Facility Spring Cleaning Spring Reading 2016 Amazon Fashion Learn more Discover it $5 Albums Fire TV Stick Gifts for Mom to look and feel great Made in Italy Amazon Gift Card Offer out2 out2 out2  Amazon Echo  Echo Dot  Amazon Tap  Echo Dot  Amazon Tap  Amazon Echo Introducing new colors Kindle Paperwhite UniOrlando Shop Now SnS

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars64
Format: Audio CD|Change
Your rating(Clear)Rate this item


There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.

HERE IS THE NEWS

Epic/Legacy continues its superb re-mastering/re-release program with the brilliant catalog of The Electric Light Orchestra by releasing 1973's ON THE THIRD DAY. The sonics here are spectacular; the graphics are much-improved; the liner notes by Jeff Lynne and ELO archivist extraordinnaire, Rob Caiger, are interesting; the bonus music is revelatory.

ON THE THIRD DAY is a thrill ride, a gutsy swing for the fences that connects on many levels. On this, ELO's third album, the vision that founders Roy Wood and Jeff Lynne originally had for the fusion of classical strings/arrangements with rock and roll begans to really take shape (though Wood had already departed midway through ELO's second album). The groundwork for the band's masterpiece follow-up album, ELDORADO, is well-laid here, as strings and electronics blend smoothly, rather than being in conflict.

Richard Tandy, ELO's outstanding keyboardist, really comes into his own here. Mik Kaminski's violin work is also stellar. Jeff Lynne's vocals are in fine form, and Bev Bevan's drumming is primal and sublime--all at once. Michael de Albequerque, who was ELO's bassist/backing vocalist from ELO II through ELDORADO, also features prominently, contributing a robust sound.

THE SONGS

Overall, the themes of Creation, life, and death are played out, particularly during the first half of the album. This is ELO's most "spiritually seeking" work, and appropriately, one of it's most experimental and progressive musical ventures as well. Here is a look at the songs:

The album opens with the intense drama of the instrumental "Ocean Breakup," which becomes a recurring theme...with skittering strings and droning synths, it is heavy and portentious, heralding the coming of "King of the Universe," a solemn-yet-hopeful hymn that starts as a ballad and builds into a crescendo of crashing drums and blaring symphonic blasts.

"Bluebird Is Dead" is a ringer for a REVOLVER-era Beatles tune; Lynne's voice sometimes bears an uncanny resemblance to John Lennon's. Though it's a ballad, it packs a wallop with it's emotionally intense lyrics, vocals, and violin heroics...not to mention a backward guitar solo that pleasingly blows the mind.

The next track is a commentary on the pointlessness of ennui--a cynical look at jadedness, if you will: "Oh No Not Susan" is performed almost haphazardly as Jeff weezes his way through the sad lyrics. He mocks the song's title character and her attitude, casually spitting out a spontaneous f-bomb (the only recorded instance in the ELO catalog)--meant, presumably, not to be vulgar, but to display "Susan's" apathy and arrogance.

Things pick up dramatically with the poppy, optimistic "New World Rising" which has some very stellar interplay between Tandy's keyboards and the string section. Lyrically, the song is a strong forerunner to ELO's later smash hit, "Mr. Blue Sky," and the arrangement here forecasts that as well. It's much more "proggy" though, with some pretty daring, spectacular playing, which then segues into the instrumental "Ocean Breakup (Reprise)," which brings the opening song cycle to a close.

So far, things are holding together strongly thematically--but, hold the phones, here comes...ELO doing Motown! With "Showdown," ELO steps right into Marvin Gaye territory with a funky, soulful original tune that invaded the pop charts and proved that when Jeff Lynne said "boogie," he wasn't just being facetious. It's a brilliant tune--one of the best ones the band has ever done, with Lynne's vocals strongly recalling "I Heard It Through the Grapevine," while de Albequerque's snaky bass lines, Bevan's rhythmic percussive artistry, and those smoldering strings laying down a hot foundation for a tale of love gone wrong. In the midst of it all, Jeff Lynne plucks an amazing guitar solo that stings and bites and leaves a mark...it's as bluesy and soulful as anything Stevie Ray Vaughn or Eric Clapton or BB King ever played. After hearing this track, John Lennon pronounced ELO the "son of the Beatles."

As great as "Showdown" is, it is somewhat of an anomaly among the rest of the tracks. With "Daybreaker," ELO moves back into the prog-pop arena with one of it's signature instrumental workouts--a thrilling synth/strings duel that is underlaid with some hot guitar and a propulsive chugging rhythm.

