Showing posts with label ELO. Show all posts
Showing posts with label ELO. Show all posts

Sunday, March 27, 2022

Progressive Rock Review: Mobile Fidelity- Electric Light Orchestra-Eldorado

Release Date: April 8, 2022

Label:  Mobile Fidelity


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Mobile Fidelity Sound Labs, or Mo-Fi, is a label known to many music enthusiasts worldwide. They know how to take music and bring out its best for discerning ears.

Audiophiles will be buzzing once they have a chance to purchase Electric Light Orchestra's classic progressive orchestrated rock album Eldorado.

This version is the 180-gram single LP, cut at 33RPM and pressed on SuperVinylTM. Mastered from the original analog master tapes, pressed on 180-gram SuperVinyl at RTI, and housed in a tip-on jacket, Mobile Fidelity's numbered, single-LP edition. There are other editions to choose from as well here.

It has been many years since I had the opportunity to work with Mo-Fi, and I am grateful for the opportunity. The detailed and critical process to produce this pristine vinyl is priced at $79.99 for the single LP version I received for review. What I found fascinating about this black vinyl is when you hold it up to the light, you can see it in a transparent black. The process of pressing each of the copies individually allows for this quality.

I got the album when it was released in 1974. At the time, I was not too impressed because of my need to be a teenager and rock out. I still like to rock, but my mind has expanded considerably since that time. Eldorado receives an injection of new life through the Mo-Fi process. For those younger fans in the audiophile audience, the picture on the cover is from the original Wizard of Oz movie.

Side one begins with the short-lived and epic beginning "Eldorado Overture (Instrumental)" then segues right into the immensely popular "Can't Get It Out of My Head," which still sounds great to this day. It is one of their most memorable and beloved tunes. Every track segues into the next on the entire album, with no pause to cue you that a new one is starting; you have to get a feel for it, which comes with time. I could tell when there was a change into the next track, even though the album is full of many distinct and progressive changes.

"Boy Blue" has a regal intro like the queen is entering the palace to her receiving line, and they all are bowing to her grace and symbolic power. The changes come quickly in an upbeat fashion with some solid rock and an excellent rhythm section. There are some lovely transitions over to some piano, then to guitar, and a mixture of violin and cello (which you will frequently hear throughout). That particular element lends a definition and substance that would be nonexistent.

"Laredo Tornado" enters with a cool synth, which is gentle and funky at the same time. There is no storm going on here, as the title would suggest. There are good rhythms, Jeff Lynn's vocals rang true, and he elevates the instrumentation to higher highs. His voice could get relatively high. Strong guitar lines, albeit occasional, come and go, and the drums are outstanding and shine in this mix.

"Poor Boy (The Greenwood)" closes out side one with some nice acoustic guitar as the track quickly takes flight and continues to gather momentum with elements of pop, then to a strong closing.

Side two begins with "Mister Kingdom," and you can hear the Beatle's influence. The moptops were one of Jeff Lynne's main influences. The synth comes in with help to the movements that reach highs and lows for the ears to absorb. Jeff's vocals are passionate as he gives meaning to the lyrics. The synth is steady throughout, and the sounds are atmospheric layers where every musician has an opportunity to be heard.

"Nobody's Child" has the repetitive lyric of "painted lady" followed by some honky-tonk piano (something you would hear on ELP's Brain Salad Surgery, for instance). That rollicking sound gives way to the ELO orchestral pieces, and many changes come about, then it flips over to some toe-tapping rocking sound before introducing the next track.

"Illusions in G Major" is short and sweet but tasty and without all the changes and complexities of prior tracks. I enjoyed it quite a lot.

"Eldorado" is filled with consistent movements of ballad territory; however, it again illustrates the eclectic style presented by this amazing group of musicians and their output for the time.

There are not so many swift changes, and the progressiveness is left behind, then the orchestrations come in to open the door to the curtain closer to "Eldorado Finale."

If you search for a classic slice of progressive rock handled with care and delivered with fantastic sonics, colors, and subtleties you had not previously heard, this Mo-Fi masterpiece will be a revelatory experience.

Keith “MuzikMan” Hannaleck-PMR Founder

March 26, 2022

Side One:   
1. Eldorado Overture (Instrumental) 2:12
2. Can't Get It Out of My Head 4:21
3. Boy Blue 5:18
4. Laredo Tornado 5:29
5. Poor Boy (The Greenwood) 2:57

Side Two:
6. Mister Kingdom 5:50
7. Nobody's Child 3:40
8. Illusions in G Major 2:36
9. Eldorado 5:20
10. Eldorado Finale 1:20


Saturday, October 6, 2018

Rock-Prog-Pop Vinyl Review: ELO (Electric Light Orchestra)-The UK Singles Volume One 1972-1978

Release Date: September 21, 2018
Label: Sony

Electric Light Orchestra, better known as ELO for brevity purposes, has a large body of work dating back to the 70s. The first album I ever bought was Eldorado. I remember how different that album sounded the first time I heard it. At that time, I enjoyed it but not as much as I do now. With the passing of time, great music reaches a different level as heard through the ears of a more mature listener (like everything it is a matter of time). 

