Electric Light Orchestra – Discovery: #401 of best 1,000 albums ever!

Electric Light Orchestra - Discovery

So why is Electric Light Orchestra’s Discovery on this best 1,000 albums ever thing?

Electric Light Orchestra, or ELO, long floated around for me as “one of those ‘70s bands” where I kind of knew of them but didn’t directly connect them to anything specific.

Perhaps it was by way of getting into the outstanding “super group” The Traveling Wilburys (see related: The Traveling Wilburys, Vol. 1, #635 of best 1,000 albums ever) during the late ‘80s that I started to make the connection of, “Oh, there’s this Jeff Lynne guy who is in The Traveling Wilburys with these other super iconic musicians, and he’s also in that Electric Light Orchestra thing.

Soon after, I got hip to the ELO, and several of their songs are now among my favorites from the entire decade of the 1970s. “Don’t Bring Me Down,” off of Discovery, and “Mr. Blue Sky,” off of Out of the Blue from 1977,are chief among them.

As with much of Electric Light Orchestra’s material, “Don’t Bring Me Down” has a miraculous buoyancy and optimism to its sound, which I can fully imagine helped teens in the U.S., UK, and beyond get through those gloomy late ‘70s years. And “Don’t Bring Me Down” has a pleasing, relentless propulsion to it that I can’t get enough of.

It’s glorious late ‘70s power rock with the perfect amount of prog rock influence and Jeff Lynne’s exquisite craftsmanship deployed across the board. What’s not to like?

And on a quick note with relation to the “Don’t Bring Me Down” music video: let’s celebrate that very, very 1979 hair!

Both “Shine a Little Love” and “Last Train to London” do as effective job as I can think of in fusing rock and disco for a super exciting combination.

And “Need Her Love” is a lovely ballad with a very Paul McCartney-ish vibe.

Finally, don’t forget to check out the truly wild ELO collaboration did with Olivia-Newton John for the Xanadu soundtrack, #679 of the best 1,000 albums ever.

Personal stuff that’s somehow related to Electric Light Orchestra’s Discovery

Back in college, I became friends with a guy who everyone called Turgeon. His real name is Joe, but if anything he’d be called Turgeon or even Joey T.

Turgeon translates to Julien Turgeon, a famous hockey player who presumably our boy Joey T held great love for. Turgeon was also Joey’s rugby nickname*, which is one of the reasons why the nickname seemed to stick like glue.

* I played rugby as well – my nickname is the same as a minor character from The Simpsons. I’ll let you guess who!

I don’t recall ever talking to Turgeon about hockey, oddly enough, but he’s a hilarious guy with many interests, including pop culture, so of course that sopped up a great many of our conversations.

He also had a supernatural ability to “name that tune” in a scarily scanty number of notes. I recall one time we were at a pub – as we rugby players were wont to do… on occasion – and a song started playing. Literally a second passed and Turgeon said, “’Don’t Bring Me Down,’ ELO.”

I just find that kind of thing impressive.

Some stats & info about Electric Light Orchestra – Discovery

  • What kind of musical stylings does this album represent? Rock Music, British Bands, Album Rock, Progressive Rock, Disco
  • Rolling Stone’s greatest 500 albums ranking – not ranked!
  • All Music’s rating – 3 out of 5 stars
  • When was Discovery released? 1979
  • My ranking, the one you’re reading right now – #401 out of 1,000

Electric Light Orchestra’s Discovery on Spotify

A lyrical snippet from Electric Light Orchestra’s Discovery that’s evocative of the album in some way, maybe

I’ll tell you once more before I get off the floor: don’t bring me down.

What does the “best 1,000 albums ever” mean and why are you doing this?

Yeah, I know it’s audacious, a little crazy (okay, maybe a lot cray cray), bordering on criminal nerdery.

But here’s what it’s NOT: a definitive list of the Greatest Albums of All-Time. This is 100% my own personal super biased, incredibly subjective review of what my top 1,000 albums are, ranked in painstaking order over the course of doing research for nearly a year, Rob from High Fidelity style. Find out more about why I embarked on a best 1,000 albums ever project.