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Music / The Electric Light Orchestra

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"Did you see your friend... crying from his eyes todaaaaaaaaaaaay?"

"Hello, Mr. Radio, do I disturb you?
Sometimes I forget my place, I seem to know you
I miss you when you close, you'll never know
And when your programs go, I'm on my own"
— "Mr. Radio"

The Electric Light Orchestra (also known as No Answer) is the debut studio album by... well... the Electric Light Orchestra. It was released in 1971 through Harvest Records in most of the world and United Artists Records in North America. It's also the only album to fully feature Roy Wood — by the time the album was released, he'd parted ways with ELO and went on to have a career fronting Glam Rock band Wizzard.

The reason as to why the album was called No Answer in the states was because of a spectacular communicative faux pas on the part of United Artists Records (the label who were releasing the album over there); an executive tried calling an ELO contact to retrieve the name of the album, but they couldn't reach them, so they wrote down "no answer" as a holding note, which was then mistakenly believed to have been the name given — the rest was history.

Followed by ELO 2.

Tracklist (Standard Version):

Side One

  1. "10538 Overture" (5:32)
  2. "Look at Me Now" (3:17)
  3. "Nellie Takes Her Bow" (5:59)
  4. "The Battle of Marston Moor (July 2nd 1644)" (6:03)

Side Two

  1. "First Movement (Jumping Biz)" (3:00)
  2. "Mr. Radio" (5:04)
  3. "Manhattan Rumble (49th Street Massacre)" (4:22)
  4. "Queen of the Hours" (3:22)
  5. "Whisper in the Night" (4:50)

Bonus Tracks (US 2006 Remaster):

  1. "The Battle of Marston Moor (Alternate Take)"
  2. "Nellie Takes Her Bow (Alternate Mix)"
  3. "Mr. Radio (Take 9)"
  4. "10538 Overture (Alternate Mix)"

Bonus Tracks (40th Anniversary Edition):

  1. "10538 Overture (Acetate Version)"
  2. "Mr. Radio (Take 9, recorded 18 November 1970)"
  3. "Nellie Takes Her Bow (Alternate Mix)"
  4. "Whisper in the Night (Take 1/Take 2 Edit)"
  5. "Mr. Radio (Single Edit)"
  6. "10538 Overture (for Top of the Pops)"

Principal Members:

  • Jeff Lynne - vocals, piano, electric guitar, acoustic guitar, percussion, bass, Moog synthesizer
  • Roy Wood - vocals, cello, classical acoustic guitar, bass, double bass, oboe, bassoon, clarinet, recorder, slide guitar, percussion, bass clarinet, krumhorn, drums (The Battle of Marston Moor)
  • Bev Bevan - drums, timpani, percussion
  • Bill Hunt - French horn, hunting horn, piccolo trumpet
  • Steve Woolam - violin

Queeeeeeeen oooooof the trooooopes lies, waiting for the wind to blow away the veil of time:

  • Alliterative Name: "The Battle of Marston Moor"
  • Early-Installment Weirdness: This album is where the "light orchestra" part of the name was at its most bare; there's hardly any electronic instruments on this album, plus virtually every track consists of pianos, violins, lots of violins, cellos, horns, even more violins, and the odd guitar.
  • Instrumentals: "First Movement". Almost happens with "Manhattan Rumble" too.
  • Limited Lyrics Song:
    • "The Battle of Marston Moor" only has the opening dialogue.
    • "Manhattan Rumble" also qualifies as this, as if you listen very closely just before the 3 minute mark, you can just about hear a high pitched voice singing this:
      Clap hands, 'cause here comes Charlie!
      Clap hands, 'cause here comes Charlie, aaaaaaaahhhhhh!
  • Non-Appearing Title: Apart from the instrumental "First Movement", there are two others - "The Battle of Marston Moor" and "Manhattan Rumble".
  • You Are Number 6: That would be "10538 Overture", a song about an escaped prisoner which only refers to him by his number.

"Did you catch his face? Was it 10538?"