"When I came around to call, You didn't notice me at all"

- Pulp
 
Listmeister listens -- Electric Light Orchestra

Goto page 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8  Next
 
Post new topic   Reply to topic    Forum Index -> Best Ever Albums -> Music Diaries
View previous topic :: View next topic  
Author Message

Listmeister



Gender: Male
Location: Ohio
United States

#1 | Posted: 04/26/2016 16:21 | Post subject: Listmeister listens -- Electric Light Orchestra Reply with quote
So, I've just spent the last 10 months doing a year by year survey from the 50's to 2016. I discovered a lot of good records, rediscovered others, and even found a few that weren't as good as I thought they were the first time.

I resisted doing a diary like this because, once upon a time, I had a blog for reviewing popular music. I stopped doing it, mainly because I ran out of ways to say "this song is awesome."

But I've run out of years and it's time to take a different approach. I recently posted a discussion about three Green Day albums from 2012 (you know the ones.) As it turned out, I ended up comparing and contrasting the three albums. The compare-and-contrast process was more fun (and easier) than reviewing in isolation.

So, I'm going to pick an artist and go through all of their albums, comparing and contrasting as I go. We'll see how it goes.

First, let's not take one of the giants. We're going to start with The Move / Electric Light Orchestra.


Last edited by Listmeister on 05/06/2016 14:50; edited 2 times in total
Back to top
Visit poster's website View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website

Listmeister



Gender: Male
Location: Ohio
United States

#2 | Posted: 04/26/2016 17:36 | Post subject: Reply with quote

Thumbnail. Click to enlarge.

Move by The Move

BEA ranks: 1968: 74th. 1960s: 391st. All Time: 5623rd.
Ranked highest by: Gero, 20th All Time.

My first impression of The Move is that this is an above-average Pop album from 1968. The guitar work especially is very summer-of-love. Ace Kefford's bass playing is especially impressive, a highlight of the more rock-and-roll tracks (He would leave the band after this album). The classical influence that would later become Electric Light Orchestras' signature is there in spots, most especially on "The Girl Outside," which is beautifully backed by a string quartet, and in Mist On a Monday Morning, backed by session musicians Nicky Hopkins and Tony Visconti (harpsichord and woodwinds, respectiely). Meanwhile, the lyrics (while sounding kind of hippie to 2016 ears) are better than your typical 1968 pop song.

"Let's go for a walk upon the water
Let's go for a stroll across the sea
First one, follow me."

But there's variety, too. "Weekend" rocks like a 1958 Eddie Cochrane tune. And then, once you think you get what this band is all about, they throw you a curve ball with "Zing! (Went the Strings of My Heart)," which is a 1930's standard done with a 50's doo-wop treatment. This is followed by violins doing the intro to "The Girl Outside". "Cherry Blossom Clinic," the single from the album, features a Penny-Laneian french horn to close out the album.

You do hear occasional glimpses of ELO-ness, actually more than I expected. The chorus on "Here We Go Round the Lemon Tree" and most of "Yellow Rainbow" hint that this band had potential to be something really special.

Listmeister's ranks: 1968: 8th. 1960s 49th.


Last edited by Listmeister on 04/29/2016 19:19; edited 1 time in total
Back to top
Visit poster's website View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website

Listmeister



Gender: Male
Location: Ohio
United States

#3 | Posted: 04/27/2016 20:36 | Post subject: Reply with quote
First, for the sake of completeness, I listened to their EP "Something Else by The Move", a live recording that came out between their first two albums. They were an amazing live band, but the classical gimmicks that you hear on the full records, well, that's hard to do live, so they just played straight rock and roll, and boy, they could do that when they wanted to.

Anyway, on to their second album.


Thumbnail. Click to enlarge.

Shazam by The Move

BEA: 1970: 234th. 1970's: 2,393rd, All time: 17,599th
Ranked highest by: mijsnomis, 41st All Time.

Right out the gate, they start being all Shazam-y, with solid rocker"Hello Suzie". It sounds almost like a different band from the last album. Then they get classical again, with "Beautiful Daughter", one of the catchiest strings-backed tunes that I've heard, even snappier than "Eleanor Rigby". "Cherry Blossom Clinic Revisited," is a longer (at almost 8 minutes) version of the hit from their first album. The long version includes Bach's "Jesu Joy of Man's Desiring" and Tschaikovsky's "Waltz of the Flowers" (I think) played on electric guitar, classical guitar, and, at one point, yodeled.

The classical themes continue in their 11 minute epic, "Fields of People", with rich harmonies that improve on the first album. And also a bit of sitar. This is followed by a blues guitar piece, "Don't Make My Baby Blue." The album closes with another long one, "The Last Thing On My Mind", blends American country music and California sound harmonies to produce a beautiful, aetherial piece that just flies.

Each song is much more developed than they were in the first album, but, on the other hand, there were fewer of them. The orchestration is starting to really gel. However, Ace Kefford's bass is missed.

Listmeister: 1970: 3rd. 1970's: 61st.


