Discovery (Electric Light Orchestra album)

Discovery is the eighth studio album by English rock band Electric Light Orchestra (ELO). It was released on 31 May 1979 in the United Kingdom by Jet Records, where it topped record charts, and on 8 June in the United States on Jet through Columbia Records distribution.[6]

Studio album by
Released31 May 1979
RecordedMarch–April 1979
StudioMusicland Studios, Munich, Germany
ProducerJeff Lynne
Electric Light Orchestra chronology
The Light Shines On Vol 2
ELO's Greatest Hits
Electric Light Orchestra studio album chronology
Out of the Blue
Singles from Discovery
  1. "Shine a Little Love"
    Released: 27 April 1979
  2. "The Diary of Horace Wimp"
    Released: 21 July 1979
  3. "Don't Bring Me Down"
    Released: 7 August 1979
  4. "Confusion"
    Released: 8 October 1979
  5. "Last Train to London"
    Released: 9 November 1979
Professional ratings
Review scores
AllMusic3/5 stars[1]
Encyclopedia of Popular Music3/5 stars[2]
The Rolling Stone Album Guide2.5/5 stars[4]
Smash Hits8/10[5]


Discovery was the band's first number 1 album in the UK,[7] entering the chart at that position and staying there for five weeks.[7] The album 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 nicknamed the album, Disco Very).[8] "Don't Bring Me Down" would become one of their only two top three hits in the UK throughout their career ("Xanadu" would be number one in 1980), and also their highest-charting US single at number 4. "The Diary of Horace Wimp" was also a hit single in the UK, not patterned after the disco sound; instead it was closer in its Beatlesque 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.[citation needed]

In one of his earliest jobs, comedian/actor Brad Garrett, dressed in Middle Eastern clothes and turban, appears on the back cover as the menacing palace guard who is drawing his scimitar.[9][10]

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", which was started during sessions for the album but never finished until the year the album was reissued.

Track listingEdit

All tracks composed by Jeff Lynne, except "Little Town Flirt" written by Maron McKenzie and Del Shannon.

Side one
1."Shine a Little Love"4:43
3."Need Her Love"5:11
4."The Diary of Horace Wimp"4:17
Side two
5."Last Train to London"4:32
6."Midnight Blue"4:19
7."On the Run"3:55
9."Don't Bring Me Down"4:02
Total length:38:53
2001 edition bonus tracks
10."On the Run" (home demo)1:01
11."Second Time Around" (home demo)0:43
12."Little Town Flirt"2:53


  • Bonus tracks were previously unreleased. Track 12 was started 1979, finished 2001. Engineered by Mack and Ryan Ulyate.
  • Orchestra and choral arrangements – Jeff Lynne, Richard Tandy, and Louis Clark.
  • Orchestra conducted by Louis Clark.


  • Jeff Lynne – lead vocals, guitars (electric, acoustic 12-string), vocoder, backing vocals
  • Bev Bevan – drums, percussion, backing vocals
  • Richard Tandy – piano, synthesizer, Wurlitzer electric piano, clavinet, lead guitar [track 6], backing vocals
  • Kelly Groucutt – bass guitar, backing vocals, lead vocals

Additional personnel on the Discovery music video



Region Certification Certified units/sales
Australia (ARIA)[29] 2× Platinum 140,000^
Canada (Music Canada)[30] 3× Platinum 300,000^
France (SNEP)[32] Gold 261,000[31]
Germany (BVMI)[33] Gold 250,000^
Netherlands (NVPI)[34] Gold 50,000^
New Zealand (RMNZ)[35] Platinum 15,000^
United Kingdom (BPI)[36] Platinum 300,000^
United States (RIAA)[37] 2× Platinum 2,000,000^

*sales figures based on certification alone
^shipments figures based on certification alone


