E.L.O. are definitely a guilty pleasure of mine. Fronted by a Beatle-wannabe in Jeff Lynne and supplemented by a string trio, their sound was Lynne’s way to rescue the type of instruments usually associated with stuffy classical music. On paper, it sounds terrible, but Lynne’s ear for a catchy melody and pop hook secured a consistent run of hit singles throughout the ‘70s.
One of my favourite E.L.O. songs – Don’t Bring Me Down – closes this song. It feels effortless, like the Beatles’ Eight Days A Week – a song so simple, it sounds like it was written by a child. Even at this stage in their career, eight studio albums in, Lynne can churn out pop song after pop song.
Sadly, E.L.O. are from Birmingham. If they were from Yorkshire, the shortened version of their name might make a bit more sense – “Eee…‘ello!”.
This album was bought for me by my Irish girlfriend, and that thing they always say about long-distance relationships is true. It also doesn’t help when her father dislikes you purely for being English. Talk about a hurdle to overcome! There’s a sticker on the back of this record that states ‘This item is reserved for MS CATHY MURPHY, No address supplied’, and I’ve kept it on there as a reminder of my frequent visits over to Wexford.
I can’t remember why Cathy bought it for me – I presume it was my birthday – but I was definitely in to Daft Punk at the time. I think I already had their first album on vinyl, something I bought not to long after I found the 12” for Around The World – an early DJing tool of mine. Homework, the debut album, is a little too Detroit for my liking – the singles are good, but a lot of the album tracks are repetitive knock-offs, pointless to listen to unless you’re in a club.
Discovery is a step forward, towards a more disco-oriented sound. They also seem to have spent a bit more time crafting the album, although it does outstay its welcome near the end of its sixty minute running time.
This was probably the last I heard of Daft Punk until I heard the Tron soundtrack. I sidestepped 2005’s Human After All – I think I had outgrown dance music by that point – and thought their star had faded. The music in Tron is undoubtedly the best part of the film (and I love their little cameo, even though it could be two stage hands in those helmets), and is a great taster to their return to form on this year’s Random Access Memories.