Great Rock Albums, 1978: ELO- Out of the Blue


 Before everybody starts getting on my case about historical accuracy, something I myself am big on, I know that “Out of the Blue” was actually released in 1977. However, I didn’t hear this fine album until 1978 and because it was the very first album I listened to that year, I thought it was only fitting that I begin the new series with it. I first heard it on the very first weekend in January 1978 while over my friend’s place and I must say I was hooked from the very first track, “Turned to Stone.” It was only fitting that I listen to the rest of it.

Back in 1978, I considered ELO’s “Out of the Blue” album to be state of the art as did many back then. I was completely impressed with the use of instruments, synthesisers and other sound effects like the recording of actual rainfall in the four song piece, “Concerto for a Rainy Day.” I was further impressed with how ELO used classical instruments such as cellos and violins and still maintained a unique rock sound. This is why the album was considered a scientific breakthrough back then.

Track Listing:

1. Turned to Stone

2. It’s Over

3. Sweet Talkin’ Woman

4. Across the Border

5. Night in the City

6. Starlight

7. Jungle

8. Believe Me Now

9. Stepping Out

Concerto for a Rainy Day

10. Standing in the Rain

11. Big Wheels

12. Summer and Lightning

13. Mr Blue Sky

14. Sweet is the Night

15. The Whale

16. Birmingham Blues

17. Wild West Hero



Jeff Lynne- lead vocals, guitar

Bev Bevan- drums, percussion

Richard Tandy- keyboards, guitar

Kelly Groucutt- bass

Mik Kaminski- violin

Melvin Gayle- cello, piano

Hugh McDowell- cello

Since this album kicked off 1978, for me I think it is only fitting to start 2012 by listening to this classic album once again and I invite you to do the same. I assure you, you won’t be disappointed.

Next post: Rory Gallagher- Photo Finish

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6 Responses to “Great Rock Albums, 1978: ELO- Out of the Blue”

  1. Metal Odyssey Says:

    I bought this double vinyl beauty from a “cut-out bin” at a long, lost store called Woolworths. The gatefold is a work of art!

    ELO… just a timeless band.


  2. Richard is another lifelong Numanoid, following Gary Numan since around 1978-79. Of that time, he recalls, “I was just getting into Kraftwerk and Jean Michel Jarre and heard “Bombers” from a friend of mine. I loved the use of the early synths in a way that no other bands were using them, like on the first Tubeway Army album. I was playing bass at the time and loved the hollow sound of the Moogs and that sort of swayed my intrumental choice towards synths. I got my first synth around the time that Replicas came out over here, and that led me towards more synths and learning how to produce the hollow sounds with that thick Nuclear Reactor sound.


  3. Really enjoyed my visit


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