10538 Overture

Album: No Answer (1971)
Charted: 9
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Songfacts®:

  • This was the first song ELO recorded and released. When Jeff Lynne wrote it, he was in a band called The Move. This prompted some members of The Move to go ahead with plans to create a new band with string instruments called The Electric Light Orchestra.
  • Lynne wanted the lyrics to be about a man who had a number rather than a name.
  • 1053 was the serial number of the desk Lynne used to write this. They added the 8 and included the word "Overture" to make it clear they were an orchestra.
  • The album was first released in the UK as Electric Light Orchestra. When it was released in the US a few months later, someone from their American Record company called to find out the name of the album, but didn't get through. That person wrote down "No Answer" on the paperwork, and that was accidentally used as the name of the US release.

Comments: 19

  • Babe Ruth from EnglandBy far the best song they made a classic
  • Sue from La GrangeThe Chicago Blackhawks have a ceremony where previous players come back to be honored with "One Last Shift" and this is the song the honored player comes out to.
  • Melissa from Windsor, CanadaThis song reminds me of distopian stories like Fahrenheit 451 and Nineteen Eighty-Four. It also reminds me a bit of V for Vendetta, but I know that came out after this song was written.
  • Alma from Laredo, TxI had not heard this song in a very long time. I agree it is a bit I am the Walrus kind of Beatlesque quality. It is still a great song.
  • Ed from Canton, OhThis song was a little stiff, as was the whole album, however 10538 showed up on an imported live album called "the night the light went on in long beach" and the live version was very cool. That whole album was very cool including a cover of beatle's day tripper.
  • Lexx from Milton, Indiathis song reminds me of alex from a clockwork orange if he wasnt evil. i mean the book, not the movie. i never saw the movie, and never plan to because i have so many images of the charitures and stuff and there nothing like the movie charitures... anyways, most of elo's stuff remind me of that book, especially "daybreaker"... every time i listen to that song all i can imagine is some adolecent brat who takes good care of his strawberry blond hair dressed all in lether and a wife beater watching his friends beat a little old man to the grownd, is probibly because of the mix of classic and conemporary, you know??
  • N from Staten Island, NyGreat ELO from their early days. The first few ELO albums were creative, but I guess creative didin't pay the bills. But even their later more pop-oriented stuff was enjoyable.
  • N from Staten Island, NyVery strange lyrics, a coded message to someone long forgotten.
  • Dave from Cardiff, WalesJust heard the Def Leppard version, and I disagree, it's a good cover, but ELO's version is better
  • Glen from Charlotte, NcI can assure you that Def Leppard's version of this song is much better than the ELO version, Although I do love ELO.
  • Ho Chi Nathan The Fi from Billinge!, AfricaThis song also reminds me a lot of 'I am the Walrus' It's the odd guitar bit at the beginning.
  • Dan from Indianapolis, InThis song sounds like a sober "I am the Walrus" to me.
  • Duane from Wheatfield, InLove ELO. Don't love this song.
  • Stefanie from Rock Hill, ScThat's cool that they are covering it.
  • Federico from Pergamino, ArgentinaOn their new album (YEAH!), that is being released in 2006, Def Leppard will include a cover of this song. I had the chance to hear it allready, and i can tell you, that they have made a great job!
    See ya.
  • Stefanie Magura from Rock Hill, Scactually I'm not sure it's a great song, but it's definitely a good one!
  • Stefanie Magura from Rock Hill, ScGreat song. Only heard it once though.
  • Dave from Cardiff, WalesPaul Weller later purloined the descending guitar intro of "10538 Overture" for his 1995 UK No.7 hit, "The Changing Man". He did not delare this in the songwriting credits, but it is faily obvious where Weller got the riffs from, to the extent that many compilation albums of this era highlighted the similarity in their sllevenotes. Weller later admitteded this in his autobiography, but got away without having pay any royalties to Roy Wood or Jeff Lynne
  • Rick from Lafayette, NjELO was not conceived as a serious band.It was considered a side project to The Move.The label on the first album says "The Move Presents...The Electric Light Orchestra". After The Move's lead singer Carl Wayne left to start a solo career the Move stopped performing, but never offically broke up. Roy Wood formed his band "Wizard" and released a series of albums in the seventies. In 2001 Carl Wayne replaced a retired Allan Clarke as lead singer for the still touring Hollies who will be on tour in the US in the fall of 2002.
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