Sunday, September 16, 2007

373. Electric Light Orchestra - Out Of The Blue (1977)

Track Listing

1. Turn To Stone
2. It's Over
3. Sweet Talkin' Woman
4. Across The Border
5. Night In The City
6. Starlight
7. Jungle
8. Believe Me Now
9. Steppin' Out
10. Standin' In The Rain (Concerto For A Rainy Day)
11. Big Wheels
12. Summer And Lightning
13. Mr Blue Sky
14. Sweet Is The Night
15. Whale
16. Birmingham Blues
17. Wild West Hero


ELO bring us a strange album, it is at the same time a little bit of Beatles and Beach Boys, but also Bee Gees and Queen, but with vocoders. So just like the bands that influenced them there are good and bad things. The Abbey Road type influence together with Beach Boys harmonies is quite good, but the tacky showmanship of Queen with the disco antics of the Bee Gees kind of fuck it up in the end making the album hang slightly on the tacky side.

Still this is one of those phenomena like Billy Joel's album, it is fun throughout and even tough it is a double album it doesn't feel stretched. The compositions use something in the area of 7,546,181 instruments each which is fun, the semi robotic attempts with vocoders give it a sheen of kitsch which is also good and the songs are catchy enough to make you pay attention.

ELO does fall in that camp of people who would like to be the new Mozarts and Dylans of this world but fail, there is ambition completely unrealised, but fun. So good album overall and Mr. Blue Sky and Sweet Talking Woman are great songs.

Track Highlights

1. Mr. Blue Sky
2. Sweet Talking Woman
3. Steppin' Out
4. It's Over

Final Grade



From Wikipedia:

* JTLA 823 L2 which is featured on the shuttle arriving at the space station is the original catalog numbers for the album Out of the Blue

* A sixth single was released from the album in February 2007, "Latitude 88 North" written in 1977 and previously incomplete and left off the track list.

* The inclement weather effects heard on "Concerto for a Rainy Day" were real and recorded by Jeff Lynne during a very rainy summer in Munich 1977.

* Instrumental song "The Whale" was composed by Lynne after watching a documentary about the slaughter of whales.

* The title of "Birmingham Blues" is a pun based on Jeff Lynne's home Football Team Birmingham City FC who's nickname are "The Blues".

* Cellist Melvyn Gale played piano on the track "Wild West Hero".

* Tarzan can be heard on the track "Jungle" voiced by Jeff Lynne.

* At the conclusion of "Mr. Blue Sky" a heavily vocoded voice says "Please turn me over." This occurred at the end of side three of the vinyl record, asking the listener to flip to side four.

* It has been noted that every song on the album has the word "Blue" in it at least once. This relates to not only the title of the album, but also the mood of most of the songs.

* The string riff in Birmingham Blues is borrowed from George Gershwin's Rhapsody in Blue.

Puppet sings Mr. Blue Sky:

No comments: