"Son of Beatles": A Historical and Analytical Study of the Music of Electric Light Orchestra




Roth, Kayla D.

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Electric Light Orchestra (ELO) was a fixture of the popular music scene in the 1970s and early 1980s. Of the eleven studio albums, the band released over forty singles, seven of them reaching the top ten on the Billboard Hot 100. Though their contemporaries held them in high esteem — John Lennon went so far as to call them the “son of Beatles” — they are conspicuously absent in some discussions of popular music history, from online Rolling Stone to the roster of Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees, and they have been the topic of little, if any, formal study. This thesis will feature examples from the musical output of ELO, which will be subject to both traditional and avant-garde methods of music analysis, as well as examinations of recording techniques. It is an attempt to shed light on the musical accomplishments of this band, and also to provide a model for popular music analysis by identifying the sonic traits that characterize their music and by examining the various formal organizations used within.



musical analysis, popular music


Roth, K. D. (2011). "Son of Beatles": A historical and analytical study of the music of Electric Light Orchestra (Unpublished thesis). Texas State University-San Marcos, San Marcos, Texas.


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