Electric Light Orchestra

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Electric Light Orchestra (ELO) were a British rock group from Birmingham, who released eleven studio albums between 1971 and 1986 and another album in 2001. ELO were formed to accommodate Roy Wood and Jeff Lynne's desire to create modern rock and pop songs with classical overtones. After Wood's departure following the band's debut record, Lynne wrote and arranged all of the group's original compositions and produced every album.

Despite early singles success in the UK the band were initially more successful in the United States, billed as "The English guys with the big fiddles".[1] They soon gained a cult following despite lukewarm reviews back in their native United Kingdom. By the mid-1970s, they had become one of the biggest selling bands in music. From 1972 to 1986, ELO accumulated 27 Top 40 hit singles in both the UK and the US. The group also scored 20 Top 20 U.K. hit singles, as well as 19 Top 20 hit singles in the U.S. Billboard charts. The band also holds the record for having the most Billboard Hot 100 Top 40 hits of any band in US chart history without ever having a number one single.[2]

ELO collected 21 RIAA awards, 38 BPI awards,[3][4] and sold well over 50 million records worldwide, not including singles.[5]

Contents

History

Birth of the band

In the late 1960s, Roy Wood—guitarist, vocalist and songwriter of The Move—had an idea to form a new band that would use violins, cellos, string basses, horns and woodwinds to give their music a classical sound, taking rock music in the direction "that The Beatles had left off." Jeff Lynne, frontman of fellow Birmingham group The Idle Race, was excited by the concept. In January 1970, when Carl Wayne left The Move, Lynne accepted Wood's second invitation to join the band on the condition that they focus their energy on the new project.

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