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Electric Light Orchestra

Crossover Prog

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Electric Light Orchestra The Light Shines On album cover
2.65 | 13 ratings | 4 reviews | 23% 5 stars

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Boxset/Compilation, released in 1977

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Roll over Beethoven
2. In Old England Town (instrumental)
3. Look at Me Now
4. Momma
5. Showdown
6. Mr. Radio
7. The Battle of Marston Moor (July 2nd, 1644)
8. Whisper in the Night
9. 10538 Overture

Line-up / Musicians

- Jeff Lynne / bass, percussion, piano, guitar, vocals, Moog synthesizer
- Roy Wood / guitar, bass, clarinet, percussion, bassoon, cello, oboe, recorder, vocals, slide guitar
- Bev Bevan / percussion, drums
- Bill Hunt / French horn
- Steve Woolam / violin
- Mike De Albuquerque / bass, vocals
- Mike Edwards / cello
- Wilf Gibson / violin
- Richard Tandy / Moog synthesizer, piano, guitar, harmonium
- Colin Walker / cello

Releases information

Compilation of songs from their first two studio albums

LP: Harvest SHSM 2015 (UK)

Thanks to progaeopteryx for the addition
and to projeKct for the last updates
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ELECTRIC LIGHT ORCHESTRA The Light Shines On ratings distribution

(13 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(23%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(23%)
Good, but non-essential (38%)
Collectors/fans only (15%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

ELECTRIC LIGHT ORCHESTRA The Light Shines On reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by progaeopteryx
3 stars This is a compilation of songs from ELO's first three albums, No Answer, ELO II, and On the Third Day. Of the nine tracks, five are from their debut No Answer, one track (Momma) is from ELO II, one track (Showdown) is from On the Third Day, and one track was a short instrumental version of In Old England Town, which was originally released as the B-side to the single Showdown (UK release only).

All of this material is from ELO's progressive rock period (maybe with the exception of Showdown), but unfortunately it isn't the best stuff from this time period. With a release date of 1977, I'm guessing this was issued mostly to rake in a few more pounds (as it was a UK release only) during ELO's heightened popularity in the late 1970's. Even so, the back cover of the LP gives a short historical essay of the band written by Harry Doherty of Melody Maker. Thus, it was also released to bring attention to the group's history, although I'm sure this was a minor point.

This LP (not issued on CD as far as I know) is certainly only for collectors and completionists of the band. Musically, it's good, but not essential, thus worth three stars. All of the songs on this compilation can be found on the group's first three studio albums with the exception of the instrumental version of In Old England Town. This rare B-side is available on the 2-CD remastered version of ELO II called ELO 2/Lost Planet and on Harvest Showdown, a compilation of rarities released in 2005 featuring ELO, The Move, Wizzard, and Roy Wood.

Review by ClemofNazareth
2 stars This is a little collection of ELO hits from the band's early days. It was released on vinyl, but according to the fine print on the back of the cover it was also available on tape (probably 8-track). This is part of the "Harvest Heritage" collection, kind of an early K-Tel type of release that I suppose was aimed at drumming some revenue by leveraging the growing popularity of the band after the success of A New World Record and Out of the Blue. The back cover is a close-up version of the front cover from their debut album (No Answer), with a superimposed picture of the Bev Bevan, Jeff Lynne, and Roy Wood inside the light bulb. The back cover also features an introduction to the band and to the album by Harry Doherty, who was a staff writer for Melody Maker magazine at the time. In it, Doherty suggests that the reason Wood left the band was because he (Wood) felt this was the only way to focus more attention on the talents and contributions of Jeff Lynne. I think this may have been a bit of revisionist history, but it makes for a nice story.

It's kind of an interesting choice of tracks. There's "Look at Me Now", "Mr. Radio", "The Battle of Marston Moor", "Whisper in the Night", and "10538 Overture" from No Answer; The spacey "Momma" from ELO II; and the international hit "Showdown" from On the Third Day. There's also an extended instrumental version of "In Old England Town" that was previously released as the B-side of "Showdown". Finally, the album opens with a very disappointing version of "Roll Over Beethoven" from ELO II. I say disappointing because this is apparently some sort of radio-edit version that runs about three minutes instead of the full eight-minute plus original album version.

Even though "Evil Woman" and "Livin' Thing" are mentioned in Doherty's cover notes, no tracks from Face the Music or A New World Record are included. This is definitely intended to be a promotional album, and it was released about the same time as Out of the Blue. These later albums are addressed in the Greatest Hits album which Jet Records would release a year or so later.

The most striking thing about this album is the distinct difference in production and arrangement quality between "Showdown" and the earlier songs on the album. Historically, this definitely marks the musical dividing line between the older, more progressive music of the band's first three albums, and the later intergalactic hit machine they were already becoming in 1977.

This isn't the first compilation album from the band - Showdown and Olé ELO both preceded it. And it wouldn't be the last either. To-date, there are about fifty compilations, boxed-sets, live recordings, and other collections of Electric Light Orchestra music in the catalogs of various record labels all over the world. This one certainly isn't the best, although with the exception of the "Roll Over Beethoven" mistake, and possibly the exclusion of "In the Hall of the Mountain King" from On the Third Day, it is probably the best representation of the band's very early music that exists today.

I'm pretty sure this has never been released on CD, and the original album is long out of print, but it can probably be had through rarities traders on the web if someone really wanted to get their hands on it. I believe there are Japanese re-issues of the album as well, although for the same amount of money any fan could probably just purchase copies of all the first three album and have the same songs (and more). This is definitely an interesting completion piece to any ELO fan's collection, and the songs (except "Roll Over Beethoven") are all good studio versions, but this doesn't fall into the must-have category. I'd give it three stars if it weren't for "Roll Over", but since the label botched that one, two stars it is.


Review by ZowieZiggy
2 stars I really wonder why ELO needed to bring this compilation on the market. Their second (and very good one) was released a year before, so this one is quite irrelevant.

Five out of nine tracks from their first album (of which only "Mr. Radio" and "10538 Overture" really deserve the right to be on a compilation IMO - the latter being already on the previous two so, what's the point) ? On top of that, their first compilation "Showdown" already featured five tracks of this album, so there is quite a redunduncy here.

Three tracks from ELO II : "ROB" which was already issued on "Showdown" and "Ole ELO", "Momma" and "In Old England Town". Not too bad a choice since Kuiama was on the previous compil).

One track from "On The Third Day" : "Showdown" : already featured twice on two previous compilations. This effort is useless. Don't spend any ? on this one. I recommend you to get hold of ELO II which is by far their most prog effort and one of their best album all-time. Two stars.

Review by progaardvark
COLLABORATOR Crossover/Symphonic/RPI Teams
3 stars Clearly this compilation was chiefly released to take advantage of ELO's big success from their A New World Record and Out of the Blue albums. The interesting thing about it is that all of the material was taken from their first three albums during their progressive rock period. The other interesting thing to note is that the selection is quite strange in that it isn't the best material from that time period. Showdown, 10538 Overture, and Roll Over Beethoven are givens, but the other numbers are average to just plain odd for a compilation like this. The only thing of interest to fans of the group is the rare B-side instrumental version of In Old England Town, but this is presently available on the remastered version of ELO II.

Since all of these selections are available elsewhere and this is an out-of-print LP never released on CD (I think?), I can't imagine anyone being interested in it except for completionists and record collectors. For the music selection, three stars since it isn't the best collection they could have put together, but is better than A New World Record or Out of the Blue.

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