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For Rock Hall’s Consideration: Electric Light Orchestra

In the 1970s, a band from Birmingham, England (the same place that gave us acts such as Black Sabbath and Duran Duran) took their rock and pop sound, and integrated classical overtones, and even had perhaps one of the most famous logo in music history. The band was Electric Light Orchestra (ELO), who along with other bands such as Genesis, helped ushered in the symphonic and art rock that would be relevant in the 1970s

Fronted by Jeff Lynne, the band released three albums between 1971 and 1973, two of which were top forty hits in the UK, and all charting below number fifty on the US charts. However, the group didn’t take off until 1974 with their fourth album Eldorado, A Symphony. The album went top 20, and scored ELO’s first top ten hit “Can’t Get It Out of My Head”. The album was also ELO’s first to go gold, and following suit was 1975’s Face the Music, which also became the band’s first album to crack the top ten, thanks to hits “Evil Woman” and “Strange Magic”.

Moving into the late 1970s, ELO’s 1976 album A New World Record would not be the first to feature the band’s famous logo, but went multi-platinum and featured the hits “Telephone Line” and “Livin’ Thing”. That success was followed by 1977’s double album Out of the Blue, which became ELO’s signature work, as it would go on to be considered one of the 1001 albums that must be heard before one’s passing. ELO then capped the decade with 1979’s Discovery, which was another platinum success, and feature what is considered to be the band signature tune “Don’t Bring Me Down”.

After three albums in the 1980s, ELO went their separate ways. They reformed in 2000, with projects including a retrospective box set, and an episode on VH1 Storytellers. By this time, ELO’s place in rock history was already secured with over fifty million copies sold worldwide.

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