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Electric Light Orchestra

Crossover Prog

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Electric Light Orchestra Showdown album cover
3.34 | 14 ratings | 4 reviews | 21% 5 stars

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Boxset/Compilation, released in 1974

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. 10538 Overture (long version)
2. From the Sun to the World (Boogie No. 1)
3. Whisper in the Night
4. Queen of the Hours
5. Roll Over Beethoven (long version)
6. First Movement (Jumping Biz)
7. In Old England Town (Boogie No. 2)
8. Showdown

Compilation from first three studio albums

Line-up / Musicians

- Jeff Lynne / guitars, vocals
- Roy Wood / guitar, bass, clarinet, percussion, bassoon, cello, oboe, recorder, vocals, slide guitar
- Bev Bevan / drums, percussion
- Bill Hunt / French horn
- Steve Woolam / violin
- Richard Tandy / keyboards
- Mike Edwards / cello
- Mik Kaminski / violin
- Colin Walker / cello
- Wilf Gibson / violin

Releases information

LP: Harvest SHSP 4037 (UK)
LP: EMI 5C 038-05698 (purple vinyl) (Holland)

Thanks to progaeopteryx for the addition
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ELECTRIC LIGHT ORCHESTRA Showdown ratings distribution

(14 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(21%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(43%)
Good, but non-essential (36%)
Collectors/fans only (0%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)


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Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by progaeopteryx
4 stars Showdown is a compilation of "the best" of ELO's first three albums with the focus strongly on their first two. Indeed, it contains four tracks from No Answer, three tracks from ELO II and only one from On the Third Day, that being Showdown, one of ELO's most famous hits. Because its focus is primarily on their first two albums, this is more or less a "greatest prog rock songs" compilation of the band. Showdown was released in 1974, long before ELO would transform itself into a hit-making pop machine fizzing with bubbles.

In my opinion, the two most progressive tracks on this album are In Old England Town (one of ELO's darkest songs ever made) and From the Sun to the World (with its majestic, yet simple Moog passages). It also includes the classic 10538 Overture, the song that started off the entire ELO project. Even though Jeff Lynne was in control of ELO by the time this compilation was released, two Roy Wood tracks appear on it (Whisper in the Night and First Movement (Jumpin Biz)).

As far as I know, this LP has never been released on CD, so it's only worth seeking out if you're an ELO completionist because all of the songs are already available on their first three albums which are quite easy to find. Even though this would be something only a collector would be interested in, musically it deserves four stars because it contains some of the best progressive rock ELO ever made (with the exception of Kuiama which wouldn't fit on this LP, but would if it were a CD).

Review by ZowieZiggy
3 stars The first ELO compilation covers only their first two albums (with the exception of "Showdown" from "On The Third Day").

Is it really worth to release a compilation album to cover only two albums ? I guess not. On the other hand, it is a good way to get the essence of their first two albums for less money. So ...

Even if most of the tracks are very good, I would not recommend the purchase of this record. One of the best track of their wonderful ELO II is missing ("Kuiama").Wait for later compilations or just buy ELO II.

Still, three stars for the track list featured here.

Review by progaardvark
COLLABORATOR Crossover/Symphonic/RPI Teams
3 stars A long time ago I was really interested in the pre-Out of the Blue period of ELO and I used to pick up anything I could find from this period in used record stores. This was one of the items I found, a "best of" compilation of music from ELO's first three albums. There really wasn't any reason to get this since all of these songs were easily available on their respective studio albums. It will probably never be reissued on CD for the same reason.

Whether this is really the best stuff from ELO is debatable. I think Harvest was probably interested in taking advantage of the success the band had up to that time and decided it could use a little more money. Of the eight songs, only half of them could be considered "best" in terms of ELO's progressive rock output. Three of them were charted singles, either in the UK or US. Missing of course are Kuiama, some of the more experimental pieces off their debut album, and most of the best stuff off of On the Third Day.

Still, it's a nice introductory selection. But as I mentioned, this album is long out-of-print and these songs are all available on their respective studio albums. Chiefly for collectors and ELO completionists, but I'll still give it three stars because it's a fairly good selection.

Review by AtomicCrimsonRush
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Here is an introduction to ELO that I managed to score on vinyl. The songs are taken from the first 2 albums with the exception of the best track from On the Third Day, that is Showdown. This is an early compilation, the first of a plethora of compilations to follow. As a result its a rather odd curiosity but features perhaps the proggiest selections. 10538 Overture and First Movement are a case in point. The album is a short, sharp prog excursion, and very welcome in my vinyl collection. I definitely recommend a listen for those who are accustomed to the more commercial side of ELO. The selections here are quite the opposite of commercial.

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