Face the Music is the fifth studio album by Electric Light Orchestra (ELO), and features a new line-up following their previous studio album, Eldorado.
ELO's fifth studio LP was released in 1975 (see 1975 in music) and the first to be recorded in Musicland Studios Munich, which was introduced by Deep Purple in a tour in the United States. The band featured a new line-up with bassist Kelly Groucutt and cellist Melvyn Gale replacing Mike de Albuquerque and Mike Edwards respectively.
The back cover of the record sleeve shows the members of the band with their faces pressed against a glass panel, supposedly watching the "electrocution" depicted on the front cover. The band member who is looking away is Richard Tandy, who didn't like the idea and didn't want to participate. New member Kelly Groucutt sang lead vocals on "Poker" and "Down Home Town" (while Jeff Lynne sang harmony) as well as one of the verses in "Nightrider." (Usually, Lynne sang all lead vocals for ELO.)
"Fire on High" contains a backwards message in the beginning. When the song is played backwards, the message voiced by drummer Bev Bevan can be heard stating, "The music is reversible, but time is not. Turn back. Turn back. Turn back. Turn back." — ostensibly Jeff Lynne's shot at backmasking hysteria, after false satanic allegations were made against their song "Eldorado" by Fundamentalist Christianity members. "Down Home Town" also starts with some backmasking: the refrain from "Waterfall" ("Face the mighty waterfall, face the mighty waterfall"). A portion of the string crescendo from "Nightrider" was used backwards on "Evil Woman."
The singles "Evil Woman" and "Strange Magic" were the most commercial songs they had recorded up to that point. "Evil Woman" was a big hit in the UK and the US, embracing disco rhythms while still embodying ELO's classic sound. The chords and melody of this song were composed in merely six minutes, making it the fastest song Lynne has ever written.
"Nightrider" became the second single from the album and despite an appearance on the UK chart television program, Top of the Pops, it failed to chart.
Notwithstanding the success of the singles, the LP failed to chart in the UK. The album was remastered and released in September 2006 with bonus tracks.