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STRANGE MAGIC: THE BEST OF ELECTRIC LIGHT ORCHESTRA

Electric Light Orchestra

Crossover Prog


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Philrod
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars Electric Light Orchestra is a one of a kind band: mixing the Beatles, old rock N' roll and classical arrangements into a sound absolutely unique. Of course, it may seem a bit dated today, because of a somewhat cheesy sound from time to time, it is nonethless on of the most important pop act of the seventies. If you want to start listening to this band, I would recommend two albums: Eldorado(because it is the most prog-oriented) and this one. STRANGE MAGIC is a two-cd compilations of the brightest moments of the group. Starting with the classic 10538 Overture, the album goes through all the hits, such as Can't Get It Out Of My Head, Strange Magic and the excellent Mr. Blue Sky. Of course, some songs will probably be too cheesy for most of us prog-heads, but there are some gems one this album that you will love to listen over and over again. But then again, if you are searching for something that will push your musical limits, then this is not the album, nor the band for you. But for somme good old art pop, this is the place to start. I rarely give more than 3 stars for a compilation, but this time I will, because this is such a great review of the career of the great Jeff Lynne and its Electric Light Orchestra. 3.5/5

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Send comments to Philrod (BETA) | Report this review (#76502)
Posted Thursday, April 27, 2006 | Review Permalink
progaardvark
PROG REVIEWER
2 stars If all you're interested in is a collection of the Electric Light Orchestra's hits, than this is probably the best compilation for you to buy as it contains nearly all of them. It runs the whole length of ELO's existence from 1972 to 1986, from the wonderful 10538 Overture to their awful stuff from Balance of Power (Calling America and So Serious). I can't think of a better compilation where a listener can experience a bright and interesting experimental beginning evolve into some of the most atrocious pop songs ever released. Surprisingly, whoever put this together forgot the delightfully mind-numbing stuff from the Xanadu soundtrack.

Joking aside, disc one is the best of the two discs, containing material from Jeff Lynne's better days, covering songs up through A New World Record. Disc two is quite difficult to get through. The only tracks of a progressive nature would be 10538 Overture, Roll Over Beethoven, Daybreaker, and maybe Boy Blue. The rest is firmly footed in the pop rock genre. I would rate disc one as three stars and disc two as one star, which evens out to two stars for the whole collection. Again, this is for only those of you interested in a collection of ELO's top-40 hits. If you want to give their prog rock a try, seek out their first three studio albums.

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Send comments to progaardvark (BETA) | Report this review (#148318)
Posted Wednesday, October 31, 2007 | Review Permalink
Epignosis
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Eclectic Prog Team
4 stars For the casual fan of ELO, this is as good as it gets. It is a career-spanning 2-disc compilation that includes most of the band's greatest and most beloved songs. Over two hours of great ELO music, this is a one-stop collection for one interested in obtaining just about all the hits, although it certainly will not please those looking to delve deeper into the group. There are a few absences to bemoan, however: I would have loved to have seen the quirky song "The Diary of Horace Wimp" or the eerie instrumental "Fire on High" included, and given the total times, they could have been easily added. But there is little to complain about, really. The songs are roughly in chronological order, and since this compilation preceded the release of Zoom, no music from that album is included. Also, there is quite naturally no tracks from the Electric Light Orchestra Part II incarnation of the band, which is, to be quite honest, for the best. Strange Magic- The Best of Electric Light Orchestra is the most complete compilation on the market today. For someone unfamiliar with any of the band's output, this could prove a decent starting point, although one must realize that most of what's here is generally speaking pop music.

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Send comments to Epignosis (BETA) | Report this review (#209902)
Posted Thursday, April 02, 2009 | Review Permalink

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