True to my word, I did pick up ELO's Out of the Blue used the other day (that makes two CD's I've purchased entirely because of this blog, which makes it a success for the music industry!). It was funny to listen to it because now this kind of shit is so up my alley-- lush, totally over the top arrangements and ear-candy melodies-- but when I was younger and just getting into music for real, I would have thrown it out because it had - *gasp* synthesizers and *shudder* sessions musicians and *horror* platinum success. (I was really into the "authenticity" of self contained bands that wrote and played everything like The Beatles, of course, or The Clash (on their first album, which was my favorite at the time) or The Band's Music from Big Pink where even the horns were played by the band.
ANYWAY, I'm kind of loving this ELO album (though it's still sort of a guilty pleasure), and I now want to buy all their big albums. I'm especially fond of the song "Telephone Line," (not on this album-- from the one before), which was used to great effect in Billy Madison when Steve Buscemi crosses Billy off of his "People to Kill" list before incongruously applying dark red lipstick to his face.
But in answer to Dr. K's question about when someone's going to bring this sound back, I think that the Apples in Stereo (and to a lesser extent of Montreal) were right in this pocket on their last album:
Down to the vocodered-vocals. No vibra-slap though.