- Bev Bevan
- Jeff Lynne
- Richard Tandy
- Roy Wood
Picking up where the Beatles left off, ELO expanded the concept of great melodies, epic song structures and grand orchestrations.
ELO added an exciting mix of elements into rock and roll, including disco rhythms and electronic studio wizardry.
Electric Light Orchestra, or more popularly known as ELO, were formed in Birmingham England in 1970 when Jeff Lynne and Roy Wood, members of The Move, had the vision to start a new project that would create modern rock and pop songs with classical overtones.
Joined by fellow Move member Bev Bevan, their mission was clear – to pick up where the Beatles left off and carry the torch. And they did just that. Their first single “10538 Overture,” released in 1972, is an unabashed homage to the Beatles, a heavily orchestrated psychedelic gem that sounded like their musical answer to “I Am The Walrus.” Roy Wood left ELO later that year, leaving Lynne as the band’s sole creative force, and he took them to both creative and commercial heights.
Their fourth album Eldorado, A Symphony, a concept record about a daydreamer, yielded their first US top 10 single “Can’t Get It Out Of My Head” and became the band’s first gold album. The two albums that followed produced four top 20 hits - “Evil Woman,” “Strange Magic,” “Livin’ Thing” and “Telephone Line” – that are all still classic rock radio mainstays.
Their next album was their most ambitious yet, the multi-platinum selling double LP Out Of The Blue, that featured three more hit singles, including the ever popular “Mr. Blue Sky,” and a grandiose tour highlighted by the now famous spaceship stage complete with fog machines and laser displays that made ELO a must-see concert. All told, ELO has sold over 50 million records worldwide and between 1972 and 1986, Jeff Lynne wrote and produced twenty-six Top 40 hits in the UK and twenty in the US.
Their legacy is still growing and their success continues today, with Jeff Lynne’s ELO selling out huge shows around the world, and their timeless songs have become staples for music fans of all generations. John Lennon once famously referred to the band as “sons of the Beatles,” but more than 40 years later, it is clear that ELO have carved out their own unique place in rock history.
Selected discography: “10538 Overture,” No Answer (1971) ● “Can’t Get It Out Of My Head,” Eldorado, A Symphony (1974) ● “Evil Woman,” “Strange Magic,” Face The Music (1975) ● “Livin’ Thing,” “Telephone Line,” A New World Record (1976) ● “Turn To Stone,” “Sweet Talkin’ Woman,” “Mr. Blue Sky,” Out Of The Blue (1977) ● “Don’t Bring Me Down,” Discovery (1979)