Nothing in ELO's earlier catalog would prepare you for the heavy riffage of the next song, "Ma-Ma-Ma Belle," which rattles the jaw and is liable to produce tappage in your toes or stompage in your feet. Lynne's close friend, Marc Bolan (of T Rex), plays uncredited guitar here, as he and Lynne tear through the notes like twin chainsaws--and the ELO string section matches the heaviness with some heavy sawing of it's own. You'd have to go back in Lynne's career to The Move with "Brontosaurus" to find anything quite so raucous, but even that classic tune doesn't swing with the pizazz of this one.

"Dreaming of 4000" is solidly related to the earlier tunes from ON THE THIRD DAY, with it's spiritual theme, visionary lyrics, experimental prog arrangement, and daring, dexterous playing by all parties involved. Violinist Kaminski proves himself a worthy successor to maestro Wilf Gibson with his breathtaking bow work near the end of the song.

And then there was "In the Hall of the Mountain King," a faithful-yet-fresh reworking of Grieg's classical masterpiece. The first time I heard ELO's "In the Hall of the Mountain King," I flipped. I had never heard anything like it before...I don't know that I've ever heard anything like it since. This instrumental epic lumbers like a locomotive, slowly picking up steam before it becomes a frenzy of orchestral fury, highlighted by Kaminski's almost gypsy-like violin theatrics which strongly recall The Who's "Baba O'Reilly" at points. Sonically and in mood, this ranks somewhere between "Roll Over Beethoven" and "Fire On High" in the ELO canon. In short, it never ceases to thrill and amaze.

BONUS SONGS

The early versions of "Ma-Ma-Ma Belle" and "Dreaming of 4000" are interesting to hear, but the main draw is the Lynne/Bolan piece, "Everyone's Born to Die" which combines the soulfulness of "Showdown" with the spirituality of "Dreaming of 4000" in a buzzing, Beatlesque ballad. It's an amazingly gripping song, which would have fit perfectly on the album in its original release, but makes a very, very welcome bonus here. The "Interludes" are a collection of the little bits of musical whimsy that connect many of the songs throughout, giving the album at least a loose thematic cohesion.

As mentioned before, the album graphics are restored to their original vision (goodbye to the Richard Avedon "bellybutton" cover) and the liner notes are highly enjoyable and informative. Special thanks to archivist Rob Caiger, Face the Music webmaster Ken Greenwell, and ELO Communications Queen/super fan Lynn Hoskins for all they did to make this historic and vital project possible.

RECOMMENDATION

For sheer drama, ON THE THIRD DAY tops virtually anything ELO has ever produced. It's still a little uneven compared with some of their later work, but ELO was never more spirited than this daring album. Intense, brooding, longing, explosive, and visionary, it holds up extremely well today, more than 30 years later.

If all you know of ELO are the band's radio pop hits, you really need to check out ON THE THIRD DAY to see the soul, the seeking, the groundbreaking artistry and the courage that underlies all that the band has ever done.
22 comments|51 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on April 3, 2000
This is the 3rd release for E.L.O. . Jeff Lynne was just coming off ELO2 without friend Roy Wood and with this release it showed that he was doing just fine. The disc starts out with a conceptual work of "Ocean Breakup"/"King of the Universe" to the lovely "Bluebird is Dead", "Oh No Not Susan" if you listen really close you can here Jeff Lynne drop the F-bomb. The concept ends with "New World Rising"/"Ocean Breakup Reprise", this song resembles The Beatles one of Jeff's biggest influences. The big hit off this disc was the r&b sounding "Showdown" #53 in 1974. Side 2 begins with the minor hit #87 "Daybreaker" a great instrumental with some fine snyth playing from Richard Tandy. "Ma-Ma-Ma Belle" should have been a top 10 hit but radio was'nt ready for this jarring rock song, great slide guitar by Jeff and tremendous cello work by Hugh McDowell and Mike Edwards. "Dreaming of 4000" is a great song, I heard this song on many a rock-religious radio shows in 1974. The cd finishes with ELO's own arrangment of "In The Hall Of The Mountain King" it starts out with spooky strings and great drumming by Bev Bevan, in the middle Mik Kaminski shines for about a 50 second violin solo. As a whole this disc flows with excellence. P.S. If you love early ELO try and find "B.B.C. Live" a 2 cd set worth having it has a lot of great stuff on it!
11 comment|15 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on March 27, 2007
I've just bought four remastered ELOs, and already compared two of them, new Out Of The Blue was clearly worst in every aspect. This edition is almost identical to the original CD EXCEPT that it is COMPRESSED!!! WHY? Digital era made almost all producers wanting to sound louder, rock mixing doesn't have a standard loudness as movies. So each decade albums are more and more compressed and less and less musical. As an example, ending of first song (King...) has some pizzicato at peaking at -15db, new version is at -10db (5db louder), so dynamic range has been lost. All pianissimos are loud. Musicality has been lost because of this, I'm afraid all new remaster editions has been heavily compressed.

