A New World Record

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

A New World Record
Studio album by
Released15 October 1976
RecordedJuly 1976
StudioMusicland Studios, Munich, Germany; string and choral overdubs at De Lane Lea Studios, Wembley; fixes at Cherokee Studios, Los Angeles
ProducerJeff Lynne
Electric Light Orchestra chronology
A New World Record
The Light Shines On
Electric Light Orchestra studio album chronology
Face the Music
A New World Record
Out of the Blue
Singles from A New World Record
  1. "Livin' Thing"
    Released: October 1976
  2. "Do Ya"
    Released: January 1977 (US)
  3. "Rockaria!"
    Released: February 1977
  4. "Telephone Line"
    Released: May 1977

A New World Record is the sixth studio album by Electric Light Orchestra (ELO). It was released on 15 October 1976 on United Artists Records in the U.S.,[1] and on 19 November 1976 on Jet Records in the United Kingdom.[2][3] 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.


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, Brie Brandt (both of Fanny) and Addie Lee sang uncredited backing vocals on the album.[4][5]

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Christgau's Record GuideB+[7]
Encyclopedia of Popular Music[8]
Record Mirror[11]
The Rolling Stone Album Guide[12]
Melody Maker(favourable)[14]
New Musical Express(favourable)[15]

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."[14] 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".[15]

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."[11] 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."[13]

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".[16] Robert Christgau stated that it was the album that changed his mind about the band, who he said had "made a Moody Blues album with brains, hooks, and laffs galore".[7]

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."[6]

Cash Box said that "the album holds together, with haunting cuts like 'Above The Clouds' juxtaposed against faster numbers like 'Tightrope.'"[17]

Track listing[edit]

All tracks are written by Jeff Lynne

Side one
2."Telephone Line"4:38
4."Mission (A World Record)"4:24
Side two
5."So Fine"3:55
6."Livin' Thing"3:31
7."Above the Clouds"2:16
8."Do Ya"3:45
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

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".[18]


Sourced from the original album liner notes unless where noted.

Additional personnel
  • Mary Thomas – operatic vocals
  • Patti Quatro – uncredited backing vocals[4][5]
  • Brie Brandt – uncredited backing vocals[5]
  • Addie Lee – uncredited backing vocals[5]
  • Mack – engineer
  • Orchestra and choral arrangements – Louis Clark, Jeff Lynne, Richard Tandy[19]
  • Orchestra conducted by Louis Clark
  • Duane Scott – Engineer for USA edit



Region Certification Certified units/sales
Canada (Music Canada)[45] 2× Platinum 200,000^
Finland (Musiikkituottajat)[46] Gold 25,200[46]
Netherlands (NVPI)[47] Gold 50,000^
United Kingdom (BPI)[48] Platinum 300,000^
United States (RIAA)[49] Platinum 1,000,000^

^ Shipments figures based on certification alone.


