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Top 20 ELO Songs: Electric Light Orchestra's String of Hits

The best hits from ELO, the rock orchestra hit machine.

The Electric Light Orchestra had a string of hit albums (no pun intended) from 1971 til 1986 with a classical flavor. ELO used strings together with guitars and electronic keyboards, and the pop rock sound was pretty fantastic. Jeff Lynne powered the band into rock fame, and ELO has sold 50 million records to date. Here are the top 20 songs from ELO:

1 – Showdown – A power trip with a great string riff. John Lennon said this was his favorite new song of 1973

2 – Telephone Line (1976) a great ELO tune from the album “A New World Record”

3 – Fire on High (1975) one of the best instrumental songs of all time. A backwards message in the beginning from drummer Bev Bevan “The music is reversible, but time is not. Turn back.”

4 – All Over the World – a happy song from both “Xanadu” and the alien comedy movie “Paul.”

5 – 10538 Overture, orginally from 1971 debut album, but more recently used in the film “American Hustle”

6 – Evil Woman (1975) from the LP Face the Music, this was their first big hit in the US.

7 – Turn to Stone (1977) from the unprecedented 2-LP “Out of the Blue” featuring that cool spaceship cover.

8 – Livin' Thing (1976) their fist song performed on The Midnight Special with Wolfman Jack.

9 – Calling America (1986) from Balance of Power. This was their final hit in the US.

10 – Roll Over Beethoven (1973)

11 – Strange Magic (1975)

12 – Can't Get It Out of My Head (1974) from the Eldorado CD 13 – Do Ya

14 – Xanadu (1980) featuring Olivia Newton-John. Good song, weird movie.

15 – Mr. Blue Sky (1977)

16 – Sweet is the Night (1977)

17 – Don't Bring Me Down (1979)

18 – Hold on Tight from “Time” (1981)

19 – Wild West Hero (1977) another sweet melody from the double set Out of the Blue.

20 – Rockaria (1976)

Also a big fan of “Mission (A World Record),” a poignant sci-fi tune from ELO's big sixth LP.

Those are the best tunes from the the stringed rockers, ELO's top songs. The band holds the record for having the most top 40 pop songs, without any of them reaching #1. Their pop and rock influence is still felt today. The Electric Light Orchestra started a trend with strings in rock music that is taken for granted in new rock.

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