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Articles Home » 1979 Articles » Electric Light Orchestra - 1979 Discovery
Electric Light Orchestra - 1979 Discovery

ARTIST: Electric Light Orchestra
ALBUM: Discovery
SERIAL: FZ 35769
YEAR: 1979
CD REISSUE: 2001, Sony, EK 85420 (features bonus tracks)


LINEUP: Jeff Lynne - lead vocals, synthesizer, guitar, piano, keyboards * Bev Bevan - drums, percussion, vocals * Kelly Groucutt - bass, vocals * Richard Tandy - keyboards, piano, synthesizer, clavinet, string & choir arrangements

TRACK LISTING: 01 Shine A Little Love * 02 Confusion * 03 Need Her Love * 04 The Diary Of Horace Wimp * 05 Last Train To London * 06 Midnight Blue * 07 On The Run * 08 Wishing * 09 Don't Bring Me Down


After almost a year of touring in support of the massive selling 'Out Of The Blue' double album in an equally enormous lighted spaceship nicknamed 'the big hamburger', Jeff Lynne and The Electric Light Orchestra had reached a commercial zenith. The singles 'Turn To Stone' and Sweet Talkin' Woman' gave the world two of the band's most memorable hits as 'Out Of The Blue' went platinum several times over. Obviously a lot to live up to and up for a change, Lynne dropped the group's long running string players, whittling ELO down to himself, Bev Bevan, the late Kelly Groucutt and Richard Tandy delivering what would be known as ELO's disco album - 'Discovery'.

The Songs
Well not really and don't let the'd' word scare you off because there are only three cuts here that qualified as Studio 54 acceptable - the opener 'Shine A Little Love', 'Confusion' and the incredibly infectious 'Last Train To London'; all of which were major hit singles for the band at a time when disco was starting to suffer a serious backlash commercially. The Beatles influence which was so prevalent on early ELO albums is largely missing here with the exception of 'The Diary of Horace Wimp' which also harkens back to Lynne's 'toy town psych' days in The Idle Race. Scattered in between are a couple mid-paced ballads of which 'Midnight Blue' is the best and actually could have fit quite nicely on 'Out Of The Blue' which leads to the possibility Lynne was guilty of repeating himself on 'Discovery' and started to run out of ideas although he more than makes up for the album's inconsistencies with the evergreen 'Don't Bring Me Down', a stomping rocker that filled the airwaves in the late summer of 1979, it remains one of ELO's trademark classics and another example of Jeff Lynne's pop genius.

In Summary
There would be no tour behind 'Discovery', just a series of promotional videos a year before MTV, but the album still sold exceedingly well, going platinum in both the UK and the U.S. and triple platinum in Australia and Canada. While nowhere in the league of 'Eldorado' or 'A New World Record'; 'Discovery' holds up nicely as one of ELO's more accessible albums and fun trivia for our U.S. readers - the gatefold sleeve features 'Everybody Loves Raymond' actor Brad Garrett in his younger days dressed in full Arabian knight gear.

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#1 | jefflynnefan on January 21 2010 00:54:55
I remember very well the day Discovery came out. I was mad! There was Jeff in a satin jacket, his hair cut, his fingernails cuticled, DiscoJeff! And no cello players listed. They sold out! I didn't even listen to this album for two to three days later. And the name of the album - Disco- Very or Very Disco. This is when I decided to go back and discover The Move, Roy Wood and the Idle Race. This is also the time a my friend of mine from CA introduced me to Split Enz (Mental Notes). Anyways a few years later (thanks to "Time"Wink I started listening to Discovery and found that I like it but it is my least favorite ELO album to this date. But songs like Confusion, Horace Wimp and Last Train To London make it worth it. I agree with you Eric that Discovery is a fave of many people who like ELO.
#2 | trillion1999 on October 10 2011 19:34:45
One of the first albums I heard by ELO after Time.I think the melodies are great but I think Discovery is over-produced.I think nothing else by ELO at least not before Discovery is overproduced.Discovery is overbearingly overproduced IMHO.Would gladly hear ewerything by Wood Lynne Judd Finn and the like.*blushing*
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