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Electric Light Orchestra - Afterglow CD (album) cover

AFTERGLOW

Electric Light Orchestra

 

Crossover Prog

3.14 | 11 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

progaardvark
Prog Reviewer
3 stars Afterglow was ELO's first box set consisting of three discs of material, each one labeled after the group's acronym. The collection is an odd selection containing charted hits, random songs off of their studio albums (like Steppin' Out and So Fine), and a bunch of unreleased stuff.

The first disc (disc "E") consists of material from the group's first five albums (No Answer, ELO II, On the Third Day, Eldorado, and Face the Music). This is music chiefly from the group's progressive rock period, although it ventures into pop rock/art rock territory. It includes some of the best ELO creations ever made, such as Kuiama, In Old England Town, 10538 Overture, Roll Over Beethoven, and One Summer Dream.

The second disc (disc "L") contains material from their peak pop rock period, 1975-1979 (from the albums Face The Music, A New World Record, Out of the Blue, and Discovery). The material for this disc chiefly contains their hit songs (from Evil Woman to Don't Bring Me Down), but has a few oddities one would not expect to be on a compilation. Oddly enough, only two songs from Discovery are on this disc (a third song is on the third disc), while the bulk is from the A New World Record and Out of the Blue albums. Apparently even Jeff Lynne has realized which of his albums has aged well and which haven't.

The third disc (disc "O") contains material from 1979-1986 covering the albums Discovery, Time, Secret Messages, and Balance of Power. Only one song is from Discovery and no material is presented from the Xanadu soundtrack, so it's chiefly from the 1981-1986 period. There are only a few hit singles on this disc because the bulk of it contains a large number of unreleased songs that didn't make it onto their last three albums or were issued as B-sides on singles. It's kind of a mixed bag, but for the most part on par with their other pop rock songs from this period. The most interesting song on the disc is Hello My Old Friend, which is an almost 8-minute long tribute to Lynne's hometown of Birmingham. It has some really lush synthesizers and kind of reminds me of neo prog meets the Beatles. The latter influence chiefly from the almost "I Am the Walrus"-like ending.

Overall, a nice selection for the group's history, but with all the unreleased material, clearly was focused on their die hard fans. It's missing most of their worst hits (which is a good thing), but I'm not satisfied with the selection from the earlier material as there was much more that could have been added to this collection. I'm divided between two and three stars, so I would say 2.5. I'll be nice and round it up to three stars. Good, but not essential, though more inclined for collectors and fans.

progaardvark | 3/5 |

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