Thursday, March 29, 2012

ELO Face the Music - with Fire on High and Strange Magic and Evil Woman

ELO Face the Music. ELO's fifth studio LP was released in 1975, and the first to be recorded in Musicland StudiosMunich.  The band featured a newer line-up with bassist Kelly Groucutt and cellist Melvyn Gale replacing Mike de Albuquerque and Mike Edwards respectively.  Evil Woman, Fire on High, and my favorite - Strange Magic are all on this record.  The back cover of the record sleeve shows the members of the band with their faces pressed against a glass panel, supposedly watching the "electrocution" depicted on the front cover.  A bit radical and dramatic for a pop album cover.  The band member who is looking away is Richard Tandy, who didn't like the idea and didn't want to participate.  New member Kelly Groucutt sang lead vocals on "Poker" as well as one of the verses in "Nightrider." (Usually, Jeff Lynne sang all lead vocals for ELO.)   I attribute wiki here about the backmasking on the album's first track:  "Fire On High" contains a backwards message in the beginning. When the song is played backwards, the message voiced by drummer Bev Bevan can be heard stating, "The music is reversible, but time is not. Turn back. Turn back. Turn back. Turn back." — ostensibly Jeff Lynne's shot at backmasking hysteria, after false satanic allegations were made against their song "Eldorado" by Fundamentalist Christianity members.  "Down Home Town" also starts with some backmasking: the refrain from "Waterfall" ("Face the mighty waterfall, face the mighty waterfall"). A portion of the string crescendo from "Nightrider" was used backwards on "Evil Woman."

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