Despite holding the less than desirable record of the band with the most Billboard Hot 100 top 40 hits (20) without a number one single of any band in US chart history, Electric Light Orchestra still found its way into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2017.
ELO was formed in Birmingham in 1970 out of a desire to form a new band that would use violins, cellos, string basses, horns and woodwinds to give their music a classical sound, taking rock music in the direction to “pick up where the Beatles left off”. (Wikipedia)
During ELO’s original 13-year period (early 70s to mid 80s) of active recording and touring, they sold over 50 million records worldwide.
I remember many days of my youth spent listening to ELO. They had some great hits: Can’t Get It Out of My Head, Evil Woman, Strange Magic, Livin’ Thing, and Telephone Line.
I also remember using the instrumental song Fire on High as my background music in my one and only public juggling performance.
It’s hard to pick one song (I’ve featured Telephone Line before), but I think this time I’ll go with Boy Blue from the Eldorado album, which has one of my favorite album covers of all-time (shown above).
The song is an anti-war song set during the Crusades and forms the second dream as part of the overall Eldorado dreamscape. It tells a story about a hero returning from a far off war and the rapturous welcome he received from his town folk. Boy Blue (the character of the song) rebuffs the hero worship and declares his hatred of war, stating his refusal to ever take up arms again.
I picked this version in case you wanted to see the lyrics; it’s a powerful song, with great music…