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Out of the Blue


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Music

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Biography

Biographyby Jason Ankeny

The Electric Light Orchestra's ambitious yet irresistible fusion of Beatlesque pop, classical arrangements, and futuristic iconography rocketed the group to massive commercial success throughout the 1970s. ELO was formed in Birmingham, England in the autumn of 1970 from the ashes of the eccentric art-pop combo the Move, reuniting frontman Roy Wood with ... Read more in Amazon's E.L.O. Store

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Product details

  • Audio CD (30 Nov. 1998)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Sony
  • ASIN: B00000I39N
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Audio Cassette  |  Vinyl  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (164 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 709,129 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

31 of 31 people found the following review helpful By Mr. Justin S. Brookman on 29 Jan. 2005
Format: Audio CD
Why is Jeff lynne's genius never given the credit he so rightly deserves? both for his great songwriting and incredible producing ability. It seems that people think its un-cool to admit liking this band but are happy to admit to bands like Queen, Led Zeppelin ETC ETC. "Out Of The Blue" then, every song on this album is good you wont find any fillers here, the soundscape is enormous and filled with drama, the melodies are lush and the original vinyl package was great with its blue vinyl, poster and cardboard model ELO spaceship. It was 1977 and Star Wars had just hit the cinemas, I was seven and kept on to my Gran to get me "Out Of The Blue" just because I liked the album cover, what an introduction to the world of music. I would often play the album start to finish, all four sides and study the album sleeve, it was as if this band had arrived from another world bringing with them a very unique and exciting sound. What really amazes me is the sound production, remember this was 1977, it still sounds fresh today and has a big sound on any Hi-Fi you care to play it on. This album in my opinion stands up as a truly "Classic" piece of work especially when you consider it took Jeff Lynne just eight days to write it. Dated? I dont think so. Timeless Classic? Definately...
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41 of 42 people found the following review helpful By N. Wright on 30 May 2011
Format: Audio CD
1977 was of course the year of punk and also the year of disco, but two inescapable albums also appeared in that year: 'Rumours' by Fleetwood Mac was released in February 1977 and in November that year, ELO released the double LP 'Out of the Blue'.

I disagree with some of the negative reviews. 'Out of the Blue' is a superb album from start to finish, and one which has really stood the test of time, as it still sounds as fresh today as it did when it was released over 33 years ago. Written and produced and arranged in its entirety by Jeff Lynne, and recorded at Musicland Studios in Germany, this is an ambitious album with 17 extremely well crafted songs, including three of ELO's massive hits, 'Turn to Stone', 'Sweet Talking Woman', and 'Mr Blue Sky'.

The lush string and keyboards/synthesiser arrangements are faultless.

On the original vinyl release (now a single CD):
Side 1:
1. Turn to Stone
2. Its Over
3. Sweet Talking Woman
4. Across the Border
Side 2:
1. Night In the City
2. Starlight
3. Jungle
4. Believe Me Now
5. Stepping Out
Side 3:
Concerto for a Rainy Day
1. Standin' in the Rain
2. Big Wheels
3. Summer and Lightning
4. Mr Blue Sky
Side 4:
1. Sweet is the Night
2. The Whale
3. Birmingham Blues
4. Wild West Hero

All 17 tracks are superb and there is not a weak moment on the album. Pick of the bunch: 'Turn To Stone', 'Sweet Talkin' Woman', 'Night In the City', 'Starlight', and the four tracks that make up the 'Concerto for a Rainy Day'. These are absolutely brilliant and the rest of the set comes close to matching them. 'The Whale' is the best instrumental track ELO ever did and 'Big Wheels' is their finest ballad ever.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By will_de_beest on 8 Mar. 2007
Format: Audio CD
I'm happy to say that I've never stopped playing and enjoying my ELO albums, so there was no real need for me to get excited about this reissue. But I bought it anyway because I didn't have a CD edition, and because my LPs are a mid-price 1980s reissue in a one-piece sleeve, not the beautiful gatefold original, and I'm well pleased.

As other here have remarked, there are two ways to view this, and they depend on whether or not you already have a playable copy. If you do, you have to want the little book and the model spaceship - which are both nicely done - because the remastered sound is nothing remarkable. Not that it's bad, just not a reason in itself for replacing the copy you already have. The three extra tracks are the sort you will play once and once only - two are mere curiosities and 'Latitude 88 North', while it may have been written at the same time as the album songs, was recorded more than 20 years later (Lynne explains this in his notes) and sounds like a Traveling Wilburys effort.

So that deals with the reissue part. What's left is one of the great musical creations of any period. Ignore the words - Lynne never had any great pretensions to be a lyricist - and soak up those fabulous melodies, harmonies, cadences and layers and layers of sound. It's (still) fashionable to disparage 'Concerto for a Rainy Day' but I love it - especially the long instrumental introduction and, most of all, 'Big Wheels'. As Steve says below, it's wonderfully constructed - although you might find a certain irony in using so many people to perform a song about loneliness. It's up there with Siegfried's funeral scene in 'Gotterdammerung' for dramatic deployment of gorgeous, juicy chords - although it is, of course, pure coincidence that the discarded section from Wild West Hero contains a reference to falling into the fire!
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By S. C. Trump on 4 Mar. 2007
Format: Audio CD
There has been so much written about this album that it needs little plugging from me as its reputation will live on forever. However I thought it would be useful to showcase what are for me the five greatest tracks on an album where every track is a sheer delight.

1) Turn to Stone - the albums opener has an unusual fade-in intro and is driven by a distinctive keyboard riff played by Jeff Lynne rather than Richard Tandy the regular keyboards man with ELO. The song chugs along and then we get a brief middle section where Jeff sings the words extremely fast. The first single from the album and its relatively lowly chart placing did not reflect the class of the song.

2) Across the Border - another fade in, this time with a steam train which sounds exactly the same as that used on Abbas 'Nina Pretty Ballerina' (check it out if you don't believe me). Now this song should have been a single so great is its melody and hook. Radio 2 regularly play it even today - not bad for an album track although it did appear as the b-side of ELOs best single from the Xanadu soundtrack in 1981 (Don't walk away).

3) Believe me now/Steppin' out - Played to death on Nicky Hornes 'Mummies chart' when the album came out this track still sounds damn fine today. A cacophony of sound follows a classical style intro as the short 'Believe me now' segues into 'Steppin' out'. The latter is a superior ballad with some fine vocalising from Jeff. Keen eared listeners might spot that at around 4" 3' the riff sounds just like Genesis's 'Afterglow'.

4) Big Wheels - The second track on the 'Concerto for a rainy day' is in my opinion Jeff Lynnes masterpiece on this album. `Big Wheels' is quite simply wonderful.
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