I CONFESS / Jonathan Meades turns on the Electric Light Orchestra
Saturday 29 January 1994
I don't like rock, and I've always been suspicious of lower-middle- class youths from Beckenham playing black music. Serious pop music has always appalled me. It should be of the Moon / June variety. ELO never made the mistake of writing serious lyrics. Their tunes are a synthesis of pop's past. Influenced by the Phil Spector sound, Roy Wood manages to sound like Phil in the kitchen.
They didn't have sparkle or glam. And they looked like squaddies from Catterick wearing wigs. They always got it wrong - an infinite variety of cheesecloth and satin. There's a delicious anonymity about them. Their presiding genius Jeff Lynne - possessor of a very lively circa-1976 perm - now produces people like George Harrison and the Travelling Wilburys. They all end up sounding like ELO. Strange that this should be fashionable. ELO were always so un-fashionable. Less street cred, more suburban avenue cred.
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