Stegzy's Music Project

A commentary on Stegzy's album collection

Discovery – ELO [#373]

on August 11, 2015


Me again. Here I am with the second of my guest posts, in this seven day run.

ELO. I have an odd relationship with ELO. <Anecdote> In the early eighties, when I was on the cusp of being a teenager, my Mum was an Assistant Librarian. This meant I visited the library a lot, and along with reading a lot of books, it also meant I got to borrow cassettes (and later CDs) for free! In turn this meant I got the chance to experiment with a lot of music without paying a bean – if I liked the cover of an album I’d borrow it. I suppose it was a bit like the music subscription services of more recent times. Anyway, one of these experimental albums was by ELO. Not the titular album I’m afraid, another album called Secret Messages. I was smitten by it, with its weird blend of multitrack vocal, orchestra, and original sound. It’s one of those albums that will forever be burned in my memory. For good or for bad it’s also forever associated in my mind with the Moomin books, which I was reading a lot of at the time. Anyway, getting back to the odd relationship bit. You would have thought that my love of the album would have lead me to listen to more ELO, but oddly it didn’t. The exact reason why is lost in the mists of my faltering memory, perhaps there weren’t any more ELO albums at the library, I wasn’t open-minded enough, or just didn’t think of it. </Anecdote>

Anyway, to present day, and it’s quite an odd thing breaking my second-ELO-album virginity. Discovery goes through all the right motions. It sounds a lot like Secret Messages and does a good job of treading that fine line between not being a copy, yet not being too different to confuse the listener. Yet it does nothing for me. Perhaps it’s too similar. Or I need to listen to it again. Music is a fickle beast. *shrugs*

For fact fans, it transpires that Discovery actually pre-dates Secret Messages by 4 years, with the former released in 1979, and the latter in 1983. Discovery was ELO’s first number one album in the UK. Oddly Wikipedia doesn’t give much if any information about how the album came together.

Here’s the opening track. Make your own mind up, if you’ve not heard it before.


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