Second Favorite ELO album?

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    My favorite ELO album of all time is Eldorado. No argument. Set in stone. I can answer that question without hesitation. My favorite ELO song of all time is I Can’t Get it Out of My Head. Again, no argument. Set in stone. Yada yada yada.

    The question that has been vexing me of late, however, is: what is my second favorite ELO album? I’ve narrowed it down to two albums: A New World Record (NWR) and Out of the Blue (OOTB).

    When I listen to NWR, it charges me up and fills me with energy. I love the violin riffs throughout the album and the music takes me places I can only imagine while I’m listening to it. When I finish listening to the album I want to run out and DO things. Do what, exactly, I don’t know. I just know that it is a time for action. I was in a electronics class in High School when I first heard a song from the NWR album (Livin’ Thing). In those days I was learning all sorts of cool things: computer programming, transistor design and so on. I was beginning to actually enjoy High School, which was a dramatic change for me. So perhaps the album takes me back to those days.

    One thing I found out about OOTB is that the songs make me happy. It doesn’t matter about the subject of the songs: rainy day, breaking up with a girlfriend or longing for an out of town loved one, I just feel happy when I hear them. Perhaps it’s nostalgia nipping at my heels or a willful ignorance about what the music is really about and inventing my own story. Doesn’t matter. I just know that when I play OOTB, I feel happier. When I’m down and sad, OOTB works for me 3 out of 4 times.

    I have no idea what my second favorite ELO song is. Chances are it is residing somewhere in On the Third Day.

    I tried to resolve the issue by listening to each album closely and think about my feelings afterward. While I am listening to a particular album I start thinking “Yes! This is my number 2 album. I then play the other album and I have second thoughts. “Wait! Maybe it’s not that album but instead this album is the one that is my Number 2. It doesn’t matter how often I hear both albums: I am unable to resolve the conflict.

    Perhaps I could use other, more objective criteria to help me decide. Things like: ranking in the billboard charts, number of songs that reached the charts and so on. But that doesn’t feel right. After all, this is something that is all about emotions, not objective fact.


    My favorite albums, in order:

    1. A New World Record – the first ELO I ever heard, and I still love it.
    2. Eldorado – the awesome fence-straddling moment between the “overdub two cellos 33,000 times” sound of the early albums, and the “widescreen” sound of the later stuff.
    3. Time – it seems to be popular to take a crap on the later synth-driven stuff, but I love this album.

    Favorite songs, perhaps not surprisingly, are as follows:

    1. Mission (A World Record)
    2. Laredo Tornado
    3. Rain Is Falling

    What’s funny is that all three are actually kinda atypical of what people normally expect from ELO – i.e. they’re not Mr. Blue Sky. Actually, all three songs are kinda bummers, but they are also incredibly awesome. Little works of art unto themselves.

    Steve W
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    I’m not really a big ELO fan. My sister got me hooked on the album Time when I was young, and ever since it’s been one of my all-time favorite albums. After that, my only other ELO album is Essential ELO, one of the “Best Of” albums. I’d guess then that my second favorite album would have to be Balance of Power, since it has my absolute favorite song by the band on it, Calling America. I don’t actually have the album, since I bought that individual song in the early days of the iTunes music store. In fact, it’s one of the reasons I signed up for iTunes, since I’d burnt out on the idea of paying $15 for a CD just for a single song.

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    @Earl wrote:

    What’s funny is that all three are actually kinda atypical of what people normally expect from ELO – i.e. they’re not Mr. Blue Sky.

    I Consider Mr. Blue Sky to be atypical of ELO music. Sure, it’s got all the classic ELO riffs, stylings and engineering but the song is much too happy compared to most ELO songs. Also ELO songs tend to deal with more complex matters than “Hey, it’s a nice sunny day”. In other words, if most people expect ELO music to be like “Mr. Blue Sky” then they don’t get ELO.

    I’ve decided that I’ll live with the two albums tied for second place. So, my top three list of ELO albums are:

    1. Eldorado
    2. Tie: A New World Record and Out of the Blue
    3. Time

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