A New World Record Tour

 

Electric Light Orchestra -- A New World Record Tour

An in-depth look at the 1977 tour


Comments and Observations

There is surprisingly little known about the tour in support of A New World Record.

The tour, dubbed A New World Record Tour Of America was a tour in North America only, running from October 1976 to April of 1977 with a break in December. The reason the tour was only in North America can probably be attributed to the band's high success rate in the USA. If so, it's somewhat ironic given that late in 1976 Livin' Thing was ELO's breakout hit in England. The Unexpected Messages book states that it was a 40 city tour, but as the book only mentions the second leg of the tour (January to April 1977), it is unclear if the 40 cities was for the entire tour or the second leg only.

Another explanation for the tour being only in North America (and brief compared to previous tours) could be simply due to scheduling issues. The band may have had the tour booked without consideration for when an album was to be released, thus the timing was that the A New World Record tour only happened in North America.

As in previous shows, Mik Kaminski and Hugh McDowell performed solo violin and cello performances during the show. Mik performed a self-written and unnamed solo piece which merged with the drums, bass and keyboards joining in on a modern arrangement of the traditional Jewish folk song Hava Nagila. Hugh performed his own self-written and unnamed solo piece which similarly merged with bass, drums and guitar joining in for a modern arrangement of the traditional Hungarian folk song Csárdás and more of Hugh's self-written piece. This information is drawn from the one an only bootleg recording of a performance from the A New World Record tour, so it is also possible that the performance varied from show to show.

Beyond these small bits and one bootlegged performance from New York City's Madison Square Garden on February 11, 1977, very little else is known about this tour.

Band and crew members

The band and crew on this tour were:

Jeff Lynne: vocals, guitar
Bev Bevan: drums
Richard Tandy: keyboards
Kelly Groucutt: bass, vocals
Mik Kaminski: violin
Hugh McDowell: cello
Melvyn Gale: cello
Don Arden: Business and personal management
Dave Arden: Business and personal management
Bernie Boyle: Tour manager
Sharon Arden: Tour manager

Other crew is uncertain, although probably Jake Commander, Brian Jones and Phil Copestake were involved as engineers or technician as they were known to be good friends with the band and involved in most of their tours.

Tour Dates

This tour ran in October and November of 1976 as well as early 1977. In January, February and (possibly) early March, most of the shows were opened by Steve Hillage and Firefall. These three bands seemed to have traveled in and out of one anothers' tour circles, such that sometimes one or the other (and in a few cases, both) opened for ELO and sometimes they did other shows in which they were the headliner and ELO did not play.

By summer of that year, Jeff Lynne was in Switzerland writing songs for Out Of The Blue. Details are not entirely clear due to a lack of documentation. The following schedule is only partially complete.

