Monday, 2 March 2015

MA-MA-MA-BELLE: THE ONE THAT GOT AWAY

"Olé ELO" rightly puzzled over the modest chart success of "Ma-Ma-Ma-Belle" ...
Hello ... Hello ... my old friends ... It's great to see you once again! The above comments are to be found on the back of the LP sleeve for ELO's 1976 compilation "Olé ELO" [UK: #JETLP19; US: #UA-LA630-G] and perfectly captures a real chart enigma. "Ma-Ma-Ma-Belle" b/w "Oh No Not Susan" [UK: K16349; US: UA-XW405-W] begins with one of the most recognizable if not the best ever of guitar riffs of all time [despite what so-called experts and pundits think] and Yours Truly KJS agrees that it should have been one of ELO's biggest hits on both sides of the Atlantic almost 41 years ago to the day.
"Ma-Ma-Ma-Belle" really should have been the "Mother" of all hits for ELO ...
"Ma-Ma-Ma-Belle" also featured the late, great Marc Bolan on twin lead guitar with Jeff Lynne and thus it had all the ingredients for a monster hit at the time. Yet "Ma-Ma-Ma-Belle" only managed to attain #22 in the UK Top 30 Singles Chart and #87 in the US Billboard Top 100 with a brief cameo in 1978, as part of The ELO EP [Jet/CBS #ELO1], reaching #34. For me, this one of the great rock 'n' roll mysteries of all "Time".

"Ma-Ma-Ma-Belle" remains one of my very fave ELO tracks and it is always a pleasure to hear it - whether recorded, performed live or as my mobile 'phone ringtone!

Until next "Time" in the ELO [and related] Universe ... KJS ... 02-March-2015

1 comment:

  1. I just don't understand it Keith...so many, many great songs and yet they never achieved the level of greatness or acceptance by the critics or general public as they seemingly should have....I can go from album to album to album and pretty much on every album there are at least 3 or 4 songs which should have charted and probably at least one on every album which should've been billboard #1's!! at least IMHO.anyway. While i personally don't agree with many of Jeff's decisions concerning band personnel, etc...there is no discounting his abilities as the leader of ELO as well as his songwriting and producing abilities which as i have stated on other websites and blogs is again in my opinion is on the same level with Brian Wilson, Richard Carpenter and Lennon/McCartney amongst a select other few. Hopefully as Jeff, Richard and whomever else they add in starts what we all hope is a release of new album(s) and a new tour perhaps...many listeners both old and new will recognize just how great their music really is!!

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