Electric Light Orchestra

Credit: Wikipedia Commons

If I were introduced to Electric Light Orchestra (ELO) earlier in life, I could see them being my absolute favorite. It seems like every time I am introduced to their back catalog, I find myself a new favorite song. Does Jeff Lynne and company have what it takes to take over the top spots?

The Backstory of Electric Light Orchestra and Me

Broken Record: I bet my dad had their albums.

Literal Broken Record: They were probably thrown away in a move.

I Love the ’80s, Bruce!

VH1 was a frequently watched channel in my high school days. Now, this isn’t the VH1 we know today. Yes, it was more reality shows than music videos (even back then), but there were a few gems mixed in. One of those gems was a series called I Love the (Insert Decade).

This was a fun recap of the decade and started with the ’80s. Even though I don’t remember much of the 1980’s – from my perspective – I absolutely love that decade. I enjoyed the movies, I enjoyed the fads, and I enjoy nearly all of the music.

During this show, I remember a section devoted to the song “Don’t Let Me Down” by Electric Light Orchestra. I couldn’t find any video documentation (granted, I didn’t look very hard), but I believe there were a few of my favorite comedians commenting on the fact that they yell “Bruce” after the main chorus. This stuck with me and I am sure triggered a Limewire search and download.

Cutting Grass on a Hill

After discovering ELO, they found at least one song on every new CD I made. “Turn to Stone”, “Mr. Blue Sky”, and “Telephone Line” were instant favorites. Although Electric Light Orchestra stayed pretty low-key in my memory bank, I do remember cranking up some of their tunes in the mid-00’s.

I received my first MP3 player. My mom gave it to me. As I recall, I think someone sent it to her in the mail (in some odd scheme) and she just gave it to me. It held 80 songs – or so. My first use was a very hot day where I needed to cut the grass.

Okay, maybe the hill wasn’t as steep as I remember – but it still wasn’t fun.

My house was not large and there wasn’t a ton of grass, but most of the grass was on a hillside. The hillside just so happened to be on a 70 degree slant. I didn’t have a weed-eater at the time, so I took this self-propelled (very heavy) lawn mower to task. I remember cranking out “Four Little Diamonds” as I balanced myself and cut grass.

Electric Light Orchestra Now vs. Electric Light Orchestra Rank In 2007

It’s hard to say what I thought of ELO in 2007. I obviously really like them, but I know for a fact that I had not listened to the majority of their work since I didn’t own a Greatest Hits or have any single albums. I don’t even know if any of my friends listened to Electric Light Orchestra.

Modern Day Eric Hersey can tell you that I am a big fan now. Albums like Time and Discovery are sleepers, but they are going to score very well.

Check out where they rank on my current list.

Electric Light Orchestra Metrics

By The Numbers

Score

769.74%

This a very acceptable score, to say the least. Electric Light Orchestra has a fair amount of Greatest Hits and lots of songs that I want on my playlist.

A Deep Dive Into the Current Score

Electric Light Orchestra released songs and albums over the last few decades. The earliest album was so-so and the latest album was so-so. They really hammered out some good ones in the middle. I think most are worth playing from start to finish – with minimal skips.

Electric Light Orchestra Podcasts for Reference

Face the Music: An Electric Light Orchestra Song-By-Song Podcast – SUBSCRIBE. This is a great podcast for an ELO fan. It may have a long title but the episodes are short and to the point. I enjoy the production quality, the humor, and the background on each song.

Strong Songs – I only listened to one episode (so it’s a bit early to endorse) but I did end up subscribing. The host did an awesome breakdown of “Mr. Blue Sky”. It was very technical, but a plebeian like myself understood and enjoyed.

Political Beats – If I am understanding this correctly, this podcast was about music but hosted by people involved in politics. Well, I didn’t hear a lot of lefty/righty talk so I listened and very much enjoyed the entire ELO episode.

Electric Light Orchestra Videos for Reference

Mr Blue Sky: The Story of Jeff Lynne & ELO – (DVD) I was pleasantly surprised when I found this documentary. I was not aware of Jeff Lynne’s name until listening to some podcasts. Turns out the guy is involved in a lot of my memories (Paul McCartney’s Flaming Pie was an album my dad listened to a lot). This was very insightful.

The Battle of Electric Light Orchestra Albums

So – turns out there was an Electric Light Orchestra II. I did not include them. I did, however, including Jeff Lynne’s ELO album. Does it seem like I am picking sides? Maybe. But then again, I am doing the ranking and making the scoring system. I guess this is my game.

I was very surprised by the outcome of the battle. Xanadu is not very good – but the five-star ELO songs give it a big bump. Alone in the Universe probably will increase in time as I get used to the songs and bump them from threes to fours – but who knows if that happens.

SongScore
Out of the Blue258.82%
A New World Record200.00%
Discovery200.00%
ELO 2200.00%
Face the Music187.50%
Xanadu150.00%
Secret Messages115.79%
Time87.50%
Balance of Power86.67%
On The Third Day66.67%
Eldorado60.00%
Electric Light Orchestra33.33%
Zoom21.43%
Alone in the Universe8.33%

The Greatest Hit from Electric Light Orchestra

We have twelve songs to battle out for the top spot. We are going to have a normal first round and finish with two three-way battles to get to the finals. When looking over these songs, it could be a tough one.

Previous Greatest Hit and Tournament Outcome

“Don’t Bring Me Down”

This song was probably the first I heard (knowingly) and that might be why it continues to be my favorite. I did have to think a bit when putting it through the tournament, but this song just works for me. In a lot of situations, I like a slow, methodical song and this is the opposite. Either way, I don’t think I ever hit the skip button on this song.

Overview

Electric Light Orchestra was called “Son of The Beatles” by John Lennon. I am 100% behind this statement. I love the sound throughout the years and albums. Although there are some mediocre songs in the mix, I dig a lot of their work. I hope Jeff Lynne continues to make more albums.

Amendments

June 24, 2019

I think I was a bit harsh on Alone in the Universe and not hard enough on Xanadu. Strong possibility of these albums moving around in the future. Also “The Battle of Marston Moor” might be a one-star. The skips will determine its fate.

June 27, 2019

“Ticket to the Moon” is now a 5.

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