Date City, Country Venue Opening Act(s) Comments
North American Tour (late 1976)
October 1976 Unknown Unknown Unknown
November 1976 Unknown Unknown Unknown
November 8, 1976 Los Angeles, California, USA Whiskey a Go Go Unknown
North American Tour
January 17, 1977 Phoenix, Arizona, USA Arizona Veterans Memorial Coliseum Steve Hillage & Journey
January 19, 1977 Denver, Colorado, USA McNichols Arena Elvin Bishop Band
January 21, 1977 Tucson, Arizona, USA Tucson Community Center Journey
January 22, 1977 El Paso, Texas, USA County Coliseum Ambrosia
January 23, 1977 Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA University of New Mexico's Johnson Gym Steve Hillage
January 25, 1977 San Francisco, California, USA Cow Palace Steve Hillage, Firefall
January 26, 1977 Las Vegas, Nevada, USA Convention Center Steve Hillage
January 27, 1977 Inglewood, California, USA The Forum Steve Hillage
January 30, 1977 San Diego, California, USA Sports Arena Steve Hillage, Firefall
January 31, 1977 Inglewood, California, USA The Forum Steve Hillage
February 4, 1977 Kansas City, Missouri, USA Municipal Auditorium Steve Hillage
February 5, 1977 Lincoln, Nebraska, USA Pershing Auditorium Steve Hillage Venue records show that 8,519 were in attendance of this show.
February 6, 1977 Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, USA The Myriad Steve Hillage
February 11, 1977 New York City, New York, USA Madison Square Garden Steve Hillage
February 12, 1977 Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA The Spectrum Steve Hillage
February 13, 1977 Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA The Spectrum Steve Hillage
February 15, 1977 Erie, Pennsylvania, USA Erie County Fieldhouse Steve Hillage
February 17, 1977 Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA Civic Arena Journey, Steve Hillage
February 18, 1977 Cincinnati, Ohio, USA Riverfront Coliseum Gentle Giant & Steve Hillage
February 19, 1977 Cleveland, Ohio, USA Public Auditorium Steve Hillage
February 21, 1977 Detroit, Michigan, USA Cobo Hall Steve Hillage
February 22, 1977 Detroit, Michigan, USA Cobo Hall Steve Hillage
February 23, 1977 Flint, Michigan, USA International Music Arena Steve Hillage
February 25, 1977 Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA Exhibition Auditorium Steve Hillage Record show that there were sold 6037 tickets to this show.
February 26, 1977 Chicago, Illinois, USA The Uptown Theatre Steve Hillage
February 27, 1977 Chicago, Illinois, USA The Uptown Theatre Steve Hillage
February 28, 1977 Chicago, Illinois, USA The Uptown Theatre Steve Hillage
March 10, 1977 Atlanta, Georgia, USA The Omni Coliseum Leo Sayer
March 11, 1977 Jacksonville, Florida, USA Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Coliseum Elliott Murphy, Black Oak Arkansas
March 12, 1977 Hollywood, Florida, USA The Hollywood Sportatorium Unknown There was no support act at this show.
March 13, 1977 Lakeland, Florida, USA Lakeland Civic Center Leo Sayer, Elliott Murphy, Black Oak Arkansas
March 15, 1977 Mobile, Alabama, USA Municipal Auditorium Unknown
March 17, 1977 Tulsa, Oklahoma, USA Assembly Center Unknown
March 18, 1977 Dallas, Texas, USA Moody Coliseum Elliott Murphy
March 19, 1977 Shreveport, Louisiana, USA Hirsch Memorial Coliseum Unknown
March 20, 1977 New Orleans, Louisiana, USA Municipal Auditorium Elliott Murphy
March 21, 1977 Houston, Texas, USA The Summit Elliott Murphy
March 23, 1977 St. Louis, Missouri, USA Kiel Auditorium Widowmaker
March 24, 1977 Evansville, Indiana, USA Roberts Stadium Journey
March 25, 1977 South Bend, Indiana, USA Notre Dame Athletic and Convocation Center Elliott Murphy
March 26, 1977 Lexington, Kentucky, USA Rupp Arena Sea Level, Elliott Murphy
March 27, 1977 Charleston, West Virginia, USA Charleston Civic Center Manfred Mann's Earth Band, Elliott Murphy
March 28, 1977 Columbus, Ohio, USA St. John Arena The Outlaws Elliott Murphy was scheduled to open this show as well, but apparently cancelled.
March 30, 1977 Boston, Massachusetts, USA Boston Garden Piper
April 1, 1977 Hartford, Connecticut, USA Hartford Civic Center Starcastle
April 2, 1977 Ottawa, Canada Ottawa Civic Centre The Lavender Hill Mob
April 4, 1977 Toronto, Canada Maple Leaf Gardens The Lavender Hill Mob
April 6, 1977 Montreal, Canada The Montreal Forum The Lavender Hill Mob
April 22, 1977 Inglewood, California, USA (CANCELLED) The Forum Steve Hillage
Out Of The Blue recording sessions
July & August, 1977 Munich, Germany Musicland Studios N/A Note that some mixing of the album may have continued into September as well.

Setlist

This is the only known setlist used on the tour. It's very similar to the Face The Music tour setlist, with the exclusion of most Eldorado tracks and the On The Third Day suite to include the new A New World Record songs. It is entirely possible that the setlist varied somewhat during the tour, but given the only documentation of the tour that is available-- a New York City bootlegged performance-- this is all that is currently known.

