Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music
In my opinion, On the Third Day is the best album by ELO during their early progressive rock period. Even though this album started showing signs of Lynne's movement towards more radio-friendly material and simpler song structures, it still has masterpiece written all over it. The most major improvement was clearly the quality of production, Lynne's improved vocal delivery and even better guitar playing from a performer who would never be known for his prowess on this instrument. Richard Tandy is cut loose here and there providing some well-fitting keyboard work on New World Rising, Daybreaker, Dreaming of 4000 and the Grieg tribute In the Hall of the Mountain King.
Excellent addition to any prog-rock music collection
Jeff Lynne reportedly regards this album and its follow-up, Out of the Blue, as the high points in the band's history. One might be better off opting for A New World Record over its successor, however, as a more modest-sized creation chock full of superb songs that are produced even better.