Electric Light Orchestra: Song by Song

Electric Light Orchestra: Song by Song

Product no.: 978-1-78155-600-9
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  • The first in-depth study of ELO’s music
  • One of Britain’s most enduring groups from the 1970s and is still highly regarded today
  • Essential reading for any lover of ’70s and ’80s rock music
  • One of the most talked about acts at Glastonbury 2016

ELO (Electric Light Orchestra) were formed by Roy Wood and Jeff Lynne of The Move as a fusion of rock and contemporary classical-style music, combining orchestral instruments, guitars, keyboards, and drums in the same line-up. Their aim was to continue from where The Beatles’ ‘I am the Walrus’ left off.

After the release of their eponymous debut album in 1971 and a few live dates at home and in Europe, it became increasingly apparent that both leaders’ objectives were incompatible. Wood left Lynne in charge of the group to refine their sound, and their ambitious progressive rock epics gradually gave way to a more accessible style. Keyboard player Richard Tandy and drummer Bev Bevan were the only other constant members in an ever-changing line-up.

By the end of the decade, the group were rarely out of the British and American charts. After disbanding in 1986, ELO Part II (minus Lynne) returned for two albums, but Lynne reclaimed the name with an album in 2001 followed by a long-awaited reappearance in 2014 as Jeff Lynne’s ELO. Electric Light Orchestra: Song by Song provides a brief biographical overview of the bands’ contributors in addition to a comprehensive examination of all the groups’ studio albums.


John Van der Kiste has written over sixty books, including titles on Jeff Lynne, Roy Wood, The Beatles and Lindisfarne; historical and royal biographies, covering the Stuart, Georgian, and Hanoverian eras; as well as works on local history, true crime, fiction, and plays. He has reviewed books and records for national, local, and independent publications and websites, is a contributor to the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, and is currently writing a biography of Steve Winwood.


234 x 156 mm - paperback - 144 pages - 41 colour photographs


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