Electric Light Orchestra: Song by Song

Author(s): John Van der Kiste 

ISBN: 9781781556009
£11.89 £16.99
A close look at the songs from all ELO’s albums from their 1971 debut to 2015’s Alone in the Universe.
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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.

BOOK ISBN 9781781556009
FORMAT 234 x 156 mm
BINDING Paperback
PAGES 144 pages
ILLUSTRATIONS 41 colour photographs



John Van der Kiste has published over forty books including works on royal and historical biography, local history, true crime, music and fiction, and is a contributor to the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. His previous titles include Queen Victoria’s Children, Kaiser Wilhelm II and The Romanovs: Tsar Alexander II of Russia and his Family. He lives in Devon.