Album Review: “Out Of The Blue” by Electric Light Orchestra

Album Review: “Out Of The Blue” by Electric Light Orchestra | I Love Classic Rock Videos

Electric Light Orchestra live in 1976 - Eagle Rock / Youtube

Electric Light Orchestra’s 7th studio album, Out Of The Blue, was Jeff Lynne’s shining moment after he took the responsibility of writing new material just as the band wrapped up their New World Record Tour in 1977. Lynne isolated himself in the Swiss Alps, renting a chalet and bringing with him a guitar, an electric piano, and a tape recorder for good measure. But things don’t always go as planned, as Lynne was stuck in an unproductive state for a good 2 weeks or so before finally overcoming the hurdle when the weather got better, giving him that much needed inspirational boost.

The double album welcomes the listener with “Turn To Stone”, a proto-techno arrangement with Lynne doing a call-and-response dynamic with the help of vocal harmonies. “Sweet Talkin’ Woman” is an indulgent pop hit that has all the qualities needed for ear-candy material. “Jungle” is a random cornucopia of effects and animal sounds, hence the title. “Believe Me Now” offers a short instrumental break to the track, “Steppin’ Out”, which has a familiar tune to older ELO classics.

Side three is grouped into a suite called “Concerto For A Rainy Day”, where Lynne evokes the weather and how it affects the mood. “Standin’ In The Rain” is creepingly depressing, which then transitions into “Big Wheels”, a string-based arrangement that calls upon melancholy quite well. “Summer And Lightning” slowly lifts up the mood with a light, pop sound, and is then concluded by “Mr. Blue Sky”, the gigantic symphonic masterpiece representing clear weather with its uplifting composition.

Side four doesn’t really do the album justice, though, as it falls flat from the rollercoaster the first three sides helped is with. That being said, maybe the songs weren’t arranged all too strategically, resulting in the trite impact it had. Nonetheless, Out Of The Blue is an ELO masterpiece, through and through, bearing the sound and sentimentality the band carried all these years with utter respect.