Sunday, 6 July 2008

Sunday night rock 'n' roll

Electric Light Orchestra, commonly abbreviated to ELO, were a rock group from Birmingham, England who released eleven studio albums between 1971 and 1986 and another album in 2001. ELO (the brainchild of Jeff Lynne) were formed to accommodate Jeff's burning desire to create pop songs with heavily classical overtones. The band's direction for most of their existence was set by Jeff Lynne who, after the band's debut record, wrote all of the group's original compositions and produced every album.

It was in the United States that the band were first successful, billed as 'The English guys with the big fiddles'. They soon gained a cult following despite lukewarm reviews back in their native United Kingdom. They were managed by agent Don Arden, father of Sharon Osbourne.

By the mid-1970s, they had become one of the biggest selling bands in music. From 1972 to 1986, ELO accumulated more combined U.K. and U.S. Top 40 hit singles than any other band in the world, with 46. The group also scored twenty Top 20 U.K. hit singles, as well as fifteen Top 20 appearances in the U.S. Billboard charts. The band also hold the record for having the most Billboard Top 40 hits of any band in U.S. chart history without ever having a #1 single.

Despite the fact that the majority of the group's material was never researched, audited and certified, ELO collected 21 RIAA awards, and 38 BPI awards.

I remember seeing ELO a couple of years ago on one of those Countdown replays that Rage has every so often on Saturday night. On the show were a few Australian acts and ELO.

The difference in talent and musical quality was stark. They really were quite a band as these three videos prove.

Mr Blue Sky

Don't Bring Me Down

Strange Magic

(Nothing Follows)

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