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Electric Light Orchestra - 'Live' http://rocktopia.co.uk/media/reviews/photos/thumbnail/200x200s/fa/5b/95/electric-light-orchestra-live-59-1372808081.jpg Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     July 02, 2013    
 
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An essential purchase.

Jeff Lynne's profile is at the moment higher than ever, thanks in no small part to the success of the recent 'Mr. Blue Sky' and 'Long Wave' releases, and an insightful BBC documentary. So it's no surprise that more releases will follow to capitalize on this recent return to the spotlight, with the re-issues of the last E.L.O. studio album 'Zoom' and Jeff's first solo album 'Armchair Theatre'.

'Live' is not a recording from the vaults of their seventies heyday. This particular concert was recorded in Los Angeles in 2001 for a TV special, originally intended to be the inaugural show of the tour to promote the then recently released 'Zoom' album. The concert performance was released on DVD at the time (entitled simply 'Zoom Live'), but this is the first audio only version to be available. Unfortunately it's not the entire performance, and none of the 'Zoom' album tracks make the cut. But on the other hand, there are four songs contained on this album that didn't make the DVD version. So what you do get are a string of classic hits from the seventies like 'Evil Woman', 'Showdown', 'Livin' Thing' and 'Mr. Blue Sky', along with two vastly underrated singles from the eighties, 'Secret Messages' and the awesome 'Twilight'.

Fireworks - The Ultimate Magazine For Melodic Rock Music

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As the original E.L.O. line-up was disbanded in 1986, and 'Zoom' was essentially just Jeff Lynne performing all instruments, a new version of the band was formed. Keyboard player Richard Tandy was the only old member to be invited back (as he was the only one not to be involved in Bev Bevan's 'E.L.O. Part 2'), along with guitarist Marc Mann, former David Lee Roth drummer Gregg Bissonette and his bass-playing brother Matt, and two female cellists, while the backing vocals are handled by Rosie Vela, Jeff's girlfriend at the time. As you'd expect, the songs are impeccably performed, and Lynne's voice is just as good as ever, with the vocal harmonies about as perfect as they could be. But if I'm honest, I miss the powerhouse drumming of Bev Bevan thundering away in the background, particularly on 'Don't Bring Me Down'.

The subsequent 'Zoom' tour was soon to be cancelled, meaning that this performance was almost certainly the last ever Electric Light Orchestra concert. That alone, and the addition of two previously unreleased bonus tracks, ensures that this is an essential purchase.

Ant Heeks

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