Group members over the years
First Line Up
Jeff Lynne, Roy Wood, Bev Bevan, Steve Woolam, Bill Hunt
Second Line Up
Jeff Lynne, Richard Tandy, Bev Bevan, Michael De Albuquerque, Wilf Gibson, Colin Walker, Mike Edwards
Third Line Up
Jeff Lynne, Richard Tandy, Bev Bevan, Kelly Groucutt, Mik Kaminski, Hugh McDowell, Melvyn Gale
Fourth Line Up
Jeff Lynne, Richard Tandy, Bev Bevan, Kelly Groucutt, Mik Kaminski, Louis Clark, Dave Morgan
Fifth Line Up
Jeff Lynne, Richard Tandy, Bev Bevan
The Electric Light Orchestra (ELO) is an English rock band formed in Birmingham in 1970 by songwriters and multi-instrumentalists Jeff Lynne and Roy Wood with drummer Bev Bevan. Their music is characterised by a fusion of pop and classical arrangements with futuristic iconography. After Wood's departure in 1972, Lynne became the band's sole leader, arranging and producing every album while writing nearly all of their original material. From this point until their first break-up in 1986, Lynne, Bevan, and keyboardist Richard Tandy were the group's only consistent members.
ELO was formed out of Lynne's and Wood's desire to create modern rock and pop songs with classical overtones. It derived as an offshoot of Wood's previous band, the Move, of which Lynne and Bevan were also members. During the 1970s and 1980s, ELO released a string of top 10 albums and singles, including the band's most commercially successful album, the double album Out of the Blue (1977). Two ELO albums reached the top of the British charts: the disco-inspired Discovery (1979) and the science-fiction-themed concept album Time (1981). In 1986 Lynne lost interest in the band and disbanded the group. Bevan responded by forming his own band, ELO Part II, which later became The Orchestra. Apart from a brief reunion in the early 2000s, ELO remained largely inactive until 2014, when Lynne re-formed the band with Tandy as Jeff Lynne's ELO.
During ELO's original 13-year period of active recording and touring, they sold over 50 million records worldwide. They collected 19 CRIA, 21 RIAA, and 38 BPI awards. From 1972 to 1986 ELO accumulated 27 Top 40 songs on the UK Singles Chart, and fifteen Top 20 songs on the US Billboard Hot 100. The band also holds the record for having the most Billboard Hot 100 Top 40 hits (20) without a number one. In 2017, four key members of ELO (Wood, Lynne, Bevan, and Tandy) were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.