Electric Light Orchestra: Song by Song
ELO (Electric Light Orchestra) were formed by Roy Wood and Jeff Lynne of The Move as a fusion of rock and contemporary classical-style music, combining orchestral instruments, guitars, keyboards, and drums in the same line-up. Their aim was to continue from where The Beatles’ ‘I am the Walrus’ left off.
After the release of their eponymous debut album in 1971 and a few live dates at home and in Europe, it became increasingly apparent that both leaders’ objectives were incompatible. Wood left Lynne in charge of the group to refine their sound, and their ambitious progressive rock epics gradually gave way to a more accessible style. Keyboard player Richard Tandy and drummer Bev Bevan were the only other constant members in an ever-changing line-up.
By the end of the decade, the group were rarely out of the British and American charts. After disbanding in 1986, ELO Part II (minus Lynne) returned for two albums, but Lynne reclaimed the name with an album in 2001 followed by a long-awaited reappearance in 2014 as Jeff Lynne’s ELO. Electric Light Orchestra: Song by Song provides a brief biographical overview of the bands’ contributors in addition to a comprehensive examination of all the groups’ studio albums.