Monday 8/2/21 1am ET: Feature LP: ELO – Balance of Power (1986)

Balance of Power is the eleventh studio album by the Electric Light Orchestra (ELO) released February 17, 1986. It is the final album by the band to feature co-founder Bev Bevan on drums, as well as the last album to feature keyboardist Richard Tandy in an official capacity, until 2019’s From Out Of Nowhere.

Balance of Power was the last studio album by the Electric Light Orchestra before their initial disbanding (the band would later reform in 2000 and again in 2014). By this time Kelly Groucutt had departed and the group was pared down to a trio of Jeff Lynne (who doubled on bass as a result of Groucutt’s absence), Richard Tandy and Bev Bevan. Recording for the album began in mid-1984, with a planned release for Spring 1985. The addition of several synthesizer tracks and mixing work by Reinhold Mack to the album caused its release to be pushed back to early 1986. ELO played some live concerts in the UK and Europe (their last for fifteen years), and for one UK show George Harrison performed as guest guitarist.

The video for the single “Calling America” was shot in Paris, and contains shots of the band playing in front of Centre Georges Pompidou. A video was also made for the single “So Serious.” The track “Endless Lies” was intended as an homage to Roy Orbison, and was originally recorded for the double LP version of Secret Messages; it reappeared on this album in a slightly reworked and more compact form.

  1. “Heaven Only Knows” 2:52
  2. “So Serious” 2:38
  3. “Getting to the Point” 4:28
  4. “Secret Lives” 3:26
  5. “Is It Alright” 3:25
  6. “Sorrow About to Fall” 3:59
  7. “Without Someone” 3:48
  8. “Calling America” 3:26
  9. “Endless Lies” 2:55
  10. “Send It” 3:04
  11. “Opening” 0:24
  12. “Heaven Only Knows” 2:32
  13. “In for the Kill” 3:13
  14. “Secret Lives” 3:24
  15. “Sorrow About to Fall” 3:48
  16. “Caught in a Trap” 3:44
  17. “Destination Unknown” 4:10

Jeff Lynne – vocals, electric and acoustic guitars, Synclavier II computer synthesizer, bass guitar, keyboards, percussion, producer
Bev Bevan – drums, percussion
Richard Tandy – keyboards, sequence programming
Christian Schneider – saxophone