Eldorado: A Symphony by the Electric Light Orchestra – Mobile Fidelity

by | Apr 10, 2022 | Jazz CD Reviews, SACD & Other Hi-Res Reviews | 0 comments

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A perfect choice for a Mobile Fidelity LP upgrade – ELO – Eldorado…

Eldorado, A Symphony by the Electric Light Orchestra – Mobile Fidelity #MFSV1-514 – 1974-  audiophile 180 gm stereo vinyl – 39:17 ****1/2

(Jeff Lynne- composer & arranger, guitar, vocals, Moog, backing vocals; Richard Tandy – piano, Moog, Guitar, backing vocals; Hugh McDowell – cello; Michael de Albuquerque – bass; Michael Edwards – cello; Mik Kaminski – violin; Bev Bevan – drums; Louis Clark – orchestra conductor)

Electric Light Orchestra’s magnum opus, Eldorado, is the perfect choice for the sonic upgrade that the boutique label, Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab, can provide with their Super Vinyl process. Utilizing their proprietary “Gain 2 Ultra Analog System,” specially plated and pressed on 180 gm high definition vinyl, the acoustics give off the “wow factor” that ELO must have had in mind when they recorded this album way back in 1974.

Eldorado was their first complete concept album, and provided the band a true commercial break-out. Recorded a few years after Tommy, by The Who, ELO now had their own rock opera. It was the vision of Jeff Lynne, the de-facto leader of the band, who  both produced, composed, arranged, and was the band’s lead vocalist. The inspiration for the album was Lynne’s father, a classical music aficionado. 

The band was originally founded by Roy Wood, with the intention of mixing rock and classical motifs. Wood recruited Jeff Lynne, who took over leadership after their second album. The band’s early use of strings was by overdubbing, but for this project they used a 30 piece orchestra, as well as a choir.

Eldorado has an esoteric theme of a spiritual dreamer attempting to escape reality. Throughout the tracks this “message” is revisited. Its rich melodies brought out with soaring classical influences was quite unique for its era. The group was also influenced by The Beatles psychedelic period (i.e. “I am a Walrus”) on “Mister Kingdom.”

The big hit on the album was “Can’t Get It Out of My Head,” which reached the Top Ten after the album’s release. But there are many memorable tunes that have stood the test of time with the group’s unique rock/ classical blend.

They include “Laredo Tornado,” with its hook laden rock guitar, clavichord, and funk overtones supported by Lynne’s high pitched vocals. “Poor Boy (The Greenwood)” is anthemic, with use of reverb, while “Illusions in G Major” has a “rock-a-billy” 50s vibe, supported by heavy guitar. The title track has lovely strings, and is a melancholy ballad. It merges into a closing finale allowing the choir to take it into stratospheric heights.

This album was an instant hit in the US market, setting the stage for the Electric Light Orchestra’s future albums. The opportunity to hear this project in full acoustic splendor is one the band’s fans should not pass up…

Side One:
Eldorado Overture
Can’t Get It Out of My Head
Boy Blue
Laredo Tornado
Poor Boy (The Greenwood)

Side Two:
Mister Kingdom
Nobody’s Child
Illusions in G Major
Eldorado Finale

-Jeff Krow

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Album Cover for Eldorado - Electric Light Orchestra

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