Electric Light Orchestra

Midnight Blue

Song Review by

Despite its reputation as a ‘disco’ album, Discovery offered some stylish ballads that fit in comfortably with Electric Light Orchestra’s familiar classical-pop style. The best of these was "Midnight Blue," an underrated tune that is worthy of past Electric Light Orchestra ballads like "Strange Magic" and "Can’t Get It Out Of My Head." The lyrics paint a nocturnal meeting between two lonely souls in the most deliriously romantic style imaginable: "I will love you tonight/And I will stay by your side/Loving you, I’m feeling midnight blue." The music backing these sentiments is appropriately dramatic, drawing plenty of tension from its contrast between pained, yearning verse melodies and a seductive, soaring chorus. Electric Light Orchestra’s recording lives up to the group’s name by delivering a carefully-layered recording full of electronic and orchestral touches: after starting with a synth-filtered voice intoning the title, it gives way to an arrangement that divides its time between fanciful electronic keyboard runs and a lush string arrangement. It also works in some elegant ascending guitar riffs to add some extra bombast to the emotional chorus. Despite all these impressive touches, the key hook of this recording is Jeff Lynne’s skillful lead vocal: he switches from operatic emotion to sweet croon with effortless ease and sells the lyric with a combination of heart and style. Surprisingly, this well-crafted ballad didn’t become a hit when released as a single but it has since become a cult favorite with Electric Light Orchestra fans.

Appears On

Year Artist/Album Label Time AllMusic Rating
Discovery 1979 Jet Records 4:19
Afterglow 1990 Epic 4:17
3-Pak: Face the Music/A New World Record/Discovery 1995 Sony Music Distribution 4:20
No Image 2004
Various Artists
Columbia / Sony Music Distribution 4:19