell NJ
    I love how raunchy the strings sound on the 1st two albums; after Roy Wood left it got a little more mainstream.
    S. P. Honeybunch and Folknik like this.
  11. gja586

    gja586 Forum Resident

    Gogledd Cymru
    I completely agree - the grinding cellos sound amazing to my ears.

    Being conditioned to the ELO sound on the hits I heard back in the 70s, I found this album a bit of a shock when I first heard it a couple of years ago. However, it quickly became my favourite of theirs. It's like its own little world of weird and wonderful sounds. 10538 Overture is a great opening declaration of the ELO "agenda". :)
  12. smilin ed

    smilin ed Forum Resident

    Ironic, ain't it, that a few years down the line Wood was charting with a series of very commercial Spectoresque numbers! A genuine treasure. Me? I like ELO up to an including a New World Record, but quite like Out of the Blue and Zoom and love Lynne's first solo.
    Love playing Queen of the Hours on Halloween (along with My Solution, Lady Eleanor, Monster Mash and Look Out, There's a Monster Coming...)
    Darren Richardson likes this.
  13. Folknik

    Folknik Forum Resident

    Same here. The band's string section had a great nitty-gritty quality on their first 3 albums. Beginning with Eldorado Jeff Lynne decided to augment the string section (and practically bury them) with full orchestrations. I love those later albums, too, and A New World Record is my all-time favorite but they lost a certain edge after On the Third Day and the live The Lights Went Out In Long Beach.
    Darren Richardson likes this.
  14. Uncle Miles

    Uncle Miles Forum Dilettante

    Phoenix, AZ USA
    I was more or less indifferent to this album except for 10538 Overture (which is on various compilations) until I got the anniversary release with the Quad remix and ripped that to stereo with Windows Audio Extractor, that remix sounded so neat for whatever reason, I played it like half a dozen times, now it's a favorite album. I wish they had a Quad remix like that of the 2nd album floating around somewhere.
    Darren Richardson likes this.
  15. Beatmaniac

    Beatmaniac Forum Resident

    Slidell, Louisiana
    On The Third Day is a masterpiece, still meaning to pick up an original UK
  16. Folknik

    Folknik Forum Resident

    Since Roy Wood intended for No Answer to be a one-off experiment, can it be considered the last Move album as well as the first ELO album? It's certainly transitional.
  17. crustycurmudgeon

    crustycurmudgeon Forum Resident

    Hollister, CA
    Lyric sheets seem to be common with the US pressings.
  18. willboy

    willboy Forum Resident

    Wales, UK
    I had the yellow lyric sheet with my first UK pressing, which has unfortunately long since disappeared.
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2019
  19. willboy

    willboy Forum Resident

    Wales, UK
    Not heard any other versions to compare, but the original UK Warner Bros does sound very nice indeed. I'd be surprised if any other versions can better it.
  20. The sessions for ELO/No Answer and Message From The Country did indeed overlap, with the plan supposedly being to keep songs with more prominent saxophone or woodwind parts for The Move's final release, while everything else - especially material featuring strings - went on to form the debut of the band this one evolved into.

    Most of the strings on that first ELO album were Roy overdubbing multiple cello parts himself, which is why that record had more of a "gritty" sound compared to later efforts, when Jeff started augmenting the core group instrumental tracks by adding full orchestral and choral arrangements on top of these, starting with Eldorado.

    Despite writing reams about ELO's output in the late 1970s and early-to-mid '80s, I must confess to not being all that knowledgeable when it comes to their initial work together. On the other hand, I find it interesting that Roy began work on a follow-up despite intending for ELO's debut to be its lone studio statement (he left to form Wizzard prior to the abandoning of a concept album that was to have been called The Lost Planet). Above all his former colleagues, Roy always seemed like the kind of person to fear being put in the same box for too long, resulting in a prolific streak that saw him adopt various styles over the course of just a few years - this musical inconsistency might have led to a wealth of hits, but I also feel it was ultimately to the detriment of his endurance as a popular artist. Also, it probably doesn't help that he's something of a perfectionist who took increasingly more time between projects to the point where a collection of covers he announced a while back has now sadly disappeared from the proverbial radar. I really do hope we've not heard the last from such a talent, even if he is occasionally his own worst enemy. By contrast, Jeff found his place by chipping away at the foundation he helped establish, honing ELO's sound through On The Third Day to Alone In The Universe and hopefully beyond...
  21. Dr. Robert

    Dr. Robert Forum Resident

    Curitiba, Brazil
    Man, someone needs to make a double album out of the material. If well sequenced, it would sound glorious! Picture that, the Electric Move Orchestra :D
    George Blair likes this.
  22. George Blair

    George Blair Forum Resident

    Portland, OR
    Anyone liking this album needs to own Roy Wood's "Boulders." It's one of the greatest overlooked solo LP's ever. :love:

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