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Electric Light Orchestra

Crossover Prog

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Electric Light Orchestra Live at Winterland '76 album cover
3.18 | 18 ratings | 2 reviews | 11% 5 stars

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Live, released in 1998

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Fire On High (5:28)
2. Poker (4:02)
3. Nightrider (4:37)
4. Showdown (4:43)
5. Eldorado Suite (including Can't Get It Out of My Head) (13:14)
6. Strange Magic (5:07)
7. Medley: 10538 Overture/Do Ya (5:27)
8. Evil Woman (4:39)
9. Ma Ma Ma Belle (6:37)
10. Roll Over Beethoven (6:38)

Total Time 60:32

Line-up / Musicians

- Jeff Lynne / guitars, vocals
- Bev Bevan / drums, percussion
- Richard Tandy / keyboards
- Kelly Groucutt / bass, vocals
- Mik Kaminski / violin
- Melvyn Gale / cello
- Hugh McDowell / cello

Releases information

CD: Eagle Records EDL EAG 064-2

Thanks to progaeopteryx for the addition
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ELECTRIC LIGHT ORCHESTRA Live at Winterland '76 ratings distribution

(18 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(11%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(39%)
Good, but non-essential (44%)
Collectors/fans only (6%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

ELECTRIC LIGHT ORCHESTRA Live at Winterland '76 reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by progaeopteryx
3 stars In the midst of the ELO Part 2 spinoff and Jeff Lynne producing every big name artist under the sun, the mid-to-late 1990's saw a greatest hits collection, a box set, and two live recordings from the 1970's released under the ELO name. This is one of those live recordings, released 22 years after this performance that took place at the Winterland in San Francisco during the Face the Music Tour of 1976.

ELO had been known for having difficulties performing their music live and often resorted to using taped recordings of strings and effects used in their studio recordings. Whatever they did during this performance, certainly the difficulties must have taken the night off. That's not to say this is a perfect recording. It has its mixing problems in places, but the raw energy of their performance clearly overshadows the occasional imperfection.

I can't think of a better way to kick off the show than the opener "Fire on High." Wow does this sound different live! Although there are some problems, like a little sloppiness, a few mixing issues, and an out-of-tune lead guitar, the performance is just full of raw energy. Groucutt's bass playing is absolutely amazing compared to his contributions on their studio recordings. I had no idea he was capable of playing with this much energy.

They follow this up with the rocking "Poker." Again, some mixing problems, but lots of energy and overall a great performance. This leads into a fantastic performance of "Nightrider," although I found the strings to be too low in the mix. I was somewhat disappointed with "Showdown." The cellos weren't loud enough in the mix, being totally drowned out by the rest of the band. The cellos are the hallmark of this song. Their performance of this song on The Night the Light Went On In Long Beach was much better.

Next ELO gives us a 13+ minute suite featuring the Eldorado Overture, Can't Get It Out of My Head, Illusions in G Major, Eldorado, and the Eldorado Finale. This suite starts off rather poorly, mostly because of Lynne's lousy guitar playing on the Overture section. He sounds like he was trying to brush his teeth with a 5-piece patio set. Fortunately, things really improve when they move into "Can't Get It Out of My Head" which is really nicely done. "Illusions in G Major" sounds great and is quite energetic. Their performance of Eldorado is also nicely done and the ending of the suite is fantastic.

They follow the suite with "Strange Magic." Although I've never liked this song and find it quite boring, nevertheless it was performed quite well. The "10538 Overture/Do Ya" medley is another fantastic performance. "Evil Woman" is okay and "Ma-Ma-Ma Belle" has lots of energy, but sounds like it's being rushed. They wind up the show with "Roll Over Beethoven." This piece has the usual energy that ELO has been known to give it, but the mix on this is poor ending this CD on a low note.

I really enjoyed this, even with its mixing difficulties and the occasional don't-know-how-to-play-my-guitar moments from Mr. Lynne. The raw energy is really great to hear and its nice to listen to a couple songs that didn't get a lot of radio play. Still, in the overall scheme of things, this is nowhere near the live output from other prog greats like Genesis, Yes, and others. Thus, it gets a respectable three stars. Good, but not essential unless you are an ELO fan.

Review by progaardvark
COLLABORATOR Crossover/Symphonic/RPI Teams
3 stars Live at Winterland '76 is a live recording of an ELO performance at the Winterland in San Francisco during the Face the Music tour. Although not as interesting as their The Night the Light Went Out in Long Beach (1974), it does cover some aspects of ELO's progressive rock period including performances of Fire On High, the 10538 Overture/Do Ya medley, and a nicely done version of the Eldorado Suite, which featured six tracks off the Eldorado album. Production-wise, this recording is a bit of a mixed bag. During some songs (or even portions of songs) the sound is great, and at other times, the mix is just horrible. Probably the worst moments are from Jeff Lynne himself as it doesn't really sound like his guitar is in tune (or maybe he isn't even playing the right notes?). This is especially noticed during Fire On High and the Eldorado Overture. The energy on this recording is exceptional. It's a shame Lynne didn't allow (or maybe write into his music) the energy this band could create to show up in its studio recordings.

My biggest surprise after listening to this was Groucutt's bass playing. He was never considered exceptional on this instrument and it appears Lynne only thought of him as a session musician, but during this live recording, he really lets loose. It's a shame he never played for a real prog band. I now have a new appreciation for Mr. Groucutt.

Overall, I think this deserves three stars as it has its technical difficulties and doesn't cover enough from the group's prog era. Highly recommended to ELO fans. Good, but not essential.

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