FZ 40048 Balance of Power
Produced by Jeff Lynne
Released on March 1986
UK CHART POSITION #9 . . . US CHART POSITION #49
Find it at GEMM
FZ 40048 cover
[high resolution photo]
 

M usic for romantic rollerdisco robots (I love you, Snookums 5000). And if I fancied myself clever, I could leave it at that and have a good guilty snigger. But it doesn’t explain how a band as brilliant as ELO fell into making bland product. For that, we need to travel back to the beginning of Time (the album). It was there that the little red arrow in my head started pointing south. Time wasn’t as good as Discovery, which was better than Out of the Blue, which was better than A New World Record. As much as I hate to give someone credit for watching Happy Days, the band “jumped the shark” (just imagine I put a trademark or something here) with the soundtrack to Xanadu. (Olivia Newton-John had been swimming with them for years already, so no harm done to her.) It was there that the band started fabricating ELO songs: The melodies were bouncy, the choruses were incurably cute, the synthesizers all tricked up, and the result was the musical equivalent of candy. The same thing happened to The Beach Boys; people just wanted to hear a happy song about girls and cars and surfing. And so Jeff Lynne found himself writing hits that people had already heard in their heads (“Hold On Tight,” “Rock ‘N’ Roll Is King,” “Calling America”). As I said, candy, which isn’t a terrible thing unless you’d been defending them from the detractors who’d been calling it candy all along, in which case you might feel a little foolish. Of interest, Jeff Lynne does a remarkable Roy Orbison impression on “Endless Lies.”

FZ 40048 back cover FZ 40048 lyric sleeve
FZ 40048 back cover FZ 40048 lyric sleeve

TRACK LISTING

  1. HEAVEN ONLY KNOWS    2:52
  2. SO SERIOUS    2:38
  3. GETTING TO THE POINT    4:28
  4. SECRET LIVES    3:26
  5. IS IT ALRIGHT    3:25
  6. SORROW ABOUT TO FALL    3:59
  7. WITHOUT SOMEONE    2:48
  8. CALLING AMERICA    3:26
  9. ENDLESS LIES    2:55
  10. SEND IT    3:04

    Words and music by Jeff Lynne

CREDITS

BEV BEVAN -- drums, percussion
JEFF LYNNE -- lead vocals, background vocals, guitars, bass guitars, keyboards, piano
RICHARD TANDY -- keyboards, piano, sequence programming
Christian Shneider -- sax
Mack -- mixing
Bill Bottrell -- engineer
Tom Thiel -- engineer
Michael Hodgson with Clive Piercy -- art direction

return to ELECTRIC LIGHT ORCHESTRA discography

REGION RELEASE DATE LABEL MEDIA ID NUMBER FEATURES
UK/GER/NET March 1986 Epic/Jet LP/CS 26467 lyric sleeve
US/CAN March 1986 CBS Associated LP/CD/CS FZ/ZK 40048 lyric sleeve
BRA 1986 Epic LP 144882  
JPN 1986 CBS LP 28AP-3153 lyric insert
NET 1986 CBS LP EPC26467 lyric sleeve
NZ 1986 Epic LP ELPS 4528  
YUG   Suzy LP JET26477 inner sleeve
EUR   Epic CD 468576  

 

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