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

4.3 out of 5 stars 227 customer reviews

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Audio CD, 6 Nov 2015
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Product details

  • Audio CD (6 Nov. 2015)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Caroline International S&D
  • ASIN: B008OJ291W
  • Other Editions: Audio CD |  Vinyl |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars 227 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 55,372 in CDs & Vinyl (See Top 100 in CDs & Vinyl)
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Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. Mr. Blue Sky
  2. Evil Woman
  3. Strange Magic
  4. Don't Bring Me Down
  5. Turn to Stone
  6. Showdown
  7. Telephone Line
  8. Livin' Thing
  9. Do Ya
  10. Can't Get It Out of My Head
  11. 10538 Overture (40th Anniversary)
  12. Point of No Return (Previously Unreleased)

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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