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on May 11, 2013
For years, I had been looking in stores for a good ELO compilation and all I could find were grab bags of their hit singles. It wasn't until I found this online that I found what I was looking for and more! This is the collection that Jeff Lynne wanted included in an ELO compilation, which includes hit singles and much more, as well as a very cool case that contains a booklet with loads of photos and with comments by Lynne on each song. This is the ELO compilation for all diehard ELO enthusiasts.
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on May 21, 2017
Great great box set nice collection of songs by ELO
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on November 23, 2000
Even dedicated fans of ELO might think twice before committing to yet another compilation of the group's works. Besides the two greatest hits CDs, there was the 3-disc box set "Afterglow" as well as a 2-CD subsequent distillation after the fact.
Now comes "Flashback," which at first blush seems to be yet another attempt by a music label to squeeze a bit more life out of a group that released its last album in 1986. Thankfully, that's not quite the case here. "Flashback" does indeed contain all of ELO's "greatest hits," but it is the first time that the tunes have been digitally remastered from the original master tapes (as opposed to simply being taken from poorly-mastered previous CD editions). Many of the songs (particularly those from the early years of the group) gain immensely from the new treatment. Instrument separation is especially noticeable, and while the dense mixes of later songs (part of that ELO "sound") doesn't quite benefit as much, all of the songs have a sparkle that's just a joy.
"Flashback" contains a sprinkling of unreleased material, though not nearly as much ELO fans might have hoped for. There are a few "alternate" versions, which rarely add up to more than just the addition of a different introduction or slight edit. The new version of "Xanadu" (with ELO founder/creative genius Jeff Lynne on vocals) is a bit tepid, and it's easy to see why the unreleased material was originally... well, unreleased. Even so, it's a pleasure to hear "new" ELO material. And one of the hidden treasures of this set is the announcement that Jeff Lynne is planning to release an entirely new ELO album in 2001!
All in all, this was a pleasant surprise -- even for someone whose collected all the ELO material released in the U.S.
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on December 20, 2014
Just forget about the overplayed "boook-a-cheeka boook-a-cheeka" pop stuff from the 80's. This covers the whole spectrum from the early 70's on. This was an amazing band. Violins, cellos, keyboards, great drumming and of course, Jeff Lynne.
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on February 18, 2004
I am sick of ELO being bashed as the poor man's Beatles, as sappy, as "disco-flavored violin trash," and as infantile muzak. All of these criticisms are from people who haven't bothered to listen to ELO from beginning to last and who are too obtuse to realize that Jeff Lynne is a musical genius (and no, I don't use that word lightly). Yes, his lyrics are banal, but with this type of music, who on earth cares? The lyrics to "Ob La Di, Ob La Da" are trite too, but with such catchy music, one can overlook the banality of the words.
This set is the definitive set of the three issued ELO compilations. The liner notes are written by Lynne and they are interesting and contain some new information. He throws in some clunkers, such as the B-take of "Do Ya?" which Lynee erroneously claims is better than the released version. "Xanudu" is still a limping dog of a song, but there are some remastered gems here. ALl of the first 2 discs are pure magic, including ELO's most underrated (and, I think, best) song, "Nightrider." And how about "Four Little Diamonds" on disc three, where you can Lynne counting down the intro and sounding exactly like Ozzy Osbourne, in their mutual Birmingham accents.
The sound quality is excellent and the track order is pleasing. There are no omissions and only a few questionable inclusions, and they all appear on disc three.
I bought my first ELO single when I was 10 years old and I never looked back. If you've read this far, you're a fan like me and you will devour this set. Long live this sappy, trite, banal band... I still love 'em forever!
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on February 13, 2001
...but the sound quality isn't as good as the comments here might lead one to expect. While clarity and good frequency balance are hallmarks of this set--it *is* better than other ELO material on CD!--I can't get out from under the sense that almost all of these tracks underwent a de-hissing process akin to the misery being showered on the Beatles catalog currently (as on *1*).