Last edited by Listmeister on 04/29/2016 19:19; edited 1 time in total
Back to top
Visit poster's website View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website

Listmeister



Gender: Male
Location: Ohio
United States

#4 | Posted: 04/29/2016 19:17 | Post subject: Reply with quote

Thumbnail. Click to enlarge.

Looking On by The Move

BEA: 1970: 420th. 1970's 4,219th. All Time: 36,092nd.
Ranked highest by: Neilgee, 50th from 1970.

This was the first album with Jeff Lynne in the band. They've boosted the intensity of this album compared to 'Shazam'. Lynne's contribution is most pronounced in his boogieing keyboard playing, which adds new flavors to the band's musical ingredients.

One complaint, Roy got an oboe or something. (That's the whiny woodwind instrument that's on several tracks) They use it way too much, and it's kind of annoying.

The opening track ("Looking Up") sounds a lot funkier than anything that's gone before. Bev Bevan does a deep tympanic guitar solo. Rick Price's bass playing is noticeable, in a good way. "Turkish Tram Conductor Blues" rocks hard, with all instruments pulling out the stops, but the vocals are a little muddy.

"What?" is Jeff Lynne's first major contribution. He wrote the song, sings, and plays piano, and it sounds like a bona fide ELO song. As we're starting to expect from thie Move, there is lots of rich orchestration, but now there is an exotic, acid quality, and a vocal ensemble that adds new layers, new depth to this mini-symphony. "When Alice Comes Back To Town", is a guitar piece that sounds like Bachman-Turner Overdrive occasionally interrupted by a cello.


Side Two. "Open Up Said the World at the Door" is a Prog Rock masterpiece (except for too much oboe). It sounds a bit ahead of its time, for 1970. "Brontosaurus" is a delightful dance tune that, ironically, is almost the shortest track on the record. "Feel Too Good" (which foreshadows Foreigner's style) could be a soundtrack for the more hedonistic side of the 70's. Except, Foreigner never had a stupid oboe. I really didn't like the oboe. Then, when I thought I was done with this album, they suddenly start singing do-wop (the introduction to 'At the Hop', I think), and then it drifted further back to vaudevillian honky-tonk before it faded out.

Listmeister ranks: 1970, 7th. 1970's: 86th.
Back to top
Visit poster's website View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website

Listmeister



Gender: Male
Location: Ohio
United States

#5 | Posted: 05/03/2016 18:15 | Post subject: Reply with quote

Thumbnail. Click to enlarge.

Message From The Country by The Move

BEA 1971: 113th; 1970's: 1,073rd; All Time: 6,122nd
Ranked highest by Dave Sindelar,8th All Time

We wrap up our survey of the Move with the last album they recorded as "the Move", called "Message from the Country." Ray Price, bass player, had quit, leaving the trio of Roy Wood, Bev Bevan, and Jeff Lynne. After this album, the band transmogrified into the Electric Light Orchestra.

Jeff Lynne's voice got better as time went on. By the time of "Don't Bring Me Down" (1979) he had a lot more confidence, or something, but here, he's trying to sound like John Lennon, rather than, well, Jeff Lynne. It comes across as a bit whiny. "Message From the Country" and "The Minister" are well-crafted pop songs in spite of the vocals; and the harmony on "No Time" works, sort of.

Unlike the last two albums, they are going for individual songs here, with none of the tracks more than 5 1/2 minutes; ten songs instead of seven. Bev Bevan's contribuition "Don't Mess Me Up" is another doo-wop piece (they seem to have one per album), with Elvisian overtones. And then comes "Ben Crawley Steel Company" the best Johnny Cash-like song ever by someone other than Johnny Cash. Finally "My Marge" is a vaudeville-sounding piece that can only be describes ad "Old-Timey"

Not as much classical experimentation on this one as before. "It Wasn't My Idea to Dance" has a little bit of it, but nothing too weird for 1971.

Wood's "Until Your Mama's Gone" is another great rock song. Nothing to comment on with it, but it's worth mentioning.

On "The Words of Aaron", the whole band comes together to produce the album's best track, and the one that most shows the way forward for this band.

So, I suppose I should summarize the Move as a band. Their strengths, amazing guitar work and classical flavoring, make the albums worth listening to. Their weakness is they sometimes try to do too much, making the songs a little too long, or one too many instruments (by which I mean the oboe on Looking On). Did they really need to change their name? Is the Move a separate band from Electric Light Orchestra? We'll discuss that in the next album.

Listmeister Ranks: 1971: 20th.

Move Albums:
1. Shazam
2. The Move
3. Message From the Country
4. Looking On


Last edited by Listmeister on 05/11/2016 13:59; edited 1 time in total
Back to top
Visit poster's website View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website

Listmeister



Gender: Male
Location: Ohio
United States

#6 | Posted: 05/06/2016 14:50 | Post subject: Reply with quote
Is the Electric Light Orchestra a light orchestra with electric instruments? Or an orchestra made of electric lights? Or an electric orchestra, but with fewer calories (No. That would be an electric lite orchestra.)

In 1971, The trio of Roy Wood, Bev Bevan and Jeff Lynne, who had previously recorded as "The Move" (and would release a couple more singles with that name before the end of the year), decided to start over with a new band name. This was not completely unprecedented in 1971 (Eric Clapton used to do it all the time), but the same three guys who recorded "Message From the Country" by The Move recorded


Thumbnail. Click to enlarge.

