The first ELO song I ever heard to my recollection was Showdown, a haunting R&B number that sounded way different than any thing else that was churgling out of the radio at the time. I was ten years old. Showdown stuck out in my ears because on this tinny portable pocket radio speaker you could make out this big big sawing string section playing the rhythmic melody like a bass track, an exquisite, dry, chills-up-and-down-your-back guitar lead and this mournful tortured singer, crying out,
"it's unreal the suffering, "
then the resignation of,
"There's gonna' be a showdown,"
and then the wail of the chorus:
"and it's raining, all over the world, raining all over the world, tonight, the longest night!"
Wow. That was my Heartbreak Hotel !
It took a good while for me to learn the name of the band (Electric Light Orchestra? Sure nothing like the Love Unlimited Orchestra.) I didn't hear much about them for awhile until "Can't Get It Out Of My Head" and "Boy Blue" started filling up the airwaves. But I started to care a lot more about music after that. Until then it was all pretty much disposable - all I cared about was comedy records up until that moment.