A few fans have reported that ELO performed Eleanor Rigby by The Beatles at two different shows (one on April 22nd). Given the string arrangements in the original song and the featured string players in ELO, it would be a natural song for the band to perform. No solid evidence of this is known, however there is little reason to doubt it. It's remains unknown where in the setlist it was used.

Song Title Arrangement Song comments
Fire On High Face The Music album arrangement, but all the acoustic guitar parts are replaced with a heavy electric guitar; the taped intro may have been cut, but that remains unconfirmed It's unclear if this performance used the taped intro. The only known recording of a concert from this tour does not include that part.
Poker Face The Music album arrangement, but Jeff sings all the lead vocals rather than trading lines with Kelly Groucutt; also the ending is extended slightly, giving the song a bigger finish
Nightrider Face The Music album arrangement
Eldorado Overture Eldorado album version This is a taped intro from the Eldorado album.
Can't Get It Out Of My Head Eldorado album arrangement except the keyboard is different on the bridge
Hugh's Cello Solo/Csárdás N/A
Showdown Standard single arrangement, but half of the instrumental bridge is played with electric piano and everything after the "I'm the fool for you" line is cut and replaced with a guitar outro
Tightrope A New World Record album arrangement, but the choir parts are played with guitar and some of the lead guitar parts are played with keyboard
Telephone Line A New World Record album arrangement, but with a non-fading end
Livin' Thing A New World Record album arrangement, but cuts the "I'm takin' a dive" line from the violin bridge and all the female backing vocals; the ending does not fade, but includes a couple of extra choruses, followed by an instrumental finish
Rockaria! A New World Record album arrangement, but Kelly Groucutt sings the opera bits and the entire final verse ("Now listen here baby...")
Mik's Violin Solo/Hava Nagila N/A
Strange Magic This is sort of the Face The Music album arrangement, using the same basic intro/verse/chorus arrangement, but the backing is very different. Instead, Bev steps from behind the drums and stands at the front of the stage playing only a tambourine a singing backing vocals. The lead guitar parts are played on keyboard, there are no female backing vocals, and it has a non-fading end.
Evil Woman Face The Music album arrangement, but without the orchestral intro and a non-fading end
Do Ya A New World Record album arrangement, except it adds four extra guitar riffs at the beginning and the bridge and it cuts the last verse; the song is played with a very hard sounding rock 'n' roll guitar; Kelly Groucutt sings the entire second verse
Ma-Ma-Ma Belle Ma-Ma-Ma Belle single arrangement with added piano throughout; a 30 second drum intro is used to get the audience worked up; Kelly Groucutt sings lead on the second verse and the following chorus; the end has an additional chorus and a lengthy instrumental part running nearly 1:20 before a big ending
Roll Over Beethoven ELO 2 UK album arrangment, but cuts the mellotron intro; also, the third and fourth verses and second chorus are cut, replaced by a long instrumental jam and picks up at the repeated "Roll Over Beethoven" part; the ending is extended, drawing out the last notes in a long jam
Eleanor Rigby Unknown Any performance of this song is unavailable. It remains unclear which shows it was played at or where it was played in the setlist.

Releases

No performance from this tour has seen official release.

Only one performances of this concert tour is known to have been bootlegged. It is:

Date Location Source Quality Comments
February 11, 1977 New York City, New York, USA Audience Fair

Opening Acts

The myriad of opening acts on this tour are a bit unclear, but they were known to include the rock musicians Elliott Murphy and Steve Hillage, as well as the band Gentle Giant for at least one show.

Promotions

There is so little known about this tour that there are no known interesting stories to tell about promotions.

Photos

Jeff Lynne on the A New World Record tour
Jeff Lynne on the A New World Record tour
ELO in concert (New York City, New York - February 11, 1977)
ELO in concert (New York City, New York - February 11, 1977)
ELO in concert (New York City, New York - February 11, 1977)
ELO in concert (New York City, New York - February 11, 1977)
General poster for tour
General poster for tour
General poster for tour
General poster for tour
Poster for January 22, 1977 show
Poster for January 22, 1977 show
Jeff Lynne on the A New World Record tour ELO in concert (New York City, New York - February 11, 1977) ELO in concert (New York City, New York - February 11, 1977) General poster for tour Poster for January 22, 1977 show
Ticket stub for January 19, 1977 show
Ticket stub for January 19, 1977 show