Original CDs editions have a very good sound quality, I would stick to those versions unless you want bonus tracks.

I give 2.5 stars, 4 because of the music and 1 for poor mastering.
66 comments|28 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
Although not quite up to the level of ELO's next album "El Dorado" "On the Third Day" proved to a huge jump forward for the band. When Roy Wood jumped ship from the band during the recording of the second album "ELO II" Jeff Lynne suddenly found himself the sole writing member of the band. The second album while quite good (and featuring their hit "Roll Over Beethoveen")featured long elaborate songs but it's clear that Lynne hadn't found his voice as a songwriter for the band quite yet. "On The Third Day" manages to integrate the long tracks with shorter rockers in a nice balance.

With "On the Third Day" he came back with his strongest batch of songs yet. There's still strong elements of prog here with songs such as "Ocean Break Up/King of the Universe" but there's also elements of Lynne's prowess as a pop songwriter on the R&B influenced "Showdown", the hard rocking "Ma-Ma-Ma-Belle" and a couple of solid ballads as well. The true find here though is the second song Lynne recorded with glitter rock star Marc Bolan on guitar (Bolan also appears on guitar for "Ma-Ma-Ma Belle" and "Dreaming of 4000" with Bolan playing in unison with Lynne on lead for "Belle"). "Everyone's Born To Die" would have fit perfectly on the original album and is a terrific song. I'm surprised it took so long for it to finally appear on CD. We also get early versions of "Ma-Ma'Ma Belle" (two of them)the previously unreleased atmospheric "Interludes" and "Mambo" an alternate mix of "Dreaming of 4000" put together for this set.

As with the previous releases we get both brief contemporary humorous comments from Lynne ("for some people this album is a little obscure...for others more obscure")and comments from the time the album was released. There's also the usual photos and we get the original UK album cover finally restored to its rightful place (replacing Richard Avedon's bellybutton photo which is included on the inside cover), memorabilia photos and complete credits for the CD. A top notch remaster/re-release "On the Third Day" was worth the wait.
0Comment|15 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on March 27, 1999
On this, ELO's third album, the vision that Roy Wood and Jeff Lynne originally had for the fusion of classical strings/arrangements with rock and roll begans to really take shape. The groundwork for the band's masterpiece follow-up album, ELDORADO, is well-laid here, as strings and electronics blend smoothly, rather than being in conflict. Richard Tandy, the band's outstanding keyboardist, really comes into his own here. Mik Kaminski's violin work is also stellar. Jeff Lynne's vocals are in fine form, particularly on the Marvin Gaye-influenced hit song, "Showdown." And how about the incredible guitar solo Jeff plays on that cut! Spiritual themes crop up throughout the album, particularly on "King of the Universe," "New World Rising" (a forerunner of "Mr. Blue Sky"), and "Dreaming of 4000." A jaw-rattling rocker, "Ma-Ma-Ma Belle," has become an all-time ELO concert favorite. If you ever wondered if strings could rock, check this one out. And, two of ELO's best instrumentals are also here: "Daybreaker," a lively, superb synth-rock hit (#87 in BILLBOARD), and the epic "In the Hall of the Mountain King." The first time I heard "In the Hall of the Mountain King," I flipped. I had never heard anything like it before...I don't know that I've ever heard anything like it since. For sheer drama, ON THE THIRD DAY ranks up there with anything ELO has ever produced. It's still a little uneven compared with some of their later work, but ELO was never more spirited than ON THE THIRD DAY.
0Comment|6 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on May 22, 2004
I would have to aggree with the other reviewers who say that Lynne's vision of what the group would eventually become starts to peak through the cracks here with this album. I really do love the first 2 E.L.O. albums for different reasons but this album shows the most development of the first 3. You're absolutely deaf if you can't here the influence of the latter period Beatles here. I'm a sucker for those slow 4/4's with ascending melodies - LOL. The arrangements are dipped in equal parts Sgt. Pepper, White Album with a heaping helping of Abbey Road to much success. I love the way a lot of the tracks are segued together like a suite (ala the second side/half of Abbey Road). Also, this sounds best when listend to in its entireity as a complete work. Give it a try!
0Comment|6 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
VINE VOICEon October 6, 2006
I assume you already know what's on this recording or you wouldn't be here, right? Don't you probably have a thirty-year-or-so old vinyl copy of this that you haven't listened to for years because it's dusty and has scratches and pops and who listens to that stuff anymore anyway?

