The Night the Light Went On in Long Beach

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The Night the Light Went on in Long Beach
Live album by Electric Light Orchestra
Released May 1974
1985 (LP and cassette reissues)(UK)
1998 (UK CD)
Recorded 12 May 1974 at Long Beach Auditorium, California
Genre Symphonic rock, progressive rock, art rock
Length 40:20
Label Warner Bros. (Germany)
United Artists (US unreleased)
Epic (UK CD)
Producer Jeff Lynne
Electric Light Orchestra chronology
On the Third Day
The Night the Light Went on in Long Beach
Alternative cover
Reissue album cover
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 4.5/5 stars[1]

The Night the Light Went on in Long Beach is a 1974 live album by the Electric Light Orchestra (ELO) recorded at the Long Beach Auditorium on the evening of 12 May 1974 Long Beach, California,[2] and its title lampoons "The Night the Lights Went Out in Georgia" by Vicki Lawrence from '73.

Background and limited release[edit]

Although this live album was intended as the follow-up to On the Third Day, the original recording was marred by technical issues both on and off the stage. The problems started when the truck carrying the band's equipment broke down en route to the venue, and the band did not have enough time to perform a proper sound check before the concert.

Initial vinyl pressings of the album were of such poor quality that ELO's management eventually filed a lawsuit against the production company for compensation. The garish gatefold sleeve of the original album, designed by Mick Haggerty, showed a cartoony 50s-era horror film mob running in terror from an unseen source of light, with the album's title scrawled across the sleeve. The inside held distorted photos of the band performing onstage.

Ultimately, both ELO's UK and US labels decided against issuing The Night the Light Went on in Long Beach. It only achieved "legitimate" release in Germany and a handful of other countries, although it was eventually issued in the UK in 1985. It was never released in the US (although it was heavily imported into the US as an import and sold quite well in the specialty rock shops around the country). However, in the US, the live version of "10538 Overture" from this recording was later used as the B-side for the ELO single "Evil Woman" from the studio album Face the Music. The live version of "Roll Over Beethoven" from Long Beach, saw limited release in the US on the B-side of the CBS Hall of Fame 45 re-issue series alternate version of "Telephone Line"


A 1990s CD remastering and reissue corrected the poor sound quality of the original album and restored several songs to their full-length versions. It was discovered that the original LP pressing had been mastered using an inferior copy of the concert (according to the CD's liner notes, the tape used had been marked 'Rough Mix, Do Not Use'), hence the muddy sound. However, the original master tape was discovered in the record company's vault and the album was restored to its intended sound quality.

The album remains one of the few official live recordings of the classic ELO line-up.

Original track listing[edit]

Side 1
  1. "Daybreaker" (Jeff Lynne) – 5:34
  2. "Showdown" (Lynne) – 6:54
  3. "Day Tripper" (Lennon–McCartney) – 6:40
Side 2
  1. "10538 Overture" (Lynne) – 5:44
  2. "Mik's Solo/Orange Blossom Special" (Mik Kaminski/E. T. Rouse) – 2:28
  3. "In the Hall of the Mountain King"/"Great Balls of Fire" (Edvard Grieg/Jack Hammer, Otis Blackwell) – 8:35
  4. "Roll Over Beethoven" (Chuck Berry) – 4:25