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ELODiscovery = Disco? Very!

That was the joke around rock critic circles when Electric Light Orchestra unleashed Discovery upon a disco-obsessed public in 1979. With the singles “Shine a Little Love” and the more-rock-stomp-than-disco “Don’t Bring Me Down” cracking the Top 10, the album, lambasted critically as a complete sell-out for the once Beatles-worshiping band, found plenty of favor with music buyers.

The record was so popular that a third single, “Confusion” (download), was released, a relative rarity in those days. Probably the least disco song on an unashamedly disco album, the straight-ahead rock ballad is awash in tinkly keys and a synthesized woodwind instrumental hook that sounds suspiciously like something Wings would do (imagine that). Jeff Lynne did his usual vocal stacking to excellent melodic effect, but the song failed to move up any further than a wimpy #37, surprising since the album’s previous single topped out at #4. “Confusion” has become somewhat of a forgotten ELO hit, not garnering the after-the-fact acclaim that other similar charting ELO singles like “Mr. Blue Sky” have attained in the years since.

This wasn’t the end of the road for Discovery, however, since a fourth single, “Last Train to London,” probably the most disco song on the record, was released. It charted even more dismally, squeaking in at #39 for one measly week at the start of 1980 — that’s why it’s not featured in this post (the single sleeve pictured above is the UK version of the single, which was released as a double A-side with “Confusion”). Rules is rules, people!

“Confusion” peaked at #37 on the Billboard Pop Singles Chart in 1979.

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