3AM Eternal: Electric Light Orchestra “Calling America” (1986)

calling americaELO’s eleventh album, Balance of Power, would prove to be the band’s last album–or so it was planned, until the release of 2001’s comeback record, Zoom. This single would prove to be the band’s last major chart hit, and it’s a corker: an upbeat rock number laden with the trademark Jeff Lynne harmonies, the electronic bells and whistles that made ELO great.

And you’d not be wrong if you thought it sounded a little too much like The Traveling Wilburys. Not that that’s a bad thing, mind….

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Categorised in: 3AM Eternal, Song Of The Day

2 Responses »

  1. Huh? In no way does Calling America sound like anything from Traveling Wilburys. Other than a clean and perfected production shared by the two, the Traveling Wilburys sound has a more stripped down and casual sound that makes no connection with America.

    • Haha, okay, I see your point. But you gotta admit, Harrison’s Cloud Nine, the first Wilburys record, Tom Petty’s Full Moon Fever, and Roy Orbison’s Mystery Girl all have that very familiar mid-80s Jeff Lynne scent on them, and perhaps it’s my connection with that and those records that made me make the comparison.

      I didn’t get into ELO until I was a bit older, but “Calling America” was the first song of theirs I knew. Why? Simply because the first time I heard it I thought it was a Wilburys song, and desperately sought it out!

      Of course, I was all of fourteen years old at the time, so what did I know? 🙂


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