Song of the Day, February 6: Last Train to London by Electric Light Orchestra

ELOLastTrainToday’s song is Last Train to London by Electric Light Orchestra. It appears on their eighth album, Discovery. By this point, ELO were a major force in popular music, with their arty but accessible approach to pop giving them a distinctive sound. Band leader and vocalist Jeff Lynne had perfected a style that originally featured nearly a dozen players, using studio wizardry and synthesizers to hone the sound with a smaller core of contributors. Discovery took the band to a very reasonable place for 1979, exploring the dance sounds of the day while adding a very ELO stamp. Keyboard player Richard Tandy — whose skill and talent were critical to the ELO approach– has waggishly refered to the album as “Disco? Very.”

Last Train to London is a great pop song, capturing a mundane event and infusing it with passion and energy. Lynne came up with the subject during one of many train rides to the studio. It’s an energetic, infectious song with just enough musical complexity to rise above its radio companions.

Enjoy this late 70s gem today.


About Robert Hulshof-Schmidt
Freelance writer, researcher, online comic vendor, and project manager. Fan of a wide range of music -- especially folk and 80s pop -- vintage comics, British TV, and LGBT fiction.

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