Ticket stub for January 19, 1977 show
Ticket stub for January 19, 1977 show

Ticket stub for January 19, 1977 show
Ticket stub for January 19, 1977 show
Ticket stub for February 4, 1977 show
Ticket stub for February 4, 1977 show
Ad for February 11, 1977 show
Ad for February 11, 1977 show
Ticket stub for February 11, 1977 show
Ticket stub for February 11, 1977 show

Ticket stub for February 11, 1977 show
Ticket stub for February 11, 1977 show
Ticket stubs for February 12, 1977 show
Ticket stubs for February 12, 1977 show
Ticket stubs for January 19, 1977 show Ticket stub for February 4, 1977 show Ad for February 11, 1977 show Ticket stubs for February 11, 1977 show
Image kindly provided by Graham Bennett
Ticket stubs for February 12, 1977 show
Ticket stub for February 13, 1977 show
Ticket stub for February 13, 1977 show
Backstage pass for February 17, 1977 show
Backstage pass for February 17, 1977 show

Backstage pass for February 17, 1977 show
Backstage pass for February 17, 1977 show
T-shirt for February 26 to 28, 1977 shows
T-shirt for February 26 to 28, 1977 shows

T-shirt for February 26 to 28, 1977 shows
T-shirt for February 26 to 28, 1977 shows
Ticket stub for February 27, 1977 show
Ticket stub for February 27, 1977 show

Ticket stub for February 27, 1977 show
Ticket stub for February 27, 1977 show
Ticket stub for March 10, 1977 show
Ticket stub for March 10, 1977 show

Ticket stub for March 10, 1977 show
Ticket stub for March 10, 1977 show
Ticket stub for February 13, 1977 show Backstage passes for February 17, 1977 show
First image kindly provided by Graham Bennett
T-shirts for February 26 to 28, 1977 shows Ticket stubs for February 27, 1977 show
First image kindly provided by Graham Bennett
Ticket stubs for March 10, 1977 show
Ticket stub for March 13, 1977 show
Ticket stub for March 13, 1977 show

Ticket stub for March 13, 1977 show
Ticket stub for March 13, 1977 show

Ticket stub for March 13, 1977 show
Ticket stub for March 13, 1977 show
Ticket stub for March 18, 1977 show
Ticket stub for March 18, 1977 show

Ticket stub for March 18, 1977 show
Ticket stub for March 18, 1977 show
Ticket stub for March 19, 1977 show
Ticket stub for March 19, 1977 show
Ticket stub for March 20, 1977 show
Ticket stub for March 20, 1977 show
Ticket stub for March 21, 1977 show
Ticket stub for March 21, 1977 show

Ticket stub for March 21, 1977 show
Ticket stub for March 21, 1977 show

Ticket stub for March 21, 1977 show
Ticket stub for March 21, 1977 show

Ticket stub for March 21, 1977 show
Ticket stub for March 21, 1977 show

Ticket stub for March 21, 1977 show
Ticket stub for March 21, 1977 show
Ticket stubs for March 13, 1977 show Ticket stubs for March 18, 1977 show Ticket stub for March 19, 1977 show Ticket stub for March 20, 1977 show (front and back) Ticket stubs for March 21, 1977 show
Last image kindly provided by RockinHouston.com
Ticket stub for March 23, 1977 show
Ticket stub for March 23, 1977 show
Ticket stub for March 24, 1977 show
Ticket stub for March 24, 1977 show
Poster for March 25, 1977 show
Poster for March 25, 1977 show
Ad for March 25, 1977 show
Ad for March 25, 1977 show
Unknown newspaper review of March 25, 1977 show
Unknown newspaper review of March 25, 1977 show
Ticket stub for March 23, 1977 show Ticket stub for March 24, 1977 show
Image kindly provided by Dave & Terri Shafer
Poster for March 25, 1977 show Ad for March 25, 1977 show Unknown newspaper review of March 25, 1977 show
Ticket stub for March 26, 1977 show
Ticket stub for March 26, 1977 show
Newspaper ad for March 28, 1977 show
Newspaper ad for March 28, 1977 show
Ticket stub for March 28, 1977 show
Ticket stub for March 28, 1977 show
Ticket stub for April 4, 1977 show
Ticket stub for April 4, 1977 show
Ticket stub for April 4, 1977 show
Ticket stub for April 4, 1977 show
Ticket stub for April 4, 1977 show
Ticket stub for April 4, 1977 show
Laminated stage pass
Laminated stage pass
Ticket stub for March 26, 1977 show Newspaper ad for March 28, 1977 show Ticket stub for March 28, 1977 show Ticket stubs for April 4, 1977 show
First image kindly provided by Graham Bennett
Laminated stage pass
Image kindly provided by Vince Ricci
North American tour t-shirt
North American tour t-shirt
North American tour t-shirt
No other photos from this tour are currently available. If you have any to share, please contact the email address at the bottom of this page.