Well, I won't review the music here because others have done better than I would, but I will say that listening to this remaster through a high quality set of headphones (Sennheiser) has enabled me to hear this as if it were the first time. It's totally worth the money to get this new version, and the bonus tracks just make it even more fun.
0Comment|6 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
ON THE THIRD DAY is a thrill ride, a gutsy swing for the fences that connects on many levels. On this, ELO's third album, the vision that Roy Wood and Jeff Lynne originally had for the fusion of classical strings/arrangements with rock and roll begans to really take shape. The groundwork for the band's masterpiece follow-up album, ELDORADO, is well-laid here, as strings and electronics blend smoothly, rather than being in conflict. Richard Tandy, the band's outstanding keyboardist, really comes into his own here. Mik Kaminski's violin work is also stellar. Jeff Lynne's vocals are in fine form, particularly on the Marvin Gaye-influenced hit song, "Showdown." And how about the incredible guitar solo Jeff plays on that cut! Spiritual themes crop up throughout the album, particularly on "King of the Universe," "New World Rising" (a forerunner of "Mr. Blue Sky"), and the intense and visionary "Dreaming of 4000." A jaw-rattling rocker, "Ma-Ma-Ma Belle," has become an all-time ELO concert favorite. If you ever wondered if strings could rock, check this one out. (Marc Bolan of T.Rex plays uncredited guitar here alongside of his buddy Jeff Lynne.) And, two of ELO's best instrumentals are also here: "Daybreaker," a lively, superb synth-rock hit (#87 in BILLBOARD), and the epic "In the Hall of the Mountain King." The first time I heard "In the Hall of the Mountain King," I flipped. I had never heard anything like it before...I don't know that I've ever heard anything like it since. For sheer drama, ON THE THIRD DAY ranks up there with anything ELO has ever produced. It's still a little uneven compared with some of their later work, but ELO was never more spirited than ON THE THIRD DAY. This CD holds up extremely well today, more than 30 years later.
0Comment|5 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on March 21, 2014
ELO's first four albums (No Answer, ELO II, On the Third Day and Eldorado) are some of my favorite discs by any artist. They're probably largely responsible for turning me into a big fan of progressive rock and art rock. Of the four, if I had to pick a weak link, it'd probably be On the Third Day, but it's still a darned good album.

The band's first album was a combined effort of Jeff Lynne and Roy Wood, and is probably the most experimental sounding thing ever released under the ELO name. After that Wood left the band and Lynne tried to jump on the early 70s popularity of progressive rock, crafting ELO II - a disc full of long tracks and multi-part compositions. If I had to pick a single favorite ELO album, that would probably be my pick. It did generate a hit song with Roll Over Beethoven, but ELO II was still mostly a progressive rock album.

With the third album, On the Third Day, the shift towards pop started to pick up steam. The songs are shorter, and both Showdown and Ma-Ma-Ma Belle became top 40 hits. But there's still a lot of art-rock about the album. The four songs that make up side one are segued together via little interconnecting orchestral interludes, and the end of track four features a reprise of the "Ocean Breakup" theme from the start of track one, making the album side into a little musical suite. That opening suite is high on my list of favorite ELO music.

Side two is more of a mixed bag. In addition to the hit songs mentioned above, it contains a rock band version (with orchestration) of In the Hall of the Mountain King, along with a couple other proggy tracks ("Dreaming of 4000" and the instrumental "Daybreaker"). Not quite as good as side one overall, but still a decent listen.

The recent remaster CD improves the sound quality a bit and adds several bonus tracks. In addition to a couple alternate takes of Ma-Ma-Ma Belle and an alternate Dreaming of 4000, there's a mix of the orchestral bits recorded for side one all strung together into one piece, and best of all - the previously unreleased song "Everyone's Born to Die". It's not the best ELO song you'll ever hear (I fully understand why it wasn't included on the original album), but after it seemed that the ELO boxed sets had run the tap dry for rarities and unreleased tracks, it was a pleasant surprise to find one more.
0Comment|3 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on November 29, 2013
If you are an ELO fan this is a must have CD. There are a couple of their best songs like "Showdown" and "Bluebird Is Dead" but this CS is best when the boys tear into "The Hall Of The Mountain King" where they take a classical classic and just tear it up ELO style.
0Comment|2 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse

Send us feedback

How can we make Amazon Customer Reviews better for you?
Let us know here.