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Mr. Blue Sky: The Very Best Of Electric Light Orchestra

188 customer reviews

Price: £11.82 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £20. Details
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Product details

  • Audio CD (8 Oct. 2012)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Caroline International S&D
  • ASIN: B008OJ291W
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Vinyl  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (188 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 14,293 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Listen to Samples and Buy MP3s

Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.

Song TitleArtist Time Price
  1. Mr. Blue SkyElectric Light Orchestra 3:44£0.99  Buy MP3 
  2. Evil WomanElectric Light Orchestra 4:30£0.99  Buy MP3 
  3. Strange MagicElectric Light Orchestra 3:53£0.99  Buy MP3 
  4. Don't Bring Me DownElectric Light Orchestra 4:01£0.99  Buy MP3 
  5. Turn To StoneElectric Light Orchestra 3:45£0.99  Buy MP3 
  6. ShowdownElectric Light Orchestra 4:15£0.99  Buy MP3 
  7. Telephone LineElectric Light Orchestra 4:29£0.99  Buy MP3 
  8. Livin' ThingElectric Light Orchestra 3:42£0.99  Buy MP3 
  9. Do YaElectric Light Orchestra 3:56£0.99  Buy MP3 
10. Can't Get It Out Of My HeadElectric Light Orchestra 4:34£0.99  Buy MP3 
11. 10538 OvertureElectric Light Orchestra 4:43£0.99  Buy MP3 
12. Point Of No ReturnElectric Light Orchestra 3:14£0.99  Buy MP3 

Product Description

Product Description

Featuring ELO's biggest and most memorable hits, Mr. Blue Sky The Very Best of Electric Light Orchestra is a brand new album featuring fresh re-recordings by Jeff Lynne, which sound much sharper and clearer than the old versions. It includes a never before heard bonus track, "Point of No Return". In a nod to ELO's 40th anniversary, a very special edition of "10538 Overture" is also featured.

BBC Review

Jeff Lynne's primary love is music, but telephones once ran it a close second. Quite aside from the soaring Telephone Line here, there are several references to operators and late-night calls. It’s a wonder the one new song doesn’t encounter heartbreak across a patchy broadband connection.

And technology is partly behind his decision to re-record the enduring hits of his much-loved outfit Electric Light Orchestra. He plays everything (bar the strings), and claims that while he still likes the old versions, there was scope to upgrade them in his state-of-the-art LA home studio with the benefits of his peerless production experience.

Those fearing he might restore them in a similarly wayward manner to that chosen by Kate Bush on her Director’s Cut collection can relax. The pomp-pop classics aren’t reinterpreted in any way that might upset purists or scare the horses. They sound much the same, which is more cause for relief than regret.

It’s like these songs have had their windows cleaned, a few crows’ feet ironed out. To Lynne, they have fresh presence. It’ll be intriguing to see whether this or the re-released "original" Best Of ultimately wins the ongoing chart duel.

ELO have always been compared to The Beatles (Lynne’s influence, and later, friends), which is only strange when you consider how much more colourfully imaginative a take on the Fab Four’s legacy they were than Oasis.

In fact, these songs now sound like siblings to Abba’s. They’re rich with hooks and smart arrangements, crammed with calls-and-responses, veiling their souls under veneers of sophistication.

So Mr. Blue Sky, Livin’ Thing and Evil Woman are as irresistible as ever, and Don’t Bring Me Down re-packs its percussive punch. Sadly there is no Wild West Hero, but the oft-overlooked Can’t Get It Out of My Head represents the melancholy ballad side of things.

Do Ya is a surprising choice (over Ma-Ma-Ma Belle) for the rock-riff quotient. Earlier numbers Showdown and 10538 Overture, having the most dust to blow away, sound most replenished: some may resent the polish. The previously unreleased Point of No Return is Tom Petty-styled and precision-tooled.

Hello again, ELO.

