The title of ELO's 1976 album, A New World Record, means...

  1. a new (record-breaking) achievement (a world record)

  2. an album not to be confused with the contemporaneous World Record (Van der Graaf Generator)

  3. an album for the USA, the 'New World' (as European's call(ed) it - notably, in this context, Dvorak, of New World Symphony fame)

Something else...?

  • 2
    It could also be "a record for (or promoting) a different kind of world". There are a couple of songs where this sort of makes sense (notably Mission (A World Record).) But yes, definitely, and obviously, a pun.
    – tripleee
    Commented Nov 9, 2016 at 10:31

1 Answer 1


For sure. Punsters from the very start. We need look no further than their eponymous debut album to realize that the band name itself is a pun.

Does "Electric Light Orchestra" mean

  1. A light orchestra that adds electric guitars and suchlike to traditional orchestral instruments, or
  2. An orchestra named after electric light?

  • 1
    I find the conclusion based on the band name example not exactly compelling.
    – guidot
    Commented Oct 1, 2021 at 10:37
  • 2
    Or (an) electric Light Orchestra (electric in the sense of having or producing a sudden sense of thrilling excitement ("the atmosphere was electric"))
    – Dan
    Commented Oct 2, 2021 at 7:54

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