With their fifth album (actually their sixth if you count the double live album (The Night The Lights Went Out) released worldwide except in the UK and North America, Face the Music is the last step before the Spaceship era (the concerts were played from some fictitious flying saucer), but in every way did it pave the super-stardom to come with the following albums. With the previous album, we had seen original member Hugh Mc Dowell returning to the fold and his influences from Roy Wood’s Wizzard is felt better through this time (Hugh is much more than a member of the string section) with the ever-increasing poppier feel of ELO.

This album spawned three monstrous hit: the hauntingly beautifully simple Strange Magic, the ultra commercial Evil Woman and Night Rider (called after Lynne’s pre-Idle Race group days). The rest of the album is worthy ELO tracks but not that progressive anymore especially if you take away the string section’s arrangements

Still a commendable album, but I will stop my string of ELO reviews with this album, for after, they really are of the pop realm, but they will for a long time remain truthful to the very typically ELO spirit developed in their early albums. Most haters said that they sold out completely, but by looking at their early discography and their later stuff , they fared much better than Genesis in terms of selling-out. Iam rounding the rating of this album to the upper star, because it is still worthy of ELO.

Track Listings

1. Fire on High (5:30)
2. Waterfall (4:27)
3. Evil Woman (4:19)
4. Nightrider (4:23)
5. Poker (3:31)
6. Strange Magic (4:29)
7. Down Home Town (3:54)
8. One Summer Dream (5:47)

Total Time 36:20

Bev Bevan / drums and percussion, backing vocals
Melvyn Gale / cello
Kelly Groucutt / bass, vocals
Mik Kaminski / violin
Jeff Lynee / guitar, vocals, string arrangements
Hugh Mc Dowell / cello
Richard Tandy / piano, moog, guitar, clavinet, string arrangements
Louis Clark / string arrangements
Brian's feet / Brian's footsteps
Releases information

This album featured two hit singles - "Strange Magic" and "Evil Woman", as well as the enigmatic instrumental "Fire on High".

UK 1975 United Artists LP/CS UAG 30034
North America 1975 United Artists LP/CS/8T UA-LA546-G/EA546-H
Germany 1975 United Artists LP UAS 30034 XOT
Argentina 1975 Epic LP 147221
Australia/New Zealand 1975 Polydor/Jet LP 2310 414
Holland 1975 Polydor LP 2344 054
Mexico 1975 Epic LP NJS 17227
UK 1978 Jet LPGRN JETLP 201
UK 1978 Jet LP JETLP 11 picture disk
Mexico 1978 Polydor LP LRG-16184
UK 1985 Epic LP/CS 32544
US 1985 Jet LP/CD JZ/ZK 35527
WW 1994/95 Sony CD 57184
WW 1995 Sony 3CD 64813 repackaged w/ A New World Record & Discovery


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