The Electric Light Orchestra (album)

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The Electric Light Orchestra
Studio album by Electric Light Orchestra
Released December 1971
Recorded July 1970 – June 1971
Genre Art rock, symphonic rock, cello rock, baroque rock, progressive rock
Length 41:30
Label Harvest (UK)
United Artists (US)
Producer Roy Wood, Jeff Lynne
Electric Light Orchestra chronology
The Electric Light Orchestra
(1971)
ELO 2
(1973)
Singles from The Electric Light Orchestra
  1. "10538 Overture"
    Released: 23 June 1972
  2. "Mr. Radio"
    Released: 1972 (withdrawn)

The Electric Light Orchestra is the debut studio album by English rock band Electric Light Orchestra (ELO), released in December 1971. In the US, the album was released in early 1972 as No Answer, after a misunderstood telephone message made by a United Artists Records executive asking about the album name.[1] The caller, having failed to reach the ELO contact, wrote down "no answer" in their notes, and this was misconstrued to be the name of the album.

Recording[edit]

The album is focused on the core trio of Roy Wood, Jeff Lynne, and Bev Bevan who were the remaining members of rock group The Move. The Move were still releasing singles in the UK at the same time as this project was undertaken, but interest was soon to be abandoned in Wood's former band. The sound is unique on this recording in comparison to the more slickly produced ELO albums of the subsequent Lynne years, incorporating many wind instruments and replacing guitar parts with heavy, "sawing" cello riffs, giving this recording an experimental "Baroque-and-roll" feel; indeed, "The Battle of Marston Moor" is the most baroque-influenced track on the album. On this track, Roy Wood, in addition to playing virtually all the instruments, had to provide the percussion as well because Bev Bevan, normally the group's percussionist and drummer, refused to play on the track because of his low opinion of it. However, the overall musical connection to The Beatles (it had been stated by the bandmembers that ELO was formed to "pick up where The Beatles left off...") is quite apparent in this album.

Release[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 4/5 stars[2]
Robert Christgau B−[3]

"Queen of the Hours", which became the b-side to "Roll Over Beethoven" from the band's second album, was the first ever ELO published song, released by Harvest Records in November 1971 in a compilation called The Harvest Bag which featured various Harvest records artists.[4]

The original LP was mixed in Quadrophonic sound but was only released in this format in South America. Many of these "quad" tracks appeared with the SQ encoding intact on the "First Light" series edition of the album and on a later double-CD release entitled Early ELO, 1971–1974 (available only as an import in the US). The entire "quad" version with SQ encoding intact has since been released on Disc 3 of the Harvest Years compilation. The original album art was designed by Hipgnosis and the photographs of the band on the back of the album cover, dressed in seventeenth century period costume, were taken at the Banqueting House in Whitehall, adding to the Baroque flavour and emphasis on Stuart Britain found on the record. "Mr. Radio" was intended to be the second single from the album, but was subsequently withdrawn. The edited single version made its first appearance on the 2005 compilation album Harvest Showdown instead.

Track listing[edit]

Side one
  1. "10538 Overture" (Jeff Lynne) – 5:32
  2. "Look at Me Now" (Roy Wood) – 3:17
  3. "Nellie Takes Her Bow" (Lynne) – 5:59
  4. "The Battle of Marston Moor (July 2nd 1644)" (Wood) – 6:03
Side two
  1. "First Movement (Jumping Biz)" (Wood) – 3:00
  2. "Mr. Radio" (Lynne) – 5:04
  3. "Manhattan Rumble (49th Street Massacre)" (Lynne) – 4:22
  4. "Queen of the Hours" (Lynne) – 3:22
  5. "Whisper in the Night" (Wood) – 4:50
Bonus tracks (US 2006 remaster)
  1. "Battle of Marston Moor" (Alternate take) (Wood) – 1:00
  2. "Nellie Takes Her Bow" (Alternate Mix) – 6:02
  3. "Mr. Radio" (Take 9) – 5:19
  4. "10538 Overture" (Alternate mix) – 5:46
Bonus tracks (40th Anniversary Edition)
  1. "10538 Overture (Acetate Version)" – 5:23
  2. "Mr. Radio (Take 9 Recorded 18 November 1970)" – 5:18
  3. "Nellie Takes Her Bow (Alternate Mix)" – 6:02
  4. "Whisper in the Night (Take 1/Take 2 Edit)" – 4:59
  5. "Mr. Radio (Single Edit)" – 3:56
  6. "10538 Overture (For Top of the Pops)" – 4:42

The Electric Light Orchestra (First Light Series)[edit]

The Electric Light Orchestra
(First Light Series)
Studio album by Electric Light Orchestra
Released (First Light Series) 30th Anniversary Edition 2001
Recorded July 1970 – June 1972
Genre Progressive rock, Art rock, Symphonic rock, Baroque rock
Label Harvest, EMI
Producer Roy Wood, Jeff Lynne
Electric Light Orchestra chronology
Zoom
(2001)
The Electric Light Orchestra (First Light Series)
(2001)
ELO 2 (First Light Series)
(2003)
CD 2 First Light
First Light cover
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Artistdirect.com 4.5/5 stars[5]

The Electric Light Orchestra (First Light Series) is a two disc expanded special 30th anniversary edition of their debut album.

Released in 2001 in the UK, disc one contains the original ELO album plus bonus tracks and an interactive CD-ROM feature, while disc two features the oldest surviving live ELO material with co/founder Roy Wood and cellist Andy Craig.

Disc one
The Electric Light Orchestra
  1. "10538 Overture" (Lynne) – 5:32
  2. "Look at Me Now" (Wood) – 3:17
  3. "Nellie Takes Her Bow" (Lynne) – 5:59
  4. "The Battle of Marston Moor (July 2nd 1644)" (Wood) – 6:03
  5. "First Movement (Jumping Biz)" (Wood) – 3:00
  6. "Mr. Radio" (Lynne) – 5:04
  7. "Manhattan Rumble (49th Street Massacre)" (Lynne) – 4:22
  8. "Queen of the Hours" (Lynne) – 3:22
  9. "Whisper in the Night" (Wood) – 4:50
Bonus tracks
  1. "Battle of Marston Moor" (Take 1) (Wood) – 1:00
  2. "10538 Overture" (Take 1) (The Move/ELO) – 5:46
  • Enhanced multimedia section with interactive menu leading to EMI Promotional Film: 10538 Overture (May 1972)
Disc two
First Light
  1. Brian Matthew Introduces ELO – 0:37
  2. "10538 Overture" (Acetate version) – 5:24
  3. "Look at Me Now" (Quad mix) – 3:19
  4. "Nellie Takes Her Bow" (Quad mix) – 5:59
  5. "Battle of Marston Moor (July 2nd, 1644)" (Quad mix) – 5:55
  6. "Jeff's Boogie No 2" (Live) – 6:58 (Early version of "In Old England Town")
  7. "Whisper in the Night" (Live) – 5:45
  8. "Great Balls of Fire" (Live) – 5:40
  9. "Queen of the Hours" (Quad mix) – 3:18
  10. "Mr. Radio" (Take 9) – 5:18
  11. "10538 Overture" (BBC Session) – 4:38 / (Hidden track) "Whisper in the Night" (Take 1) – 5:00

Personnel[edit]

Additional personnel

Chart positions[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]