  • The Electric Light Orchestra Story (1980) ISBN 0-907394-00-0


  1. ^ Chrispell, James. "Electric Light Orchestra Discovery". AllMusic. Retrieved 12 October 2017.
  2. ^ Larkin, Colin (ed.) (2011). The Encyclopedia of Popular Music (5th edn). London: Omnibus Press. p. 915. ISBN 978-0-85712-595-8.CS1 maint: extra text: authors list (link)
  3. ^ Graff, Gary; Durchholz, Daniel (eds) (1999). MusicHound Rock: The Essential Album Guide. Farmington Hills, MI: Visible Ink Press. p. 383. ISBN 1-57859-061-2.CS1 maint: extra text: authors list (link)
  4. ^ Brackett, Nathan; with Hoard, Christian (eds) (2004). The New Rolling Stone Album Guide (4th edn). New York, NY: Fireside/Simon & Schuster. p. 274. ISBN 0-7432-0169-8.CS1 maint: extra text: authors list (link)
  5. ^ Starr, Red (14–27 June 1979). "Albums". Smash Hits. p. 25.
  6. ^ "Discovery". Discogs.
  7. ^ a b "Electric Light Orchestra". Offfical Charts Company. Retrieved 12 March 2013.
  8. ^ Wild, David. "The Story of a Rock and Roll Band and the Pop Genius Who Dared to Go Baroque." Flashback.
  9. ^ The Late Late Show with Craig Kilborn, February 2000
  10. ^ The Bob & Tom Show, January 2000
  11. ^ a b c Kent, David (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970–1992. St Ives, NSW: Australian Chart Book. ISBN 0-646-11917-6.
  12. ^ " Electric Light Orchestra – Discovery" (ASP). Hung Medien (in German). Retrieved 29 October 2011.
  13. ^ Library and Archives Canada. Archived 24 February 2014 at the Wayback Machine Retrieved 24 February 2012
  14. ^ " Electric Light Orchestra – Discovery" (ASP). (in Dutch). MegaCharts. Retrieved 8 August 2011.
  15. ^ "InfoDisc : Tous les Albums classés par Artiste > Choisir Un Artiste Dans la Liste : Electric Light Orchestra". Archived from the original on 15 February 2012. Retrieved 24 February 2012.
  16. ^ a b "Hit Parade Italia – Gli album più venduti del 1978" (in Italian). Retrieved 24 February 2012.
  17. ^ Oricon Album Chart Book: Complete Edition 1970–2005. Roppongi, Tokyo: Oricon Entertainment. 2006. ISBN 4-87131-077-9.
  18. ^ " Electric Light Orchestra – Discovery" (ASP). Hung Medien. Recording Industry Association of New Zealand. Retrieved 24 February 2012.
  19. ^ " Electric Light Orchestra – Discovery" (ASP). Hung Medien. VG-lista. Retrieved 24 February 2012.
  20. ^ " Electric Light Orchestra – Discovery" (ASP). Sverigetopplistan. Retrieved 24 February 2012.
  21. ^ "The Official Charts Company – Electric Light Orchestra – Discovery" (PHP). Official Charts Company. Retrieved 24 February 2012.
  22. ^ "allmusic ((( Discovery > Charts & Awards > Billboard Albums )))". AllMusic. Retrieved 24 February 2012.
  23. ^ "Album Search: Electric Light Orchestra – Discovery" (ASP) (in German). Media Control. Retrieved 24 February 2012.
  24. ^ " – Jahreshitparade 1979" (in German). Hung Medien. Archived from the original (ASP) on 11 October 2011. Retrieved 1 August 2010.
  25. ^ "RPM Top 100 Albums of 1979". RPM. Retrieved 3 October 2011.
  26. ^ "Les Albums (CD) de 1979 par InfoDisc" (in French). Archived from the original (PHP) on 21 February 2014. Retrieved 11 February 2012.
  27. ^ a b "Complete UK Year-End Album Charts". Archived from the original on 11 January 2012. Retrieved 12 September 2011.
  28. ^ "Top Pop Albums of 1979". 31 December 1979. Retrieved 24 February 2012.
  29. ^ "ARIA Charts – Accreditations – 2009 Albums". Australian Recording Industry Association. Archived from the original on 10 August 2020. Retrieved 24 February 2012.
  30. ^ "Canadian album certifications – Electric Light Orchestra – Discovery". Music Canada. Retrieved 24 February 2012.
  31. ^ "Les Albums Or". SNEP. Archived from the original on 18 October 2011. Retrieved 31 August 2011.
  32. ^ "French album certifications – Electric Light Orchestra – Discovery" (in French). Syndicat National de l'Édition Phonographique. Retrieved 24 February 2012.
  33. ^ "Gold-/Platin-Datenbank (Electric Light Orchestra; 'Discovery')" (in German). Bundesverband Musikindustrie. Retrieved 24 February 2012.
  34. ^ "Dutch album certifications – Electric Light Orchestra – Discovery" (in Dutch). Nederlandse Vereniging van Producenten en Importeurs van beeld- en geluidsdragers. Retrieved 24 February 2012. Enter Discovery in the "Artiest of titel" box.
  35. ^ "New Zealand album certifications – Electric Light Orchestra – Discovery". Recorded Music NZ. Retrieved 14 November 2012.
  36. ^ "British album certifications – Electric Light Orchestra – Discovery". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved 24 February 2012. Select albums in the Format field. Select Platinum in the Certification field. Type Discovery in the "Search BPI Awards" field and then press Enter.
  37. ^ "American album certifications – Electric Light Orchestra – Discovery". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved 24 February 2012. If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Album, then click SEARCH. 

External linksEdit