E.L.O. - Electric Light Orchestra

So, I'm going through my third, or maybe fourth, ELO music evolution and need your suggestions. I started listening to this group when I was in High School during the 1970s. Currently, I own a couple of their albums. I had several more but I shared them with friends over time and never saw them again. Anyway, what are your recommendations for ELO albums to compliment "On the Third Day" and "Eldorado". Also, anyone who can tell me the name of the instrumental song that is their masterpiece would be appreciated. I remember listening to it at midnight on a local radio station in Virgina. It started off with a crack of thunder and then went into this incredible orchestrated masterpiece that still resonates in my mind to this day. The song was used to announce the beginning of a new day and it was glorious! I haven't been able to find it. Thanks for your thoughts and suggestions.
Everyone hass a few bands/artists they just cannot stand to hear. ELO is one of mine. Sorry, just had to say it.
I really like ELO, so I just had to say that. For albums, "Out of the Blue", "A New World Record" and "Face The Music" are my favorite ELO albums.

There is a new compilation, ("Mr Blue Sky-The Very Best Of ELO") that comes out on Tuesday that might be worth a listen.

The song you mention could be either "Fire On High" from Face The Music or "Overture" from ELO Live.
You could try ELO on YouTube. Then go from there.
10-05-12: Roxy54
Everyone hass a few bands/artists they just cannot stand to hear. ELO is one of mine. Sorry, just had to say it.


It tells the tale of a soldier who has found an orphan girl wandering the ruins of a battle-ravaged village in the Vietnam war. The soldier is trying to comfort the girl and also to explain how he was the one who killed her parents.
The LPs you mention in the body of your post are their best works. I believe they became more popular after those 2, scoring some hits, but went "commercial".
Count me as an ELO fan. What worked for me were the classical and mid-60's British pop influences in the ELO sound.

ELO's first four or five albums were fairly cohesive affairs and were the best examples of their sound. After that, the music became more hit or miss to my ears. The sound evolved to more of a synth/ electronic mix and was definitely more commercial sounding, less interesting.

You may want to try listening to the Move, a 60's Brit band that gave us Roy Wood and Jeff Lynne.

Checked Wikipedia to see if my memory was holding up. By the time Xanadu was released in 1980, ELO had added synthesizers to the mix.

Thanks everyone for your suggestions and feedback. I recognize that ELO is one of those bands that either works for you or repels you. It's kind of like Scotch - call it an acquired taste. I do agree with the majority of comments suggesting that I stick with the early years and forgo albums tied to their commercial success occurring later.
Four boys in my family and you could usually hear E.L.O. coming from one of the bedrooms on any given day in the 70's. Them and Genesis. Out of the Blue is their last great album and its a great one imo. Standing in the Rain and Sweet is the Night are awesome tunes (and I do mean awesome in a big way) as well as Wild West Hero. There's a lot of good tracks on that album, actually most of them. I remember when discovery came out and my brother gave it to me for my Birthday. I never liked it and decided Out of the Blue was where I could safely draw the line. Great band and brings back great memories. I even saw them live and it was a great show. Thanks for the post.
I think ELO's Time is a very much under-appreciated album.
ELO was a strange mix. The songs were
meticulously crafted, but still managed to rock. OTOH, the whole concept felt kind of silly. Like it was sometimes said of the old Porsches:

A terrible idea executed brilliantly


BTW, a fun quirk. After Jeff Lynne left, the band continued as simply The Orchestra. P Hux replaced Lynne. While the results were spotty, there were a few gems in there. IMHO, its Worth a you tube visit to check it out.
To answer your original question Face the Music and New World Record are two albums you should add to your collection.