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MP3 Music, June 12, 2001
|Audio CD, Original recording reissued, Original recording remastered, June 12, 2001||
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Discovery isn't one of the Electric Light Orchestra's strongest albums, but it is more than redeemed by the inclusion of what is perhaps their greatest single, the massive "Don't Bring Me Down." "Shine a Little Love" and "Confusion" are also classic ELO tracks in which synths, guitars, and orchestration merge into a finely crafted whole. Unfortunately, the Beatles pastiche of "The Diary of Horace Wimp" and the overly sentimental "Last Train to London" show that, for this world-conquering band, time was about to run out. This remastered edition of the 1979 LP includes three extra tracks, including a take on Del Shannon's "Little Town Flirt." --Robert Burrow
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Probably the most popular of the ELO albums, and I've always like it despite the (personally detested) Disco elements creeping in. The songs were great little stories and the musical arrangements were nothing short of brilliant in places. This is the one that spawned all the radio hits people remember.
The remix is hot, but I don't detect any audible loss of spectrum over the vinyl copy (I actually own the Four Light Years collection rather than Discovery as a single disc) and I can hear the vocals easily. That last is my yardstick for quality of mix, usually.
The extra materials are nice, but the point of buying this disc is the original stuff. It is very commercial, very poppy, and I love it.
Start at A New World Record, travel via Out of the Blue to this one, then Time and Secret Messages and you pretty much have the best years of the ELO you probably know from what you've heard on the radio. The "sound" was defined on ANWR and Lynne really came of age as a lyricist on that one. On OOTB the band were stretching their wings and the results went from the sublime (Concerto for a Rainy Day) to the ridiculous (Jungle).
By Discovery ELO were very much oriented toward writing hits for their own sake, but that doesn't have to be a bad thing in the hands of motivated craftsmen and Lynne was by then a craftsman and the band were accomplished musicians having a good time. You can hear this on "Confusion", "Shine a Little Love", "Diary of Horace Wimp" "Last Train to London" and of course "Don't Bring Me Down" - probably the five best known tracks. The ballads that dilute down the Disco-driven rock are equally notable, but don't get as much airplay (Wishing, Midnight Blue and Need Her Love).
So enjoy it on its merits and don't pay too much attention to what others say about it. Form your opinion from listening rather than reading.
And you can't beat the price; 5 bux!
Marked down 1 star because 1) the album is pretty short to begin with, but then 2) you only get a few short bonus tracks; one of which (Second Time Around) is an unfinished song that made me REALLY wish for more than half a minute's worth of it. On the bright side, that last bonus track (Little Town Flirt) is a good cover of a Del Shannon classic.
Above all it's certainly worth buying if you're an ELO fan.