Time (Electric Light Orchestra album)

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ELO Time expanded album cover.jpg
Studio album by ELO
Released July 1981 (UK)
August 1981 (US)
Recorded Early 1981
Studio Musicland Studios, Munich, Germany
Genre Pop,[1] synthpop[1]
Length 43:57
Producer Jeff Lynne
ELO chronology
Four Light Years
Secret Messages
Singles from Time
  1. "Hold On Tight"
    Released: July 1981
  2. "Twilight"
    Released: October 1981
  3. "Ticket to the Moon/Here Is the News"
    Released: December 1981
  4. "Rain Is Falling"
    Released: January 1982
  5. "The Way Life's Meant to Be"
    Released: March 1982

Time is the tenth studio album by British rock band Electric Light Orchestra (credited only as ELO) released in 1981 through Jet Records. It is a concept album which tells a story of a man from the 1980s finding himself in the year 2095 and trying to come to terms with being unable to return and adjusting to his new surroundings.[citation needed]

In 2001, the album was remastered and reissued on CD with three additional bonus tracks, two of which ("Julie Don't Live Here" and "When Time Stood Still") had already been released as B-sides of singles ("Twilight" and "Hold On Tight" respectively) from the original album, while the other ("The Bouncer") was originally released as the UK B-side of the 1983 single "Four Little Diamonds" from the follow-up album Secret Messages.

Musical style[edit]

While the two preceding ELO albums, Discovery and Xanadu, were heavily influenced by pop and disco, Time is much closer to ELO's roots of progressive rock music. Songs like "Ticket to the Moon", "The Way Life's Meant to Be", "Rain Is Falling", and "21st Century Man" are reminiscent of material from the peak era of ELO, which produced albums such as A New World Record and Out of the Blue; while other tracks explore new influences such as new wave ("Twilight", "Yours Truly, 2095", "Another Heart Breaks", "From the End of the World", and "Here Is the News"), reggae ("The Lights Go Down"), and rockabilly ("Hold On Tight") with the core ELO sound.[original research?]

Rainer Pietsch conducted the album's strings, with previous conductor Louis Clark serving as an additional keyboardist on the album's tour.[citation needed]


See also: Time Tour
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 2/5 stars[2]
Rolling Stone 3/5 stars[3]
Popmatters (Positive)[1]

The album reached number 1 in the UK Albums Chart.[4] The hit single "Hold On Tight" proved to be the band's last top-ten single in both the US and UK, and the album itself achieved Platinum and Gold status in the UK and US respectively.[citation needed]


The album's sound influenced the band Brave Saint Saturn to create the astro-rock music genre.[citation needed] The musical style and theme of Time were echoed in later albums such as The Sophtware Slump by Grandaddy, who cited the album as a great influence; and Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots by the Flaming Lips.[citation needed] In an early 1980s Rolling Stone magazine interview, Steve Winwood said that ELO's Time had influenced him. Ladyhawke has stated that ELO's Time is one of her five favourite albums.[5] In 1998, Cher sampled a synth sound from "Prologue" and "Epilogue" at the beginning of her number 1 hit single "Believe".[6][better source needed] The song "Hold on Tight" was featured in a Coffee Achievers ad campaign.[7]

Track listing[edit]

All songs written and composed by Jeff Lynne; strings conducted by Rainer Pietsch. 

Side one
No. Title Length
1. "Prologue"   1:15
2. "Twilight"   3:35
3. "Yours Truly, 2095"   3:15
4. "Ticket to the Moon"   4:06
5. "The Way Life's Meant to Be"   4:36
6. "Another Heart Breaks"   3:46
Side two
No. Title Length
1. "Rain Is Falling"   3:54
2. "From the End of the World"   3:16
3. "The Lights Go Down"   3:31
4. "Here Is the News"   3:49
5. "21st Century Man"   4:00
6. "Hold On Tight"   3:05
7. "Epilogue"   1:30
Total length:


