Rockaria!

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"Rockaria!"
Single by Electric Light Orchestra
from the album A New World Record
B-side "Poker"
Released 19 February 1977 (UK)
Format 7" single
Recorded 1976 Musicland Studios, Munich
Genre Rock and roll, art rock, symphonic rock
Length 3:14 (album version)
3:10 (Single edit)
Label Jet
Writer(s) Jeff Lynne
Producer(s) Jeff Lynne
Electric Light Orchestra singles chronology
"Livin' Thing"
(1976)
"Rockaria!"
(1977)
"Do Ya"
(1977)
A New World Record track listing

"Rockaria!" is a song by Electric Light Orchestra (ELO), written by Jeff Lynne. It was the third track on the band's successful 1976 album, A New World Record and was the second single from the album. On some CD pressings of A New World Record, it appears without the exclamation point.

Recording[edit]

Featuring the operatic voice of Mary Thomas during the introduction, on the first recording take, she mistakenly started the vocals too early. However, Lynne elected to use the take (complete with her interjection, "Oops!") anyway (although some later pressings of the album are missing this part). During live performances, the 'aria' was provided by the band's bassist Kelly Groucutt, illustrating his wide-ranging vocal talents.

Music[edit]

The song itself is a unique fusion of rocking blues, glam rock, opera and power pop. According to the lyrics, a woman is obsessed with the operatic masterworks of Wagner, Beethoven, Puccini and Verdi and the singer's intent is to show her how to rock and roll. By the end of the song, however, the twist becomes that the opera singer has proven that she actually can rock 'n' roll with the best of them and that she has a few tricks to teach to the singer. When Beethoven is mentioned, the iconic opening of his Fifth Symphony is heard on the piano.

The title of the song is not used within the lyrics, thus it is often mispronounced, usually as rhyming with "diarrhea". It is actually a fusion of two different words, rock and aria, thus giving rock-ahr'-ia.

B-side[edit]

"Poker" is a song written and performed by Electric Light Orchestra.

The song first appeared on the band's LP, Face the Music as track number 5, It is the shortest song in length at 3:34, off the Face the Music LP. During recording, Kelly Groucutt sang most of the song's lyrics. (Normally, Jeff sung the vocals.)

The song twice appeared as a B side, first in the UK then in 1979 as the flip side of the US single version of "Confusion".

"Poker rocks along with murderous intent, despite corn ball lyrics." John Ingham (1975 - from a transcribed UK Face the Music album review of unknown origin)

Chart positions[edit]

Chart (1977) Peak
position
Australia (Kent Music Report)[1] 10
Austria (Ö3 Austria Top 40)[2] 7
Belgium (Ultratop 50 Flanders)[3] 26
Belgium (VRT Top 30 Flanders)[4] 17
Netherlands (Dutch Top 40)[5] 28
Netherlands (Single Top 100)[6] 23
UK Singles (Official Charts Company)[7] 9

Jeff Lynne version[edit]

"Rockaria!"
Song by Electric Light Orchestra from the album Mr. Blue Sky
The Very Best of Electric Light Orchestra (Deluxe Edition)
Released 8 October 2012 (UK)
9 October 2012 (US)
Recorded 2001–2012 Bungalow Palace
Length 3:13
Label Frontiers
Writer Jeff Lynne
Producer Jeff Lynne

Jeff Lynne re-recorded the song in his own home studio. It was released in a compilation album with other re-recorded ELO songs, under the ELO name,[8] as an iTunes Store exclusive bonus track.[9]

References[edit]

External links[edit]