The Electric Light Orchestra (ELO) are an English rock band formed in Birmingham in 1970 by songwriters-multi-instrumentalists Jeff Lynne and Roy Wood with drummer Bev Bevan. Their music is characterised by a fusion of Beatlesque pop, classical arrangements and futuristic iconography.
ELO was formed out of Lynne’s and Wood’s desire to create modern rock and pop songs with classical overtones.
After Wood’s departure in 1972, Lynne became the band’s sole leader, arranging and producing every album while writing nearly all of their original material. For their initial tenure, Lynne, Bevan and keyboardist Richard Tandy were the group’s only consistent members.
It derived as an offshoot of Wood’s previous band, the Move, of which Lynne and Bevan were also members. During the 1970s and 1980s, ELO released a string of top 10 albums and singles, including two LPs that reached the top of British charts: the disco-inspired Discovery (1979) and the science-fiction-themed concept album Time (1981).
In 1986 Lynne lost interest in the band and disbanded the group. Bevan responded by forming his own band, ELO Part II, which later became the Orchestra. After a brief reunion from 2000–01, ELO remained largely inactive until 2014, when Lynne re-formed the band again with Tandy as Jeff Lynne’s ELO.