Electric Light Orchestra – Out Of The Blue

Electric Light Orchestra - Out Of The BlueYou have to be in the mood for ELO, and a whole lot of ELO at its most ELO-esque, if you’re going to absorb this entire double album in one sitting. This album contains the singles “Turn To Stone”, “Sweet Talkin’ Woman” and “Mr. Blue Sky”, three of the best ELO singles ever to hit the airwaves. Some of the best album tracks also come from this one as well, including “Starlight”, one of the best songs ELO ever recorded. Don’t ask me why, but my favorite Jeff Lynne compositions show their 50s-retro roots quite audibly. Also included are “Jungle”, a song that sounds incredibly silly on the surface but is appealing all the same; “Standing In The Rain”, keyboardist Richard Tandy’s most jaw-dropping performance (and this was years before MIDI, children); the rough-edged Birmingham Blues (about the band’s home town – England, not Alabama); “Summer And Lightning” and “Night In The City” (two of the very few songs in which every possible good clichè of ELO’s sound converges), and one of my favorite instrumentals, “The Whale”. 4 out of 4 starsSome would argue that this is the last time ELO really sounded good, and that’s not entirely untrue. Out Of The Blue also marks the beginning of ELO’s most commercial phase of existence; the adventurous ELO of old didn’t return until 1981.

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  1. Turn To Stone (3:47)
  2. It’s Over (4:08)
  3. Sweet Talkin’ Woman (3:48)
  4. Across the Border (3:53)
  5. Night in the City (4:01)
  6. Starlight (4:26)
  7. Jungle (3:51)
  8. Believe Me Now (1:21)
  9. Steppin’ Out (4:39)
  10. Standin’ in the Rain (4:21)
  11. Big Wheels (5:05)
  12. Summer and Lightning (4:14)
  13. Mr. Blue Sky (5:05)
  14. Sweet is the Night (3:26)
  15. The Whale (5:02)
  16. Birmingham Blues (4:23)
  17. Wild West Hero (4:42)

Released by: Jet
Release date: 1977
Total running time: 70:12