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Electric Light Orchestra - Balance Of Power CD (album) cover

BALANCE OF POWER

Electric Light Orchestra

 

Crossover Prog

2.09 | 129 ratings

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thoughtships
3 stars Here we have a band that deserves considerable attention from prog-heads. Their albums up-to and including 1983's "Secret Messages" bristle with intricate arrangements, detailed production, and tuneful songwriting. Their earlier albums are genuinely progressive pieces, and even their late-70's 'hit single' period produced many tracks of value to fans of progressive music. By the mid-80's however, the band's driving force and resident genius, Jeff Lynne, had tired of record company interference and the stylistic shackles of the ELO name.

At just over 30 minutes, ELO's 'final' album reeks of 'contractual obligation'. The production excesses of "Secret Messages" and "Time" are gone but the melodic quality of the songwriting remains, managing to break through the then-fashionable minimalism and splashy drum pads to provide a fine set of concise, poppy tunes with two or three genuinely great ELO songs amongst them. Then again, half of them would rank as low-points in a generally outstanding career littered with outstanding tunes, so a fair appraisal would be to say it's one of their worst but still has real value to fans of the mighty Lynne or ELO's more chart-orientated material.

Lynne's ELO (as opposed to the post-Lynne 'ELO part II')returned with the album "Zoom" in 2001 but with a sound more like his "Armchair Theatre"(1990) solo material or his work with the Traveling Wilburys.

| 3/5 |

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