Xanadu Tour


Electric Light Orchestra -- Xanadu Tour

An in-depth look at the tour that never happened

Comments and Observations

In short, a tour in support of the 1980 Xanadu soundtrack album never happened.

Electric Light Orchestra really did no support at all for the album, whether touring, TV performances or interviews. What makes this an amazing feat is that the only promotion the songs had were the film itself, which itself turned out to be a box office failure, while the songs themselves were very successful with the song Xanadu being ELO's only UK #1 single.

It's mostly speculation as to why the band didn't tour in support of the album. The most likely reason is that the band never really considered the Xanadu project a true Electric Light Orchestra effort. Rather, they viewed it as a one-off side project. Consequently, a tour in support of it was not warranted. The band was also enjoying an extended vacation with Bev Bevan compiling and releasing his The ELO Story book and Jeff Lynne enjoying time with his new wife and daughter as well as setting up a new home in France.

Subsequently, the original band never played any of the Xanadu tracks live on any tour. This is also likely because the band never really considered the album and its songs as proper ELO songs. It wasn't until many years later, after ELO had broken up, that the Jeff Lynne-less revival ELO Part II performed some of the songs from the album (including a Kelly Groucutt lead vocal for the title song). For the 2014 Hyde Park concert, Jeff included All Over The World in the setlist and included the song during the Alone In The Universe tour starting in 2015. This was likely done due to the great popularity of the All Over the World: The Very Best of Electric Light Orchestra album which included the song. Played on the 2017 tour was Xanadu, using mostly the rerecorded arrangment heard on the 2000 Flashback compilation and on the best selling All Over The World: The Very Best Of Electric Light Orchestra compilation from 2005.

This page is intended to be a complete record of information on the Electric Light Orchestra Xanadu tour (or lack thereof). If you notice any errors or omissions, please contact me at jefflynnesongs@gmail.com and let me know. I strive for accuracy.

Robert Porter
August 2018