Electric Light Orchestra, A New World Record
United Artists, 1976: Jeff Lynne (vocals, guitars), Richard Tandy (keyboards), Kelly Groucutt (bass, died 2009), Bev Bevan (drums), Mik Kaminski (violin), Hugh McDowell (cello) and Melvyn Gale (cello)
Electric Light Orchestra, better known simply as ELO, was a British rock group that formed in 1971. This was their sixth album, and this album kicked off a period of great success for the band with fifteen top-20 singles in the U.S over the course of the next decade. The album sold something like five million copies in its first year of release.
Jeff Lynne was the real creative power in the band, and over the years he has worked with artists such as the Beatles, Bob Dylan, Roy Orbison, Tom Petty, Brian Wilson, Randy Newman, Dave Edmunds and Del Shannon.
Love the songs on this album; solid music both sides; great lyrics throughout.
ELO was pioneering with its introduction of classical music overtones and the use of strings (cellos and violins), and those instruments show up throughout this album. The cellos sound great in the opening bars of "Tightrope." And then "Rockaria" continues the classical thematics with its operatic overtones.
"Shangri-La" has the great line "faded like The Beatles on Hey Jude," referring to the long fade-out on that great Beatles song.
From "Mission": "the planet earth from way up there is beautiful and blue and flowing softly through a rainbow but when you touch down, things look different here."