Eldorado (Electric Light Orchestra album)

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Elo Eldorado.jpg
Studio album by
Released September 1974
Recorded February–August 1974
Studio De Lane Lea Studios, London
Genre Progressive rock, progressive pop[1]
Length 38:42
Label Warner Bros., United Artists
Producer Jeff Lynne
Electric Light Orchestra chronology
The Night the Light Went On in Long Beach
Electric Light Orchestra studio album chronology
On the Third Day
Face the Music
Singles from Eldorado
  1. "Can't Get It Out of My Head"
    Released: November 1974
  2. "Boy Blue"
    Released: April 1975

Eldorado (subtitled as A Symphony by the Electric Light Orchestra) is the fourth studio album by the Electric Light Orchestra (ELO). It was released in the United States in September 1974 by United Artists Records and in the United Kingdom in October 1974 by Warner Bros. Records.


Eldorado is the first complete ELO concept album; bandleader Jeff Lynne conceived the storyline before he wrote any music.[2] The plot follows a Walter Mitty-like character who journeys into fantasy worlds via dreams, to escape the disillusionment of his mundane reality. Lynne began to write the album in response to criticisms from his father, a classical music lover, who said that Electric Light Orchestra's repertoire "had no tune".[3] The influence of the Beatles is prevalent, especially in the melody of the verse of "Mister Kingdom" which to some degree resembles the Beatles' "Across the Universe".


Eldorado marks the first album on which Jeff Lynne hired an orchestra; on previous albums, Lynne would overdub the strings.[2] Louis Clark co-arranged, with Lynne (and keyboardist Richard Tandy), and conducted the strings. The group's three resident string players continued to perform on recordings, however, and can be heard most prominently on the songs "Boy Blue" and "Laredo Tornado". Mike de Albuquerque departed early on in the recording process, as touring made him feel separated from his family. Lynne plays most of, if not all, the bass tracks and backing vocals for the album, even though de Albuquerque received credit. Nevertheless, de Albuquerque was involved in some of the released album, if not as prominently as previous albums. Kelly Groucutt replaced de Albuquerque for the subsequent tour, when cellist Melvyn Gale also joined. "Eldorado Finale" is heavily orchestrated much like "Eldorado Overture". Jeff Lynne said of the song, "I like the heavy chords and the slightly daft ending, where you hear the double bass players packing up their basses, because they wouldn't play another millisecond past the allotted moment."[2]

Release, reception and aftermath

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
AllMusic 5/5 stars[4]
Encyclopedia of Popular Music 4/5 stars[5]
MusicHound 3/5[6]
Music Story 4.5/5 stars[7]
Rolling Stone (favourable)[8]
The Rolling Stone Album Guide 3.5/5 stars[9]

"Can't Get It Out of My Head" was released as a single (with "Illusions in G Major" as the B-side) and was a success in the US. An edited version of "Boy Blue" was released as the album's second single, but failed to make any commercial impact. The album was certified Gold in the United States soon after its release. The album and singles, however, failed to find a wide audience in the band's native United Kingdom.

In 1978, the filmmaker Kenneth Anger re-released his 1954 film Inauguration of the Pleasure Dome, using Eldorado as the soundtrack.

In July 2010, the album was named one of Classic Rock magazine's "50 Albums That Built Prog Rock".[10]

On June 17, 2015, the album was ranked #43 on Rolling Stone's "50 Greatest Prog Rock Albums of All Time"[11]

Track listing

All tracks written by Jeff Lynne.

Side one
No. Title Length
1. "Eldorado Overture" (instrumental) 2:12
2. "Can't Get It Out of My Head" 4:21
3. "Boy Blue" 5:18
4. "Laredo Tornado" 5:29
5. "Poor Boy (The Greenwood)" 2:57
Side two
No. Title Length
6. "Mister Kingdom" 5:50
7. "Nobody's Child" 3:40
8. "Illusions in G Major" 2:36
9. "Eldorado" 5:20
10. "Eldorado Finale" 1:20
CD reissue bonus tracks
No. Title Length
11. "Eldorado Instrumental Medley" 7:56
12. "Dark City" 0:46


Additional personnel
  • Peter Forbes-Robertson – spoken word
  • Louis Clark – orchestra and choral arrangements and conducting
  • Al Quaglieri – reissue producer (2001)

Chart positions


  1. ^ "50 Greatest Prog Rock Albums of All Time". Rolling Stone. June 17, 2015. Retrieved January 8, 2019.
  2. ^ a b c Wild, David. "The Story of a Rock and Roll Band and the Pop Genius Who Dared to Go Baroque." Flashback.
  3. ^ Porter, Robert, Jeff Lynne Song Database, June 2013. http://www.jefflynnesongs.com/cgioomh/ Retrieved 25 June 2013
  4. ^ Eder, Bruce. "Eldorado – Electric Light Orchestra: Songs, Reviews, Credits, Awards". AllMusic. Retrieved 3 March 2013.
  5. ^ Larkin, Colin (ed.) (2011). The Encyclopedia of Popular Music (5th edn). London: Omnibus Press. p. 915. ISBN 978-0-85712-595-8.CS1 maint: Extra text: authors list (link)
  6. ^ Graff, Gary; Durchholz, Daniel (eds) (1999). MusicHound Rock: The Essential Album Guide. Farmington Hills, MI: Visible Ink Press. p. 383. ISBN 1-57859-061-2.CS1 maint: Extra text: authors list (link)
  7. ^ http://www.acclaimedmusic.net/Current/A1401.htm
  8. ^ (Posted: 2 January 1975) (2 January 1975). "Electric Light Orchestra: Eldorado : Music Reviews : Rolling Stone". Web.archive.org. Archived from the original on 16 February 2008. Retrieved 3 March 2013.
  9. ^ Brackett, Nathan; with Hoard, Christian (eds) (2004). The New Rolling Stone Album Guide (4th edn). New York, NY: Fireside/Simon & Schuster. p. 274. ISBN 0-7432-0169-8.CS1 maint: Extra text: authors list (link)
  10. ^ Classic Rock magazine, July 2010, Issue 146.
  11. ^ (Posted: 17 June 2015) (17 June 2015). "50 Greatest Prog Rock Albums of All Time". www.rollingstone.com. Retrieved 16 May 2018.
  12. ^ "Electric Light Orchestra – Awards". AllMusic. Retrieved 2 May 2013.
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