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Editors’ Notes

This 1979 album features a stripped-down ELO, but the band’s orchestral mood and affect are fully intact. The album is rich with glorious, and often ornate, Beatlesque hooks. The arrangements are a little more punchy, spare, and open. Yet there’s a heavier Bee Gees influence than before; in fact, “Shine a Little Love” and “Last Train to London” sound like ’70s Bee Gees A-sides, with falsetto-sung choruses, disco beats, and brothers Gibb vocal phrasings. A sweet left turn here is “The Diary of Horace Whip,” which features a narrative about an odd kid who overcomes intense shyness to get to the girl. The album sold more than 2 million copies in the U.S. alone and contained no less than five hit singles, including “Don’t Bring Me Down,” which was their biggest.

Customer Reviews

A great example of some disco ELO

Even with the box set, this is a must have. Last Train to London and Shine a Little Love are classics. Great road trip music IMHO.

Awesome Album

I remember going to the local record store to buy this on LP way back. Wow, memories...and umm, its groos (a made up word by the band) not gross or Bruce. However, ELO changed the word to Bruce later on as a result of so many people making the classic mistake. Sounds like another one for "scuse me while I kiss this guy"


If you are just starting out on dicovering ELO, this is not the album to begin with. You probably know the album's best tune, "Don't Bring Me Down," but if you don't know the rest of the album, don't expect the other tracks to live up to that one. While "DBMD" is good rocker with the kind of great melody that we had come to expect from Jeff Lynne by 1979, the rest of the album falls short. By this time, burn out was settling in and Jeff was losing his ability to come up with decent melodies. One listen to the chorus of "Shine a Little Love" or the verses of "Last Train to London" will clearly illustrate this. In addition, with this album, Jeff decided it was time to jump on the disco bandwagon - a fad which was already beginning to fade by the time of the album's release. In many cases on this album, the sound and production values became more important than the music and the songwriting suffered as a result. Fortunately, time has healed this wound and Jeff's last collections of songs (the ELO CD "Zoom") is a welcome return to form for Jeff as a first rate songwriter. If you want to dig back into the 70's and hear some good examples Jeff's ability to write a great tune, then check out "Out of the Blue" "Face the Music" or "Eldorado". Jeff was at his peak as a pop songwriter on these records. If you want to hear what Jeff can do when he decides to tackle longer epic works, then check out the brilliant "Electric Light Orchestra II" (ELO's 2nd album from 1972 - not one of those bogus Electric Light Orchestra Part 2 albums from the 90's). Jeff took rock 'n' roll places it had never been before with ELO 2, only to quickly change direction on the next album. "Discovery" is unfortunately, quite a disapointment compared to any of the ELO albums that preceded it.


Formed: October, 1970 in Birmingham, England

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s

The Electric Light Orchestra's ambitious yet irresistible fusion of Beatlesque pop, classical arrangements, and futuristic iconography rocketed the group to massive commercial success throughout the 1970s. ELO was formed in Birmingham, England in the autumn of 1970 from the ashes of the eccentric art-pop combo the Move, reuniting frontman Roy Wood with guitarist/composer Jeff Lynne, bassist Rick Price, and drummer Bev Bevan. Announcing their intentions to "pick up where 'I Am the Walrus' left off,"...
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