Electric Light Orchestra - A New World RecordIt all started here. This was the first ELO album – in fact, the first rock album – ever given to me; my older brother introduced me to this one on 8-track when I was around five or six years old, and it pretty much set the pattern. Having only heard some of my mother’s easy listening records and the only album I truly had to my own name – John Williams’ Star Wars soundtrack – I immediately gravitated toward this rock music that sounded like it had a heavy-duty soundtrack incorporated into it, and I have favored that kind of music since. That could, in fact, best describe the kind of music I love the most – something that, if it never has been played by any sort of classical instrument, sounds like it could easily translate to that medium and sound majestic. Where this album specifically is concerned, though, it contains one of my favorite rock songs of all time, “Mission (A World Record)”, a very unusual, dark piece of music with mournful lyrics that seem to be sung from the vantage point 5 out of 4 starsof aliens observing life on Earth. Most people will be more familiar with this album’s singles, “Telephone Line”, “Livin’ Thing”, “Rockaria!” (another favorite, a humorous hard rocker that pays tribute to several classical composers) and “Do Ya”. This is my favorite ELO release from the 70s, and my favorite rock album, period. I just haven’t heard it get much better than this.

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  1. Tightrope (5:03)
  2. Telephone Line (4:38)
  3. Rockaria! (3:12)
  4. Mission (A World Record) (4:26)
  5. So Fine (3:55)
  6. Livin’ Thing (3:31)
  7. Above The Clouds (2:17)
  8. Do Ya (3:44)
  9. Shangri-La (5:34)

Released by: Jet
Release date: 1976
Total running time: 36:20