On this day in music history: October 11, 1976…

On this day in music history: October 11, 1976 – “A New World Record”, the sixth album by the Electric Light Orchestra is released. Produced by Jeff Lynne, it is recorded at Musicland Studios in Munich, Germany, De Lane Lea Studios in London and Cherokee Studios in Los Angeles, CA from July – August 1976. Fresh off of the triumph of their fifth album “Face The Music” and the compilation “Ole ELO”, the Electric Light Orchestra return to the studio in the Summer of 1976. Lynne continues to experiment with orchestral arrangements, built on a solid rock & roll and pop foundation. It sees ELO’s sound evolving away from the more progressive rock sound of their earlier work, toward more concise radio friendly songs. Stand outs include the operatic rocker “Rockaria!” and the epic opening track “Tightrope”. “Record” is packed with hit singles, led by “Livin’ Thing” (#13 Pop), with US label United Artists servicing album rock stations with a promo only 12" single, pressed on translucent blue vinyl and in a plain with jacket with “ELO” rubber stamped on the front. It is followed up by the equally infectious “Do Ya” (#24 Pop) in February of 1977. However, it is the third single “Telephone Line” (#7 Pop) that is the biggest hit. Utilizing a Moog synthesizer to emulate the sound of a English telephone ringing in the intro, it features a haunting lead vocal by Lynne, altered to sound as if he’s singing over the phone. It gives the band their biggest hit single to date in the US, and their first million seller. Some copies of the US 45 release are issued in a picture sleeve and pressed on green vinyl, featuring ELO’s now trademark “neon” logo designed by veteran British graphic artist John Kosh (aka “Kosh”), which is also emblazoned on the cover of the LP. Early printings of the album cover artwork feature the logo embossed on the front. Some UK vinyl copies are pressed on red vinyl, a limited number of US promo copies on blue vinyl, with custom labels also featured on the initial black vinyl stock pressings. Receiving a positive response from music critics, and an enthusiastic reaction from fans, “Record” becomes ELO’s most successful release to date. UK audiences who had responded somewhat indifferently to their previous releases, greet the album warmly also, giving the band their first top ten full length in their home country. Originally released on CD in the mid 80’s, the album is remastered and reissued in 2006 for its thirtieth anniversary, featuring six additional bonus tracks. Out of print on vinyl for over twenty five years, it is remastered and reissued as a 180 gram LP by Music On Vinyl in 2012, reinstating the original embossed sleeve and inner sleeve lyric sheet. Sony/Legacy also releases the album as a limited edition (to 5,000 numbered copies), on clear vinyl in 2015. “A New World Record” peaks at number five on the Billboard Top 200, and is certified Platinum in the US by the RIAA.