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Balance Of Power
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The packaging itself would be enough for me to grab it[...]. Unlike the picture featured here with a faded, almost orange cover, the Jewel Case has a brilliant Tornado Red (akin to my former '98 VW Jetta) booklet with a plethora of archived goodness. The CD itself has a rather sharp looking blue theme that contrasts really well with the red case.
The original 10 tracks at last have the power befitting of ELO, albeit minus the strings. The bonus tracks are really what make this album a winner. "Opening"/"Heaven Only Knows (Alternate Take)" are up there as possibly one of the best 4 minutes of music Jeff's ever written. I can't imagine why this was dropped in favor of the 1986 cut of HOK (always liked it anyway). "In For the Kill" and "Caught in a Trap" sound fantastic, but could very easily be an alternate set of lyrics set to the same music; more or less the same sound but both great pieces in their own right. The alternate mixes of "Secret Lives" and "Sorrow About to Fall" absolutely top their 1986 counterparts, hands down. And finally there's a CD with "Destination Unknown" that isn't a bloody compilation album (even though we've got all of them anyhow).
This Remastered Edition brings it to the table then proceeds to liquefy your mind in the fantastic way only ELO can do and smokes a cigarette afterwards. It's worth every cent of the cover price. [...]
We also get two sublime b-sides "Destination Unknown" and "Caught in a Trap". The songs were previous released on the first ELO boxed set but rightfully regain their place next to the stronger tracks on this next-to-last ELO album. When Lynne would return as ELO only Richard Tandy would play on "Zoom". Here the band is a trio of Lynne, long time drummer Bev Bevan (who also was a member of the Move with Lynne and the only member on every album by ELO except "Zoom")and long-time collaborator Richard Tandy playing keyboards and sythesizer strings. Lynne plays both guitar and bass.
Although the production and use of electronic drums date the album, they add a charm to the album. While this is far from my favorite ELO album, Lynne's best qualities as a songwriter--a strong sense of melody, creative arrangements and production touches dominate the album.
You can also hear the influence of Steve Winwood's "Arc of A Diver" and "Back in the High Life Again" with Richard Tandy playing a sythesizer with a similar sound to Winwood's on the popular singles from those albums.
I'd give "Balance of Power" 3 1/2 stars with the addition of the alternate mixes/versions and the inclusion of the two fine B-sides.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
It's always a bit of an issue in the music business when the music becomes just that: a business. Musicians meet and jam for the pleasure of creating something without any thought... Read morePublished 3 months ago by Neil Frost
Love it! It came today (As of 3/2/2016) and was indeed new! Since it had the plastic on it and all, and let's be honest. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Tyler Douglas Morelock
Maybe it's called progressive rock because with every album they put out they got better and better. This album I have on vinyl. Read morePublished 6 months ago by Xanamotion
I understand that people may have been burnt out on ELO by the time this came out. Decades have past now. Just open up and listen to every song. Read morePublished 7 months ago by Amazon Customer
The last ELO album with the original lineup. I thoroughly enjoyed it and highly recommend it. Calling America was a single that made the charts back in the day but I am partial to... Read morePublished 7 months ago by mj868