Despite having three albums already in the can and establishing the minds of the Beatles and in the footsteps of the Days of Future Passed-era of the Moody Blues in a prog-baroque pop sound, singles had put ELO into the forefront and for Jeff Lynne, it was time for a change. This time it would be a concept album telling the story about daydreaming in the rein of Walter Mitty like character who goes into different worlds and trying to escape the real modern world in which he’s pissed off at, as he goes into the world of Eldorado.
Originally released in 1974, Eldorado was a huge success in the States as they broke down the door and hit into the mainstream, but didn’t sell well in the UK. But it’s a wonderful Disney-like alternate soundtrack is very much to the realms of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs or The Three Caballeros set to glorious prog-pop music that could have been re-released during that time period. Jeff decided to use a 40-piece orchestra instead of two violins; this would mark the first time that it would change the bands direction and into superstardom.
From the eerie atmospheric dream-like introduction turned bright glory with Eldorado Overture to the soft romantic rock balladry on Can’t Get It Out of my Head and Mister Kingdom, makes it realize that this isn’t just your Beatle-sque rock album, but a spiritual journey that you’ll never forget and a ride that will take you to the other side of life. The shining symphonic powerhouses of Boy Blue with melodic structures while Laredo Tornado is a touch of the Beatles Revolver-era with a wonderful guitar introduction that Marc Bolan could have helped out the band out.
Later, comes the orchestral rockin’ romp sounds of Poorboy (The Greenwood) as it goes into the Cabaret Jazz scene with the glory days of broadway with Nobody’s Child. The track makes it very upbeat and almost like a nightclub scene out of a play in the ‘40s where Jeff deals with a painted lady as if he’s Danny Elfman singing to this broken down woman who was once famous is now singing to table goers in the audience. And while they go into the rein of the 1950s rocking scene in the realms of The Move’s California Man on Illusions in G Major, the 5-minute emotional pop beauty of the title track makes you want to feel like if you want to come back to the fantasy world and stay there for eternity.
After the release of the album, ELO went into various changes from Prog to Disco and helping Olivia Newton-John out and deciding to call it a day in the mid ‘80s, Eldorado remains one of the most finest albums that the Electric Light Orchestra made and still is considered the most finest concept albums of the 20th century.