Discovery (Electric Light Orchestra album)

Discovery (Electric Light Orchestra album)
Studio album by Electric Light Orchestra
Released May 1979 (UK)
June 1979 (US)
12 June 2001 (reissue)
Recorded March - April 1979
Musicland Studios, Munich, Germany
Genre Symphonic rock, pop rock, disco
Length 38:53
Label Jet Records & Columbia Records
Epic/Legacy (reissue)
Producer Jeff Lynne; Engineer - Mack
Electric Light Orchestra chronology
Out of the Blue
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 3/5 stars[1]

Discovery is a 1979 album by Electric Light Orchestra.



Discovery was the band's first No. 1 album in the UK, entering the chart at that position and staying there for five weeks. The LP contained five hit songs in "Shine a Little Love," "Don't Bring Me Down," "Last Train to London", "Confusion" and "The Diary of Horace Wimp", many of which were heavily influenced by disco (in fact, Richard Tandy came up with its well known nickname, Disco Very).[2] "Don't Bring Me Down" would become one of their only two top three hits in the UK throughout their career (Xanadú will be number One in 1980), and also their highest-charting US single at #4. "The Diary of Horace Wimp" was also a hit single in the UK, although it was not patterned after the disco sound; instead it was closer in style to the band's earlier hit "Mr. Blue Sky." The album itself was the first ever to generate four top-ten singles (one of which was a Double A-side) from a single LP in the UK and was eventually certified 2x platinum by the RIAA in 1997.

Discovery is notable in that it was the first ELO album not to feature their resident string trio of Mik Kaminski, Hugh McDowell and Melvyn Gale, although they did make an appearance on the Discovery music videos that were created as a substitute for a live concert tour. Shortly afterwards, leader Jeff Lynne deemed the string section surplus to his requirements and he decided to dismiss them (although Kaminski did return for the Time Tour in 1981-82, and as a performer on the 1983 album Secret Messages).

In one of his earliest jobs, comedian/actor Brad Garrett models on the back cover dressed in middle eastern clothes, turban and holding a big sword.[3][4]

Discovery was remastered as part of the Epic/Legacy remaster series in 2001; among the included bonus tracks was a cover of a Del Shannon classic, "Little Town Flirt." (This track was started on the Discovery sessions as a tribute to Del Shannon. He was my first musical hero. It was never finished until now ....Jeff Lynne)

Track Listing

All tracks written by Jeff Lynne, except where noted.

Side One

  1. "Shine a Little Love" – 4:43
  2. "Confusion" – 3:42
  3. "Need Her Love" – 5:11
  4. "The Diary of Horace Wimp" – 4:17

Side Two

  1. "Last Train to London" – 4:32
  2. "Midnight Blue" – 4:19
  3. "On the Run" – 3:55
  4. "Wishing" – 4:13
  5. "Don't Bring Me Down" – 4:02

Bonus tracks on the 2001 edition

  1. "On the Run" (Home Demo) – 1:01
  2. "Second Time Around" (Home Demo) – 0:43
  3. "Little Town Flirt" (Maron McKenzie, Del Shannon) – 2:53


Additional personnel

(Orchestra and choral arrangements - Jeff Lynne, Richard Tandy and Louis Clark)

Promotional movie line-up


The certifications listed are out of date and incomplete.

Chart performance

Country Peak chart
Weeks on
United Kingdom 1[5] 46
Australia 1 46
Norway 1 34
Spain 1 33
France 2 56
New Zealand 2 34
Sweden 2 10
Austria 3 60
Canada 3 33
United States 5 35
Japan 31 40
Preceded by
Voulez-Vous by ABBA
UK Albums Chart number one album
16 June 1979 – 20 July 1979
Succeeded by
Replicas by Tubeway Army
Preceded by
Rickie Lee Jones by Rickie Lee Jones
Australian Kent Music Report number-one album
23 July - 5 August 1979
13 August - 2 September 1979
17–23 September 1979
Succeeded by
The Very Best of Leo Sayer by Leo Sayer


  1. ^ Allmusic review
  2. ^ Wild, David. "The Story of a Rock and Roll Band and the Pop Genius Who Dared to Go Baroque." Flashback.
  3. ^ The Late Late Show with Craig Kilborn, February 2000
  4. ^ The Bob & Tom Show, January 2000
  5. ^ "Number 1 Albums – 1970s". The Official Charts Company. Archived from the original on 9 February 2008. Retrieved 24 June 2011. 

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