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Armchair Theatre (Deluxe Re-Issue)

Armchair Theatre (Deluxe Re-Issue)

19 Apr 2013
4.8 out of 5 stars 98 customer reviews

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Armchair Theatre (Deluxe Re-Issue)
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Product details

  • Original Release Date: 19 April 2013
  • Release Date: 19 April 2013
  • Label: Frontiers Records
  • Copyright: (C) 2013 Frontiers Records
  • Total Length: 42:26
  • Genres:
  • ASIN: B00BVNRIS2
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars 98 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 6,796 in Albums (See Top 100 in Albums)
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Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

By A Customer on 29 Nov. 1999
Format: Audio CD
Although it did not receive universal acclaim when first released in 1990, this album is a 'must-have' for any fan of Jeff Lynne. Despite lacking the orchestral element of the old ELO days, it shows Jeff's talent for successfully tackling a variety of musical styles, from the Bob Dylanesque "Save Me Now", to the Indian-flavoured "Now You're Gone", to the classic oldies "September Song" and "Stormy Weather" and then possibly the closest to the ELO style in "What Would It Take" and "Every Little Thing". As an ELO/Harrison fan, I especially appreciated the input from George Harrison on several tracks and Richard (ELO) Tandy's keyboards. As an album, you'll either love it or hate it! I loved it!
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Format: Audio CD
This is a wonderful album. Although not every track is excellent, over half of the album is equal to anything Jeff has released in his long and outstanding career and the "back to basics" approach to recording the instruments is thoroughly appreciated, especially after the electronic synthesizer soup which marred the last couple of ELO albums. "Armchair Theatre" is the sound of Jeff Lynne thoroughly enjoying himself together with such illustrious friends as George Harrison, Jim Horn and ELO's Richard Tandy.

There are a few really good covers on this album - the rockabilly "Don't Let Go", plus "September Song" and "Stormy Weather" which are lovely, relaxed and crooned impeccably by Jeff. However, the original compositions are the stars of this particular show. "Every Little Thing" is an extremely catchy but also meaningful love song. The music to "Lift Me Up" fits the lyric well, being an uplifting, sumptuous track. "Now You're Gone" is an Indian-flavoured mournful song about loss - but it has a tingling, exciting magic to it, listen for when the drums kick in and feel the adrenaline rush.

"Don't Say Goodbye" has a Roy Orbison feel to it, especially when Jeff opens his voice up and sings the "So hold me close, never let me go" line. It's enough to make the hairs on the back of your neck stand up. However, my favourite song on this album is "Blown Away", a track mostly written by Jeff, with a Tom Petty co-write for the lyrics. Simply put, I believe it to be one of the best songs Jeff has ever written, a timeless classic, with all of the hallmarks of the truly great ELO songs.
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Format: Audio CD
Jeff Lynne and his band ELO enjoyed massive record sales in the 1975-85 period but critical acclaim was often hard to come by. Songs were perfectly honed and production was superb but some felt the later output was just a bit too clean. This album redresses the balance and sees Jeff ditch the vocoder, echoplex and various other bits of electronic gadgetry for a more 'recorded in me front room' sound. I love Out Of The Blue but this is different. Vocals sound more intimite and the range of instrumentation used is adventurous (sitars, etc). Jeff's latest solo album (Zoom) despte being marketed as an ELO album is also very good and it just goes to show that the man continues to write cracking tunes.
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Format: Audio CD
I can remember purchasing the cassette of this magnificent album when it was released way back in 1990 and played it until all the catchy melodies on the album were printed in my memory.

You can clearly hear a little bit of ELO influence in certain songs but all are unmistakeably Jeff Lynne compositions with very tight melodies and superb lyrics to match.

Strangely enough this is an album that improves every time you listen to it and until recently it was around 16 yrs since i had heard it.

All those distant memories came flooding back of when i was at university in 1990 and i played the tape until it had just about worn out.

Why i didnot buy the cd i do not know but thinking such a fine album must still be available in 2012 i enquired at my local HMV branch.

Imagine my amasement when i was told it had been deleted as far back as 1994 and has not been released since.

I eventually tracked down a brand new sealed copy from America and i now play it almost continuously in my car.

It still sounds just as fresh as 22 yrs ago and by the look of second hand prices it remains an album much in demand.

If you enjoy Jeffs ELO work then you will most certainly enjoy this album, it's slightly less orchestra and more of Jeffs own compositions but it is still a great favorite of mine and will continue to be for many years to come.
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By ds VINE VOICE on 23 July 2013
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
It's a funny album is Armchair Theatre. On its release in 1990 it garnered some reasonable reviews, but didn't really set the world on fire with its sales. Not long after release it quietly faded away as Lynne's other work had much higher profile, becoming a difficult to find rarity, unless you fancied an expensive import from Japan.

Until now.

With the reissue of his ELO re-recordings Mr. Blue Sky: The Very Best Of Electric Light Orchestra and the release of his covers album,Long Wave, this overlooked little gems has been given a 21st century polish up and reissue as part of the ELO ongoing reissue programme.

And it's not half bad at all. The thing to say is the distinctive production sound that Lynne had around the turn of the 90s does appear in places (but by no means everywhere), so if you're not a fan of that distinctive snare drum sound, you might have a problem. However, if you do, you are blinding yourself to some top grade songwriting and studio knob-twiddling.

The quality is deceptive, but given the personnel involved, from his erstwhile ELO band-mate Richard Tandy, to George Harrison, and Del Shannon among others, it shouldn't be much of a shock. Within a couple of plays, most of the songs immediately embed themselves in your head. The big guns come out quite early, with singles Every Little Thing and Lift Me Up but the faintly Eastern tinge You're Gone provides a surprise.
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