The Electric Light Orchestra by Electri... Orchestra

BEA ranks: 1971: 114th, 1970's: 1,077th, All time: 6171st.
Ranked highest by TrekkiELO, 12th All Time

A record company flunkie tried to call them to ask them what to call the album, but could not get through. On his message pad he wrote "No Answer", and the album was released in the United States as "No Answer".

The first track, "10538 Orchestra" has such good instrumentation, the guitar work the cellos, the drumming, that Lynne's tight-throated vocals sort of diminish the over all effect they were going for. (The cellos in particular sound like they were borrowed from Strawberry Fields Forever).

The rest of side one are variations on the baroque-classical-rock-and-roll effect they were going for. More instruments get added, trumpets, a piccolo. The stupid oboe is back, but it blends better. Violins and cellos dominate.

Side two leads off with a mandolin-y sounding piece called "1st Movement (Jumping Biz). From there it builds to a crescendo, with the music getting more intense with each track, reaching its climax with "Queen of the Hours". And then there is a sort of denouement in the final track "Whisper in the Night."

Through most of the album, vocals just don't match the classical tone of the instrumentation. Instead of adding to the classic overtones, the vocals subtract from the classical vibe, and the record sounds better when no one is singing. The exceptions are "Mr. Radio" which adds some reverb to the vocals to create the effect of old-time radio rather than the 18th century, and the hymn-like "Whisper in the Night" which centers on the vocals and the instrument are used to support the song, rather than the other way 'round.

The effect of all of this is a completely different sound from what they had produced as 'The Move". Personally, I liked it more than the Move albums. It's different.

Listmeister Ranks. 1971: 3rd. 1970's 35th. All Time: 107th.


Last edited by Listmeister on 05/11/2016 14:00; edited 1 time in total
Back to top
Visit poster's website View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website

alelsupreme
Awful.


Gender: Male
Age: 21
United Kingdom

#7 | Posted: 05/06/2016 15:01 | Post subject: Reply with quote
trekki's got competition.
Back to top
Visit poster's website View user's profile Send private message

dihansse



Gender: Male
Age: 55
Belgium

#8 | Posted: 05/06/2016 19:56 | Post subject: Reply with quote
alelsupreme wrote:
trekki's got competition.

Yeah I thought ELO doesn't have 72 albums but he stopped at 14.

Serious now, I think this List of the Meister is much more interesting and I really like the comparisons between the Move and ELO (I really need to check out that infamous oboe because I'm intrigued).
Back to top
Visit poster's website View user's profile Send private message

dihansse



Gender: Male
Age: 55
Belgium

#9 | Posted: 05/06/2016 20:05 | Post subject: Reply with quote
I couldn't help myself and listened to some of those oboe infested progrock tracks like Open Up Said the World at the door and Brontosaur and I can only agree. On the whole I don't really dig their progrock stuff: I like their 60's stuff and after that their ELO-like sides better: ELO is indeed a bit underrated.
Back to top
Visit poster's website View user's profile Send private message

Romanelli
Bone Swah


Gender: Male
Location: The Spokane Valley
United States
Moderator

#10 | Posted: 05/06/2016 22:00 | Post subject: Reply with quote
dihansse wrote:
I couldn't help myself and listened to some of those oboe infested progrock tracks like Open Up Said the World at the door and Brontosaur and I can only agree. On the whole I don't really dig their progrock stuff: I like their 60's stuff and after that their ELO-like sides better: ELO is indeed a bit underrated.


On BEA, ELO's good albums are underrated...and their poor albums are overrated.
_________________
May we all get to heaven
'Fore the devil knows we're dead...
Back to top
Visit poster's website View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Display posts from previous:   
Post new topic   Reply to topic All times are GMT
Goto page 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8  Next
Page 1 of 8
   Forum Index -> Best Ever Albums -> Music Diaries


 
Jump to:  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum


Similar Topics
Topic Author Forum Replies Last Post
This topic is locked: you cannot edit posts or make replies. The Electric Light Orchestra NowhereMan Music 13 03/02/2012 10:52 View latest post
Error Finn
This topic is locked: you cannot edit posts or make replies. Album of the day (#1817): Time by Ele... albummaster Music 7 12/20/2016 16:58 View latest post
Fischman
No new posts Listmeister Listens - My Top 106: Th... Listmeister Music Diaries 113 06/30/2018 04:07 View latest post
Bork
No new posts Listmeister Listens to Bands He Never... Listmeister Music Diaries 30 03/02/2018 18:10 View latest post
Listmeister
This topic is locked: you cannot edit posts or make replies. Jeff Lynne to perform ELO songs w/orc... TrekkiELO Music 2 06/14/2014 15:28 View latest post
camsh

 
 

Powered by phpBB©



Copyright © 2005-2018 BestEverAlbums.com. All rights reserved.    Terms of Use  |   Privacy Policy  |   Contact Us  |   Advertising  |   RSS Feeds  |   Site Map