While Electric Light Orchestra was huge in my high school and college days, I was never a big fan of Jeff Lynne's project, a platform to explore his affinity for all things The Beatles. Although, I recall a friend in college, possibly a room mate, who went ape shit crazy over all things ELO, especially the huge double album monster, Out of the Blue. Perhaps it was because it seemed too pop rock radio friendly, or Lynne's over indulgence in orchestration, though I do love cellos, that caused my disinterest. Yet, it's hard to fault his vision and how it was brought to fruition with such skill and entertaining extravagance. I'll make my comments more to the facts, if possible, of this release.
Live comes on the 40th anniversary of ELO, which I don't get because there were two releases by Lynne prior to 1973. Frontiers will also re-release his first solo album Armchair Theatre and 2001's Zoom, the last ELO studio recording, both with bonus materials.
The live recording is culled from performance for a PBS television special in Los Angeles at CBS Television City, shortly after Zoom was released. This was one of two television tapings, the other for VH1's Storytellers series. Essentially, Live is a greatest hits album, high on the precise presentation of the songs and low on audience interaction. It contains four songs not on the DVD, Secret Messages, Sweet Talkin' Woman, Twilight, and Confusion, and two new, unreleased studio tracks, Out of Luck (2010) and Cold Feet (1992). Frankly, it sounds good. If you're and ELO fan and have the DVD, you should get this disc for the extra songs and bonus material. Favorite track for this reluctant ELO fan: Roll Over Beethoven, always liked Lynne's faithful interpretation of a rock n' roll classic. Nuff said.
Electric Light Orchestra Live is essentially a 'live' greatest hits album from the 2001 PBS television special in Los Angeles at CBS Television City, released to DVD, with four additional tracks from the show not found on the video recording.
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