Electric Light Orchestra

1. Evil Woman
2. Showdown
3. Secret Messages
4. Livin' Thing
5. Sweet Talkin' Woman
6. Mr. Blue Sky
7. Can't Get It Out of My Head
8. Twilight
9. Confusion
10. Don't Bring Me Down
11. Roll Over Beethoven (Chuck Berry cover)
Bonus tracks
12. Out of Luck (Recorded 2010)
13. Cold Feet (Recorded 1992)
Japanese bonus track[2]
14. Telephone Line (Live from Bungalow Palace)

Jeff Lynne (Lead vocals, electric guitar & acoustic guitar)
RICHARD TANDY (Piano & keyboards)
MARC MANN (Keyboards, guitar, background vocals & cello arrangements)
ROSIE VELA (Background vocals)
GREGG BISSONETTE (Drums & background vocals)
MATT BISSONETTE (Bass & background vocals)
Track 12
JEFF LYNNE (Lead vocals, background vocals, guitars, bass & drums)
STEVE JAY (Tambourine)
Track 13
JEFF LYNNE (Lead vocals, background vocals, keyboards, electric guitar, acoustic guitar, bass & drums)

The Electric Light Orchestra (1971)
ELO 2 (1973)
On the Third Day (1973)
Eldorado (1974)
Face the Music (1975)
A New World Record (1976)
Out of the Blue (1977)
Discovery (1979)
Xanadu (1980)
Time (1981)
Secret Messages (1983)
Balance of Power (1986)
Zoom (2001)
Mr Blue Sky (best of) (2012)

Zoom (2013)


All tracks except 12 & 13 recorded LIVE at CBSTELEVISONCITY, LOS ANGELES in 2001
All tracks except12 & 13 engineered by RYAN ULYATE and MARC MANN
OUT OF LUCK engineered by STEVE JAY
Produced by JEFF LYNNE

Released 2013-04-19
Reviewed 2013-04-06



I really don't have anything against Jeff Lynne and ELO but I can't help feeling that it's gone a bit too far by now. This fall we saw the bands twentieth something best of release, 'Mr. Blue Sky', and this spring Lynne has announced no less than three albums where two are ELO-albums. Daniel has already reviewed 'Zoom' and the same day as that and the solo Lynne album we get this live album from ELO.

Lynnes solo album and 'Zoom' are both re-releases with freshed up sound but this live album has only been released as a DVD before, never on album so it the first time we're able to get the music only. The music was recorded in 2001, in Los Angeles, and the album also include two previously unreleased tracks - one from 2010 and one from 1992. Now I'm not a guy that say "no thanks" to ELO releases since I really like this band but at the same time I feel that you have to draw the line somewhere and ELO has just passed that line with these releases. They say that these releases are part of a 40th anniversary for this band but in my world it seems a bit late to celibrate that now since it's 43 years since ELO was formed and 42 since the first album was released. Instead I feel that this album has one purpose: to give Lynne more money using this big name and the fans of their music - it's not awarding them to release old albums like this and take money for it, awarding them would be to give it for free. Now it's taking advantage of them to make more money. Awarding them would also to be making something new, like a new studio album, and not releasing another album with songs we've already heard.

I could go on about this, and I will later on, but let's leave it for now and concentrate on the facts. 'Live' is ELOs fifth livealbum and I have to say that the tracklist looks very appealing. To be single CD release I have to say they've covered all songs I'd wish for and I'm not missing a single track despite some big ones are missing (like Telephone Line, unless you play the Japanese version). The 50 minutes are over before you know it and I admit I want more when the tracks have run out. Sound quality is also good, no - it's fantastic! And the music is well played all the way through. If I must complain on something it would be the vocals, but they aren't bad or anything - just not 100% perhaps. The real complain is that the album is released at all.

I've always seen music as a way to entertain, to please, comfort, understand… It's something you definitely could and even should make money on considering everything it gives to people but it's sad when it's used for it. All of these songs have been on several ELO albums by now, most of them best-of compilations but also a few live albums and about half of them (six to be exact) were on the 'Mr. Blue Sky: The Very Best Of Electric Light Orchestra' album released just last year. We've heard these songs before and some of them are around 40 years old but we still see them being released on almost a yearly basis. Sure, it's a good thing that great music isn't forgotten but everything reach a point where it starts to feel a bit worn out. And ELO is balancing on the border to that now.

Here's a funny thing: I'm 28 years old, In my lifetime there's been way over 20 ELO releases but - and this is almost tragic - only two of these contains new material (one of which are released the same day as this). And to release album after album like these without making anything new is so completely against my music philosophy.

So do we need 'Live'? And who would want it? Who would need it? Well, I think there are a few who would want it and that could get something out of it. Like fans that wants to have or hear everything and anything they've done or people that actually hasn't heard ELO, or at least not a live album with the band. Then we have the new fans, like people that has come after the olympics or the 'Mr. Blue Sky' album. But to people that has grown up with these songs and heard them all not just once, but twice or even three times - or anything similar to that. These people will probably not get as much out of it. Sure, it's always fun to hear these great songs, especially when they're played this well, but that's no reason to get 'Live', just because it's fun to hear the songs. We want something new now, Mr. Lynne!



Label: Frontiers Records
Three similar bands: Jeff Lynne/Boston/Yes
Rating: HHHHHHH (4/7)
Reviewer: Caj Källmalm

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