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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 21 April 2017
As a child of the 70s, ELO was one of the sounds of my formative years. They're a band I have a lot of affection for as a result but, shamefully, I hadn't hitherto actually owned any of their offerings.

I was sitting at work last week and what should come over the office radio's airwaves but 'Mr Blue Sky'. If ever a song could be bottled and prescribed on the NHS as the ultimate antidepressant, this one would be it. How could anyone fail to feel enormously uplifted by the end of this fabulous track?

So, I grabbed my phone, opened the Amazon app and ordered myself a copy of this must have album. It arrived the next day (how did we manage before Amazon Prime?) and has been thoroughly played since. As well as all the old familiar favourites, there are several tracks I'd completely forgotten about plus some I hearing for the first time. The upshot is; there just aren't any poor or weak tracks on this album at all. The whole thing rocks from start to finish.

For a concept band of the 70s, they remain pretty unique. A wonderful meshing of rock, blues and classical music.
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on 12 June 2016
Oh the music is a solid four star fantastic, most of the hits are here although no 'Can't Get It Out Of My Head' or 'Strange Magic' (which happens to be a personal favorite). My main complaint however is the lack of thought and care regarding packaging, lack of booklet or written sleeve notes gives it the feel that it's been produced on the cheap as a money maker rather a proud reflection on a great band. Side four could have benefited from better song selection but hey everyone who buys this album pretty much knows what they're going to get.
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on 24 November 2016
I’ve been a fan of ELO since the 1970’s and have some of their albums on cassette tapes, but I’ve never got round to changing them to CD’s.

Have decided to keep all my tapes, (as I still have a cassette player) but wanted to see if there was any CD with all my favourite songs on.

Whilst looking on Amazon I found “All Over The World: The Very Best Of ELO” (2005), I treated myself to that, so now I have all my ELO favourites on one CD. :-)

I love both the music and lyrics that Jeff Lynne composes.

My all-time favourites are:- “All Over The World”, "Mr Blue Sky", "Evil Woman", "Don't Bring Me Down", "Livin' Thing", “Sweet Talkin’ Woman", "Hold On Tight", “Turn to Stone”, “Xanadu” and “Strange Magic”.

I feel Jeff’s music is timeless and it’ll be around for a long, long time as his fans are all different ages, and so much of his music has the feel good factor.

If you’ve never bought any of ELO’s albums before and you’d like to give them a go, then this is the best album to start with. :-)
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 7 February 2014
ELO were, beyond any shadow of doubt, one of THE great pop groups, from the days when you could form a band that actually played instruments and sang their own vocals in the studio (X-Factor kids, a 'band' isn't just a vocal combo) and have hit singles that weren't rock music. Notice how the kind of acts who were on the RAK label ceased to exist by the eighties? ELO, of course, were better than them all...

But why is it still uncool to like ELO? Because they lack 'credibility'? Well, only rock bands need credibility and when they were a quasi-progressive outfit (I'm thinking of the period up to - and maybe including - 'Face the Music') they arguably were a rock band (i.e. subjective and individualistic rather than universal in their song approach, which is what pop needs to be pop as opposed to rock). They had some credibility then, but to my way of thinking, were hampered by their Beatles obsession. I'm not going to deny the Beatles' significance in the world of popular music, but only accord them respect for historic and commercial reasons - for me, they're not personally important, as I never liked the sound of their voices and felt they weren't as good as interpreting avant-garde ideas into rock music in the way that say The Byrds or The Velvet Underground or David Bowie were). This obsession tended to hold ELO back in my opinion and although in their pop period, it yielded such huge hits as 'Mr Blue Sky' and 'The Diary of Horace Wimp', it also allowed a massive element of the twee into their work. I find these ditties unlistenable - 'Mr Blue Sky' is clever in its composition and arrangement, but it's painfully quirky-yet-sensible in the manner of a dreadful Christmas sweater with cheesy motifs weaved in ('Wimp', of course, is much, much worse'). How embarrassing! No wonder ELO are uncool...and I won't even mention the triteness of 'Wild West Hero'. Not even yellow vinyl could save that one...

Then there's the disco influence: 'Shine a Little Love' is the sort of guff I expect from a lightweight British funk group or the Bee Gees, whose falsetto warbling is even sillier than Lynne and Grocutt in their scariest moments. This, of course, was a dark moment in pop music, as by this time even Abba had abandoned their Glitter-Pop/Rock 'N' Roll/beat Folk roots and turned into a cheesy show tune music box, turning out drivel like 'The Album' (not even saved by 'Eagle'), 'Does Your Mother Know' and the one that sounds like a Mexican dog.

I don't mean to be unkind, as I really love a lot of the songs on this compilation. 'Evil Woman' is possibly my favourite early ELO single (we've ALL been out with one of them at one point, right chaps?), 'Turn To Stone' is just marvellous (I still haven't got over it being a minor hit compared to 'Mr Blue Sky' - I think it peaked 12 places lower than the Beatlesy number - nor have I recovered from the fact it was never issued on coloured vinyl like some of the singles before and after it). 'Sweet Talkin Woman' is great too - I bought it on 7 and 12 inch (both on purple wax) and gave the former to my classmate Kerris, who I was enamoured of but failed to get off with (where is she now, I ask myself?) and 'Don't Bring Me Down' is a great one to bop along with, despite the infuriatingly stupid 'groooss' refrain that all but ruins it...even the drums/synth breakdown can't quite erase that bit of poor judgement on Jeff's part. 'Telephone Line', with its doo-wop phrasings is one of the great sad pop picks of all time, while 'Rockaria!' really does entrance, especially when Lynne delivers that 'really gonna rock tonight' line (though the botched intro by the classical singer he left in is another example of creeping silliness). It's not that I don't have a sense of humour - I mean, I can even put up with Jeff's bubble perm and I have a beard myself -but whenever ELO come close to achieving rock sublimity, they leave in something stupid that makes the sophisticated listener sigh and raise brows heavenward in despair...

