ELO 2 is the second studio album by the Electric Light Orchestra (ELO), released in 1973. In the US, the album was released as Electric Light Orchestra II. It was also the band’s last album to be released by the Harvest label, the last on which the band used the definite article The in their name, and the one that introduced their abbreviated name ‘ELO’. The album was originally to be titled The Lost Planet, but that concept was quietly dropped. During the initial recording sessions, Roy Wood left the band and formed Wizzard in June 1972, taking Bill Hunt and touring cellist Hugh McDowell with him. Although uncredited at the time, Wood performed on two tracks, playing cello and bass on “In Old England Town” and “From the Sun to the World”. Classically trained cellist Colin Walker replaced Wood, and Wilfred Gibson played violin. Richard Tandy made his ELO studio debut on this album, playing keyboards; he had earlier performed live with the original lineup alongside Wood, Gibson, co-frontman Jeff Lynne, drummer Bev Bevan and cellist Mike Edwards, playing bass (and in TV appearances with the Move playing guitar). Bassist and vocalist Mike de Albuquerque also made his ELO studio debut on the album. All five pieces are longer than standard rock songs, and feature multi-layered orchestral instruments that create a dense, complex sound. Here are all of ELO 2 songs ranked.
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5. Roll Over Beethoven
“Of course for many, the first sign of ELO on the airwaves (FM radio) was the fabulous and clever Roll Over Beethoven, which opens with the lull and then rife motif of Beethoven’s 5th, and incorporates other interpolations of material from the symphony’s first movement into the classic Chuck Berry rocker.”
“The last song on the original album was Kuiama, a fan favorite of ELO and one often used in early concerts. It has the distinction of being the band’s longest recording at over 11 and a quarter minutes. Also, being one of their saddest songs, and closest to a “protest” as they would get, it is a tragic look at a Vietnam war orphan wandering the ruins of a destroyed village.”
See more: ELO Albums Ranked
“Things settle down on ‘Momma’, a beautiful ballad with some really lovely violin breaks and the first signs of Lynne maturing into the populist songwriter he was to become.”
See more: ELO Songs Ranked
2. In Old England Town (Boogie #2)
“The first song In Old England Town (Boogie, No. 2); funny how they somehow decided to place #2 first in sequence and then #1; this one is like so much of the whacky shapes gracing ELO I, entirely disposable for most of us, it is usually skipped by me, I have to be in a very generous mood to give it a listen. I would have opened the album with the much more likeable and friendly classical-rock experiment of From The Sun To The World (Boogie, No. 1) even though at the very end, last minute or so, it gets a bit rough before closing.”
1. From the Sun to the World (Boogie #1)
“Side two of the record, as stated before opens with From The Sun To The World (Boogie, No. 1), which incorporates some familiar classical music motifs into a very interesting prog-rock experiment by Lynne. The song is quite enjoyable, though a bit rough but not as rough as the ELO I material.”