Wednesday Weeper of the Week: “Getting To The Point” by Electric Light Orchestra

So the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame just delivered their list of nominees for 2017, and I was pleasantly surprised. I’ve been telling anybody who would listen for many years that it was a travesty that ELO hadn’t yet been included or even nominated. I’m not kidding myself to think that they’ll get in; let’s face it, Tupac and Pearl Jam are sure things, leaving only three spots for 13 other nominees, so the math isn’t really in Jeff Lynne and company’s favor. (For the record, my choices: ELO, The Cars, Tupac, The Zombies, and Depeche Mode. Personal tastes play a lot into these things, obviously, and, as a songwriting guy, these five artists, to me, left behind the largest portion of memorable songs of this field.)

ELO’s last album in their heyday was 1986’s Balance Of Power; they would disband for fifteen years before their next studio album, Zoom, appeared in 2001. I’ve always had an affinity for this album, perhaps more than any of their other albums in the 80’s. It didn’t have any big hits but the songwriting was consistently sharp, the melodies pristine, and the production, with the exception of a synthy misstep or two, typically sumptuous; what else would you expect from Lynne?

ELO’s list of tear-jerking ballads will always be topped by “Telephone Line” with “Can’t Get It Out My Head” sitting at 1A; you just don’t get much better than those two. But Lynne delivered a late-period showstopper on Balance Of Power with “Getting To The Point.” Only the diehards (and I’m proudly one of them) know it, which is why I’m hoping that those reading this who are only casually aware of the band will check it out, and maybe check out the rest of the album in the process.

In the meantime, I’ll be keeping my fingers crossed that ELO somehow sneaks into the final five for the Rock Hall, even as I know it likely won’t happen. And, while we’re on the subject, maybe next year at this time I’ll be doing a Weeper of the Week on Harry Nilsson, Warren Zevon, or Squeeze in honor of one or all of their nominations. One can dream.

(E-mail me at or follow me on Twitter @JimBeviglia. For a full list of my Counting Down books and E-books, check out the link to my Amazon page below.)




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