What else can I say? Most - if not all - of the smash hits are here, making this album one every house should own : 'Livin Thing', 'Showdown', 'Confusion', 'Strange Magic' and the marvellously infectious 'All Over the World' (a song I never liked at the time as it was so vague and universal, now I love it) are all delights, though they are offset by rubbish like 'Horace Wimp' and 'Xanadu'. Overall, though, there are more great songs here than duffers, though I'm undecided about Lynne's late rockabilly fixation - 'Hold On Tight' is OK, but 'Rock and Roll is King' doesn't live up to its title.

Special mention for 'Alright', a number I didn't know, which is excellent, a great laid back bluesy thing I wasn't expecting (I'm not a huge blues fan, finding much of it boring save john Lee Hooker, so don't think I'm hung up on the genre like a lot of rock purists)- Lynne's voice is much more mature and interesting on this song than most of the others. I've also reviewed 'Mr Blue Sky: The Very Best Of..' here on Amazon also, in which I go into detail about how my basic issue with ELO a lot of the time was the overly-high vocals and how I prefer Jeff's voice on his solo re-recorded versions, but I wouldn't be without this fine compilation despite way too much quavering, breathy falsetto creeping its unwelcome way into otherwise brilliant numbers.

So, having explained why and where I personally find ELO twee to the point of snatching defeat from the jaws of victory, I will admit that since I bought this CD and Lynne's solo 'Mr Blue Sky' at the start of this week (it's now the weekend), I have played them both almost CONSTANTLY. And I've bought 'A New World Record' on CD, which I hadn't heard all the way through for at least 32 years. And I dug out my 'Out of the Blue' (though it does still sprawl pointlessly much of the time, even though it has one of the greatest album covers ever). And I bought the Lynne solo versions on vinyl. And I'm thinking of buying a lot more of the back catalogue...yep, ELO will never be cool because of their incipient tweeness, but Lynne can write great melodies and produce like a demon.

ELO : love them or hate them, you can't ignore or deny them. I tried!
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on 30 October 2015
Nice art work on the sleeve very eye catching... Now as for the music it's not pop screaming in your face for teeny boppers at the disco.
This sounds a very mixed bunch of very nice tunes that will appeal to many ages... Like me at 60yrs X- Biker with a touch of Goth...haha
I'am playing this CD right now and I like it some very good songs. And not full of electric synthesizer music that you would be expecting
going by the cover
Just to let you know I have Volume 2 and Out of the Blue.. on the way and if they sound as good as the one I am playing now I will be a
very happy person
Sorry but not telling you any of the songs so as not to spoil it for you...Because it's worth buying... now where's my remote to play it again....
They got a touch of heavy base in the music sounds nice...they play it just right
Now to up set some of you, I am using Stereo Pioneer Separates with Quasar Studio Acoustic Speakers And it sounds Brill wicked the way music should be played
my main music is... Pink Floyd Black Sabbath Emerson Lake & Palmer Queen Guns & Roses ect ect so you can see I like my music
To ELO well done thank you for the sounds
review image
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on 7 September 2016
The songs are great, no need to review them (although "Last Train to London" and "10538 Overture" should've been included instead of, say, "Wild West Hero" and "Alright") but the actual LP seems slightly 'cheap' and rushed. ELO were known for their vinyl releases- gorgeous gatefold sleeves, lyric inserts, inner sleeves.... this double LP compilation has none of these. No gatefold sleeve, just two LPs squashed in one album cover. Not even a download code for newcomers to get mp3s of the album. So yeah, little disappointed
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on 28 September 2017
This is just fabulous! Husband and I are huge fans of. It's Jeff Lynn and Richard Tandy on keyboards. They can do no wrong. Hope the neighbours enjoy this, as we do tend to up the volume when out in the garden.
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on 7 November 2017
I happen to like ELO a lot and have transferred this CD to my Synology NAS so I don't have to keep putting it into my Cyrus CDT transport. I play the music a lot
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on 15 February 2011
I must admit to being part of the crowd for many years that 'dissed the 'LO. They were never a cool band. And you certainly didn't tell your early 80s school mates that you liked them if you didn't want to be shamed. However - I have an enormous fondness for them - when I hear the likes of Mr Blue Sky I am instantly transported back to the days of the Sunday evening top 20 rundown.
I remember when I worked for HMV in the very early 90s and ELO (II) 'reconvened' and the rep selling it in to us was trying his hardest, but - well it was hardly excitement.
The recent sampling of them has brought about the inevitable re-assessment of their talents. Jeff Lynne never really pretended to be anything else other than a Beatles copyist. But he did do it well.
Only one complaint but its a big one. WHERE is 10538 Overture?!?! Madness.
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on 15 July 2016
This is a great album and worth get. The songs are better than I remember or has the sound quality got better. Xaqnadu is the ELO version and does not feature Olivia Newton-John. The companion album to this oneis Ticket To The Moon: The Very Best Of Electric Light Orchestra Volume 2.
Here is the link to the album...
The Very Best of ELO Volume 2 - Ticket to the Moon
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