Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Electric Light Orchestra -- "Last Train to London"

Last Train to London - Discovery

(Debuted December 8, 1979, Peaked #39, 10 Weeks on the Chart)

By all rational accounts, The Electric Light Orchestra should have been finished by the time this song came out. Their heyday was in the 1970s and they were coming out with a disco-influenced album -- Discovery literally read: "Disco? Very!" -- after the backlash that killed disco. However, the group was remarkably adaptable and was able to keep getting hit songs even as the landscape of the music business changed around them.

While the song made its debut on the Billboard chart in December of '79, it didn't reach the Top 40 until after the New Year. Yes, it's a disco song, but you can hear that the band was in the process of transitioning from the "Orchestra" part of its name to the "Electric" part. That was probably smart, as the music of the 80s was also moving from the orchestrated backing music that marked everything from Philly Soul to disco and going toward a sound that was heavy on synthesizers and drum machines.

Besides that, it's a damned catchy melody.

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