No Answer [US Bonus Tracks]

No Answer [US Bonus Tracks]

by Electric Light OrchestraElectric Light Orchestra

CD

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Overview

Electric Light Orchestra's debut album is an astonishing creation in its own right, but neophyte listeners should be aware that it bears very little resemblance to the sound for which ELO would become known on its subsequent records. No Answer, as it ended up being called in America through a miscommunication with ELO's U.S. label, is a minimalist work by comparison with anything on the band's later albums. The core trio of Roy Wood, Jeff Lynne, and Bev Bevan, augmented by one horn player and a violinist, approaches the music alternately like a hard rock band attacking a song and a string ensemble playing a chamber piece. Filled with surprisingly loose playing and sounds throughout, and with a psychedelic aura hovering over most of the music, No Answer is unique in ELO's output. Written and sung by Lynne, "10538 Overture" is the opener and the best song on the album. Wood's "Look at Me Now," by comparison, plays like a sweet, melodic follow-up to "Beautiful Daughter" from the Move's Shazam, with some digressions on the oboe and a cello and violin subbing for the guitars.

The rest moves from period-style popular songs to strangely cinematic conceptual pieces, on which the rock elements almost disappear in favor of quasi-classical playing by all concerned. A beautiful acoustic guitar workout by Wood, "1st Movement" also features the song's composer on the oboe, while "Mr. Radio," an exercise in 1920s nostalgia written and sung by Lynne, digresses for a moment into 1940s-style classical piano pyrotechnics. Wood's "Whisper in the Night" ends the album with a lean and textured acoustic sound that, ironically, disappeared from ELO's repertory when he exited the lineup following these sessions. [In 2006, Epic/Legacy reissued No Answer in the US, with remastered sound that brought it up to the quality of the 2002 double-disc expanded and the 2003 single disc reissues in the UK. The '06 disc contains four bonus tracks: an alternate mix of "The Battle of Marston Moor," an alternate mix of "Nellie Takes Her Bow," "Take 9" of "Mir Radio" and an alternate mix of "10538 Overture." "Battle" and "10538" appeared on both of the UK reissues, but "Nellie" and "Mr. Radio" make their debut on this reissue.]

Product Details

Release Date: 03/28/2006
Label: Sony
UPC: 0827969427026
catalogNumber: 94270

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