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GREATEST HITS ALBUM REVIEW
ELECTRIC LIGHT ORCHESTRA
ALL OVER THE WORLD
Released - Aug 2, 2005, on Epic Records. Produced by Jeff Lynne.
Jeff Lynne -
Lead and Backing Vocals; Guitars;
Synthesizers & Pianos; Percussion; Bass
Marc Bolan - Lead Guitar on Ma-Ma-Ma Belle
All songs written by Jeff Lynne
I must admit, even though I've always like the Electric Light Orchestra and could see the genius in it's leader, Jeff Lynne, I never owned any of their albums till last month when I brought this greatest hits LP. Yet I was surprised that out of the 20 songs found in this offering, there were only three that I had never heard. Yes, they really did have a lot of hits that received plenty of air play over the radio throughout the years.
Like all greatest hits albums, this one is missing a few important songs that ELO recorded, including "Can't Get It out of My Head", which was their first top ten US hit. Also missing from this collection is my all time favorite cover of Chuck Berry's "Roll Over Beethoven", a song that so many bands covered, yet nobody did so in the way ELO did. But it seems that for this best of LP, all of the songs were penned by Lynne, the reason I guess that "Roll Over Beethoven" was left off of it.
One thing I noticed after playing All Over The World several times, was how often Lynne overdubbed his vocals on so many different songs, nor did I ever pay attention to how often he sang in falsetto. Heck, I never realized that in part because of this, that ELO sounded a bit like the Bee Gees, at least vocal wise. Not that that is a bad thing mind you, as I always dug that sound, at least to a certain point.
The order of the songs on this album, unlike many other greatest hits LPs, does not go in the order of the year the songs were released, in fact they are all over the place as far as that category goes. Fact is, all but five of the songs come from the 1970s, yet nothing from before 1973, after co-founder of the band, Roy Wood left the group.
My two favorite songs on this one are "Strange Magic", a song where the vocals really count, as there are not a whole lot of lyrics to it, with the words "strange magic" being repeated over and over again, yet sounding great at the same time despite that. Then "Livin' Thing", an unusual rock song because of the subject matter, which deals with male impotency, usually the opposite of what we expect to hear from rockers.
"Ma-Ma-Ma Belle" is another standout song for ELO, a hard rocker which Lynne sings quite differently, using a heavy metal like voice, with a blaring guitar riff to go along with it from friend Marc Bolan of T-Rex. It really is the only song that is a bit different than the rest of what you usually hear from this group, although that isn't to say that you will not find other rockers on here. "Rock 'N' Roll Is King" is faster paced, as is "Rockaria!", which even sounds a bit like their rocking cover of "Roll Over Beethoven".
Yet still, it is the ballads that ELO recorded which are the most interesting to hear. Many places where you would normally hear a guitar in any other normal rock song, with ELO you would hear violins and cellos instead, and every time they sounded just fine. After all, this group was suppose to be a rock orchestra, and in fact, they really were.
To listen to some soundclips from ALL OVER THE WORLD or to purchase it, click on: All Over the World: The Very Best of Electric Light Orchestra
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