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Electric Light Orchestra - Xanadu (Original Soundtrack) CD (album) cover

XANADU (ORIGINAL SOUNDTRACK)

Electric Light Orchestra

 

Crossover Prog

2.25 | 96 ratings

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ghost_of_morphy
Prog Reviewer
3 stars I've been criticized about my ELO reviews in the past. No doubt this review will be trashed as well, because I'm giving the Xanadu soundtrack 3 stars. It's a good album. Don't expect any prog here, but expect some quality music.

Frankly, the real star of this album isn't even ELO. It's Olivia who has the best songs, and they are some beautiful ones. Suspended in Time is an amazing track, with a poignant vocal performance, great lyrics and a nice arrangement. Suddenly (the duet with Cliff Richard) is nearly as good, while the Gene Kelley duet is fun if not scintillating. Magic indeed suffers from too much disco influence, while I don't like Dancin' at all. Still with two great tracks and a couple decent ones, Olivia Newton-John really shows her stuff on this album.

So, on to the prog (quotation marks intentional) half of this album. ELO doesn't fare quite as well here. The namesake single that was a result of their collaboration with Newton-John suffers the curse of being infected with disco. Don't Walk Away (probably the best ELO contribution) is a passable ballad in the vein of what they will do on Discovery but rawer (which is a good thing.) We could say the same thing about The Fall and I'm Alive, I suppose, except that they aren't really ballads and they aren't up to snuff like Don't Walk Away. Which leaves us with All Over The World. It's not quite as good as Don't Walk Away, but it's a polished production that sounds as good as anything that ELO was doing in this era. If it weren't for the disco beat, this would feel right at home on Out of the Blue.

Anyhow, if you are listening to this album for the prog, God help you. If you are listening to this for good music, though, this is a more than acceptable album. I have to give it three stars, because it's really good. Be warned though. It's Olivia Newton-John's contributions that lift this above two stars.

And yes, I'm well aware that I'm rating this above No Answer and Face the Music.

ghost_of_morphy | 3/5 |

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