Customer Review

Reviewed in the United States on July 23, 2007
I still remember this album from when it came out. I remember the tv ad with two teenagers making out in a car and all of a sudden a flash of light. "What's that?" she asks. He replies "Why it's the new album from the Electric Light Orchestra" while pulling it down from the roof of the car. This album starts with the big hit Turn To Stone and already you can here the disco influence that would become more prevalant on the band's Discovery album. Still, it is a good song. It's Over has always been one of my favorite ELO songs and it's never sounded better than on this edition. Back when this album came out, I couldn't stand the hit Sweet Talkin' Woman but it really doesn't sound as bad now. Across The Border is fun. Night In The City and Starlight are both nice enough. Jungle, Believe Me Now and Steppin' Out are great songs. Jungle is fun. Believe In Me Now and Steppin' Out show Jeff's Beatles influence and are better for it. What used to be side three is Concerto For A Rainy Day and is/was the most consistant side of the old album including the third big hit, Mr. Blue Sky. Sweet Is The Night is nice. The Whale is another great song. Birmingham Blues is only ok and Wild West Hero is better. The unreleased bonus tracks are short but good. It is to Jeff's credit, that unlike most two record sets at the time, there are no real terrible songs on here. As far as the packaging of this one, I don't currently see what all the complaints are about. First of all, the Joe Gastwirt version came out in 1987 and not 1990 and as far as a few brief dropouts, those are on the master tapes. Most albums recorded in the late '70's have this problem as the tapes actually fall apart and need to be "baked". I like the fact that they went for a version that actually sounds like the master tapes which makes this sound more like the original release and not overly remastered(IE new mixes, erased parts and stuff like that). My first copy of this was from 1977(without dropouts) and in 1982 I bought a fresh copy but by that time the dropouts were already there. The Gastwirt version was from a cleaned up vinyl copy and the dropouts are on there too as well as the box set versions of the songs. As far as the box, I've gotten cd's that have been worse packaged than this one including a couple by ELO. I would suggest putting a wrapper around the box to help keep it from getting too dinged up. I like the fact that there's a mini version of the put it together spaceship that used to come with the lp and I like the interview with Jeff Lynne. I should add that the other new version comes with an edited booklet and doesn't have the nice stuff that this one does.
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