Friday, 20 April 2018

#TenAlbumsInTenDays #2 - Eldorado - A Symphony By The Electric Light Orchestra

When Jeff Lynne and Roy Wood were in The Move they wanted to start a project that contined where The Beatles' "Strawberry Fields Forever" had left off. That project became The Electric Light Orchestra and their early albums contained some amazing musical detours, but with a heavy reliance on the string section hence the "Orchestra".

Some of the early singles showed their versatility none more striking than the all out orchestral rock and roll arrangement of Chuck Berry's "Roll Over Beethoven" being followed up by the perfect Philadelphia soul sound of "Showdown".

A switch of label from EMI's progressive arm Harvest to Warner Brothers (now Sony) for "On The Third Day" and then my second favourite album of all time "Eldorado".

I was a fan of the band an bought the single from the album the gorgeous "Can't Get It Out Of My Head" but was blown away by the full on string backed rock and roll of the 'B' Side "Illusions in 'G' Minor". That persuaded me to invest in the album with it's "Wizard of Oz" cover and it has remained a favourite ever since. The use of strings and choir organ / vox humana make for a most impressive sound for Jeff Lynne's excellent songs.

The string arrangements throughout the album are amazing particularly on "Poor Boy" but almost every song is a gem , and it is an album that you happily play from start to end. THis was followed by "Face The Music" before they finally hit paydirt with "A New World Record", but in my opinion this is their finest forty minutes and I still play this frequently.

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