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Face the Music is the fifth album by Electric Light Orchestra.


ELO's fifth studio LP was released in 1975 (see 1975 in music) and the first to be recorded in Musicland Studiosmarker Munichmarker. The band featured yet another new line-up with bassist Kelly Groucutt and cellist Melvyn Gale replacing Mike de Albuquerque and Mike Edwards respectively.

The back cover of the record sleeve shows the members of the band with their faces pressed against a glass panel, supposedly watching the "electrocution" depicted on the front cover. The band member who is looking away is Richard Tandy, who is opposed to the death penalty and therefore didn't want to participate in the "joke." New member Kelly Groucutt sang lead vocals on "Poker" as well as one of the verses in "Nightrider." (Usually, Jeff Lynne sang all lead vocals for ELO.)


The singles "Evil Woman" and "Strange Magic" were the most commercial songs they had recorded up to that point. "Evil Woman" was a big hit in the UK and the US, embracing disco rhythms while still embodying ELO's classic sound.

"Nightrider" became the second single from the album and despite an appearance on the UK Chart show Top of the Pops it failed to chart.

Despite the success of the singles, the LP failed to chart in the UK. However, the album was the band's first to reach Platinum sales and laid the groundwork for future world success. The album was remastered and released in September 2006 with bonus tracks.


"Fire On High" contains a backwards message in the beginning. When the song is played backwards, the message voiced by drummer Bev Bevan can be heard stating, "The music is reversible, but time is not. Turn back. Turn back. Turn back. Turn back." "Down Home Town" also starts with some backmasking: the refrain from "Waterfall" ("Face the mighty waterfall, face the mighty waterfall"). A portion of the string crescendo from "Nightrider" was used backwards on "Evil Woman."

Chart positions, chart runs

Original Track Listing


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