You may or may not have heard the news a few weeks ago that a former member of ELO died in a freak accident. Mike Edwards (pictured above in the tux), a cellist who played with ELO from 1972 to 1975, happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time when a bale of hay weighing over 1,300 pounds fell off a tractor in Devon, England and rolled onto his van, killing him. It's because of this freak accident I wanted to give a little love to ELO today. Their fusion of classical string instruments, horns, and woodwinds along with rock instruments was inspired by the Beatles' sound in the late 60s. The band was formed by Roy Wood and Jeff Lynne and the name is a pun on combining "electric" rock instruments with more traditional "light" ones.
I'm out of the loop on modern music most of the time, so forgive my ignorance when I say I've never heard another band with ELO's sound. To me they remain - at least on the mainstream pop music charts - unduplicated to this day.
Now the hard part - how the hell do I choose only two ELO songs? I have so many favorites - Evil Woman, Sweet Talking Woman, Mr. Blue Sky, Strange Magic, Hold On Tight, Do Ya...the list goes on and on. The first video includes Edwards - the most epic version ever done of the classic Roll Over Beethoven as performed on Midnight Special in 1973, and the second is a more recent performance of Turn to Stone: