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Electric Light Orchestra - All Over the World:
The Very Best of Electric Light Orchestra

3 stars (out of 5 stars)
Reviewed: Nov. 16, 2005

Review by Andy Argyrakis

Electric Light Orchestra had its primary time and place throughout the 1970s and into the early 80s, bridging elements of British rock and roll with pop flourishes, plus over the top stage productions. Though the band's flame died down in the decades that followed, its remarkably withstood thirty-five years trickling down through today thanks to a brand new retrospective. Considering that lengthy span of the group's history, this is far from the first hits collection a record label has put together. However, All Over the World is the most up to date single disc anthology, tracing all the band's eras and major singles.

In that sense, the twenty-track project succeeds as it complies all the essentials and is likely to bring back a lot of nostalgic memories. Several examples include the instantly recognizable "Evil Woman," an American breakthrough that skyrocketed the group to superstardom on either side of the sea and paved the way for additional chart action. "Telephone Line," "Don't Bring Me Down" and "Mr. Blue Sky" were also amongst the most illustrious, all of which are retraced here and would've lit up the concert stage back in the day. Other points of memory include the symphony stroked groove "Livin' Thing," the outer spaced induced "Showdown" and the campy but treasured "Xanadu."

Despite covering all the appropriate bases, the one main flaw on this disc and throughout much of ELO's catalogue is the fact that it doesn't hold up well over time. The material made its mark in yesteryear but fails to translate with the timelessness of other oldies acts, and on the particularly outdated selections, make for a pretty painful listens. Even more recent musings like "Alright" sound derivative of the old days and appear awkward when placed next to current soundscapes. It's an unfortunate drawback to an otherwise ample set list that could very well be the ultimate one stop shop for the most popular ELO tracks anyone would ever want.

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