Did Xanadu Destroy ELO's AOR Reputation?

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by lawrev, Oct 19, 2021.

  1. Overall I like but not love ELO. Some of their songs I love, 'Can't Get It Out of My Head' to name one, then there are others that make me want to reach for the sick bucket. :hurl: Most of what they put out post the album 'Out of The Blue' falls into the latter category for me.
     
  2. Trader Joe

    Trader Joe Forum Resident

    Location:
    New Hampshire

    "Did Xanadu Destroy ELO's AOR Reputation?"

    No, not at all. Olivia Newton-John was a flat out, off the charts superstar at this time

    ELO was very luck to be associated with her.

    ELO's reputation was significantly enhanced by their association with Olivia Newton-John.
     
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  3. Thievius

    Thievius Blue Oyster Cult-ist

    Location:
    Syracuse, NY
    1979 had the biggest effect on how I looked at the band with the release of Discovery, but nothing was destroyed. I just kind of drifted away.

    Xanadu, at least in my part of the States, was a mere blip on the radar. Not because of the music, but mostly because it was considered a stinker of a film. I doubt I even realized ELO were associated with it. But at that point I was 15/16 and had started "discovering" other bands like Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, Blue Oyster Cult, etc., so I was a bit preoccupied.

    I could be wrong, but I doubt Xanadu had that big an effect either way.
     
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  4. Fischman

    Fischman RockMonster, ClassicalMaster, and JazzMeister

    Location:
    New Mexico
    Xanadu is post-Discovery, so no.
    And it's pre-Time, which is relatively highly regarded album in the group's canon.
     
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  5. O Don Piano

    O Don Piano Forum Resident

    Not really sure what your post has to do with the conversation.....
     
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  6. OmIsWhereTheHeartIs

    OmIsWhereTheHeartIs Swollen Member

    Location:
    Canada
    ELO went down the crapper slowly after Roy Wood left for me.
     
  7. O Don Piano

    O Don Piano Forum Resident

    "Enhanced"?
    How so?
    I don't think ELO's association with Olivia did anything at all for them-musically or popularity wise!
    They did it, then they were on to the next thing.
     
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  8. O Don Piano

    O Don Piano Forum Resident

    For me, their first album, aside from the incredible "10538 Overture" is kind of dreary and overtaken by cellos sawing away....
    And I love Roy Wood!
     
  9. Thievius

    Thievius Blue Oyster Cult-ist

    Location:
    Syracuse, NY
    ELO enhanced by a movie that bombed? lolok.
     
  10. OmIsWhereTheHeartIs

    OmIsWhereTheHeartIs Swollen Member

    Location:
    Canada
    It isn't as good as any of The Move albums, but it's all right. I certainly feel like the "balls" left with Roy. And for me, Message From The Country is my least favorite of The Move because it gets irritatingly Lynne-y at times. I like Jeff enough, but he didn't have a good barometer on how far was too corny or too irritating sometimes. That's just me though. I actually love his contribution to the Wilburys more than anything he ever did.
     
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  11. Lord Hawthorne

    Lord Hawthorne Currently Untitled

    Location:
    Portland, Oregon
    ELO had started moving away from AOR status with "Evil Woman" in 1975, and with the next two albums (New World Record and Out Of The Blue) embraced a slick new sound. It was all about the money from then on.
     
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  12. O Don Piano

    O Don Piano Forum Resident

    Or maybe Jeff Lynne liked the direction he was going in. It’s not always about money.
     
  13. TrekkiELO

    TrekkiELO Forum Resident



    :cool:
     
  14. TrekkiELO

    TrekkiELO Forum Resident

    Electric Light Orchestra did have a US #1 with "Shine a Little Love" in 1979 on Radio & Records, that chart would later be used by Rick Dees Weekly Top 40, Casey's Top 40 and American Top 40 instead of Billboard's Hot 100!

    :cool:
     
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2021
  15. TrekkiELO

    TrekkiELO Forum Resident

    The Xanadu soundtrack album was certified Multi-Platinum by the RIAA in 1984!

