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Out of the Blue, ELO



Perseverance and Possibility: Lessons from ELO and Mr. Blue Sky


Early in my career, I was completely lost. With a pretty successful degree in architecture, I ended up working in the real estate department of a bank, sitting in a cubicle designing offices for the bank directors  - nobody was to blame for that decision but me, but it was beyond depressing, and the sun didn’t come out for me in months.


When times are tough, we can easily forget that the “blue sky” is always above the clouds. We need perspective, patience, and trust that the blue sky will come out again as long as we keep walking. That is what Mr. Blue Sky from Electric Light Orchestra reminds us: a perfect song full of optimism and joy that can put anybody in a good mood. "Mr. Blue Sky" has an upbeat and catchy melody, lush harmonies, and vibrant orchestral arrangement. 


Electric Light Orchestra, or ELO, is a staple of the 70s and one of the era's most elegant and sophisticated bands. The concept behind ELO was to combine elements of classical music with rock and pop. Formed by Jeff Lynne, ELO created a unique sound that blended orchestral arrangements with catchy melodies and modern production techniques. The band aimed to bridge the gap between classical and contemporary music, incorporating string sections, horns, and other orchestral instruments into their songs. This fusion of different musical styles resulted in a distinctive sound that set ELO apart from other rock bands of their time.


Mr. Blue Sky is part of “Out of the Blue,” ELO’s 7th album, and is considered one of the band's most successful and influential albums.  The album opens with the iconic track "Turn to Stone," which sets the stage for the following sonic journey. Other notable tracks on the album include "Sweet Talkin' Woman," "Mr. Blue Sky," "Wild West Hero," and "It's Over." Each song on "Out of the Blue" showcases ELO's ability to craft catchy melodies and memorable hooks while incorporating complex arrangements and intricate musical sections.


The genius behind this music was Jeff Lynn, who, in addition to being a great musician and composer, as demonstrated in all his ELO albums, is a great producer. Some artists he has produced are George Harrison, Tom Petty, Roy Orbison, Traveling Wylburies, and The Beatles. 


Reflecting on my journey, taking swings from architecture to computer science, and more, I am reminded of the importance of perseverance and maintaining faith and optimism during challenging times. The song "Mr. Blue Sky" by Electric Light Orchestra is a timeless reminder of this optimism, with its upbeat melody and joyful lyrics. ELO's innovative fusion of classical and contemporary music in albums like "Out of the Blue" continues to inspire, reminding us that despite adversity, there is always beauty and possibility waiting to be discovered. So, as we navigate life's challenges, let us hold onto the belief that brighter days lie ahead, just like the enduring brilliance of Mr. Blue Sky.



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