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Electric Light Orchestra

Crossover Prog

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Electric Light Orchestra Greatest Hits album cover
2.87 | 35 ratings | 6 reviews | 29% 5 stars

Good, but non-essential

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Boxset/Compilation, released in 1979

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Evil Woman (4:10)
2. Livin' Thing (3:31)
3. Can't Get It Out of My Head (4:22)
4. Showdown (3:51)
5. Turn To Stone (3:46)
6. Rockaria! (3:12)
7. Sweet Talkin' Woman (3:47)
8. Telephone Line (4:37)
9. Ma-Ma-Ma Belle (3:35)
10. Strange Magic (4:07)
11. Mr. Blue Sky (5:05)

Total Time: 43:23

Line-up / Musicians

Welden Andersen / cover photography
Tony Lane A.D. / cover direction
Fin Costello / photos

Releases information

This hits collection followed Discovery but was comprised of early hits.

UK 1979 Jet LP JETLX 525
US 1979 Jet LP FZ 36310
Australia 1979 Jet LP JT6022
Japan Jet LP 25AP-1726
Mexico 1980 Epic LP MEXL-17287
US 1987 Jet LP/CS PZ/PZT 36310
US 1987 CBS Associated CD ZK 36310
Australia 1987 Jet CD CDJET525

Thanks to ClemofNazareth for the addition
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ELECTRIC LIGHT ORCHESTRA Greatest Hits ratings distribution

(35 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(29%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(20%)
Good, but non-essential (34%)
Collectors/fans only (14%)
Poor. Only for completionists (3%)


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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by bhikkhu
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars ELO was a favorite of mine in the mid '70's. My prog sensibilities may have not been fine tuned yet, but these guys were helping. I could see that there was more going on here than in your average pop song (Olivia Newton John), or even in good ol' rock (Foghat). I still like to listen to them now, and they will always have a special place in my heart. They were heavily influenced by The Beatles (Jeff Lynne has always wanted to be one), but they infused a symphonic aspect. Most people should be aware of ELO to some extent. They are classic rock staples, and recently have been featured in television ads.

With that said, I don't feel a need to dissect this compilation song by song. It is a good representation of their work during their salad days. It has some of their biggest hits, along with some lesser known gems. This isn't just a collection of hits. It's an overview of a band in their prime.

Now, when it comes to bands that I like, I don't like to spend my money on albums like this. I usually end up wanting to get the originals. This is even more the case in prog (or even prog related), as they tend to be concepts. However, if you are just feeling nostalgic for a few tunes, and collecting this band's albums holds no interest, this wouldn't be a bad purchase. In my opinion, the original studio albums are worth it. I would suggest starting with "A New World Record."

H.T. Riekels

Review by ZowieZiggy
3 stars Since ELO did not produce a lot in those days, their record company was keen in releasing a third ELO compilation in three years ! The first two albums are completely ignored (but they were very present on the first two compils already).

From their third one, only the quite Rolling Stones oriented "Ma Ma Ma Belle" is selected together with ... "Showdown" that made its fourth entry on four compilations : ridiculous !

A single track from their masterpiece El Dorado "Can't Get It Out Of My Head" already on "Ole ELO".

Two tracks from "Face The Music" : their hit "Evil Woman" and "Strange Magic". Nothing to say about this selection : those tracks are very good.

Three tracks from "A New World Record" with "Telephone Line", "Rockaria!" and "Livin' Thing" which are good tracks as well. Finally, three tracks from "Out Of The Blue" : again good choices here with "Turn To Stone", "Sweet Talkin' woman" and "Mr Blue Sky").

It is not a too bad compilation from their repertoire so far. What really annoys me is that "El Dorado" is really under exposed : OK, it was a concept album but still, several songs could have been taken out to find their places on a compilation.

I wonder though who can buy such a compil : no alternate versions, no unreleased material. Do what I do : get the original albums and create your own ELO compilation (or re- create the offical ones) but you do not need to spend your money on this type of work. Three stars.

Review by progaardvark
COLLABORATOR Crossover/Symphonic/RPI Teams
2 stars This greatest hits compilation was released in November 1979, about five months after their biggest sales success with the release of Discovery in June 1979. In addition to taking advantage of the big sales and their popularity in 1979, ELO had never really had a greatest hits collection that included nothing but material that made it into Billboard's Top 40. So they released this. This album eventually was certified as multi-platinum and made the top 10 on charts throughout the world (only #30 in the U.S.).

However, even with such credentials, it's not really that enjoyable of a listen to me. I have often found that their pop hits were more enjoyable when they were interspersed with songs that were never intended to be singles, such as on their studio albums. A strange thought I guess, but by themselves their pop hits leave me with a cheesy aftertaste. If that doesn't make a whole lot of sense, then I guess I can't quite put it into words. One thing's for certain, these are just pop hits and lack the "progressiveness" needed to go beyond two stars. For collectors and completionists only. Pop rock fans might enjoy this, maybe.

Review by Epignosis
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars The Electric Light Orchestra helped get me into progressive rock music, and I still enjoy this group. This is a perfect discount album for a great band. Many excellent hits are on this one, but it is by no means complete. Even though a lot of my favorite songs exist on here, the catalogue of ELO is too large to be constricted to just one disc. "Evil Woman," "Telephone Line," "Strange Magic," "Mr. Blue Sky" and "Rockaria!" are excellent songs by a band I truly love. Almost no song on here is unlikable, and the sound quality is just dandy. However, there's an awful lot missing, which means anyone who picks this album up and likes it will probably need to locate the original albums or a more commodious greatest hits package- I recommend the former, yet casual fans will find this album completely satisfying. In fact, this one makes a perfect gift for someone unaware of or without anything by this group. For someone on a budget but with a taste for the Electric Light Orchestra, or for somebody who just wants most of the hits in the collection, this is probably the best deal. It's a dull package, but it is not a bad collection.
Review by zravkapt
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
2 stars The first ELO release I bought after hearing half these songs on classic rock radio. I knew someone who thought "Evil Woman" was called "Medieval Woman". Seriously. This collection was released not long after the album Discovery, so the big hit "Don't Bring Me Down" is not included. Nothing from the first two albums is included either. Of course, this focuses on the singles and ignores lots of album tracks. But it is a 'greatest hits' and not a 'best of'.

"Turn To Stone" and "Strange Magic" are the two best songs here, IMO. There aren't any really bad songs, but I never really cared for "Rockaria!" and "Ma-Ma-Ma Belle". This is a great collection of hit singles but it is not necessarily a good starting point for ELO. I think even one of the compilations with much more songs would be a better introduction. At least you get some good album tracks that way.

I have never owned an actual ELO album. I've heard a few but only liked a few songs off of each. Generally, ELO are not too consistent to me, having great songs and mediocre songs mixed together. But the keyboard and string work is very good most of the time. I just think Jeff Lynne is hit or miss as a composer. His production skills are generally really good. This is probably the cheapest and easiest ELO release to find. Good for owning some of the better singles of the 1970s, but absolutely nothing essential for a prog fan. 2 stars.

Latest members reviews

3 stars Containing most of their top-40 hits to that point, 1979's Greatest Hits compilation rode on the coattails of Discovery and later entered the charts itself. Though it completely ignores the band's first two albums, Greatest Hits evenly covers the band's most commercially successful period bet ... (read more)

Report this review (#922209) | Posted by coasterzombie | Sunday, March 3, 2013 | Review Permanlink

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