  1. ^ Simmons, Paul (9 October 1976). "Managers' Notes" (PDF). Cashbox. p. 31.
  2. ^ "Recording News". NME. 30 October 1976. p. 2.
  3. ^ "News Flashes". Melody Maker. 30 October 1976. p. 4.
  4. ^ a b Quatro, Suzi (2007). Unzipped. Hodder & Stoughton. ISBN 978-1-44472-819-4.
  5. ^ a b c d Electric Light Orchestra: Song by Song
  6. ^ a b Eder, Bruce. Electric Light Orchestra – A New World Record > Review at AllMusic. Retrieved 24 February 2012.
  7. ^ a b Christgau, Robert (1981). "Consumer Guide '70s: E". Christgau's Record Guide: Rock Albums of the Seventies. Ticknor & Fields. ISBN 089919026X. Retrieved 24 February 2019 – via robertchristgau.com.
  8. ^ Larkin, Colin, ed. (2011). The Encyclopedia of Popular Music (5th edn). London: Omnibus Press. p. 915. ISBN 978-0-85712-595-8.
  9. ^ Graff, Gary; Durchholz, Daniel, eds. (1999). MusicHound Rock: The Essential Album Guide. Farmington Hills, MI: Visible Ink Press. p. 382. ISBN 1-57859-061-2.
  10. ^ Rees, Paul (July 2006). "ELO – A New World Record". Q. No. 240. pp. 124–25.
  11. ^ a b Smith, Robin (27 November 1976). "Review: Electric Light Orchestra – A New World Record". Record Mirror. p. 22.
  12. ^ Brackett, Nathan; Hoard, Christian, eds. (2004). The New Rolling Stone Album Guide (4th edn). New York, NY: Fireside/Simon & Schuster. p. 274. ISBN 0-7432-0169-8.
  13. ^ a b Lott, Tim (27 November 1976). "Record breakers". Sounds. p. 28.
  14. ^ a b Doherty, Harry (20 November 1976). "ELO – at last, a classic". Melody Maker. p. 28.
  15. ^ a b Edmands, Bob (13 November 1976). "Eclectic light and heavy orchestra". New Musical Express. pp. 42–43.
  16. ^ Niester, Alan (16 December 1976). "Electric Light Orchestra: A New World Record: Music Review". Rolling Stone. No. 228. pp. 82 & 85. Archived from the original on 16 April 2008.
  17. ^ "CashBox Album Reviews" (PDF). Cash Box. 30 October 1976. p. 35. Retrieved 11 December 2021.
  18. ^ "Electric Light Orchestra - A New World Record". Discogs. 1976. Retrieved 22 December 2020.
  19. ^ "A New World Record - Electric Light Orchestra | Credits | AllMusic". AllMusic.
  20. ^ Kent, David (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970–1992. St Ives, New South Wales: Australian Chart Book. p. 101. ISBN 0-646-11917-6.
  21. ^ "Austriancharts.at – Electric Light Orchestra – A New World Record" (in German). Hung Medien. Retrieved 28 February 2024.
  22. ^ "Top RPM Albums: Issue 5174a". RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved 28 February 2024.
  23. ^ "Electric Light Orchestra". Danske Hitlister. Archived from the original on 10 April 2016.
  24. ^ "Dutchcharts.nl – Electric Light Orchestra – A New World Record" (in Dutch). Hung Medien. Retrieved 28 February 2024.
  25. ^ Pennanen, Timo (2006). Sisältää hitin – levyt ja esittäjät Suomen musiikkilistoilla vuodesta 1972 (in Finnish) (1st ed.). Helsinki: Kustannusosakeyhtiö Otava. ISBN 978-951-1-21053-5.
  26. ^ "Offiziellecharts.de – Electric Light Orchestra – A New World Record" (in German). GfK Entertainment Charts. Retrieved 28 February 2024.
  27. ^ Oricon Album Chart Book: Complete Edition 1970–2005. Roppongi, Tokyo: Oricon Entertainment. 2006. ISBN 978-4-87131-077-2.
  28. ^ "Charts.nz – Electric Light Orchestra – A New World Record". Hung Medien. Retrieved 28 February 2024.
  29. ^ "Norwegiancharts.com – Electric Light Orchestra – A New World Record". Hung Medien. Retrieved 28 February 2024.
  30. ^ Salaverri, Fernando (2005). Sólo éxitos: año a año, 1959–2002 (in Spanish) (1st ed.). Spain: Fundación Autor-SGAE. ISBN 84-8048-639-2.
  31. ^ "Swedishcharts.com – Electric Light Orchestra – A New World Record". Hung Medien. Retrieved 28 February 2024.
  32. ^ "Official Albums Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company.
  33. ^ "Electric Light Orchestra Chart History (Billboard 200)". Billboard. Retrieved 28 February 2024.
  34. ^ "Cash Box Top 100 Albums" (PDF). Cash Box. Vol. XXXVIII #31. 18 December 1976. p. 49. Retrieved 30 December 2020 – via World Radio History.
  35. ^ "Top RPM Albums: Issue 5175". RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved 28 February 2024.
  36. ^ "Dutch charts jaaroverzichten 1976" (in Dutch). Archived from the original (ASP) on 12 May 2014. Retrieved 2 April 2014.
  37. ^ Kent (1993). p. 429.
  38. ^ "Austriancharts.st – Jahreshitparade 1977" (ASP) (in German). Hung Medien. Retrieved 1 August 2010.
  39. ^ "Top RPM Albums: Issue 5558". RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved 28 February 2024.
  40. ^ "Dutch charts jaaroverzichten 1977" (in Dutch). Archived from the original (ASP) on 12 May 2014. Retrieved 2 April 2014.
  41. ^ "Top 100 Album-Jahrescharts" (in German). GfK Entertainment Charts. 1977. Archived from the original on 24 October 2021. Retrieved 2 April 2022.
  42. ^ a b "Complete UK Year-End Album Charts". Archived from the original on 19 May 2012. Retrieved 12 September 2011.
  43. ^ "Top Pop Albums of 1977". billboard.biz. Retrieved 24 February 2012.
  44. ^ Kent (1993). p. 430.
  45. ^ "Canadian album certifications – Electric Light Orchestra – A New World Record". Music Canada.
  46. ^ a b "Electric Light Orchestra" (in Finnish). Musiikkituottajat – IFPI Finland. Retrieved 28 August 2013.
  47. ^ "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.
  48. ^ "British album certifications – Electric Light Orchestra – A New World Record". British Phonographic Industry.
  49. ^ "American album certifications – Electric Light Orchestra – A New World Record". Recording Industry Association of America.