UA-LA339-G Eldorado: A Symphony By The Electric Light Orchestra
Produced by Jeff Lynne
Released on October 1974
US CHART POSITION #16
Find it at GEMM
UA-LA339-G cover  

O kay, so calling this a symphony is the height of pretension, but how much of an opera was Tommy really? Eldorado starts off with the by-now standard overture, this time featuring the portentous narration of Peter Ford-Robertson (who also closes things out). That leads into a pair of tracks that represent, to date, the best songs ELO has committed to vinyl: the dreamy “Can’t Get It Out of My Head” and the wonderful “Boy Blue.” The latter track, which was quickly retired from radio rotation, recalls George Harrison’s “You” and ranks among my favorites (must be something about ELO and the color blue). Honestly, the rest of the record is much ado about nothing. The music is borrowed from some obvious sources; “Mister Kingdom” steals a ride on The Beatles’ “Across The Universe,” while “Painted Lady” borrows from the stereotypical swing sound of the ‘30s, “Illusions In G Major” from Chuck Berry rock and roll. The themes of fairy tales appear throughout: “Poor Boy (The Greenwood)” refers to the story of Robin Hood, “Eldorado” to that mythical land, and “Laredo Tornado” to… well, I have no what “Laredo Tornado” is all about. Jeff Lynne has always borrowed from standard musical idioms, but it usually seemed less obvious than it does here. You can cut him slack if “Laredo Tornado” sounds like any number of subsequent ELO songs; after all, he did have a distinctive style. Yet if the beginning of this album shows what ELO is capable of, the rest of the album reveals an artist coasting on his accomplishments. ELO needed to step beyond the shadow of The Beatles, and Eldorado doesn’t find that promised land (the good news is they would reach it soon, on A New World Record). Outside of a handful of excellent tracks, including the closing “Eldorado,” there’s no need to sit through this symphony. It’s only a small disappointment after the promising On The Third Day, but where that album worked well in its entirety, Eldorado doesn’t. Both albums were full of themselves, but Eldorado is ultimately more hot air than high-minded music.

UA-LA339-G back cover UA-LA339-G lyric sleeve UA-LA339-G promo insert
UA-LA339-G back cover UA-LA339-G lyric sleeve UA-LA339-G promo insert

TRACK LISTING

  1. ELDORADO OVERTURE    2:12
  2. CAN'T GET IT OUT OF MY HEAD    4:26
  3. BOY BLUE    5:17
  4. LAREDO TORNADO    5:26
  5. POORBOY (THE GREENWOOD)    2:56
  6. MISTER KINGDOM    5:50
  7. NOBODY'S CHILD    3:40
  8. ILLUSIONS IN G MAJOR    2:36
  9. ELDORADO    5:20
  10. ELDORADO - FINALE    1:20

    Expanded reissue bonus tracks...
  11. ELDORADO (INSTRUMENTAL MEDLEY)
  12. DARK CITY

    All songs written by Jeff Lynne, arrangements by Jeff Lynne, Richard Tandy and Louis Clark

CREDITS

BEV BEVAN -- drums and percussion
MICHAEL DE ALBUQUERQUE -- bass
MICHAEL EDWARDS -- cello
MIK KAMINSKI -- violin
JEFF LYNNE -- guitar, vocals, Moog, backing vocals
HUGH McDOWALL -- cello
RICHARD TANDY -- piano, Moog, guitar, backing vocals
Louis Clark -- conductor
Peter Ford-Robertson -- speaking
Dick Plant -- recording engineer
John Kehe -- album design
John Williams -- art direction

return to THE ELECTRIC LIGHT ORCHESTRA discography

REGION RELEASE DATE LABEL MEDIA ID NUMBER FEATURES
UK/GER October 1974 Warner Bros. LP K56090 insert
US/CAN October 1974 United Artists LP UA-LA339-G lyric sleeve
UK 1976 Jet LP/CS 203 lyric sleeve
US 1976 United Artists LP/CS UA-L339-G lyric sleeve, promo insert
UK   Jet LP UAG30092 lyric sleeve
UK 1978 Jet LPYEL 203 yellow vinyl, lyric sleeve
JPN 1978 Jet LP GP-543 lyric insert
  1983 Jet CS ZGT 38228 repackaged w. ELECTRIC LIGHT ORCHESTRA II
US/CAN   Jet LP/CD/CS JZ/ZK 35526 lyric sleeve
MEX   Jet LP GX01937  
  1993 DCC CD 1041  
WW 2001 Epic CD 501904 digital remaster w. bonus tracks
US June 12, 2001 Epic CD 85419 digital remaster w. bonus tracks

 

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