84 of 87 people found the following review helpful
on December 3, 2005
I, too was baffled by the omissions on this ELO comp. I wrote to a watchdog column to get answers.
Here's what I was told. This comp initially was only intended for the UK. Hence only the hit singles in that country were chosen. That is why Can't Get it Out of My Head is not on this - it didn't chart overseas. That is why Wild West Hero and Rockaria are on this.
It was then released worldwide with the track selection intact. Sounds plausible, and yet, the tracklisting does vary in Holland and Japan. So...back to the same question=why not vary it here?
Why the remake of Xanadu and not the UK hit with Olivia Newton John?
Skimpy liner notes and a slightly spotty track selection (no Do Ya, Twilight, Calling America, Roll Over Beethoven, 10538 Overture (the latter two both charted well in the UK), and the above Can't Get it Out of My Head knock this down one star. The four stars are for what IS on here and the remastering which is superb!
33 of 37 people found the following review helpful
on October 5, 2005
As another reviewer has mentioned, "All Over The World" is a fantastic introduction to one of the central bands of the 1970's and early 1980's. With a sound all of their own, ELO produced some of the most original and unique sounds I have ever heard.
ELO mix rock/pop with a bit of classical, and the mix is heady. These guys could still hold their own in contemporary music, and their enduring fan-base is testament to their appeal. In addition to that, ELO can sing like no one else, and just have an awesome sound.
Bottom line, for a sound that is unique and original, ELO's "All Over the World" is a great place to start with a great band.
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
ELO evolved from another British group, The Move, which was successful in the late sixties with such hits as Flowers in the rain and Blackberry way. Bev Bevan, Roy Wood and Jeff Lynne, all previously with The Move, created ELO. With other new members, they recorded their debut album, which yielded the UK top ten hit 10538 overture. After that, there were a series of line-up changes but the biggest change came because Roy and Jeff disagreed about the way that ELO should develop. Roy and two others quit and formed their own group, Wizzard (essentially a rock'n'roll group, updated for the seventies) who had a couple of UK number one hits (See my baby jive, Angel fingers), but is now best remembered for the top five hit, I wish it could be Christmas every day.
With Roy gone, Jeff was free to do what he wanted. He added classical music influences to a basic rock sound, making something unique and distinctive, though this vision took a few albums to be fully realized. ELO had a long string of hits on both sides of the Atlantic in the seventies, particularly from the albums A new world record, Out of the blue and Discovery, but were unable to sustain that success in the eighties. Their last UK top ten hit was in 1981 and they only came close once after that - in 1983, with Rock'n'roll is king. In America, their fortunes faded equally dramatically but they had already recorded a body of work that is well worth listening to.
No single CD can contain all of ELO's hits - if you want a comprehensive compilation, go for the British double-CD Ultimate collection - but this compilation contains most of the essentials. Their first two UK top ten hits (1538 overture, Roll over Beethoven) are missing as is Do ya (an American hit but not a UK hit) and Last train to London (the flip side of Confusion - the two sides were credited as a double-sided UK top ten hit). However, you will find Xanadu and All over the world, frequently omitted from ELO compilations on both sides of the Atlantic, together with Living thing, Mr Blue Sky, Hold on tight, Telephone line, Rockaria, Wild west hero, Don't bring me down, Shine a little love and other classic tracks that you would expect to find. The omitted hits can be found on Ultimate collection The tracks are not in chronological order, which will disappoint some people, but it is far better to have all the tracks that matter than to have a chronological compilation that omits essential tracks.
If you only want one ELO collection of their music and you feel that a double-CD is too much for you, this will suit you ideally providing all your favorites are here.
12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
Jeff Lynne wears his Beatles' influences (proudly) on his sleeve and from the mid-Seventies through the early Eighties wrote, produced and performed a string of hit singles--most of which are collected on this 20-track anthology. If this were the only ELO greatest hits release available, I'd give this a more enthusiastic endorsement. However, there are several to choose from, and this current release has some serious flaws.
Six of ELO's twenty U.S. Top 40 hits are excluded from this collection, including their American debut "Can't Get It Out of My Head" (which went to No. 9 in 1975) and the 1980 million-seller "I'm Alive." The omission of these two songs makes no sense. The other missing singles are "Do Ya," "Last Train to London," "Twilight" and their last chart entry "Calling America."