Fan Comments

Enter comments only about this tour. (Inappropriate comments will be removed.)


Does anyone remember a robot coming out on stage at Los Angeles concert?

Don't remember Steve Hillage opening at Madison Square Garden Thought it was Kingfish? Any one remember? Thanks.

I was at the Feb 26 show at the Uptown Theater in Chicago. Great venue great seats, one of my most memorable concerts. Awesome show. Yes Steve Hillage was the backup and I remember him doing a cover of the Beatles "its All Too Much" The set list is correct, The start ot his show was fantastic and they played before a very enthusiastic crowd

I was at the January 22 show in El Paso…They played a great long version of Eleanor Rigby here as well.
- Anonymous

Jan 27, 1977 LA Forum included the song Eleanor Rigby. Introduced by Lynne as a song by the greates group ever.
- Anonymous

I saw this tour in las Vegas at the las Vegas convention center. Best show ever!
- Anonymous

Feb. 23, 1977 show was at IMA(Industrial Mutual Association)Auditorium in Flint MI. A few years later,the Auditorium became part of the failed "Autoworld" amusement park.
- Anonymous

Some sources have this performance at Madison Square Garden as on February 17th instead of the 11th. It is believed that the 17th is accurate, but it's unconfirmed."

I can confirm that the Madison Square Garden performance was indeed on Feb 11, 1977 - I was there. Additionally, the ticked stub image above (Feb 11, 1977) is the Garden ticket.
- GJH


Ottawa, April 2, 1977. Age 14. Floor seats. Tickets were a gift. Parents thought I was going to watch an Orchestra! I recall being in awe of the music/production/lighting - the whole show (my first).
-Anonymous

Saw ELO in 1977 at MSG, and the opening act was Jimmy Buffet.
-Anonymous

Was also at the San Francisco show. Awesome!! Wish I could find pics, audio, or video from this. Bill Graham Presents was known to record many shows; always curious if they taped this one.
-Anonymous

Was at the Lexington show in March, 1977. I was a senior in High school. It was the first time I had ever seen lasers, and it was awesome. I think admission to the show was about 8 dollars.....unbelievable!!!
-Anonymous

I was at the San Francisco show. They definitely played the taped opening for "Fire On High" that night.
-Adam Shephard

I saw ELO in either late 76 or early 77 [I was in 10th grade] in Miami, Florida [at the Hollywood Sportatorium] definitely during the New World Record Tour....

Funny, I was talking with my sister tonite about how they had problems with playing taped music on the Out of the Blue Tour....but that when I saw them....the violin and cellos played their own music and was not an orchestra dubbed in....I even remembered the Hava Nagila solo....

By the way...for sure I remember this, too....the opening act for that show was Black Oak Arkansas....This is for sure.....

But...I also remember one other cool thing about the show....During the cello solo...they pointed a green laser on the particular string of the cello being bowed....and ..... the straight line laser would reflect or deflect off the vibrating string into these cool hairs of green looking like electricity all over the arena....It was one of the coolest effects I have ever seen....

