Secret Messages is the tenth studio album by Electric Light Orchestra (ELO), released in 1983 through Jet Records. It was the last ELO album with bass guitarist Kelly Groucutt, conductor Louis Clark, and real stringed instruments, and the last ELO album to be released on Jet Records. It was also the final ELO studio album to become a worldwide top 40 hit upon release.
In the early '80s, another wave of backward-masking hysteria hit the national scene, with unfounded claims that popular rock bands intentionally hid Satanic messages in their records. ELO had already been hit with this rumor for a song on their album ELDORADO, and on the following album's "Fire on High," Jeff Lynne deliberately placed an obvious backwards message…
Secret Messages is an album by Electric Light Orchestra, released in 1983. It would be the final ELO album to feature bassist Kelly Groucutt, who left the band shortly after its release.
In the early '80s, another wave of backward-masking hysteria hit the national scene, with unfounded claims that popular rock bands intentionally hid Satanic messages in their records. ELO had already been hit with this rumor for a song on their album ELDORADO, and on the following album's "Fire on High," Jeff Lynne deliberately placed an obvious backwards message. Because the initial prank worked so well, Lynne did not only did it again in this album's opening–the message is simply the album's title–but named the album in honor of the hysteria. SECRET MESSAGES proves that Lynne's artistic vision, like his sense of humor, was undimmed. Tracks like the psychedelically tinged "Loser Gone Wild" and the delicate "Bluebird" are as strong as anything he'd previously done, and the rockabillyish "Rock and Roll Is King" even pays tribute to the '50s-influenced style of his former bandmate Roy Wood.
The Electric Light Orchestra's ambitious yet irresistible fusion of Beatlesque pop, classical arrangements, and futuristic iconography rocketed the group to massive commercial success throughout the 1970s…
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.
This is the album where Jeff Lynne finally found the sound he'd wanted since co-founding Electric Light Orchestra three years earlier. Up to this point, most of the group's music had been self-contained – Lynne, Richard Tandy, et al., providing whatever was needed, vocally or instrumentally, even if it meant overdubbing their work layer upon layer. Lynne saw the limitations of this process, however, and opted for the presence of an orchestra – it was only 30 pieces, but the result was a much richer musical palette than the group had ever had to work with, and their most ambitious and successful record up to that time. Indeed, Eldorado was strongly reminiscent in some ways of Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band.
Electric Light Orchestra's third album showed a marked advancement, with a fuller, more cohesive sound from the band as a whole and major improvements in Jeff Lynne's singing and songwriting. This is where the band took on its familiar sound, Lynne's voice suddenly showing an attractive expressiveness reminiscent of John Lennon in his early solo years, and also sporting a convincing white British soulful quality that was utterly lacking earlier. The group also plugged the holes that made its work seem so close to being ragged on those earlier records. "Showdown" and "Ma-Ma-Ma Belle" (the latter featuring Marc Bolan on double lead guitar with Lynne) became AM radio fixtures while "Daybreaker" became a concert opener for the group and, along with "In the Hall of the Mountain King," kept the group's FM/art rock credentials in order.