The Electric Light Orchestra, or ELO for short, were a symphonic rock group from Birmingham, England, who released eleven studio albums between 1971 and 1986, alongside twenty-eight smash hit singles in the UK. They released another album in 2001, to celebrate their continuing success.
The band were formed in 1970 by Beatlemaniac Jeff Lynne, Roy Wood and Bev Bevan. They put their heads together to create a style of music incorporating sounds of string ensembles, vocoders and dub echoes into rock songs, generating a sophisticated style of studio rock music.
Their eponymous debut album, released in 1971, featured their hit song ‘10538 Overture’, entering the UK Top Ten. With Wood having left the band to form Wizzard, and other line-up changes taking place, the band’s next album, ‘Elo II’ was released in 1973. A cover of Chuck Berry’s hit ‘Roll Over Beethoven’ entered the UK charts, and also granted the band success is in the US. Their next album, ‘Elderado’ was the first of the band’s albums to go gold. Despite ELO’s commercial success, the band remained relatively faceless and the line-up changed constantly, with original members Lynne and Bevan preferring to let their elaborate stage shows empower their success.
ELO’s next album, ‘Face the Music’ went gold, and the follow-up, ‘A New World Record’ sold five-million copies internationally. Their main success came with their 1977 release ‘Out of the Blue’, which went double-platinum. Many more albums followed; ‘Discovery’ (1979), ‘Xanadu’ (1980), ‘Time’ (1981), ‘Secret Messages’ (1983) and ‘Balance of Power’ (1986). Following ‘Secret Messages’, Bevan left the band to join Black Sabbath, although he joined them again for their 1986 release.
In the same year Lynn announced the disbandment of the band, although he still works as a producer within the music industry.
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