RATINGS: A = must own B = buy it C= average D = yawn F = puke

ELO – Mr. Blue Sky: The Very Best of Electric Light Orchestra
Frontiers Records


Rating: B+

This is no ordinary ‘best of’ coming out on October 9th. ELO founder Jeff Lynne has revisited and re-recorded these songs, playing all of the instruments and, depending how you view these types of releases, may have even made improvements on some classic tunes.

The album will be released in tandem with his solo album Long Wave. Where his solo album sees him remake pre-rock classics he loved as a child, this one sees him taking on songs OTHER people loved as a child, so the result from the fan base should be interesting.

Lynne explains why he wanted to ‘go there’ in the first place, “There was a big reason I wanted to re-record these ELO songs. When I listen to the old versions they don’t sound the way I thought they did when I first wrote and recorded them. I wanted to use the experience I’ve gained producing records ever since and have a completely new try at them.

“I’m not saying the old versions aren’t good; I like them very much. We were doing our best, but experience and technology also play a big a big part, and these new ones sound much more solid and tight.”

To be honest, while this may make old school ELO fans shake with fear, Lynne actually did good. These songs sound amazing. Jeff went into an area that few would be brave enough to travel and came out better for it. One can only hope this will get his juices flowing for an album of new tunes!

The album includes the classics “Mr. Blue Sky,” ‘Evil Woman,” “Strange Magic,” “Don’t Bring Me Down,” “Turn To Stone,” “Showdown,” “Telephone Line,” “Livin’ Thing,” “Do Ya and “Can’t Get It Out Of My Head.” Also included are a never-before-heard bonus track, “The Point Of No Return” and a version of “10538 Overture” that’s a nod to ELO’s 40th anniversary.

By Jeb Wright