In his review of Alone In the Universe, the first Electric Light Orchestra album in almost 15 years, our own Dan Bogosian correctly pointed out that, even though Jeff Lynne‘s music has become best known for its use in other pop-culture mediums, ELO is also very much an album band. Those two things complement each other more than you’d think.
Sure, Lynne was a hit machine throughout the ’70s and ’80s, but those hits always sounded so colorful and different because they were part of a larger puzzle. While something like “Boy Blue” rides on stadium-sized hooks, what really makes it soar are those strings, a trait that comes entirely from Lynne’s baroque pop and album-oriented sensibilities. It’s the classical thread that ties all of Eldorado (and most of ELO’s discography) together. Those strings wouldn’t be there if the song wasn’t building toward something larger.
So when a director or music supervisor decides to pluck an ELO song from beneath the sonic umbrella of its respective LP, it’s a very bold move. We know Jeff Lynne’s work as soon as we hear it, and we know how different it is from pretty much everything else released during his heyday. That’s why, in the right hands, it can make for something that’s cinematically iconic almost right away. Here are 10 of those best moments—scenes that not only include an ELO song, but are elevated by them as well.
Senior Staff Writer