Electric Light Orchestra
The Electric Light Orchestra (ELO) was maybe the first rock/pop band to use orchestras as part of their regular instruments. The original band had two cellos and a violin, but they also had a full string orchestra in their recordings. This is best heard on their 1977 album Out Of The Blue.
They had 20 hit singles in the 1970s and 1980s, and in 1986 they broke up. Jeff Lynne, the founder member, songwriter, singer and guitarist reformed the band in 2001. He is a talented producer and has written songs for and produced many famous singers. I think he is especially talented as a singer. Here is a video from his 2001 Zoom tour:
Here is perhaps their most famous song, Mr Blue Sky:
Their other famous hits include ‘Last Train To London’, ‘Confusion’, ‘Evil Woman’, ‘Telephone Line’, ‘Showdown’, ‘The Diary Of Horace Wimp’ , ‘Don’t Bring Me Down’ and many more.
Recently Lynne made a new recording of many of ELO’s old hits – but this time he played EVERY instrument, including the drums.
This link shows one of their early concerts, from 1976, starting at one of their big hits ‘Strange Magic’.