35530/1 Out of the Blue
Produced by Jeff Lynne
Released on November 1977
UK CHART POSITION #4 . . . US CHART POSITION #4
. . . PLATINUM RECORD
Find it at GEMM
35530/1 cover  

D um dum dum dum. Da-de-da da-de-da da-de-da da-de-da. That’s the best song in the world when it’s playing. Arriving at “Mr. Blue Sky” is the climax to Out of the Blue, a double elpee that formed a monument to the pursuit of lost love. Detractors can cringe if they want to, but this does work as a concept album about one man’s journey to regain love. The record takes the unusual approach of beginning with the breakup, Jeff Lynne lamenting that he “Turns To Stone” when his love is gone. The announcement that “It’s Over” would seem to usher a downbeat ballad, but the band soon slips in another wonderful melody, and it becomes clear that rain or shine the record will be spinning plenty of the sweet stuff. Their tale then follows the main character on his journey to find his love (revealed on “Sweet Talkin’ Woman”), similar to Alice’s pursuit of the white rabbit. Along the way, the rejected lover realizes that the answer to happiness lies within (“Big Wheels”) and wonders how long he’ll have to wait for his love. Suddenly, the sun is shining in the sky (“Mr. Blue Sky”) and his love arrives (“Sweet Is The Night”). The remaining three tracks seems to loosely tie in themes of space and being a rock and roll star, which may be related insofar as ELO was touring with a spaceship set at the time. Note that I’m not basing my thematic interpretation on anything I’ve read, so I could be way off base here, but Jeff Lynne has left too many breadcrumbs to mistake this as a mere walk in the park. As for the music itself, Out of the Blue splices The Beatles with The Bee Gees to wonderful effect. Sometimes the band is too deferential to The Beatles’ work (e.g., “Steppin’ Out”), sometimes too confident in the merits of disco, but they throw so many wonderful melodies into the mix that it’s simply a matter of waiting a few minutes before something grabs your attention again. The strings are further relegated to the role of musical accents while Richard Tandy’s keyboards dominate the discussion (not that I’m complaining, since he just shines). Together with Another World Record and Discovery, Out of the Blue reveals an uncanny facility for writing pop music. These three records give us a glimpse into what The Beatles might have sounded like if they had survived into the late ‘70s.

JTLA-823-L2 back cover JTLA-823-L2 front cover JTLA-823-L2 inner gatefold
JTLA-823-L2 back cover JTLA-823-L2 front cover JTLA-823-L2 inner gatefold

TRACK LISTING

    record one
  1. TURN TO STONE    3:48
  2. IT'S OVER    4:08
  3. SWEET TALKIN' WOMAN    3:48
  4. ACROSS THE BORDER    3:52
  5. NIGHT IN THE CITY    4:02
  6. STARLIGHT    4:30
  7. JUNGLE    3:51
  8. BELIEVE ME NOW    1:21
  9. STEPPIN' OUT    4:38

    record two (incl. Concerto for a Rainy Day)
  10. STANDING IN THE RAIN    4:20
  11. BIG WHEELS    5:10
  12. SUMMER AND LIGHTNING    4:13
  13. MR. BLUE SKY    5:05
  14. SWEET IS THE NIGHT    3:26
  15. THE WHALE    5:05
  16. BIRMINGHAM BLUES    4:21
  17. WILD WEST HERO    4:40

    All music and lyrics by Jeff Lynne

CREDITS

BEV BEVAN -- Slingerland drums, Remo Roto Toms, Avedis Zildjian Cymbals, Slingerland 'Bev Bevan' drumsticks, Remo drum heads, gong, various percussion instruments, backing vocals
MELVYN GALE -- William Lewis cello
KELLY GROUCUTT -- vocals, backing vocals, Gibson G.3 bass, percussion
MIK KAMINSKI -- Barcus Berry violin
JEFF LYNNE -- lead vocals, backing vocals, lead guitar, slide guitar, rhythm guitar, Gibson EDS 1275, Les Paul Custom, Marauder, Ovation 1615/4, 1619/4, Wurlitzer E.P. 200, Mini-moog, percussion, orchestra and choral arrangements
HUGH McDOWELL -- William Lewis cello
RICHARD TANDY -- Polymoog, Mini-moog, ARP 2600, Odyssey, Omni, Sequencer, minus noise mixer, Wurlitzer E.P. 200, Yamaha C 7B piano, SLM concert spectrum, mellotron M 400, Hohner clavinet, Gibson S.G. custom guitar, orchestra and choral arrangements
Louis Clark -- orchestra and choral arrangements, conductor
Mack -- engineer, special effects
Shusei Nagaoka -- cover illustration
Michael Bryan -- portraits
Ria Lewerke with Kosh -- art direction & design

return to ELECTRIC LIGHT ORCHESTRA discography

REGION RELEASE DATE LABEL MEDIA ID NUMBER FEATURES
UK November 1977 Jet 2LP UAR 100 gatefold cover, poster
US/CAN/SWE November 1977 Jet 2LP/8T JTLA/EA-823-L2 gatefold cover, lyric sleeves, poster
UK/NET 1977/8 Jet 2LP/2LPBLU DP 400 gatefold, lyric sleeves, insert,
avail. in blue vinyl
AUS'L   United Artists 2LP L 70077/8 gatefold cover, inner sleeves
MEX 1977 Epic/Jet 2LP NJ2S-62 gatefold cover, lyric sleeves
NET   Jet 2LP JETLX 500 gatefold cover, lyric sleeves
SPA   United Artists 2LP AUAL 224068 gatefold cover, lyric sleeves
JPN   Jet 2LP 40AP-1094/5 gatefold cover, lyric sleeves, poster
UK   CBS CD 450885  
US May 1987 Jet 2LP/CD/CS KZ2-35530/31 gatefold cover, lyric sleeves
JPN   Sony CD SRCS-9433  
EUR   Sony 2CD 4998629 repackaged w. DISCOVERY

 

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