Uncut (p.104) - 4 stars out of 5 -- "[With] symphonic pop, string-driven things and post-glam..."
Electric Light Orchestra: Jeff Lynne (vocals, guitar); Mik Kaminski (violin); Mike Edwards (cello); Richard Tandy (piano, Moog synthesizers); Michael De Albuquerque (bass); Bev Bevan (drums).
In some ways, 1973's ON THE THIRD DAY is the first "true" ELO album. Though co-founder Roy Wood had left the band to form the more experimental Wizzard after the first album, his influence was still all over 1972's ELO II, especially on the orchestrated cover of Chuck Berry's "Roll Over Beethoven." ON THE THIRD DAY, however, is pure Jeff Lynne, the first album completely devoted to his soon-to-be enormously successful blend of psychedelic-era Beatles and 19th-century classical music. The pristinely recorded results are ultra-melodic and incredibly lush, with ballads like "Bluebird Is Dead" and rockers like the hits "Showdown" and "Ma-Ma-Ma Belle." The recurrent "Ocean Breakup" theme foreshadows the concerto-like elements of ELO's next record, ELDORADO, while the group's rockish rearrangement of "In the Hall of the Mountain King" is the group's final attempt at Emerson, Lake & Palmer-like classical-rock fusion.