    :cool:
     
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2021
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  16. TrekkiELO

    TrekkiELO Forum Resident

    RS: ***

    Elo's time machine is stalled somewhere between Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band and Star Trek, yet as long as Jeff Lynne's future-vision Beatlemania comes in near-perfect Top Forty spurts, why moan? Time's thematic conceit (supposedly a look backward from the twenty-first century) is pretty superfluous: the synthesized rock & roll cellos in "Hold On Tight" and the Spanish stroll of "The Way Life's Meant to Be" make those tunes all-weather singles for the here and now. And you can't help but wonder what the endless bottom of "Another Heart Breaks" might do to the slow dancers out on the killing floor.

    Only one major quibble: against the electronic landscapes, vacuum-packed vocals and sleight-of-the-art edits, all-time bashing great Bev Bevan becomes just another sound effect–a wandering cymbal amid the beep alarms and intermittent circuits. If ELO's not careful, they're going to end up becoming the kind of cheese that squirts out of an aerosol can. As it is, they're perilously close to fitting the description of the heartache in Lynne's "Yours Truly, 2095" dream home: "...the latest in technology/Almost mythology, but she has a heart of stone." (RS 358)

    DEBORAH FROST

    (Posted: Dec 10, 1981)

    :cool:
     
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2021
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  17. kwadguy

    kwadguy Senior Member

    Location:
    Cambridge, MA
    IMHO, it's definitely better than Looking On, which is, by far, my least favorite Move album. But I'd be hard-pressed to say it's better than any of the other studio albums.
     
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  18. OmIsWhereTheHeartIs

    OmIsWhereTheHeartIs Swollen Member

    Location:
    Canada
    Any of the other two? :p

    Looking On really has grown on me.
     
  19. Fair point. :)
     
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  20. Jrr

    Jrr Forum Resident

    Never heard that before, and I’m a huge fan. And I never need to gear it again. Geez that is awful!
     
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  21. yesstiles

    yesstiles Senior Member

    Why can’t people get past the meager disco flourishes present on just two songs from the Discovery album? There are more than two songs on that album, and they are mostly wonderful, inventive melodic gems in this case.
     
  22. Jrr

    Jrr Forum Resident

    I think Magic is on Xanadu too. That’s one of her best songs by far, so that and Xanadu are strong enough singles I’m glad it wasn’t an ELO album. However, I really don’t care for, or listen to, the soundtrack even though I have a vinyl copy. Didn’t think much of it then or now.
     
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  23. Jrr

    Jrr Forum Resident

    I think had it been released a year sooner it would have done much better. ELO and ONJ were starting their slide if memory serves.
     
  24. yesstiles

    yesstiles Senior Member

    Ha ha not Olivia Newton-John. She was one year away from being the biggest mega popstar on the planet with Physical.
     
  25. Chris C

    Chris C Music was my first love and it will be my last!

    Location:
    Ohio
    For all the years that I've been a fan of this band, I was often mocked and made fun of by many of my closest friends (who were listening to Queen, Alice Cooper and Skynyrd) and so now looking back, I just find it easier to discuss this band with my tongue firmly in cheek. "Discovery" was a pretty thin album when it's all said and done, especially after the great progression that Jeff and the band had made between "Face The Music" and "Out Of The Blue". I love the two ballads "Wishing" and "Midnight Blue", but even those seem a bit phoned in. The other semi ballad "Need Her Love" could have been better, but it just seems to drag on and on. "Confusion" with it's silly "CON-FUSH-UN" bit and "On The Run" are exactly the type of songs that my friends would use as their defense as to why this band was not worthy. I mean in ALL seriousness, just how does anyone listen to either of those songs and not feel a little embarrassed as a fan? I could bring up "Horace Whimp" as an equal contender of the same silliness, but Jeff made the song so Beatles like, that it's hard to not at least appreciate the effort. "Don't Bring Me Down" was as huge a hit as they probably ever had and I still often play it at weddings and private parties. It has NEVER let me down to get dancers out on the dance floor. It's an easy target for haters to hate on. "Shine A Little Love" and "London" have always left me cold, because they are truly whimpy, cheese wiz songs.

    Mind you, anyone is free to enjoy the "Disco VERY" album, I even revisit it from time to time myself, but this album (even with the big hits), is where the end started to begin for me. "Xanadu" did nothing to change my feelings either way and "Time" (which I honestly hated when it when it was first released, but have since found it's worth) couldn't make a big enough of a difference to those that they had lost as fans by then.

    If any album turned me around regarding Jeff Lynne, it was his brilliant solo album "Armchair Theatre", which I still believe is his simple overlooked masterpiece. One great little song after another from start to finish.
     
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