This was my very first concert....I remember it well....Played the violin in my school's orchestra and was a huge elo fan.....Have all the music on albums....[even a European album in bubblegum pink or purplish color]......
-Lou Arslanian


i was at the madison square garden show --7th row-- FANTASTIC show. i was 16. the opening act was steve hillage. his single at the time was george harrison's "it's all too much", which he played live. then, ELO came on to a packed and adoring crowd.
-Seth Swirsky

I was at two of the ELO shows in 1977 that you have on your site. One was the show in Phoenix, the other was the show in Chicago. You are missing the opening act for both of those shows. It was Steve Hillage. As far as what venue the concert was at in Phoenix . . . I don't know the name of the place, but it was the stadium that the Phoenix Suns played in.
-Jack Bly

Song Comments

Fire On High (A New World Record Tour)

Poker (A New World Record Tour)

Nightrider (A New World Record Tour)

Eldorado Overture (A New World Record Tour)

Can't Get It Out Of My Head (A New World Record Tour)
"In terms of visual and auditory effectiveness, the 1975 hit Can't Get It Out Of My Head was the weakest and most disturbing number, chiefly because it exposed a nagging problem for ELO-- the tendency to simply re-create the AM sound without the necessary risk-taking that [a] more expansive and complex interpretation would entail."
Scott Appleby (March, 1977 - Unknown newspaper review of March 25, 1977 show)

Hugh's Cello Solo/Csárdás (A New World Record Tour)
Hugh's cello solo is mostly a self-written piece, but for almost a full minute the rest of the band joins in to play Csárdás (sometimes written as Czardas), composed by Vittorio Monti, before returning to Hugh's self-written cello piece.

Showdown (A New World Record Tour)

Tightrope (A New World Record Tour)
"Jeff Lynne and Kelly Groucutt harmonized with force and occassional brilliance, effecting a more dynamic sound on songs like Tightrope and Strange Magic."
Scott Appleby (March, 1977 - Unknown newspaper review of March 25, 1977 show)

Telephone Line (A New World Record Tour)

Livin' Thing (A New World Record Tour)

Rockaria! (A New World Record Tour)

Mik's Violin Solo/Hava Nagila (A New World Record Tour)
"The obligatory drum solo was replayed by a refreshing stint on violin by Mik Kaminski. Mik took a melodic stroll through a bevvy of old tunes that acquired a different interpretation of violin: West Side Story, Somewhere Over The Rainbow, and bits of pieces from Jewish traditionals were introduced in his repetoire."
Scott Appleby (March, 1977 - Unknown newspaper review of March 25, 1977 show)

Strange Magic (A New World Record Tour)
In this live performance, Bev Bevan stepped out from behind the drums to stand in the front of the stage playing tambourine and singing backup/harmony vocals.

"Jeff Lynne and Kelly Groucutt harmonized with force and occassional brilliance, effecting a more dynamic sound on songs like Tightrope and Strange Magic."
Scott Appleby (March, 1977 - Unknown newspaper review of March 25, 1977 show)

Evil Woman (A New World Record Tour)
"Perhaps the highlight of the evening was Evil Woman, during which even the expressionless Lynne seemed duly inspired by the pride and excitement of being involved in a winning effort. As one young lady in a dark blue pantsuit was overheard to exclaim: 'I like the performance all the more when even the band members are enjoying it!'"
Scott Appleby (March, 1977 - Unknown newspaper review of March 25, 1977 show)

Do Ya (A New World Record Tour)

Ma-Ma-Ma Belle (A New World Record Tour)

Roll Over Beethoven (A New World Record Tour)
"On Roll Over Beethoven [in concert] we used to do verse and verse about; someone does a verse and gets a rest on the next one."
Kelly Groucutt (March 3, 2006 - Guitar & Bass magazine)

Eleanor Rigby (A New World Record Tour)
A few fans have reported that ELO performed Eleanor Rigby by The Beatles at two different shows (one on April 22nd). Given the string arrangements in the original song and the featured string players in ELO, it would be a natural song for the band to perform. No solid evidence of this is known, however there is little reason to doubt it. It's remains unknown where in the setlist it was used.


This page is intended to be a complete record of information on the Electric Light Orchestra A New World Record tour. If you notice any errors or omissions (which there are many), please contact me at jefflynnesongs@gmail.com and let me know. I strive for accuracy.

Robert Porter
January 2017