ZK 35525 On The Third Day
Produced by Jeff Lynne
Released on December 1973
US CHART POSITION #52
Find it at GEMM
ZK 35525 cover  

C hugging strings met by a moog in midflight, a harbinger of uncanny Beatles knockoffs circa The White Album? As it turns out, Jeff Lynne was onto something with On The Third Day. Their first album had been an awkward alliance between orchestral music and Beatlesque pop songs, their second an overstacked cake that simply toppled over, but ELO finally found a way to make it work here. The first side of music features a trio of songs that invite comparison to The Beatles (in a good way): “Bluebird Is Dead” recalls “Sexy Sadie,” “Oh No, Not Susan” is the offspring of “Cry Baby Cry” and “New World Rising” builds upon the bridge in “A Day In The Life.” All of this, plus the slightly spacey “King of the Universe,” are encased in the orchestral “Ocean Breakup,” one of several instances where the orchestra takes center stage. Side two goes after a less precious sound, beginning with “Showdown,” the first example of what would become the band’s trademark disco sound. “Ma-Ma-Ma Belle” rocks hard like Deep Purple’s “Woman From Tokyo,” while “Dreaming of 4000” is suitably dreamier in an Al Stewart vein. Rounding out the set are the instrumentals “Daybreaker” and a playful take on Edvard Grieg’s classic Peer Gynt Suite, “In The Hall of the Mountain King.” Third albums are often the charm, and there’s no question that On The Third Day delivers on the promise pregnant in songs like “Queen of the Hours” and “Nellie Takes Her Bow.” In fact, I’d call this the band’s most underrated album, a Plymouth rock waiting for anyone who hasn’t discovered ELO’s “old world” catalog.

TRACK LISTING

  1. OCEAN BREAKUP/KING OF THE UNIVERSE    4:06
  2. BLUEBIRD IS DEAD    4:22
  3. OH NO NOT SUSAN    3:28
  4. NEW WORLD RISING/OCEAN BREAKUP REPRISE    4:04
  5. SHOWDOWN    4:09
  6. DAYBREAKER    3:50
  7. MA-MA-MA BELLE    3:52
  8. DREAMING OF 4000    5:02
  9. IN THE HALL OF THE MOUNTAIN KING    (Arranged & adapted by Electric Light Orchestra)    6:33

    All songs written by Jeff Lynne unless noted

CREDITS

BEV BEVAN -- drums
MICHAEL DE ALBUQUERQUE -- bass
MIKE EDWARDS -- cello
MIK KAMINSKI -- violin
JEFF LYNNE -- guitar, vocals
RICHARD TANDY -- moog, piano
Douglas Bogey -- engineer
Dick Plant -- engineer
Bob Cato -- art direction
Richard Avedon -- photography
John Kehe -- design

return to ELECTRIC LIGHT ORCHESTRA discography

REGION RELEASE DATE LABEL MEDIA ID NUMBER FEATURES
UK/SWE December 1973 United Artists LP/CS UAG 30091 lyric sheet
US December 1973 United Artists LP/CS/8T LA/CA/EA-188-G lyric sleeve
JPN 1973 Warner Bros. LP P-8422W different gatefold cover, lyric insert
NET 1973? United Artists LP 5C 062 99115  
UK   Warner Bros. LP K56021 gatefold diecut cover, picture sleeve
AUS'L   Warner Bros. LP/CS WS/M5 4510  
AUS'L   Jet LP JT 6008  
COL   Sonolux/United Artists LP 21(0831)00036  
JPN 1978 Jet LP GP-542 lyric insert
MEX   Jet LP GX-01946  
NET   Jet LP JETLP202  
US   Jet LP JZ 35525  
US   Jet LP PZ 35525  
US 1990? Jet CD/CS ZK 35525 lyric sleeve, digital remaster
JPN   Jet CD SRCS-9429 lyric sleeve

 

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