Eldorado (Electric Light Orchestra album)
|Studio album by Electric Light Orchestra|
October 1974 (UK)
|Recorded||February – August 1974
De Lane Lea Studios, London, United Kingdom
|Genre||Symphonic rock, progressive rock, art rock|
|Label||Jet (UK), United Artists (US)|
|Electric Light Orchestra chronology|
|Singles from Eldorado|
Eldorado (sometimes known as Eldorado – A Symphony by the Electric Light Orchestra) is the fourth studio album by the Electric Light Orchestra (ELO), released in 1974.
Eldorado is the first complete ELO concept album; bandleader Jeff Lynne conceived the storyline before he wrote any music. The plot follows a Walter Mitty-like character who journeys into fantasy worlds via dreams, to escape the disillusionment of his mundane reality. Lynne began to write the album in response to criticisms from his father, a classical music lover, who said that Electric Light Orchestra's repertoire "had no tune". The influence of the Beatles is prevalent, especially in the melody of the verse of "Mister Kingdom" which to some degree resembles the Beatles' "Across the Universe".
Eldorado marks the first album on which Jeff Lynne hired an orchestra; on previous albums, Lynne would overdub the strings. Louis Clark co-arranged (with Lynne and keyboardist Richard Tandy) and conducted the strings, and would go on to become a full member. The group's three resident string players continued to perform on recordings, however, and can be heard most prominently on the songs "Boy Blue" and "Laredo Tornado". Mike de Albuquerque departed early on in the recording process, as touring made him feel separated from his family. Lynne plays most of, if not all, the bass tracks and backing vocals for the album, even though de Albuquerque received credit. Nevertheless, de Albuquerque was involved in some of the released album, if not as prominently as previous albums. Kelly Groucutt replaced de Albuquerque for the subsequent tour, when cellist Melvyn Gale also joined. "Eldorado Finale" is heavily orchestrated much like "Eldorado Overture". Jeff Lynne said of the song, "I like the heavy chords and the slightly daft ending, where you hear the double bass players packing up their basses, because they wouldn't play another millisecond past the allotted moment."
Release, reception and aftermath
"Can't Get It Out of My Head" was released as a single (with "Illusions in G Major" as the flipside) and was a success in the US. An edited version of "Boy Blue" was released as the album's second single, but failed to make any commercial impact. The album was certified Gold in the United States soon after its release. The album and singles, however, failed to find a wide audience in the band's native United Kingdom.
In 1978, the filmmaker Kenneth Anger re-released his 1954 film Inauguration of the Pleasure Dome, using Eldorado as the soundtrack. In July 2010, the album was named one of Classic Rock magazine's "50 Albums That Built Prog Rock".
All songs written by Jeff Lynne.
- Side one
- "Eldorado Overture" – 2:12
- "Can't Get It Out of My Head" – 4:21
- "Boy Blue" – 5:18
- "Laredo Tornado" – 5:29
- "Poor Boy (The Greenwood)" – 2:57
- Side two
- "Mister Kingdom" – 5:50
- "Nobody's Child" – 3:40
- "Illusions in G Major" – 2:36
- "Eldorado" – 5:20
- "Eldorado Finale" – 1:20
- Re-issue CD bonus tracks
- "Eldorado Instrumental Medley" – 7:56
- "Dark City" – 0:46
The album was remastered and reissued on 12 June 2001 with two bonus tracks, "Eldorado Instrumental Medley", a suite of the album's orchestral parts, plus "Dark City", an early draft of the track "Laredo Tornado".
- Jeff Lynne – lead & backing vocals, electric, acoustic, & bass guitars, keyboards, production, orchestra and choral arrangements
- Bev Bevan – drums, percussion
- Richard Tandy – piano, Moog synthesizer, clavinet, electric piano, guitar, backing vocals, orchestra and choral arrangements
- Mike de Albuquerque – bass, backing vocals (credited, but only fleetingly appearing on the album)
- Mik Kaminski – violin
- Hugh McDowell – cello
- Mike Edwards – cello
- Additional personnel
- Peter Forbes-Robertson – spoken word
- Louis Clark – orchestra and choral arrangements and conducting
- Al Quaglieri – Reissue producer (2001)
Chart positions and chart run
- US: number 16 CashBox; number 16 Billboard 200; Billboard Year-End number 31 (1975)
- UK: did not chart on its own when first released, but reached number 38 in 1978 as part of the 3-LP box-set, Three Light Years.
- AUS: number 40 ARIA Albums Chart, 14 weeks
- CAN: number 7 RPM Albums Chart, 28 weeks
- Wild, David. "The Story of a Rock and Roll Band and the Pop Genius Who Dared to Go Baroque." Flashback.
- Porter, Robert, Jeff Lynne Song Database, June 2013. http://www.jefflynnesongs.com/cgioomh/ Retrieved 25 June 2013
- Eder, Bruce. "Eldorado – Electric Light Orchestra : Songs, Reviews, Credits, Awards". AllMusic. Retrieved 3 March 2013.
- (Posted: 2 January 1975) (2 January 1975). "Electric Light Orchestra: Eldorado : Music Reviews : Rolling Stone". Web.archive.org. Retrieved 3 March 2013.
- Classic Rock magazine, July 2010, Issue 146.
- "Electric Light Orchestra – Awards". AllMusic. Retrieved 2 May 2013.