ELECTRIC LIGHT ORCHESTRA A New World Record (Bonus Tracks, 1976)

A New World Record (1976)
Baloney? Perhaps Not.

I was hook, line and sinker for ELO during their heyday. Sure, it’s easy  to quibble about their prime characteristics – stolen riffs, overblown orchestrations, big dumb pop melodies – but Jeff Lynne & mates were sincere… and ELO was one of the few bands to consistently take post-Beatles pop to the charts, over and over again. Over 10 years (1971-1981) they released as many albums and nearly all had hits of one kind or another. Important, influential popsters like Big Star and The Raspberries, or offspring like Jellyfish, could only dream of the numbers ELO were pulling in the mid-70s. Almost Beatles numbers, and while there were plenty of successful pop anomalies  – from 10cc to Cheap Trick – ELO seemed to have a direct pipeline to radio programmers and seemed poised to become one of those few elite bands that never go away. That wasn’t the case. Then there’s “Do Ya,” one of the all time greats. The iconic riff, the understandable yet indecipherable lyrics, that gigantic hook… How many of us will ever know the pure sensation of writing a perfect rock song? Not ‘the greatest,’ just a seemlessly assembled tune containing all the elements needed to rival “Louie Louie” or “You Really Got Me.” Lynne knew it to be true. It’s why he resurrected the composition from his old Move catalog. A New World Record probably isn’t ELO’s best album, but it’s one of their career highlights and fully representative of their imaginative pop noise. 37 minutes with 6 bonus tracks and all the spot-the-influence fun you can stomach. Check out the alt version of “Telephone Line,” sans the original’s vocal gimmickry (but still effortlessly echoing a refrain from McCartney’s “My Love”). Relatively cheap at Amazon.

Tightrope (5:06)
Telephone Line (4:40)
Rockaria! (3:13)
Mission (A World Record) (4:26)
So Fine (3:55)
Livin’ Thing (3:32)
Above The Clouds (2:17)
Do Ya (3:45)
Shangri-La (5:40)
Telephone Line (Different Vocal) (4:41) – Bonus Track
Surrender (2:38) – Bonus Track
Tightrope (Instrumental Early Rough Mix) (4:56) – Bonus Track
Above the Clouds (Instrumental Rough Mix) (1:15) – Bonus Track
So Fine (Instrumental Early Rough Mix) (4:16) – Bonus Track
Telephone Line (Instrumental) (4:52) – Bonus Track


  • Willard
    August 11, 2011 - 12:54 | Permalink

    Search HERE

  • August 11, 2011 - 15:05 | Permalink

    I feel shameful for not already having this in my collection. So much here to love. Thanks for sharing a classic, Capt.

    • Willard
      August 11, 2011 - 15:14 | Permalink

      How’s life JR? Glad to see The Heat Warps thriving over at tumblr.

  • side3
    August 11, 2011 - 17:55 | Permalink

    Thanks Willard. I own the CD (and owned the LP back in the 70’s), but never heard the bonus tracks.

  • Stephen G
    August 11, 2011 - 20:06 | Permalink

    Loving ELO? Nothing to be embarrassed about…

  • Dave
    August 11, 2011 - 21:00 | Permalink


  • Sean
    August 11, 2011 - 21:05 | Permalink

    I always thought that “Out of the Blue” was their best but maybe it was the only LP of theirs I owned? It was great to hear “Telephone Line” without the altered vocal. I probably loved the trick back in junior high but this version lets the song speak for itself.


  • Goose
    August 11, 2011 - 21:20 | Permalink

    ELO was a great band! Great post Willard… possibly the best ELO album.

    To me, it’s a toss up between this one and Out of the Blue. Although my all time fav song by ELO is “Showdown”. Love that tune!

  • Horst
    August 11, 2011 - 22:39 | Permalink

    I agree with Sean — “Out Of The Blue” was their best.

  • August 11, 2011 - 22:44 | Permalink

    This is indeed a very strong album,

  • Dave C.
    August 12, 2011 - 17:30 | Permalink

    Had this back in the day. “Do Ya” is still flat out awesome.

  • djj
    August 13, 2011 - 12:42 | Permalink

    ELO continues to thrill, and it seems like Jeff Lynne laid the groundwork for all rock production that followed. Their stuff still sounds and feels timeless. I always say this is their best effort, the perfect amalgam of their art rock past and their burgeoning commercial sound. Out Of The Blue is a champion (anyone else here agree that On The Third Day is the great lost ELO album?) and why OOTB has not been issued in 5.1 is a mystery. Not sure if there’s any other album in existence that’s crying out for a 5.1 remix than that. It gets a little claustrophobic in spots, and I think it could benefit from the breathing room!

    Thanks, Willard. And as an early ELO ad campaign implored, “Do it with The Light on!”

  • Vaughn Abbott
    September 11, 2011 - 07:23 | Permalink

    I love New World Record and as a big ELO fan I consider it their finest album. The whole Beatles-meets-Bee Gees sound of it has always been “music to my ears” of the highest order. “Borrowed-schmorrowed”, I say; Lynne has done no more stealing from his past heroes than any other group, Stones and Beatles included.
    I always found Out of the Blue a little too bloated to consider it their best (it wears out it’s welcome). But this album leaves you wanting more.
    It’s funny how Lynne’s overblown pop sensibilities are more en vogue now than ever. You used to have to be a closeted ELO fan, now it’s hipster cool.
    Like you, I wish Lynne would resurrect the brand and show his wannabees how it’s done.

    • Willard
      September 11, 2011 - 14:02 | Permalink

      Check out his last stab, 2001’s Zoom (HERE). It came out almost exactly 10 years ago, around 9/11, and got lost in time.

  • John Hancotte
    February 12, 2014 - 23:48 | Permalink

    So Fine was their peak. Already have it, and fused together with Livin’ Thing, so I’m good for now. That and maybe Can’t Get It Out of My Head. Yeah, there are a few more, come to think of it. Tightrope. Turn to Stone. Jeff has lived the dream, as I just saw him profess and gush before Paul and Ringo. He worked with his idols. Awesome. So fine!

    • September 10, 2015 - 19:47 | Permalink

      Have to agree with the cat above. I want these bonus tracks just for the instrumental So Fine and perhaps the new vocal on Telephone Line. Have to agree about the classic-ness of Do Ya. I was perfected on this album. The Move version was the demo in this case. Jeff may borrow from the best, but in the end, he knows when to trust his instincts.

      • Willard
        September 10, 2015 - 19:52 | Permalink

        Like minds think alike.

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