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Best single CD of ELO's hits
le 10 juin 2005
ELO evolved from another British group, The Move, which was successful in the late sixties with such hits as Flowers in the rain and Blackberry way. Bev Bevan, Roy Wood and Jeff Lynne, all previously with The Move, created ELO. With other new members, they recorded their debut album, which yielded the UK top ten hit 10538 overture. After that, there were a series of line-up changes but the biggest change came because Roy and Jeff disagreed about the way that ELO should develop. Roy and two others quit and formed their own group, Wizzard (essentially a rock'n'roll group, updated for the seventies) who had a couple of UK number one hits (See my baby jive, Angel fingers), but is now best remembered for the top five hit, I wish it could be Christmas every day.
With Roy gone, Jeff was free to do what he wanted. He added classical music influences to a basic rock sound, making something unique and distinctive, though this vision took a few albums to be fully realized. ELO had a long string of hits on both sides of the Atlantic in the seventies, particularly from the albums A new world record, Out of the blue and Discovery, but were unable to sustain that success in the eighties. Their last UK top ten hit was in 1981 and they only came close once after that - in 1983, with Rock'n'roll is king. In America, their fortunes faded equally dramatically but they had already recorded a body of work that is well worth listening to.
No single CD can contain all of ELO's hits - if you want a comprehensive compilation, go for the British double-CD Ultimate collection - but this compilation contains most of the essentials. Their first two UK top ten hits (1538 overture, Roll over Beethoven) are missing as is Do ya (an American hit but not a UK hit) and Last train to London (the flip side of Confusion - the two sides were credited as a double-sided UK top ten hit). However, you will find Xanadu and All over the world, frequently omitted from ELO compilations on both sides of the Atlantic, together with Living thing, Mr Blue Sky, Hold on tight, Telephone line, Rockaria, Wild west hero, Don't bring me down, Shine a little love and other classic tracks that you would expect to find. The omitted hits can be found on Ultimate collection The tracks are not in chronological order, which will disappoint some people, but it is far better to have all the tracks that matter than to have a chronological compilation that omits essential tracks.
If you only want one ELO collection of their music and you feel that a double-CD is too much for you, this will suit you ideally providing all your favorites are here.