Electric Light Orchestra – Eldorado

There are some albums that, though they are a collection of songs, should only be listened to in their entirety, as one continuous piece of music, to be truly appreciated.

The Electric Light Orchestra were not the creators of symphonic rock but they certainly were heavy contributors and innovators in it. In 1974, ELO took symphonic rock to the next level with their fourth album “Eldorado”. The album was as much a collection of movements within a classical symphony as it was a selection of songs on a rock and roll album.

“Eldorado” was the first concept album by ELO and the first album by the band to use a full orchestra (conducted by Louis Clark). The songs on “Eldorado” revolve around a dreamer who escapes from his “burned out dreams” into a fantasy world of his creation – his Eldorado.

The overture that opens “Eldorado” is a grandiose theme that interweaves itself throughout the songs that follow it (as any overture should). The music that follows is a perfect blend between two musical worlds – the structured rules of European classical music and the looser, groove driven elements of jazz and blues based rock and roll. It’s that balance that makes “Eldorado” one of the most signficant albums of the 20th century; an album every music-lover needs to listen to.

Just be sure to listen to it in its entirety.