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Electric Light Orchestra - The Night the Light Went On in Long Beach CD (album) cover


Electric Light Orchestra


Crossover Prog

3.35 | 41 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

4 stars ELO's first live album, The Night the Light Went on in Long Beach, was a release I recall Jeff Lynne not having fond memories of. This was chiefly because Lynne felt that the "ELO sound" was incredibly difficult to reproduce in a live venue. This album is a perfect example of it, suffering from poor sound quality and often having the strings being drowned out by other instruments. Still, it's the best example of ELO in a live performance available and dates from their early progressive rock years. Later live releases are just filled with the pop rock songs they became well known for.

One comment I must stress is that if you can get past the poor sound quality, the energy of the performances are amazing. When ELO jammed, they jammed quite well. Bev Bevan is allowed to cut loose and really shows he was a great drummer as opposed to the "time-keeping" style he used on studio recordings. Even though the production leaves something to be desired, I still wish the band had considered making this a 2-LP collection as I'm sure they must've performed more material than this. It would have been a real treat to hear Kuiama or the Ocean Breakup suite performed live.

In 1998, this album got re-released on CD using a cleaner master tape. It makes a big, big difference. The difference is significant enough for me to rate this as a four-star rating rather than a three-star rating (for the original LP). The production on the 1998 re-release is much clearer and there is less drowning out of the various instruments. If you are looking into getting this, avoid the album with the sci-fi parody cover and get the other one that features the ELO emblem atop a billboard-like sign and palm trees on the cover. A must-have for ELO fans, and an interesting worthwhile purchase if you're interested in the early progressive years of ELO. Four stars.

progaardvark | 4/5 |


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