--Chris Roberts

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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

61 of 64 people found the following review helpful By Andy Sweeney TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 11 Oct. 2012
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I'm conflicted. On one hand, this is a project that Jeff Lynne was perfectly entitled to do and he has done a really great job on most of the tracks, each ELO classic meticulously and lovingly re-created by the man himself. On the other hand - why? I've heard the explanation from Jeff himself, that he wanted to re-record these songs with the knowledge that he's gained over the past couple of decades and respect that... but this is a bit of an exercise in pointlessness. It's great to hear that Jeff is still in great voice, that he still has love for his ELO catalogue and is making and releasing music. All of these things are massive positives, but, quite honestly, most of these tracks are not different enough from the originals to think, "Hey, I really see what he means there... that sounds much better!".

Firstly - the triumphs: "Don't Bring Me Down" sounds more powerful and fresher than the original. I've always slightly disliked the production on Discovery and thought that much of it lacked a punch. "10538 Overture" sounds great and, as much as I adore the original, I have to admit that it wasn't the best recording in the world (doesn't stop me still preferring the 1971 version, though!) and this new version has brought it right up to date. Both "Strange Magic" and "Can't Get It Out Of My Head" also noticeably benefit from a refresh, but, again, neither surpass the original recordings which just have so much warmth. The unreleased track, "Point Of No Return" is pretty good. Nothing that special, but it's good to have another Jeff Lynne song out there in the world.

Secondly - the follies: "Turn To Stone", for some reason, sounds slightly muffled.
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57 of 62 people found the following review helpful By Mr. R. G. Prizeman on 9 Oct. 2012
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This CD was advertised as a reworking of the old hits with today's technology Supposedly to give a brighter and all round better sound than the originals. Personally however, ELO always sounded good, and other recordings that were made in 50's like Frank Sinatra still sounds fantastic. I am one of those people that still feels Analogue recordings are far brighter than digital, remember "Out of the Blue", it still sounds great.
This reworking of hits by Lynne on his own has divided fans, Please don't get me wrong I am a massive ELO fan and so wanted this to be great but, how do you improve on greatness?. Would you want Paul McCatney to re-record some Beatles hits? and then put them out saying they are better now than then probably not.
The album kicks of with Mr Blue Sky, yes its OK but stops before the brilliant final ending, so that's one that just can't be better than the original. However one thing Lynne still has is a great voice and he is a great musician. However considering all the tracks from "A New world record" onward's were recorded on 48 track tape recorders giving such a sound-scape I felt some of the tracks sound a bit hollow compared to the versions we all know. So for me the best tracks that do work well are the earlier recordings like "can't get you out of my head", "Evil Woman" and "showdown".
After watching the BBC4 documentary and hearing Lynne and Richard Tandy perform a lot of the songs on piano and guitar, perhaps taking a completely different slant on the hits may have been a better idea than trying to do better than the originals.
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34 of 37 people found the following review helpful By ds VINE VOICE on 14 Oct. 2012
Format: Audio CD
German is a wonderfully expressive language, full of single words that encapsulate complex thoughts or concepts. One of these words is "verschlimmbesserung" which, loosely translated, means something like: making something worse by 'improving' it. It's what I feared this album might be when I first heard about it, and what it is in part, but by no means entirely, after a couple of listens.

The bad news first. If you don't like the distinctive snare drum sound present in many Lynne productions from George Harrison's Cloud Nine onwards, you're going to get a bit (actually, VERY) vexed. In interviews, Jeff Lynne has said that re-recording has enabled him to bring 35 years of extra production experience to bear. This is a mixed blessing. Indeed, if anything, it shows what a producer he was back then, as the originals still sound amazing even now.

But there's some good news: some songs work much better than others, and much better than you might fear. It seems that being able to put his skills to work has done more with older songs than new. The dividing line seems to come around the point of A New World Record. Songs like Can't Get It Out of My Head, Showdown and Strange Magic actually sound pretty good. There's much more space in the mix and better separation of instruments. This may not be unconnected to the fact that the strings used in these songs tended to be fewer in number, like 10538 Overture's cellos.
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