The industry just doesn't seem to get the fact that dehissing always sucks life out of music! You can't remove broadband white noise without taking some musical harmonics with it. There's just "air" missing in there somehow; the music sounds like it's trapped behind an ever-so-thin veil of Saran wrap. (Disc 2 seems especially hard hit.)
The EQ used to compensate is used very judiciously, but you just can't put it all back in after removing such broad swaths of high-frequency information! Voices and strings all sound just a little "off," and worst hit are the drums--hard and brittle ("crisp" is a term I've seen people using!) at the uppermost frequencies instead of snappy and open the way the snares sound on the original LPs (and in life).
On a scale of 1 to 10 I'd give the sound a's so close to perfect. And I give the production team credit for not overly compressing these already-compressed pop recordings.
The music, of course, is incredible, the sequencing inspired. I just can't reconcile this thing with the sound. It may not even be de-hissing...maybe it's something else.
Legacy has done oustanding work with Simon & Garfunkel and The Outlaws, bettering the quality of the original LPs in those cases. Maybe Jeff Lynne should have worked with the producer Bob Irwin on this collection. Anyway, buy it and listen for yourself! I'm splitting hairs with greatness here.
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on December 31, 2015
Always loved ELO. Not all their music, but a lot of it. Brings back so many memories, and just good feelings. Old does not mean bad. Too bad nobody plays it on the radio anymore.
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on September 20, 2012
When I was little my father would have me listening to 60's and 70's music so despite being born in the late 80's I have always loved music that was before my time and ELO is probably my favorite 70's band of all time. This collection has all of my favorite songs from them as well as some I had never heard before. This is definitely the best ELO collection yet and is a must have for all ELO fans.
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on January 12, 2007
For the lifelong fan or someone who wants to remember what the ELO were like back in the 70's and 80's this is the one you will ever need. With notes and pictures from the one and only Mr Jeff Lynne what more can you ask for!!! brilliant present if you want to remind someone in their late 30'sor early 40's of their teenage years or you want to introduce someone to that rock/orchestra sound. Includes not only the hits but some of the best tracks from those great albums as well. Good in the car or relaxing at home...what more can I write????
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on April 10, 2005
As a longtime elo/jeff lynne/roy wood fan, I am glad that they finally came out with a decent box set.Afterglow, their first box set which came out in the early 1990's,did not contain "Calling America", a top 20 U.S. hit off their last album in 1986,"Balance Of Power" before they disbanded, yet has "So Serious" and "Getting To The Point",two singles which did not even chart! Also, it contained 4 out of 5 songs on ELO II, their second album released after Roy Wood left he group which is the most boring album of 5 songs that go one forever and have no tune which is a waste of money other than the "Roll Over Beethoven" single. It was great hearing new ELO cuts never before released, all of which I think are great, especially Helpless", "Love Changes All", and "Grieg"s Piano Concerto In A Minor". Having said that, there are some disappointments."Fire On High", a great instrumental of their "Face The Music" album never released as a single yet played to death on classic rock radio,is missing, also "Wild West Hero", a UK top ten hit off their "Out Of The Blue" album in 1978,is missing, also "Stranger", a failed US single of 1983's "Secret Messages" album and one of my favorites off of this album,does not appear. Plus, 2 of the songs on "Out Of The Blue" included on the box set, "Big Wheels" and "The Whale", are among the worst cuts on this album. But other than this, the box set includes all of their magnificent US and UK hit singles other than "Wild West Hero", which Jeff Lynne must not like, along with great liner notes and story.I would consider this a must have for die-hard ELO fans just because of the bonus tracks and also a must-have for those just getting into ELO who want a comprehensive hits collection that encompasses all of their major hits and all of their years of this awesome band's existence. Also, another recommendation is the new "Discovery" CD with bonus tracks which includes a great cover version of Del Shannon's "Little Town Flirt".Jeff Lynne is without question a songwritting genius matched only by Roy Wood and the Beatles. Having said that, I wish he had recorded more covers of songs during ELO's years of reign other than "Roll Over Beethoven", the classical composition "In The Hall Of The Mountain King", and songs off ELO's 1974 live album.
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