Also missing are three U.K. hits: Their 1972 debut single "10538 Overture" (No. 9), the 1973 Chuck Berry Cover "Roll Over Beethoven" (No. 6--it only reached No. 42 in the U.S., but it's what first turned me on to the band), and 1982's "Ticket to the Moon" (No. 24).
While it may seem like nitpicking to complain about missing U.K. hits, the compilers did include all of their other U.K. hits that did not hit the Top 40 in the U.S.: "The Diary of Horace Wimp" (No. 8), "Wild West Hero" (No. 6), "Showdown" (No. 12), "Ma-Ma-Ma Belle" (No. 22; by the way, this track features Marc Bolan playing lead guitar along with Lynne), and "Rockaria" (No. 9).
They even throw in "Alright" from 2001's ZOOM, but that's not enough to make up for all the previously mentioned omissions. While this is a more than adequate collection for the novice fan, 1995's 2-disc THE ESSENTIAL (even though it omits the three singles from the XANADU soundtrack) is a more complete look at the history of ELO. Or better yet, 2000's 3-disc FLASHBACK has all hits and just about everything else all but the most dedicated fans will ever need. RECOMMENDED
27 of 33 people found the following review helpful
on November 21, 2006
Bad choices for compilation. Missing are breakthrough Top 10 single "Can't Get It out of My Head," and signature anthem "Do Ya" and
"Roll Over Beethoven." One star for including "Showdown" which was missing from the also poorly-conceived "Essential" compilation. ELO deserves a single-disk comilation that doesn't force you to buy an additional compilation of their widely acknowledged "best." I'm a huge fan but you can't highly rate a compilation just because you love the band. You have to rate it based on the quality of the concept, and this one falls short.
12 of 15 people found the following review helpful
on January 15, 2007
Nice overseen remastering job by Jeff Lynne. With the exception of the new version of "Xanadu"(I wish it was the 1980 version with Olivia Newton John), the song list is pretty nice. This sampling of ELO hits is a great way for a new ELO fan to start an ELO collection. Nice linear notes by Jeff. Again as with all the ELO greatest hits and ELO box sets there are favorite songs missing. Best bet by all the Epic /Legacy remastered ELO cd releases, but if you just want one disc full of hits this disc is a nice edition to have. I wish "Look At Me Now", "Dreaming Of 4000" and a few more ELO oddities were on this collection I know these are two odd songs that are not known as ELO greatest hits material but it would have added a little different curriculum to this latest ELO greatest hits release. I still enjoyed the listen it brought brought back alot of memories. While I listened to this ELO greatest hits collection cd, as usual I cracked an ELO smile. Recommended listening...............
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on August 10, 2005
Whether or not this collection is "complete" is irrelevant, because you cannot possibly fit all of ELO's greatest songs on one disc. These guys have been recording off and on since 1971, and they have an amazing body of work.
For me, I just judge it based upon the listening experience provided by each individual song. On that basis, all I can say is WOW. From the opening blast of "Mr. Blue Sky" through the pop brilliance of "Sweet Talkin' Woman" and the eccentric romp "Diary of Horace Wimp" and the recently re-recorded Jeff Lynne version of "Xanadu" and the galloping guitars of "Alright" from ZOOM and the closing retro kick of "Rock and Roll is King," each track is a new revelation. Of course, you've got the mammoth hits like "Don't Bring Me Down," "Telephone Line," "Strange Magic," "Shine a Little Love," and "Evil Woman" all sandwiched in there too.
As for the sonic boom here, it's huge! Each song sounds more clear and BIG than ever before. It's a great way to introduce a friend to ELO or to refresh your own happy memories of them. Get in your car, put on a rocker like "Ma-Ma-Ma Belle," roll down your windows, and hit the gas. This is pure driving music, baby!
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on August 9, 2005
Some may ask, "Why another ELO compilation CD?" Well, because the time is right, as interest in ELO is rising again, based on the inclusion of many ELO songs in movies and television. Plus, there was a need to finally do one single disc right...great graphics, topnotch sound, Jeff Lynne's personal involvement, and a promotional push from Sony/Legacy. This collection has already been a blockbuster in the UK and other nations such as Australia, New Zealand, Ireland, and Sweden, and it should enjoy healthy "legs" here in the USA.
