ELO - The Very Best of Electric Light Orchestra: All Over the World

Electric Light Orchestra
The Very Best of Electric Light Orchestra: All Over the World

(Epic/Legacy)

First Appeared in The Music Box, August 2005, Volume 12, #8

Written by John Metzger

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In 1971, when Electric Light Orchestra (ELO) released its self-titled debut, the group appeared to be suffering from a multiple personality disorder. Although its underlying core was rooted in the burgeoning progressive rock scene, its co-founders Jeff Lynne and Roy Wood seemed to be tugging the band in opposing directions. Not surprisingly, by the time that it recorded its sophomore effort Electric Light Orchestra II, the ensembleís line-up had been revamped completely, leaving Lynne in full control. Still, it wasnít until the lush, conceptual textures of its fourth outing Eldorado that his artistic vision for the outfit truly became apparent.

Since then, Electric Light Orchestraís palette has fallen closer to pop than it has to progressive rock, and the merging of its influences ó The Beatles and The Bee Gees, in particular, were never far from view ó with whatever the fashionable trend happened to be ó the harder edge of Ma-Ma-Ma Belle or the disco-driven groove of Evil Woman, for example ó resulted in a string of hits that fulfilled Lynneís commercial aspirations. Even so, the group never lost sight of its classical roots, which can be heard in everything from the symphonic introduction to Sweet Talkiní Woman to the high drama of Liviní Thing to Mr. Blue Skyís orchestrated finale and operatic backing vocals.

Although the recently issued compilation The Very Best of Electric Light Orchestra: All Over the World contains many of ELOís biggest hits, it differs from its predecessor The Essential Electric Light Orchestra in that it forsakes several vital singles (Canít Get It Out of My Head and Do Ya) in favor of lesser known material (The Diary of Horace Wimp, Confusion, and Alright). Despite these discrepancies, the sequencing on The Very Best of Electric Light Orchestra: All Over the World is significantly smoother, and if one can live without a few key songs from the bandís repertoire, itís actually the better of the two retrospectives. starstarstarstar

The Very Best of Electric Light Orchestra: All Over the World
is available from Barnes & Noble. To order, Click Here!

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Ratings

1 Star: Pitiful
2 Stars: Listenable
3 Stars: Respectable
4 Stars: Excellent
5 Stars: Can't Live Without It!!

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Copyright © 2005 The Music Box