Just like Mr. Barton I find that this album is not the strongest in the ELO catalog. But still it definitely has its good moments. The album cover is kinda nice too, making you think of “Alice in Wonderland”.
Electric Light Orchestra: `El Dorado` (Warner Bros.)
Album review by Geoff Barton
Many have attempted to achieve the perfect synthesis between rock and classical music, and I dare say that the ELO have succeeded better than most – but even so this `El Dorado` album is far from their best, I think. It`s a curious, haphazard work that manages to touch on just about every extreme of the musical spectrum. On one hand there`s the fragmentary mixture of classical tunes – the titles of which you just can`t seem to put your finger on – at the beginning of `Boy Blue`: on the other there`s the straight rock and roll of the strangely-titled `Illusions In G Major`. The overall sound of this, presumably some sort of concept album, is quite insistent and decidedly uncomfortable. Jeff Lynne`s production is unsubtle and, at times, the whole thing comes out through the speakers with almost bludgeoning power. At the beginning `El Dorado` is immediately reminiscent of the Moodies, as guest speaker murmurs indistinctly and in deep tones over sweeping strings. This leads into `Can`t Get It Out Of My Head`, possibly the most outstanding track on the album, with memorable chorus – something ELO have always excelled at – and, towards the end, a tasteful exchange between synthesiser and violins. `Laredo Tornado` has Stevie Wonder undertones (this is turning out to be a strange mixture) and the first side climaxes in no mean fashion as rock collides with a mixture of, or so it seems, the themes from `The Magnificent Seven` and `The Big Country` together with the `William Tell Overture`. Besides `Illusions In G`, side two is notable for Lennonesque vocals on `Mister Kingdom`. This one`s a gently reflective tune for ELO – yet it still comes across with the force of a ten thousand watt neon sign. Most strange.
I have personally transcribed this from the original paper. Any errors in the text from the original magazine may not have been corrected for the sake of accuracy. If you have a music-related web-page where this fits – please make a link to the article. With credits to the original writer of the article from all of us music fans!
This number of Sounds also contains articles/interviews with these people: Average White Band, Chick Corea, Gilbert O`Sullivan, Guess Who, Led Zeppelin, Trapeze, John Martyn, John McLaughlin, Gary Moore, Billy Connolly, J. Geils Band, John Holt, Hall & Oates, Donovan, Country Joe McDonald, Golden Earring.
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