A New World Record
|A New World Record|
|Studio album by|
|Studio||Musicland Studios, Munich, Germany; string and choral overdubs at De Lane Lea Studios, Wembley; fixes at Cherokee Studios, Los Angeles|
|Electric Light Orchestra chronology|
|Electric Light Orchestra studio album chronology|
|Singles from A New World Record|
A New World Record is the sixth studio album by Electric Light Orchestra (ELO). It was released in September 1976 on United Artists Records in the U.S., and on 19 November 1976 on Jet Records in the United Kingdom. A New World Record marked ELO's shift towards shorter pop songs, a trend which would continue across their career.
Their second album to be recorded at Musicland Studios in Munich, the LP proved to be the band's breakthrough in the UK; after their previous three studio recordings failed to chart in their home market, A New World Record became their first top ten album in the UK. It became a global success and reached multi-platinum status in the US and UK, The album sold five million units worldwide within its first year of release. The cover art features the ELO logo, designed by Kosh, for the first time. This logo would be included on most of the group's subsequent releases. The album yielded four hit singles, including "Livin' Thing", the transatlantic Top Ten hit "Telephone Line", which became the band's first gold US single, the UK Top Ten hit "Rockaria!", and the US number 24 hit "Do Ya", a remake of the 1972 single by The Move, of which Lynne was a member between 1970 and 1972.
In 1977, four of the album's songs were featured on the soundtrack of the film Joyride. In 2006, the album was remastered and released with bonus tracks on Sony's Epic/Legacy imprint. "Surrender" was also issued as a promotional single and an iTunes download single, which entered the top 100 download chart. The track was originally written in 1976 for a cancelled film soundtrack and was finished in 2006. In July 2012, the all vinyl record company Music on Vinyl re-released A New World Record on 180 gram vinyl with an embossed cover.
This section needs expansion. You can help by adding to it. (December 2017)
The band's frontman Jeff Lynne regarded his own songwriting at this point to have reached a new high.
The songs started to flow and most of them came quickly to me. To have all those hits, it was just ...I mean amazing really. Going from doing okay for probably three or four years to suddenly being in the big time, it was a strange but great thing.
- – Jeff Lynne 2006; A New World Record remaster
Patti Quatro Ericson, Brie Brandt (both of the band Fanny) and Addie Lee sang uncredited backing vocals at various points in the album, especially on "Livin' Thing" and the opening track "Tightrope".
|Christgau's Record Guide||B+|
|Encyclopedia of Popular Music|||
|The Rolling Stone Album Guide|||
|The Daily Vault||A-|
The album was well received by the music press. In the UK, Harry Doherty of Melody Maker recalled that when Lynne and Roy Wood had formed ELO it was to create "a group that would merge the excitement and colour of rock and roll with the clear lines of classical music", and that "A New World Record is, I feel, the closest that the Electric Light Orchestra have come to realising this". In his opinion the album "takes a giant leap forward... the most striking progression on this album is the use of orchestra and choir. Strings are no longer a novelty." In conclusion, Doherty stated that "A New World Record is ELO's best album in its seven-year history, the most complete of them all. They're a band who haven't yet gained the attention in this country that they deserve. Acquiring this album would be a fine way to change all that." NME's Bob Edmands complimented Lynne's songwriting, saying, "This is, in fact, a very ambitious album, possibly the most sophisticated the band have put out. But random experiments are no way to crack the States or to stay in favour there, and the complexity on this set is all in the service of strong melodic songs." Edmands also agreed with Doherty that ELO deserved to be recognised as a major outfit in the UK, saying, "Lynne and his band are in the front rank of the nation's rock experts, and it's time their standing was properly acknowledged at home".
Robin Smith of Record Mirror said, "Combining electric guitars with highbrow symphonies is a pretty crazy combination, but for the ELO it works. Often the music borders on clumsiness and the lyrics are sometimes silly, but the band's sense of fun carries them through." Tim Lott of Sounds declared that "with A New World Record Lynne has captured the essential atmosphere of sophisticated pop without sounding overblown or cheap. Each of the nine tracks is immediate, commercial, professional." He noted some minor failings with the record, but that they were outweighed by the album's positive aspects, and concluded, "There ain't a duff track anywhere. And trying to balance the superlatives with useless nitpicking and the 'relevance' of supposed old farts like Lynne would be sheer crap."
