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Articles Home » 1974 Articles » Electric Light Orchestra - 1974 Eldorado (A Symphony)
Electric Light Orchestra - 1974 Eldorado (A Symphony)


ARTIST: Electric Light Orchestra
ALBUM: Eldorado (A Symphony)
LABEL/SERIAL: Warner Bros (UK), K56090 * United Artists (USA), UA-LA339-G
YEAR: 1974
CD REISSUE: Reissue List


LINEUP: Jeff Lynne - lead and backing vocals, guitars, bass, moog, production, orchestra and choral arrangements * Bev Bevan - drums, percussion * Richard Tandy - piano, moog, clavinet, wurlitzer electric piano, guitar, backing vocals, orchestra and choral arrangements * Mike de Albuquerque - bass, backing vocals * Mike Edwards - cello * Mik Kaminski - violin * Hugh McDowell - cello

Additional Musicians: Peter Forbes-Robertson - spoken word * Louis Clark - orchestra and choral arrangements, conducting

TRACK LISTING: 01 Eldorado Overture (instrumental) * 02 Cant Get It Out of My Head * 03 Boy Blue * 04 Laredo Tornado * 05 Poor Boy (The Greenwood) * 06 Mister Kingdom * 07 Nobodys Child * 08 Illusions in G Major * 09 Eldorado * 10 Eldorado Finale *11 Eldorado Instrumental Medley * 12 Dark City

WEBLINKS: Official Website | FB Page

I'll admit to being only a fringe fan of ELO back in the day. However, they were always in my ear due to their songs being a regular occurrence on radio. I'm not familiar with their early discography, having only taken a passing interest with albums such as 'A New World Record', 'Out Of The Blue' and 'Discovery'. So, I'll wind back the clock, and dig into 1974's 'Eldorado', which was apparently, a concept album. According to Wikipedia: 'the plot follows a Walter Mitty-like character who journeys into fantasy worlds via dreams, to escape the disillusionment of his mundane reality'. Sounds kinda cool, maybe they should make a TV Series out of it? Maybe they did.. Quantum Leap meets Sliders perhaps?

The Songs
Anyway it's the music on discussion here, and 'Eldorado' phases in and out of the storyline like former footballer Dave Thomas (QPR) weaving his magic down the touchline. Moving on from the bombastic 'Eldorado Overture' opening, ELO jumps right into 'Cant Get It Out of My Head', which was released as the album's first single. Funny, I remember the Silent Rage cover from 1989, and that was the first time I heard a rendition of the song, not having heard the original. Naughty I know. 'Boy Blue' is mildly amusing, with its opening fanfare horn blast, and cinematic delivery. It does eventually open out to something familiar to all ELO fans. 'Laredo Tornado' has some compelling moments, including falsetto vocals and effective guitar lines, even if the tempo never reaches any great heights.

'Poor Boy (The Greenwood)' takes symphonic pop/rock to a new level, the string work is very prominent. 'Mister Kingdom' has been compared to The Beatles track 'Across The Universe', while 'Nobody's Child' is another symphonic laden affair of wonder. 'Illusions In G Minor' is a power-packed 50's rocker given a symphonic rock paintbrush, maybe slightly out of sync with the rest of the album, but still an effective listen. The obvious highlight of the album is the three-part 'Eldorado' trilogy, which is up and down like a yo-yo, cinematic, bombastic, but fascinating nonetheless. The album concludes with the short 'Dark City', which according to Jeff Lynne, you hear the double bass players packing up their gear at the end of the recording session.

In Summary
There are two interesting observations with this album. 'Eldorado' charted well in the USA, reaching gold certification relatively quickly, while it did no action whatsoever in Britain. How strange is that? Secondly, Classic Rock magazine has gone on record saying that 'Eldorado' is one of the top 50 albums that built prog rock. That's a strange call, but then anything coming out of the insular prog rock scene doesn't surprise me. Anyway, there is more ELO stuff on the way, with another two articles waiting in the wings.

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#1 | jefflynnefan on February 02 2018 03:47:25
Originally released by Warner Brothers in the UK , it sold an embarrassing 28,000 copies. Melody Maker wrote a bad review of the album which made former ELO member Roy Wood furious. He wrote a letter to Melody Maker (which was published) which he told them they didn't have a clue and that Eldorado was a masterpiece. Later in the year Eldorado was released in the USA and it was a big hit , giving ELO their first of many gold RIAA awards. This was when a single could carry the sales of a album. And "Can't Get It Out Of My Head" was a top 10 hit. I have two ELO gold RIAA awards. And also I have a real rarity in a UK WB Test Pressing of Eldorado with slighty different run times. This is one of my all-favorites! Steve Hoffman who did the DCC version said it was one of the most challenging ones he did.
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