Top 10 Electric Light Orchestra Songs (ELO)

Electric Light Orchestra Songs

Photo: By Paul Carless [CC BY 2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

Our Top 10 Electric Light Orchestra Songs reviews the music of one of the most exciting bands in classic rock history. Electric Light Orchestra has always been a band that has been hard to define according to genre. At times they were astonishingly progressive, yet they always seemed to be aiming for the hit singles in the same manner as The Beatles and The Rolling Stones. In other words they were a band of substance, originality, integrity that also celebrated the art of the pop song.

Electric Light Orchestra released their first album in 1971 entitled Electric Light Orchestra. The bands follow up album was appropriately titled ELO 2. The band used a clever title for their third record called On The Third Day. As time went on the band began to celebrate success on the pop charts starting with their 1975 album Face The Music which contained the mega single “Evil Woman.” The band’s follow up album A New World Record was a monster album that contained hit after hit as so did the follow up Out Of The Blue two record set.

Electric Light Orchestra released thirteen studio albums over the course of their career. Our Top 10 Electric Light Orchestra Songs is a subjective viewpoint of what we believe were the best songs the band released during their extraordinary career.

# 10 – Can’t Get It Out Of My Head

Before Electric Light Orchestra exploded onto the scene with their 1975 Face The Music album , they were enjoying some small success with a series of albums in the early 1970’s. One of the earliest hits the band had was the sentimental grooving ballad “Can’t Get It Out Of My Head.” The song was released on the 1974  album entitled Eldorado.

# 9 – Showdown

The great rocking track “Showdown,” was released on the band’s third album, On The Third Day. The record was released in 1973. Over the years the song “Showdown,” became one of the most exciting songs the band performed in concert. released in 1973, The song “Showdown,” did not appear on the original UK version of the album. However, it was issued on the U.S. version of the record. The Beatles influenced Jeff Lynne in so many ways. It seems that the concept of releasing different versions of albums in both the United States and the United Kingdom like The Beatles did was echoed by Jeff Lynne and the Electric Light Orchestra.

# 8 – 10538 Overture

The mighty sound of Electric Light Orchestra was showcased early in the band’s career with the great track “10538 Overture.” This wonderful piece of music was released on the band’s debut album. It stood as the opening song on the album. Jeff Lynne, Roy Wood and Bev Bevan had formed the band Electric Light Orchestra as the follow up band to their group The Move which they disbanded to create what would become ELO.

Progressive music had become a very popular musical format in 1972. Some would argue that the early 1970s were the peak moment in Progressive Rock. Bands like Yes, Genesis, Emerson Lake & Palmer were all enjoying great success. It was obvious that Progressive Rock had a large influence on the formation of Electric Light Orchestra and the move from the Move!

# 7 – Fire On High

The opening track on the legendary 1975 Face The Music LP become on of the most heard songs in the mid 1970’s due to its use on ABC’s Wide World Of Sports. From the song’s creepy opening to the sports themed glass sounding mighty guitar riff, it has remained one of the most interesting and exciting Electric Light Orchestra songs in the band’s catalog. The great  pices Fire On High defined Electric Light Orchestra’s attempt to merge classical music and rock music together in one song. It was a concept defined in the roots of Progressive music, but Electric Light Orchestra brought an original sound to the crossing of genres.

# 6 – Living Thing/Sweet Talking Woman

Continuing with our top 10 Electric Light Orchestra songs list we turn to one of the band’s most successful albums. The previous years album Face The Music had helped the band find a much larger fan base because of the success of the song “Evil Woman.” In 1976, Electric Light Orchestra would become a household name with the release of their fabulous album entitled A New World Record. The album would spaan a pair of singles that would become some of the biggest hits of their career. The album’s first single was entitled “Living Thing.” The song became a top 20 hit on the US Billboard Hot 100. It reached the top 10 in many countries worldwide including hitting number one in South Africa.

1976 was an amazing year for music. The year saw the debut albums from Boston and Heart. Queen was also having incredible success with their Night At The Opera album. The Eagles released Hotel California, David Bowie released Station To Station, Stevie Wonder released Songs In The Key Of Life and The Rolling Stones issued the classic Black and Blue album.

# 5 – Night In The City

The great Electric Light Orchestra song “Night In The City,” was never released as a single but the song’s chorus and verses, bridge, innovative introductions and ending made for heck of a fun ride. Fands may be surprised that we listed this one at number five on our top 10 Electric Light Orchestra songs list, but just take a listen and I think we will win the argument rather easily. From the album Out Of The Blue.

# 4 – Evil Woman

“Evil Woman,” was the song that put Electric Light Orchestra on the map. Jeff Lynne took a simple three chord progression that Led Zeppelin utilized at the end of “Stairway To Heaven,” and added his own touch, melody and production to score a huge hit. In 1975, ELO had arrived. Love the dramatic and theatrical opening.

# 3 – Telephone Line

Jeff Lynne’s “Telephone Line,” was perfect pop music surrounded by incredible production and originality that had made Jeff Lynne one of rock and roll’s greatest treasures. Every genre of music seems to be represented in this classic song. From Doo Wop to pop to progressive. It’s all there.

The song “Telephone Line,” was released on the New World Record album in 1976. It was the fourth single to be released from the record. What was so surprising about the song was even as the fourth single released from the album, the songs reached the US Billboard Top 10 peaking at number seven.

# 2 – Mr. Blue Sky

Tell me that piano slamming groove at the beginning of the song is not one of the coolest rock and pop licks you have ever heard. “Mr Blue Sky,” was a hit when it was first released in 1977, but the song’s popularity has continued to grow over the years. The song was issued on the Out Of The Blue album. The song was released as the second single from the album behind the albums debut single “Turn To Stone.” 

# 1 – One Summer Dream

Our choice for the number one slot on our top 10 Electric Light Orchestra Songs list may surprise the occasional ELO fan, but we stand by our choice. This jaw dropping emotionally filled piece of music closed the Face The Music album. As beautiful as popular music gets. Thank you Mr Jeff Lynne.


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