The Electric Light Orchestra was formed by members of an English group called The Move. They wanted to create a new band with a string section along with traditional instruments.
At the time, an ad for their album Out Of The Blue was the most expensive billboard ever erected on Sunset Boulevard in Los Angeles.
On their 1978 tour, they opened their shows by emerging from a giant spaceship. A lot of people thought it looked like a hamburger.
Most of the production was done by Lynne, with various musicians brought in to form the "orchestra."
In order to reproduce their sound live, some backing tracks were on tape at their concerts. They were one of the first bands accused of lip-synching.
Lynne has produced albums for Tom Petty, Roy Orbison, and George Harrison. He joined them, along with Bob Dylan, in 1988 to form The Traveling Wilburys.
They broke up in 1986. After a long legal battle over the name, Bevan made an album and toured as ELO Part 2 in 1991. Lynne started recording again as ELO in 2000.
They took their name because they combined electric rock instruments with orchestral instruments. "Light Orchestras" were small orchestras popular in England in the '60s.
Their first manager was Don Arden. When he lost interest in the group, he gave them to his daughter Sharon who ran Jet Records. Sharon married Ozzy Osbourne a few years later.
They are one of the few English bands that are much more popular in America than their home country.
Their first tour was canceled because their rehearsals sounded so bad. It took them a while to get their live sound right.
There is no Behind The Music on ELO because they were not scandalous. They had plenty of access to drugs and groupies, but didn't want either. They gave these indulgences to their roadies when they came along.
Jeff Lynne planned a tour with the new version of the group in 2001, but canceled it when they could not sell enough tickets to justify the expense.
Their first live TV appearance was an episode of VH1 Storytellers in 2001.
Their first American LP release received its name when a United Artists executive miscalculated the time difference between LA and London. When he called the office of EMI records, no one was there to pick up the phone, so the UA executive wrote down on his pad "No answer."
CBS Sports used their instrumental composition "Fire on High" in their promotions in the mid-to-late '70s.
Kelly Groucutt sued the group for membership status as he was paid as a session musician for most of the group's latter LP's. He prevailed and won a share of the performance royalties.
Roy Wood, Bev Bevan, and Jeff Lynne formed the last lineup of the Move and kept it going "to pay the bills" as they (with the assistance of later-ELOer Richard Tandy) recorded the first "Electric Light Orchestra" LP. It was this lineup that produced the last Move single, "California Man," backed with the original version of "Do Ya," which later became a hit for ELO (and a minor one for Todd Rundgren).
Brad Wind - Miami, FL, for above 3
Groucutt died from a heart attack on February 19, 2009, at age 63.
Bertrand - Paris, France
The group did the soundtrack for the notorious 1980 flop Xanadu. They were offered work on the far more successful films Midnight Express and Fame, but Jeff Lynne didn't have time to do those, so he ended up on Xanadu.
They have a methodical system for building a song: drums and bass first, followed by piano, rhythm guitar, keyboards, guitar solos, and finally, vocals. Jeff Lynne doesn't write the lyrics until the track is complete.