Formed by Roy Wood and Jeff Lynne to mine the rich vein of orchestral rock opened up by The Beatles and in particular John Lennon's masterpieces, ELO achieved their aim in spades. Despite Wood's departure during sessions for their second album, Lynne proved more than capable of delivering a stream of quality AOR hits that enabled them to score platinum album sales from the mid-70s to the mid-80s and mount massive stage productions for their extravagant tours. In the late 70s they founded their own label, Jet Records, but frequent line-up changes and other calls on Lynne's time, mainly as a producer, saw the group finally disintegrate in 1986. Bevan's attempts to re-convene the group as ELO II have fallen far short of earlier glories. There is a huge catalogue and much of the lesser known material (outside the radio friendly hits) are worthy of investigation; there was much more to ELO than radio power-plays and such like, would lead you to believe.
Followers: Boston, Muse, Super Furry Animals
Influenced By: The Beatles, Chuck Berry, Ars Nova, The New York Rock & Roll Ensemble, John Lennon, The Beach Boys, Roy Orbison...