the things that sparked my interest in ELO was their use of backward
Backward masking is the process of recording music or vocals, then
backward in a song. The effect is eerie - often evil sounding. This got
religious fundamentalists all shaken up during the 1970s. They were
backward messages were Satanic and influenced the listeners. Here's
some of the
messages...I'll let you decide how dangerous they are.
ELO's first backwards
message appears in the middle of this song. When played backward you
Hello Mr. Radio.
The song also begins
recording of classical music played by a full orchestra--but the
itself is running backwards.
At the beginning of
song is a frightening voice--but you can't understand it. That's
because it's a
recording being run backward. If you can run the music backward, you'll
understand that the voice is saying:
The music is
time is not Turn Back! Turn Back! Turn Back! Turn
Special thanks to
pointing out the very faint words "is not" in this message. You'll
have to listen carefully to hear it over the swell of music that hits
words are said.
I once heard an
with Jeff Lynne where he was asked why we were being told to "Turn
Back". He said because if you could understand the message, it meant
were playing the record backward...and if you didn't TURN BACK, the
would pop off the record.
You'll hear this bit
beginning of the song. This message is tricky to understand both
backward. It sounds like:
"Pass (or maybe
'face') the mighty (or maybe 'parting') waterfall.
These same lyrics are
as background lyrics in the song Waterfall...going forward.
The back cover of the
has all of the band members faces pressed against a glass wall. They
supposed to be watching someone being electrocuted. Richard Tandy (who
disapproved of the whole idea for the picture) is the only band member
not watching (he is looking to the side).
The intro to
piece is actually a portion of the string section from Mr. Blue Sky
This message isn't
backward--it's just run through a vocoder, making it hard to
best interpretation I've heard of it is that the voice says
Please Turn Me Over
which is appropriate,
this is the last song on this side of the vinyl album!
At the end of the song
the backmasked version of
I wish my wife was not
At the end of this
this backward masked clip. You'll hear the sound of footseps in the
and the words:
"Though you ride on
the wheels of tomorrow, you'll still wander the fields of your sorrow".
(These lyrics are sung
"forward" in the song Twenty First Century Man on the same album.)
You hear at the
stuff)...Come Again...(backward stuff)...Come Again..."
At the end of the
you hear the same words played backward and discover they are saying:
"Welcome to the
show...(backward stuff-which is "Come Again")...Welcome to the
Roll is King
A quiet reversed
"Thank you for
One chorus runs these
"Look out there's
Not all releases of
Messages contain this song, but it is filled with little backward and
sped up messages,
"Hup two three
"Time After Time"
In the intro a
your playing me
when played backwards.
On the back cover are
advertisements that contain the words "T.D. Ryan", "F.Y.J.
Ennel", "G.U. Ruttock" and "V. Nabbe". If you
rearrange the letters of these words, they spell "R. Tandy",
"Jeff Lynne", "K. Groucutt", and "B. Bevan".
Also, the liner notes
a picture of a cupid holding an ELO symbol. Shooting out from the
symbol are a
stream of dots and dashes that spell "ELO" in Morse code. The
instrumental lead in to the song "Secret Messages" also has a
keyboard tapping out "ELO" in Morse code.
Jeff Lynne is an avid
football (soccer) player and fan. His favorite team is the Birmingham
Football club - nicknamed "The Blues." As a tribute, he has written
many songs with the word blue in them. Here are a few: "BlueBird is
Dead," "Mr. Blue Sky," "Birmingham Blues," "Midnight
Blue," "Bluebird," and "Out of the Blue."
Thanks to the dozens
people who wrote to correct me that "The Blues" is only the team's