Electric Light Orchestra - The Night The Light Went On In Long BeachSomewhere between obscurity and fame – i.e. between their third and fourth albums – ELO recorded this California gig which is one of the most energetic and unusual performances the band ever put on. If the track list for this album looks unusual, that’s because, aside from “Roll Over Beethoven”, it’s the only evidence on record that ELO was a decent cover band prior to their ascension to superstardom. Jeff Lynne’s influences – the Beatles and Jerry Lee Lewis (what a combo!) – receive an homage from the respective (and, I might add, very good) covers of “Daytripper” and “Great Balls Of Fire”. Not used to the thought of him singing other people’s material, I was surprised at how well Lynne could carry off Jerry Lee Lewis’ vocal style. And there are three outstanding instrumentals – one, “Daybreaker”, is an ELO original from On The Third Day; another, “Mik’s Solo / Orange Blossom Special”, runs the gamut from classical to hoedown in a matter of a few hilarious minutes (courtesy of ELO’s resident virtuoso 3 out of 4Mik Kaminski); and the third, a heavy metal cover of Grieg’s “In The Hall of the Mountain King” (also recorded on Third Day), segues abruptly into the aforementioned Jerry Lee Lewis rocker. This ranks up there with the Winterland CD and ELO Part II’s One Night as yet another example that, at least some of the time, ELO was a damn fine live band.

Order this CD

  1. Daybreaker (5:36)
  2. Showdown (6:54)
  3. Daytripper (6:40)
  4. 10538 Overture (5:44)
  5. Mik’s Solo / Orange Blossom Special (2:28)
  6. In the Halls of the Mountain King / Great Balls of Fire (8:35)
  7. Roll Over Beethoven (4:25)

Released by: Epic / Sony UK
Release date: 1974 (reissued on CD in 1997)
Total running time: 40:25