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Comment: ELECTRIC LIGHT ORCHESTRA Secret Messages (1983 UK 7 vinyl single also including Buildings Have Eyes - taken from the album Secret Messages picture sleeve A3720)
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secret messages LP Import

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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

  • Vinyl
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Import
  • Label: JET
  • ASIN: B0040PALMS
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Audio Cassette  |  Vinyl  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,404,314 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Product Description


Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By bobobob5 on 14 Nov. 1999
Format: Audio CD
This album is one of the 'unappreciated' later works by ELO. The cover illustrations contain obscure references to the songs, and the impression is that there is some hidden theme to the album - one which I for one have never been able to identify, despite numerous playings over the years. The album's cover and printed warning that it contains secret backward messages suggests that it is not just the simple reversed-tape sequence that was being referred to. The songs are highly melodic and strong, yet they appear to have been written more as 'album songs' rather than as potential hit singles. Despite being recorded a long time ago, this album is highly listenable and does not sound like a museum-piece in any way. It's the sort of CD you can buy and simply play all the way through, enjoying the songs, being left with a feeling of 'Well, I wonder what that was all about?' I think it's excellent.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Mr. N. J. Bayliss on 21 Aug. 2007
Format: Audio CD
I have been an ELO fan for nearly 30 years and although quite a few people think of this album as a weak point in their history and that it was against Jeff Lynne's will, I tend to look at this album differently. It sounds like a lot of work has been put into the album and if was against Jeff's will, it can't have been too much against it as he wanted the album to be a double despite the powers that be not giving him the go ahead. From the fast pace of the title track thru to Rock n' Roll Is King, you have one well crafted album. Letter From Spain and RnR Is King do not do the album much justice, but Loser Gone Wild is just fantastic with its arrangement which leads us to a typical ELO brilliance of Bluebird. Take Me On And On is very smooth and pleasant to the ear with marvellous playing, Time After Time is not the best of choices but its sound effects and pristine production keep you interested until the great Four Little Diamonds; now that is perfectly arranged and uptempo. Stranger is an absolute classic, the soft tones and the atmospherics of the song especially thru the headphones is dreamlike and simply beautiful. Danger Ahead is very similar to another Jeff song called Slipping Away From Me which Dave Edmunds sung with Jeff's production - uptempo and enjoyable. These songs make Secret Messages a good album. One track that did not make onto Secret Meassages, Hello My Old Friend, singing about Birmingham, is haunting but you can relate to it. I am a Brummie myself and was away from the city for a spell and the occasional visits I made to the city made me think of this lengthy song. Whether you are from Brum, Leeds, London or wherever, it tells you that there's no place like home. This track can be found on the box set called "Afterglow".
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By ds VINE VOICE on 13 Feb. 2008
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
It's puzzling from this remove, twenty five years (that long!) after release that this is still a somewhat neglected corner of the ELO back catalogue. To say that it doesn't match the heights of Lynne's more prolific earlier output would accurate, but rather unfairly damning if stated that baldly. True, the increasing use of electronic instruments is becoming apparent, even more so than 1981's Time, but here the songs have bent a little to accommodate. and there are treasures aplenty to be discovered.

The title track kicks things off, playing with Lynne's interest in backwards masking, playing with the contemporaneous obsession (and ELO's own previous brushes) with it. Loser Gone Wild is a schizo number, oddly two-paced and flitting between heavily downbeat verses and up-tempo chorus.

Third is, for me, the track of the album, Bluebird. This is a song that would fit easily onto ANY of their albums, with a title giving a gentle nod to the Beatles' Blackbird and a mix of keyboards and acoustic guitar that has more than a sniff of the McCartneyesque about it.

The wistful and dreamy Take Me On And On (possibly a little too much so for my taste) leads into Time After Time, a song that didn't appear on the original vinyl release but crept into later reissues. It has a quite thin premise, but the heavy percussive influence carries it along really nicely, making it another favourite of mine.

From there we hit another gem: Four Little Diamonds, a rockin' crunchy guitar romp that has echoes of older stuff like Ma Ma Ma Belle and is plainly fabulous.

The remainder of the album alternates in pace between slower and more uptempo numbers.
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful By bobobob5 on 24 Jan. 2004
Format: Audio CD
ELO are the rock music equivalent of Abba. When it's fashionable to admit to being a fan of either of these bands, they have lots of fans. And when it isn't, they don't. Currently, Abba are 'in' and ELO are 'out'. And that's simply daft, because the music on the albums doesn't change. It can't. It's just trends and fashions influencing perceptions.
And when this album was released, the trends and fashions had moved against ELO. The album's better than 'Out of the Blue' - "but let's ignore it", they said. And it's close to 'Time' - "we ignored that one as well". That's ELOs problem - by the time that Time was released, they'd been branded 'dinosaurs' thanks to Johnny Rotten's 'I Hate ELO' T-shirt and a general anti-ELO groundswell.
This is clearly a concept album, into which a great deal of work had gone. That's clear from the front and rear covers of the album sleeve. But, exactly what the 'secret messages' are seeking to convey to the listener, well that's not so clear. Time was far better executed in that regard, because it's a true concept album. Maybe there wssn't enough space in a single vinyl album, or studio time, to fully realise the intention - if so, the album is regrettably incomplete. But, it contains some stunning material. One might say 'only four stars' because of this, but I think that would undervalue the album. It's typical late-period ELO, superbly recorded, with great melodies and arrangements, and a very strong 'drive' on many of the tracks. Personally I can do without the 'Rock and Roll is King' material, because it lacks creativity, doesn't fit with the rest of the album, and 1950s rockers might have been more likely to punch an ELO fan than to share his taste in music! But that's just my view. Buy it.
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