ELO, Jeff Lynne’s band known for selling millions of albums with epic pop hits, recently made a comeback with the album ‘Alone in the Universe.’ But while most fans are familiar with iconic songs like “Mr. Blue Sky” and “Evil Woman”, the group actually has a early Prog background. Their early albums are highly experimental and feature impressive use of strings and orchestral arrangements, while Jeff Lynne’s songwriting still contained amazing melodies without being limited by 3 minute radio constraints.
We look at some of the Prog Worthy moments from these albums.
10538 Overture (From The Electric Light Orchestra/No Answer – 1971) – The first song from the first album, this track has a great opening guitar riff that carries through a series of sections. While the original recording sounds really dated, newer live versions really come off well.
From The Sun To The World (Boogie No. 1) – (From ELO II – 1973) – A truly progressive moment from the group with a number of instrumental sections that keep the listener engaged.
Kuiama – (From ELO II – 1973) – ELO wrote an 11 minute song?? Indeed, and a killer exploration of their sound. It showed how the band was really finding its voice at that time.
Eldorado – (From Eldorado – 1974) – The final two tracks on their fantastic concept album are some of the more brilliant moments from this band. This entire album is simply brilliant.
Fire On High – (Face the Music – 1975) – Here the band finally had some major hits and started moving towards pop stardom, but there are still moments that recall their previous efforts like this opening number.
Secret Messages – (From Secret Message – 1983) – By the lates ’70s and ’80s, the band had gone completely pop prog, with the emphasis on pop, but this title track from the 1983 album, has a great rock feel that any prog fan could appreciate.