I’m a sucker for album covers that feature, well, album covers, so ELO’s 1976 compilation Olé ELO was a no-brainer. Strange Magic, Evil Woman, Roll Over Beethoven, Ma-Ma-Ma Belle… this single disc release has just about everything a novice ELO fan could want (save maybe for Rockaria! or Livin’ Thing, which would come out this same year on the band’s sixth studio album, A New World Record). Anyway, you can find this record for dirt cheap. Do yourself a favor and move it to the top of your list.
Let’s face it, ELO’s fifth studio album is a crusher. Containing two of the band’s most successful singles, Evil Woman and Strange Magic, 1975’s Face the Music often gets overshadowed by the two albums that would follow, 1976’s A New World Record and 1977’s Out of the Blue (both selling tens of millions of copies worldwide). If you’re feeling a bit adventurous but don’t want to stray too far away from home, give Face the Music a spin. You can never go wrong with the Electric Light Orchestra as far as I’m concerned.
This is the class of disco I can get behind… lavish arrangements of dance funk and soulful electronic grooves (as apposed to soulless electronic grooves) based on popular Sci-Fi films. Meco launched his historic career with his masterwork, 1977’s Star Wars and Other Galactic Funk, continued his platform-shoe-shaped torch with 1977’s dicso-tastic take on Close Encounters of the Third Kind with, Encounters of Every Kind, returned in 1978 with the bass-bleeding Meco Plays The Wizard of Oz, until landing in the superhero genre with Superman and Other Galactic Heroes in 1979.
Not unlike Electric Light Orchestra and their amalgamation of rock and classical music, Meco bridges the much needed gap between the symphony, and the sweat-inducing-body-river of late 70s dance floors. Definitely worth checking out for even the casual fan of disco and/or Sci-Fi film related music, Meco’s fourth studio album is classic, 70s feel good, groove music.
“I am delighted that the words DISCO and MECO are now household words.” – John Williams
Remember when Fan Clubs were a thing? Neither do I, but apparently, there was enough of a buzz going around the many successes of this Orchestra of Electric Light, that they felt an inherent need to cash in on these mouth-watering fans by offering exclusivity by means of an ELO Fan Club.
For only $5 ($18.68 by today’s means), you would receive the following unique and fashionable ELO swag:
– An autographed poster. This is an EXCLUSIVE OFFER, people! This point is made abundantly clear by EXCLUSIVE OFFER being typed in all caps. Also, as if you needed clarification, this is only available to Appreciation Society Members (a fancy term for Fan Club geeks).
– Nine color photos of the band (offered in various sizes… including wallet sized, because, you never want to be caught without six photos of your favorite Birmingham Symphonic rock band).
– An official Appreciation Society Membership Card (personalized and embossed) entitling you to special offers for belt buckles and other icons of late 70s fashion.
– A personal bio of each band member (so you could launch your career as a celebrity stalker).
– An Official Appreciation Society Membership Certificate… are you ready? “Suitable for framing.” Because, you know, that faded picture from your wedding day has been hogging the wall-space for a bit too long.
– And a “beautiful” folder. When I think of beauty, my mind immediately goes to a cardboard folder with an ELO logo on it. Doesn’t everyone?
The crazy thing, is that I’d probably join the Electric Light Orchestra Appreciation Society. Now the hunt for an ELO belt buckle begins…
Are you an ELO fan? I’m sorry… of course you are. Then why not parade your adulation for Rock-and-Classical-fused-future-pop by ordering one of these exquisite Electric Light Orchestra t-shirts? They come form-fitted and ready to rock your next Saturday night Farrah Fawcett marathon (don’t be coy, we all do it), and will guarantee more than a few waves of enamored attention from a certain special someone you’ve had your ensorcelled eyes on.
Found wedged in my copy of the unconsciously hypnotizing Out of the Blue double LP (you know, the one with Turn to Stone and Mr. Blue Sky on it), this mind-blowing insert begs for the yearning of an era just a few short years before I was born… an era of Farrah Fawcett hair, suggestive smiles, and sensationally groovy licks.
Kicking off with a spry, ethereal bleep followed by the vacant ringing of a telephone doomed to be acknowledge, Telephone Line is a lulling journey through the sung cries of our hero (Jeff Lynne) as he attempts to regain contact with a former lover, but you know, told amongst a charming bed of orchestral Rock ‘n Roll accompanied by elegant back-up vocals.
Telephone Line is a sad tale of that (oh so familiar) slow burn that inevitably comes when the love between two treasured sweethearts fades away, only to die a slow, excruciating death while both parties curse the heavens in complete emotional anarchy. I’m over it now, but there was a time when this song hit home a bit too aggressively.
Telephone Line is from ELO’s monumentally successful 1976 album, A New World Record. This single however was released on green vinyl in 1977. If you’ve ever heard ELO, chances are you’re hooked. If you haven’t, (WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU WAITING FOR?) I’d humbly suggest starting with A New World Record and its awe-inspiring single, Telephone Line.