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Electric Light Orchestra - Live at Wembley '78 CD (album) cover

LIVE AT WEMBLEY '78

Electric Light Orchestra

Crossover Prog


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progaeopteryx
PROG REVIEWER
1 stars At about the same time ELO released Live at Winterland '76, they released another archival recording of a concert held during the Out of the Blue Tour in 1978. This one was performed at Wembley in front of 8,000 fans, of which two were the Duke and Duchess of Gloucester (which Lynne thanks for attending). This concert also featured "The Spaceship," a £200,000 replica of the flying saucer on the Out of the Blue cover made out of aluminum and fiberglass. The roof of the saucer was apparently lifted by hydraulics to reveal the band rising from within the craft on individual platforms. This is clearly shown on this album's cover. For this show, the band was also introduced by the legendary Tony Curtis.

It sounds like it would have been quite a sight to see. I just hope the people attending got a better-sounding performance from the band than this recording. At best, the recording of this concert is bootleg quality. It almost sounds like parts of it were recorded in mono. The other problem I have with this is the lousy selection of material performed. But I guess that can be expected since this was 1978 and they were promoting their big hits of that year. Everything is from either Out of the Blue or A New World Record, except for Showdown and Roll Over Beethoven. At the very least they could've performed their Concerto for a Rainy Day in order, or perhaps taken a chance at performing The Whale.

Due to the very poor recording of this show, I can't recommend this to anyone but completionists. Don't let the colorful cover fool you or the long track list of hits. It should be stamped "official bootleg." It's too bad they didn't get this performance properly recorded, even with the lousy selection. One star.

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Posted Wednesday, February 21, 2007 | Review Permalink
ZowieZiggy
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars ELO live albums are not too numerous. Only one so far (I am reviewing their catalogue chronologically as I mostly do : not by the year of publishing but at the time of recording in case of live albums). This one was recorded during thezir supporting tour of their very nice double album "Out Of The Blue".

Jeff was always reluctant to release live albums since ELO "sound" was difficult to render on stage. This is not a bad release though. Lots of songs come out their last two releases of course. ELO was huge at the time : a hit machine. This live record catched them at their peak of popularity. I would add that the good studio albums are behind them, unfortunately. So, the time was probably appropriate to release a live one.

It is not a bad album, but as an old fan I would have liked to get some "oldies" in there. But only "ROB" will be featured to satisfy the early fan database. Most of the numbers won't really differ from the studio versions, so the "live" side is not really obvious. Vocals will, at times ("Telephone Line" and "Rockaria"), suffer from this live recording. Orchestration during "Livin' Thing" are somewhat weak as well.

The finale (would you believe !) ROB pleases me a lot of course. Unlike many people, I am quite found of this ELO interpretation : a complete revisited version of a rock'n'roll classic. I was completely nuts about the studio version (the long one), so no wonder I like this one. Superior to the one from their Long Beach live album released three years before. A great number to close a concert.

All in all, it's a good live picture of what ELO had produced in the late mid-seventies. Nice melodies, poppy songs, easy listening music but sometimes very good music indeed. There are little weak tracks on this album but still, I do not spin it too much to be honest. Sound quality is not too bad : not great but lots better than any boots you could get hold of. Three stars.

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Posted Saturday, April 14, 2007 | Review Permalink
progaardvark
PROG REVIEWER
1 stars Live at Wembley '78 was a big disappointment for me. True, it covered their pop period, with almost no prog rock during the performance. What disappointed me the most was the sound quality. It is dreadfully poor, not just for an official recording, but it is dreadfully poor for a bootlegged version. I cannot believe this was allowed to be released in this condition, with of course no warnings on the cover about it's poor quality. They should have labeled this as an "official bootleg." Then I would not have bothered getting it.

Only for completionists. Even ELO fans should be disappointed with this. One star.

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Posted Thursday, November 01, 2007 | Review Permalink

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