Out of the Blue (30th Anniversary Edition)
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iTunes Editors’ Notes
No one ever accused Jeff Lynne and his Electric Light Orchestra of thinking small. On 1977’s Out Of The Blue, ELO allows its ambitions to run unrestrained through a host of symphonic rock permutations. Released as a two-disc set, this album marked the fullest flowering of the group’s expansive musical vision. As on earlier releases, Beatles-derived motifs are present in abundance — the bouncy English charm of “Mr. Blue Sky” and the dreamy atmosphere of “Big Wheels” owe a particular debt to Paul McCartney. By this point, though, Lynne and his bandmates had developed their own recognizable sonic trademarks, especially a fondness for ‘50s-style roots-rock. Tracks like “Birmingham Blues” and “Across The Border” harken back to the prime of Carl Perkins and Jerry Lee Lewis, while “Sweet Talkin’ Woman” invokes the layered vocal interplay of the Beach Boys. ELO’s fascination with pre-World War II pop is evident in elegant, slightly campy tracks like “Sweet Is the Night” and “Wild West Hero.” Smoothly-crafted hit singles like “Turn To Stone” are counterpointed with impressionistic instrumentals like “The Whale.” With a sense of grandeur and a touch of humor, Out Of The Blue shifts from whimsy to melodrama like a widescreen film spectacular.
☆☆☆☆☆ Out of this World! ☆☆☆☆☆
I remember listening to "Mr. Blue Sky", back when I was still in grade school. Bought the single (45) which came in blue vinyl ... "Sweet Talkin Woman" in purple ... "Turn to Stone" in yellow ... and played it in my Sears record player until the needle broke. 30 years later (urgh) I came across the 45's and wanted to relive my youth. Ahhh the soothing sounds of yesteryear... Lo and behold. What lies between the hits are the real gems here! What an amazing album (yes boys and girls, that is what it was called way back then)! The arrangements and the flow of the songs is so brilliant! Talk about a concept album! Please download the entire album in its entirety to truly appreciate this guilty pleasure.
The pinnacle of "Classic" ELO
Everything ELO did prior to this album was all leading to this "moment"; and so much of what they did after this was derivative of it. Jeff Lynne made the most of his muse at this time and created one of the cornerstones of what my generation considers rock for the 1970's. He also knew he could never "top" this experience and, wisely, never attempted to. While not flawless, this album has a lot of really memorable songs that will still be played 25 years from now; especially "Mr. Blue Sky", and my personal favorite, "Turn To Stone".
The Peak of 70's Rock/Pop
I hadn't really listened to this album since overplaying the vinyl version nearly 30 years ago, but I forgot how Jeff Lynne was able to combine awesome production with incredible song writing. The hits have held up, but I downloaded my favorite song, Sweet is the Night, and that's just a beautiful song that sounds like it was produced in 2007. Standing in the Rain is another one that seems structured like a Broadway play opening, but anchored with a great rock beat. Now if only they could bring back their concert spaceship for a reunion tour!
Formed: October, 1970 in Birmingham, England
Years Active: '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s
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