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Friday, September 24, 2010

Two Forgotten Friday Favorites: Electric Light Orchestra

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:




6 comments:

  1. Ah the much maligned ELO.
    Glad to see someone else appreciates them too.
    Hadn't heard about the accident but now know my concerns about those huge hay bales are justified. Yikes! RIP.

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  2. "...hey.. there.. Mr Blue..." "...Hey You with the Pretty Faaace... Welcome to the Human Race...". ELO sound was epic. I'll have to take out the "New World Record" and "Out of the Blue" this very minute. Thx Pam.
    s-a-h-d

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  3. I don't really remember much about their music from back then but a few years ago I started paying attention to some of their songs and found that I actually like them.
    It's a shame about that horrible accident.
    Have a great weekend.

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  4. MoonDoggie - what? It's not cool to like ELO? Color me ignorant. They are awesome!

    Stay at home dad - I had to listen to their music, too, when I finished the post!

    LaraAnn - glad you discovered that you are a fan. Hope you have nice weekend as well!

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  5. LOVED ELO. Thanks for the flashback!

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  6. 'fraid so Pam.
    Think it was due to the popularity of deriding anything from the 70s at one stage. I was always one to buck the trend anyway and appreciate music of all eras.

    I find it weird, but cool that Roy Wood was also a founding member of both The Move and Wizzard (only found out a year or so ago). They have such different sounds in my mind.

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