On the Third Day

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On the Third Day
Studio album by Electric Light Orchestra
Released November 1973 (US)
December 1973 (UK)
12 September 2006 (Reissue)
Recorded April – May 1973 at De Lane Lea Studios, London
Genre Symphonic rock, progressive rock
Length 39:26
Label Warner Bros. (UK)
United Artists (US)
Producer Jeff Lynne
Electric Light Orchestra chronology
ELO 2
(1973)
On the Third Day
(1973)
The Night the Light Went On in Long Beach
(1974)
Singles from On the Third Day
  1. "Showdown"
    Released: 14 September 1973
  2. "Ma-Ma-Ma Belle"
    Released: February 1974 (1974-02)
US alternate album cover

On the Third Day is the third studio album by Electric Light Orchestra (ELO), and the first to be recorded without input from Roy Wood.

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 3.5/5 stars[1]
Music Box 3/5 stars[2]
Rolling Stone (unfavourable)[3]

Recording[edit]

This album features some elaborate band arrangements and complicated musical segués between tracks. The Mini Moog synthesizer can be heard prominently on several tracks, particularly as lead instrument on the instrumental "Daybreaker". It was to be the last ELO album where Jeff Lynne attempted to re-create an orchestral sound in the studio by multi-tracking the cellos and solo violin of the band members - for the next album, a real orchestra would be hired. Marc Bolan played guitar on "Ma-Ma-Ma Belle" and "Dreaming of 4000", both originally uncredited, as well as on "Everyone's Born to Die", which was not released at the time but appears as a bonus track on the 2006 remaster.

"Ocean Breakup/King of the Universe" contains a sequence of morse code signalling ELO, something Lynne would also do 10 years later on "Secret Messages". "Bluebird Is Dead" features a guitar solo played backwards. The working titles for "In the Hall of the Mountain King" was "In the Hole of the Mounted Parrot", "Daybreaker" was "Theme from Glass Table" and "Dreaming of 4000" was "I'm Only Dreaming" and "Mambo".

Release[edit]

On the Third Day was released in 1973 and failed to enter the UK charts at the time, although it did reach the US charts at number 52.[4] Side two of the album was recorded during or shortly after the sessions for ELO's LP ELO 2, but unlike its predecessor it contains shorter tracks. By contrast, the four songs on side one of the album were linked into a continuous suite. Violinist Mik Kaminski made his debut on side one of this album replacing Wilf Gibson, although Gibson plays on side two (plus the bonus tracks). Also, cellist Colin Walker left the line up around the same time, leaving Mike Edwards as lone cellist.

"Showdown" was originally intended to be released on single only and, since it was on a different label (Harvest) than the UK LP, did not appear on the original UK LP. It was, however, included on the US LP. Although he didn't actually record on the album, Hugh McDowell did appear on this front cover of the US LP seen at right, which was an unusual photograph taken by famed photographer Richard Avedon that had ELO displaying their belly-buttons. In 2006, New Zealand rap group Frontline sampled a piece of "Dreaming of 4000" for their latest release "Hold 'em".

Track listing[edit]

All songs written by Jeff Lynne, unless noted.

Original track listing[edit]

Side one
  1. "Ocean Breakup / King of the Universe" – 4:07
  2. "Bluebird Is Dead" – 4:24
  3. "Oh No Not Susan" – 3:07
  4. "New World Rising / Ocean Breakup (Reprise)" – 4:05
Side two
  1. "Daybreaker" – 3:51
  2. "Ma-Ma-Ma Belle" – 3:56
  3. "Dreaming of 4000" – 5:04
  4. "In the Hall of the Mountain King" (Edvard Grieg) – 6:37

Reissue track listing[edit]

Compact disc tracklisting
  1. "Ocean Breakup / King of the Universe" – 4:07
  2. "Bluebird Is Dead" – 4:24
  3. "Oh No Not Susan" – 3:07
  4. "New World Rising / Ocean Breakup (Reprise)" – 4:05
  5. "Showdown" – 4:09
  6. "Daybreaker" – 3:51
  7. "Ma-Ma-Ma Belle" – 3:56
  8. "Dreaming of 4000" – 5:04
  9. "In the Hall of the Mountain King" (Grieg) – 6:37
Bonus tracks
  1. "Auntie (Ma-Ma-Ma Belle)" (Take 1) – 1:19
  2. "Auntie (Ma-Ma-Ma Belle)" (Take 2) – 4:05
  3. "Mambo (Dreaming of 4000)" (Take 1) – 5:05
  4. "Everyone's Born to Die" – 3:43
  5. "Interludes" – 3:40

Personnel[edit]

Chart positions and runs[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ On the Third Day at AllMusic
  2. ^ Music Box review
  3. ^ "Rolling Stone review". Archived from the original on 25 August 2007. 
  4. ^ a b "Electric Light Orchestra - Awards". AllMusic. Retrieved 2 May 2013. 
  5. ^ "Electric Light Orchestra". Offfical Charts Company. Retrieved 12 March 2013. 

External links[edit]