Over the last few years, I have immersed myself in purchasing and listening to all kinds of vinyl, actually a lot of it is what I used to own and subsequently got rid of in my foolish youth.

So along comes The UK Singles Volume One 1972-1978 offering an opportunity to reminisce and hear all those big hits and tracks that were previously only available in the UK. 

For this listener, it was a complete joy to hear all this music and watch it spin around on my turntable. That whole experience of having the vinyl to hold in your hand with the artwork for each individual 45, is what it is all about. The sound is incredible, vinyl has CDs beat by a long shot. The sound of vinyl is more natural and warmer - take away the digitizing, downloading and iTunes and what do you have? Not only something physical but music as it was meant to be heard. This was remastered from the analog source tapes. That fact should get audiophiles salivating.

Jeff Lynn has been and always will be the main cog in the wheel that keeps ELO rolling along. In fact, they are going on tour for the first time in 30 years as Jeff Lynn’s ELO. The music stands on its own. Well put together packages like The U.K. Singles Volume One: 1972-1978 do not come around on a regular basis so it immediately becomes a treasure trove of delights for any vinyl junkie or ELO fan. Check off both boxes for me in regards to those two points. 

The Beatles influence in the ELO cannon has always been obvious and their leader has always acknowledged that influence. For my ears, that works just fine as I love the Fab Four without question and I can spot their influence in anything I hear. Make no mistake about it, this band proved unequivocally that you could rock and add orchestra related instruments to the mix and it all would sound killer if done well. It goes without saying that Jeff and his band really had that formula down straight away. It has taken some years to really appreciate this music more as I mentioned earlier but you cannot deny the string of radio-friendly hits that were blaring out of the radio back in the 70s. I was there and heard it all which makes getting this set that much sweeter and more memorable. 

Some of the highlights in a box set jammed with them were “538 Overture b/w First Movement (Jumping Biz) * (1972 – U.K. No. 9),” which reminded me fondly of the great instrumental from the 60s titled “Classical Gas.” There are some riffs in that track that sounded unmistakable as far as my ears were concerned. This is not unusual at all it just made me smile inside to feel that recognition so quickly.

“Showdown b/w In Old England Town (Instrumental) (1973 – U.K. No. 12)” was so good to hear again on vinyl and “Old England Town (Instrumental)” was an odd bird but certainly quite original and a step away from the ELO norm. It is one track I will not forget.

“Can't Get It Out Of My Head b/w Illusions In G Major (1974)” features a great rocker on the B side “Illusions In G Major,” so don’t be fooled by the track titles that may imply you are going hear something complex and progressive, you may hear a flat-out rocker like this one.
Of course, there is the all-time classic “Evil Woman,” no doubt one of their most recognized hit singles. To sweeten the pie, it is backed with “10538 Overture (live) (1974 – U.K. No. 10),” which is excellent.

On to the surprises I found in the set…All along I was thinking it was standard black vinyl. “Livin Thing” and “Mr. Blue Sky,” turn out to be that beautiful translucent blue vinyl. That was the icing on the cake for this collector/music freak. 

When all is said and done The UK Singles Volume One 1972-1978 is a must-have for any ELO fan or music fan for that matter. So, snag it up and put under the tree this year for the music lover you know, that is if you can stand waiting that long to crack the seal and give it an ear yourself!

Keith “MuzikMan” Hannaleck
October 5, 2018

Founder of:

Review Provided By MuzikMan Reviews & News


Electric Light Orchestra

The U.K. Singles Volume One: 1972-1978

Disc 1: 10538 Overture b/w First Movement (Jumping Biz)* (1972 – U.K. No. 9)
Disc 2: Roll Over Beethoven** b/w Queen Of The Hours (1973 – U.K. No. 6)
Disc 3: Showdown b/w In Old England Town (Instrumental) (1973 – U.K. No. 12)
Disc 4: Ma-Ma-Ma Belle b/w Oh No Not Susan (1974 – U.K. No. 22)
Disc 5: Can't Get It Out Of My Head b/w Illusions In G Major (1974)
Disc 6: Evil Woman b/w 10538 Overture (live) (1974 – U.K. No. 10)
Disc 7: Nightrider b/w Daybreaker (live)(1976)
Disc 8: Strange Magic b/w Showdown (live) (1976 – U.K. No. 38)
Disc 9: Livin' Thing b/w Fire On High (1976 – U.K. No. 4)
Disc 10: Rockaria! b/w Poker (1976 – U.K. No. 9)
Disc 11: Telephone Line b/w Poor Boy (The Greenwood) / King Of The Universe
(1977 – U.K. No. 8)
Disc 12: Turn To Stone b/w Mister Kingdom (1977 – U.K. No. 18)
Disc 13: Mr. Blue Sky b/w One Summer Dream (1978 – U.K. No. 6)
Disc 14: Wild West Hero b/w Eldorado (1978 – U.K. No. 6)
Disc 15: Sweet Talkin' Woman b/w Bluebird Is Dead (1978 – U.K. No. 6)
Disc 16: The ELO EP: Can't Get It Out Of My Head / Strange Magic b/w Ma-Ma-Ma Belle / Evil Woman (1978 – U.K. No. 34)