Musical execution


And so the musical journey of rediscovery through my record collection continues. (For previous entries, see the links at the end of this article.) Next of note on the record player is this 1975 (under appreciated cracker of an) album from the Electric Light Orchestra: Face the Music.

From a sales point of view, the main single releases from the album – Evil Woman and Strange Magic – were a success. I liked them. However, the album did not do too well and the last single release – Nightrider – was a sales flop. Guess what. It’s my favorite track on the album. It features a lyric that remains firmly lodged at the back of my trivia laden brain to this day:

“Hold on, nightrider baby, hold on you’re a nightrider.
Riding the night, searching for what is gone.
Never reaching the end, so you must travel on.”

And the album is also one of my favorite ELO releases.

The other standout track for me is the instrumental Fire on High. Five minutes plus of joy.

Now some information I picked up from a brief look around the web.

The picture above is the back cover of the album. This is the front:

This, from Wikipedia, is interesting:

The back cover of the record sleeve shows the members of the band with their faces pressed against a glass panel, supposedly watching the “electrocution” depicted on the front cover. The band member who is looking away is Richard Tandy, who didn’t like the idea and didn’t want to participate.

And so is this:

“Fire on High” contains a backwards message in the beginning. When the song is played backwards, the message voiced by drummer Bev Bevan can be heard stating, “The music is reversible, but time is not. Turn back. Turn back. Turn back. Turn back.” — ostensibly Jeff Lynne’s shot at backmasking hysteria, after false satanic allegations were made against their song “Eldorado” by Fundamentalist Christianity members.[3] “Down Home Town” also starts with some backmasking: the refrain from “Waterfall” (“Face the mighty waterfall, face the mighty waterfall”). A portion of the string crescendo from “Nightrider” was used backwards on “Evil Woman.”

The question is, since it’s not practical to schlep the record player around, do I cave in and buy an MP3 version of the album so I can hear it in the car or the gym? Or do I stay faithful only to the vinyl? Decisions, decisions…

[Ballroom Blitz, Glasgow Sound.]