Face the Music (Electric Light Orchestra album)
|Face the Music|
|Studio album by Electric Light Orchestra|
|Released||September 1975 (US)
14 November 1975 (UK)
11 September 2006 (UK, reissue)
12 September 2006 (US, reissue)
Musicland Studios, Munich, Germany
|Genre||Symphonic rock, art rock|
|Label||Jet (UK), United Artists (US)|
|Producer||Jeff Lynne; Engineer - Mack|
|Electric Light Orchestra chronology|
|Singles from Face the Music|
ELO's fifth studio LP was released in 1975 (see 1975 in music) and the first to be recorded in Musicland Studios Munich, which was introduced by Deep Purple in a tour in the United States. The band featured a new line-up with bassist Kelly Groucutt and cellist Melvyn Gale replacing Mike de Albuquerque and Mike Edwards respectively.
The back cover of the record sleeve shows the members of the band with their faces pressed against a glass panel, supposedly watching the "electrocution" depicted on the front cover. The band member who is looking away is Richard Tandy, who didn't like the idea and didn't want to participate. New member Kelly Groucutt sang lead vocals on "Poker" and "Down Home Town" (while Jeff Lynne sang harmony) as well as one of the verses in "Nightrider." (Usually, Lynne sang all lead vocals for ELO.)
"Fire On High" contains a backwards message in the beginning. When the song is played backwards, the message voiced by drummer Bev Bevan can be heard stating, "The music is reversible, but time is not. Turn back. Turn back. Turn back. Turn back." — ostensibly Jeff Lynne's shot at backmasking hysteria, after false satanic allegations were made against their song "Eldorado" by Fundamentalist Christianity members. "Down Home Town" also starts with some backmasking: the refrain from "Waterfall" ("Face the mighty waterfall, face the mighty waterfall"). A portion of the string crescendo from "Nightrider" was used backwards on "Evil Woman."
The singles "Evil Woman" and "Strange Magic" were the most commercial songs they had recorded up to that point. "Evil Woman" was a big hit in the UK and the US, embracing disco rhythms while still embodying ELO's classic sound. The chords and melody of this song were composed merely in six minutes, making it the fastest song Lynne has ever written.
"Nightrider" became the second single from the album and despite an appearance on the UK Chart show Top of the Pops it failed to chart.
Despite the success of the singles, the LP failed to chart in the UK. The album was remastered and released in September 2006 with bonus tracks.
All songs written by Jeff Lynne.
- Side one
- Side two
- Bonus tracks (2006 remaster)
- "Fire On High Intro" (Early Alt. mix) –3:23
- "Evil Woman" (Stripped Down mix) – 5:00
- "Strange Magic" (US Single edit) – 3:27
- "Waterfall" (Instrumental mix) – 4:15
- Jeff Lynne – vocals, guitar, producer
- Bev Bevan – drums, percussion, spoken intro (backwards), vocals
- Richard Tandy – piano, clavinet, moog, guitar
- Kelly Groucutt – bass, vocals
- Mik Kaminski – violin
- Hugh McDowell – cello
- Melvyn Gale – cello
- Orchestra conducted by Louis Clark
- Additional personnel
- Ellie Greenwich – uncredited vocals
- Susan Collins – uncredited vocals
- Nancy O'Neill – uncredited vocals
- Margaret Raymond – uncredited vocals
- Mack – Engineer
- Jeff Lynne, Richard Tandy and Louis Clark – Orchestra and choral arrangements
- Although Greenwich, Collins, O'Neill and Raymond are not credited as vocalists, Lynne credits them with 'special thanks'.
Chart positions, chart runs
- US: number 8 Billboard 200; Billboard Year-End: number 11 (1976); RIAA certification: Gold
- UK: did not chart on its own when first released, but reached number 38 in 1978 as part of the 3-LP box-set, Three Light Years.
- AUS: number 30 ARIA Albums Chart
- CAN: number 31 RPM Albums Chart
- Face the Music Remastered info at ftmusic