Über Electric Light Orchestra
No band better represents the pros and cons of overproduction than ELO. In an era of excess, ELO had no equal for sheer audio opulence. Singer Jeff Lynne frosted his voice in so many coatings of studio sugar that it hardly sounded natural. Singing at the helium-huffing apex of the human voice, he dusted off notes not heard since cherubs gamboled in mythological clouds. Bringing in entire symphonies for heart-fluttering arpeggios on fairy-dusted strings, the band's songs fill the air like mirage waves of sound so glossy, you can almost see your reflection in them. "Can't Get It Out of My Head" and "Telephone Line" roll gently along like long, lonesome walks on the beach while the Disco/rock hybrids "Turn to Stone" and "Livin' Thing" still set the mood for fans working on their night moves. It's just physiologically impossible not to get high from inhaling so much production varnish. For some, it will cause euphoria -- for others, altitude sickness.