So, here it is: 20 of ELO's most-beloved songs. The sound is spectacular and dynamic, especially on cuts such as the impossibly, irresistably cheery "Mr. Blue Sky," the incredible synth epic "Turn to Stone," and the gorgeous smash hit "Strange Magic." One could quibble with some of the tracks that were left out of this collection (which could have easily filled a second disc), but the producers obviously were going for the jugular here, with one killer single disc.
In addition to including 15 of ELO's 20 US Top 40 Hits, there are some of the band's big UK hits, such as the madcap Sgt. Pepperesque "The Diary of Horace Wimp" and the cinematic wistfulness of "Wild West Hero." It's a stellar introduction to ELO for new initiates and a nostalgia-drenched rocking collection for the true afficianado.
So, whether you're jamming to the crunchy "Don't Bring Me Down" or singing along with the "doo wopping" of "Telephone Line," you'll find this jam packed little disc a constant companion in your CD player for a long time to come.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on August 18, 2012
For listeners that have missed out of Electric Light Orchestra (ELO)'s music, the band's greatest hits, ALL OVER THE WORLD, is a great place to jump in and start listening to the band. With the exception of a couple of omissions (see below), this release contains all of ELO's best work. Jeff Lynne's band rose to prominence with its blend of pop-music sensibilities and orchestral/electronic instrumentation.
However, the collection isn't without its problems. This release was originally intended for UK audiences only -- as such, the songs chosen for this release have been skewed towards the songs that saw success in Europe. "Can't Get It Out Of My Head," is notably missing. It appears on the next greatest hits (The Very Best Of Electric Light Orchestra, Volume 2. Also, the version of "Xanadu" is different from the hit of the 80's; instead, it's a newly mixed track that does not feature Olivia Newton John. Early hit "Roll Over Beethoven" is also missing from this collection, presumably because it was penned by Chuck Berry instead of Jeff Lynne.
If you are new to ELO, ALL OVER THE WORLD is a great place to start listening to the band. This greatest hits package is by no means exhaustive -- there's plenty of other great ELO tracks to discover for new listeners. Essential Tracks: "Mr. Blue Sky," "Don't Bring Me Down," and "Evil Woman."
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
I grew up listening to AOL music (Album Oriented Rock) on the radio and my initial memory of ELO came while working with friends during the summer cleaning sheep pens for a dentist/farmer we knew and hearing 'Don't Bring Me Down' and thinking: man, that is AWESOME! I since went on to find more of their music only to discover I was already familiar with many of their earlier hits, I just hadn't known who had performed them. It was right around that time that I made a point of discovering who sang EACH and EVERY song I liked...why? Well I'm not too sure. But what I DO know is it has gone a long way towards helping me out in my career in radio.
Jeff Lynne was/is the heart and soul of ELO. Its a fact. That does not take away anything from the other two founding members (Roy Wood & Bev Bevan)...in fact, not many would argue that in spite of their contributions to the wonderfully original sound of ELO, it was Jeff Lynne's vision which shaped the direction the band would chart. A few bands have tried to meld orchestras with the modern rock sound...some only did a few with great success (the Beatles come to mind) and even Kansas would do an admirable job after a few years--but come on, lets be CLEAR: nobody did it with the success or regularity of ELO. Now here is the interesting piece to the puzzle: it wouldn't be 'til their 4th album (Eldorado) before the Orchestra actually employed a REAL orchestra which helped to cement their unique sound. Not only did it help give them their focus and fully define their *sound* but it charted their first commercially successful top 10 hit ('Can't Get It Out Of My Head') and brought them enough sales to bring them to Gold status for the first time. With that taste of success came a renewed desire to continue with what they had sought so hard for.
By the end of the 70's, ELO was the biggest selling act coming out of England--not a bad feat when you consider how many HUGE artists/groups that country has produced. The biggest transition that the band made was when they touched slightly into the Disco craze of the late 70's--and thankfully it was brief. At the start of the 80's they gave us the soundtrack to the truly abysmal film Xanadu...the movie (justifiably so) tanked at the box office--however the soundtrack went multi-platinum. Say what you want, but to those who love ELO, this selection has a little of everything. There will ALWAYS be debate over virtually EVERY Greatest Hits collection produced...they included some great stuff but ignored other arguably better stuff...the debate will continue even in the case of this particular selection, too. If you want a better collection, buy each song yourself and put them on your own mp3...otherwise, this is a pretty decent collection of very great songs by a seriously underrated band.