December 5th has arrived and it’s therefore day 5 of this years advent blog posts. As you know this years theme is the ABC of British bands, which means today we arrive at the fifth letter of the alphabet; ‘E’. My choice for today is the Electric Light Orchestra a.k.a ELO. The band was initially an offshoot of the Move and they set out to combine orchestral sounds with rock music. It may well have been Roy Wood‘s idea but he left early on to form Wizzard. Meanwhile Jeff Lynne made ELO into a world straddling colossus.
The band’s first UK hit was “10538 Overture“. The song was originally a b-side for the Move. Wood, Lynne and Bev Bevan (also off of the Move) added orchestral strings to it. After John Lennon heard one of my favourite ELO songs, “Showdown” he began referring to them as Beatles Junior. The band had number one singles across the world; and “Turn To Stone” and “Shine A Little Love” were number one in Canada and “Living Thing” topped the charts in South Africa. Sadly, in my opinion at least, there only UK number one was the rather dreadful “Xanadu” which also featured Olivia Newton John. That song was also a number one in the Netherlands, Germany and Ireland. The band had 15 UK top ten hits in the UK between 1972 and 1981. This was only bettered by their eighteen top ten hits in France from 1972 to 1986.
So now it’s time for you to enjoy a selection of ELO songs, apologies but I have not included the aforementioned “Xanadu”.