Time is the ninth studio album by English rock band Electric Light Orchestra (credited as ELO). It was released in July 1981 by Jet Records in the United Kingdom and in August 1981 by Columbia Records in the United States. It topped the UK Albums Chart for two weeks. Time is a concept album written about a man from the 1980s who is taken to the year 2095, where he is confronted by the dichotomy between technological advancement and a longing for past romance.
As a work of synth-pop, Time combines elements from 1950s music, new wave, reggae, rockabilly, the Beatles, Phil Spector, and the Shadows. The album signaled a departure from the band’s sound by emphasizing electronics over its usual orchestra. It is also the band’s second concept album, the first being Eldorado in 1974. The music video created for its lead single “Hold On Tight” was the most expensive ever made to that point, with a budget of approximately £40,000. Four more singles followed the album’s release: “Twilight”, “Ticket to the Moon” (backed with “Here Is the News”), “Rain Is Falling”, and “The Way Life’s Meant to Be”. The record is noted for its cult following of retrofuturist enthusiasts. It is considered the first major concept album devoted to time travel as well as ELO’s most influential album. In 2001, a CD reissue included three additional tracks that were originally left off the LP.