Additional personnel



  1. ^ a b c "Electric Light Orchestra – Time < PopMatters". Archived from the original on 23 October 2012. Retrieved 24 February 2012. 
  2. ^ Chrispell, James. Time (Electric Light Orchestra album) at AllMusic. Retrieved 24 February 2012.
  3. ^ Frost, Deborah (10 December 1981). "Electric Light Orchestra: Time: Music Review". Archived from the original on 17 April 2008. 
  4. ^ "Electric Light Orchestra". Offfical Charts Company. Retrieved 12 March 2013. 
  5. ^ "A review". Repeatfanzine.co.uk. 2009-05-23. Retrieved 2016-01-14. 
  6. ^ "Electric Light Orchestra". WhoSampled.com. Retrieved 2016-01-14. 
  7. ^ Taylor, Catharine P. (2006-08-22). "Looking back at the coffee achievers". Adweek.com. Retrieved 2016-01-14. 
  8. ^ a b Kent, David (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970–1992. St Ives, NSW: Australian Chart Book. ISBN 0-646-11917-6. 
  9. ^ "austriancharts.at Electric Light Orchestra – Time" (ASP). Hung Medien (in German). Retrieved 24 February 2012. 
  10. ^ Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved 24 February 2012
  11. ^ "dutchcharts.nl Electric Light Orchestra – Time" (ASP). dutchcharts.nl (in Dutch). MegaCharts. Retrieved 24 February 2012. 
  12. ^ "InfoDisc : Tous les Albums classés par Artiste > Choisir Un Artiste Dans la Liste : Electric Light Orchestra". infodisc.fr. Retrieved 24 February 2012. 
  13. ^ a b "Hit Parade Italia – Gli album più venduti del 1981" (in Italian). hitparadeitalia.it. Retrieved 24 February 2012. 
  14. ^ Oricon Album Chart Book: Complete Edition 1970–2005. Roppongi, Tokyo: Oricon Entertainment. 2006. ISBN 4-87131-077-9. 
  15. ^ "charts.org.nz Electric Light Orchestra – Time" (ASP). Hung Medien. Recording Industry Association of New Zealand. Retrieved 24 February 2012. 
  16. ^ "norwegiancharts.com Electric Light Orchestra – Time" (ASP). Hung Medien. VG-lista. Retrieved 24 February 2012. 
  17. ^ "swedishcharts.com Electric Light Orchestra – Time" (ASP). Sverigetopplistan. Retrieved 24 February 2012. 
  18. ^ "Chart Stats – Electric Light Orchestra – Time" (PHP). UK Albums Chart. Retrieved 24 February 2012. 
  19. ^ "allmusic ((( Time > Charts & Awards > Billboard Albums )))". allmusic.com. Retrieved 24 February 2012. 
  20. ^ "Album Search: Electric Light Orchestra – Discovery" (ASP) (in German). Media Control. Retrieved 24 February 2012. 
  21. ^ "Austriancharts.st – Jahreshitparade 1981" (ASP) (in German). Hung Medien. Retrieved 24 February 2012. 
  22. ^ "RPM Top 100 Albums of 1981". RPM. Retrieved 24 February 2012. 
  23. ^ "Complete UK Year-End Album Charts". Retrieved 12 September 2011. 
  24. ^ "Billboard Vol. 94, No. 23– Majors Flight Economics with Quirky Rock Originals". Billboard. 6 December 1982. Retrieved 11 May 2012. 
  25. ^ "Gold-/Platin-Datenbank (Electric Light Orchestra; 'Time')" (in German). Bundesverband Musikindustrie. Retrieved 24 February 2012. 
  26. ^ "British album certifications – Electric Light Orchestra – Time". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved 24 February 2012.  Enter Time in the field Keywords. Select Title in the field Search by. Select album in the field By Format. Select Platinum in the field By Award. Click Search
  27. ^ "American album certifications – Electric Light Orchestra – Time". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved 24 February 2012.  If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Album, then click SEARCH
Preceded by
Kim Wilde by Kim Wilde
Swedish Chart number-one album
28 August 1981
Succeeded by
Fantasi by Freestyle
Preceded by
The Official BBC Album of the Royal Wedding
by Various Artists
UK Albums Chart number-one album
29 August – 11 September 1981
Succeeded by
Dead Ringer by Meat Loaf
Preceded by
Kim Wilde by Kim Wilde
West German Media Control Chart number-one album
11 September – 15 October 1981
Succeeded by
Quietschfidelio by Electronica's