In the U.S. Alan Niester had some reservations in his review for Rolling Stone, feeling that the record was something of a "treading of the creative waters" and that the group were at that point "a band, now peaking in popularity, that is attempting to supply audiences with exactly the sound they want to hear". However, Niester then went on to note that "Lynne has always been rather deft with the melodic hook, and both 'Livin' Thing' and 'So Fine' are irresistible additions to his list of catchiest tunes. Numbers like 'Mission (A World Record)' and 'Shangri-la' continue the history of classy orchestral stylings that really rock." He concluded, "By Christmas, A New World Record should be a staple in a million homes". Robert Christgau stated that it was the album that changed his mind about the band, saying that "after years of floundering, they've gone all the way and made a Moody Blues album with brains, hooks, and laffs galore".
In his retrospective review for AllMusic Bruce Eder compared A New World Record with ELO's follow-up, the double album Out of the Blue, and felt that the former album was the better of the two, being "a more modest-sized creation chock full of superb songs that are produced even better... A New World Record contains seven of the best songs ever to come out of the group. The Beatles influence is present, to be sure, but developed to a very high degree of sophistication and on Lynne's own terms, rather than being imitative of specific songs."
All tracks written by Jeff Lynne.
|4.||"Mission (A World Record)"||4:24|
|7.||"Above the Clouds"||2:16|
The cassette tape version consisted of "Tightrope", "Rockaria!", "Mission", and "Shangri-La" on side one, with side two the same as the LP version's side two except for "Telephone Line" at the end in place of "Shangri-La".
|2006 remaster bonus tracks|
|10.||"Telephone Line" (different vocal)||4:41|
|11.||"Surrender" (previously unreleased; also released as a single)||2:37|
|12.||"Tightrope" (early instrumental rough mix)||4:55|
|13.||"Above the Clouds" (early instrumental rough mix)||1:14|
|14.||"So Fine" (early instrumental rough mix)||4:16|
|15.||"Telephone Line" (instrumental)||4:51|
- Jeff Lynne – lead vocals, guitars, percussion, electric piano
- Bev Bevan – drums, percussion, backing vocals (7)
- Richard Tandy – keyboards and synthesizers, guitar, percussion, backing vocals
- Kelly Groucutt – bass guitar, percussion, backing vocals, lead vocals (7)
- Mik Kaminski – violin
- Hugh McDowell – cello, percussion (7)
- Melvyn Gale – cello
- Additional personnel
- Mary Thomas – operatic vocals
- Patti Quatro – uncredited vocals
- Brie Brandt – uncredited vocals
- Addie Lee – uncredited vocals
- Mack – engineer
- Orchestra and choral arrangements – Louis Clark, Jeff Lynne, Richard Tandy
- Orchestra conducted by Louis Clark
- Duane Scott – Engineer for USA edit
|Canada (Music Canada)||2× Platinum||200,000^|
|United Kingdom (BPI)||Platinum||300,000^|
|United States (RIAA)||Platinum||1,000,000^|
*sales figures based on certification alone
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- Unzipped, an autobiography by Suzi Quatro
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- Lott, Tim (27 November 1976). "Record breakers". Sounds. p. 28.
- Clutterbuck, Jeff (2019). "The Daily Vault Music Reviews : A New World Record". dailyvault.com. Retrieved 28 January 2019.
- Doherty, Harry (20 November 1976). "ELO – at last, a classic". Melody Maker. p. 28.
- Edmands, Bob (13 November 1976). "Eclectic light and heavy orchestra". NME. pp. 42–43.
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- "Canadian album certifications – Electric Light Orchestra – A New World Record". Music Canada.
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- "Dutch album certifications – Electric Light Orchestra – A New World Record" (in Dutch). Nederlandse Vereniging van Producenten en Importeurs van beeld- en geluidsdragers. Enter A New World Record in the "Artiest of titel" box.
- "British album certifications – Electric Light Orchestra – A New World Record". British Phonographic Industry. Select albums in the Format field. Select Platinum in the Certification field. Type A New World Record in the "Search BPI Awards" field and then press Enter.
- "American album certifications – Electric Light Orchestra – A New World Record". Recording Industry Association of America. If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Album, then click SEARCH.
- A New World Record Remastered info at ftmusic