I love cover versions. You’ve probably heard me bang on about this subject before. You’re about to hear me bang on about it again!
One of the best cover versions I’ve ever heard was at one of the best concerts I’ve ever attended – Boo Hewerdine playing live in a little coffee bar on Tynemouth Metro station. In attendance, around 30-40 eager Boo fans, one of whom, heroically stepped in and played keyboards when the scheduled ivory-tinkler didn’t show. They’d never met before, Boo and the keyboard man, but he contributed to a tremendous concert, adding to the friendly atmosphere as we all rooted for him in his corner, next to the caramel slices and scones.
Anyway, as part of this tremendous gig, Boo, armed only with his acoustic guitar, played a blistering version of Electric Light Orchestra’s ‘Can’t get it out of my head’.
Nowadays, in a world where it’s entirely acceptable to admit that you love ABBA and Darts and The Bay City Rollers, ELO remain firmly in the uncool section of the record collection. To help to explain why this situation is an absolute travesty, I’d like to introduce you our cassette today, their 1974 offering, ‘Eldorado’.
If a group were to release this album in 2013 it would be hailed as a masterpiece by many, and if you’re reluctant to dip into the world of ELO having only previously heard stuff like ‘The diary of Horace Wimp’, then I’d suggest this album as a better place to start than Jeff and the boys’ better known albums that arrived just a few short years afterwards.
Tuneful and orchestral, it’s like proper music with an overture and a finale and recurring musical themes and… everything, even if Jet Records do get the track-listing order slightly arse about face on this cassette version. ‘Can’t get it out of my head’ is the best known track for good reason, but for something a little bit different you might like to try ‘Boy Blue’ or the soaring ‘Laredo Tornado’.
Go on, try it – you might like it! You certainly won’t be able to get it out of your head.
Label – Jet Records Inc.
Year - 1974