I'm on a bit of an ELO trip at the moment, particularly 1977's expansive double-LP Out of the Blue, which seems pretty universally regarded as their masterpiece. (Even the hipster twits at Pitchfork dig it.) I especially adore lesser-known but stupendously sweeping, intricately melodic tracks on the album's second half, like "Steppin' Out," "Big Wheels" and the climactic gorgeosity that is "Wild West Hero". Monster choruses, massed choirs, strings, synth-n-vocoder? I say bring 'em on.
And then, of course, there is always -- and I mean always, now and forever, into eternity -- the holiest of holies: "Mr. Blue Sky". One of my Top 10 all-time can't-live-without-it tunes. It's everything that ELO and pop music itself are all about, and so much more. (About which more next week, involving Lily Allen of all people...)
Meantime, here is one of only two bootlegs that exist of ELO's top- grossing, giant-fiberglass-spaceship-rocking 1977-'78 Out of the Blue Tour; word is that the other boot, from Wembley Arena, is no good. There is an official DVD of another Wembley concert, but as far as complete audio shows, this is it. It's a crisp, complete audience recording (leave it to Japanese fans to make an audience recording this clean), spiced with painfully polite applause (Cheap Trick at Budokan this ain't), violin and cello solos, plus Jeff Lynne saying "Domo arigato."
But sadly, no "Mr. Blue Sky." He'll have to wait until next week.
ELECTRIC LIGHT ORCHESTRA "Eldorado Live in Osaka"
Venue unknown - Osaka, Japan - February 23, 1978 (AUD)
DOWNLOAD 1 / DOWNLOAD 2