Release Date: Oct 9, 2012
Record label: Frontiers Records
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Contemporary Pop/Rock, Album Rock, Art Rock, Prog-Rock
ELO man upgrades his hits and re-imagines his youth…At a certain point in their career, the successful rock star naturally leans towards a touch of retrospection, whether by way of an autobiography (as with Dylan’s Chronicles Vol. 1), a variously revised, remixed or re-recorded edition of their oeuvre (as with Kate Bush’s Director’s Cut), or a sentimental indulgence in the kind of greasy-kidstuff radio fodder that first drew their attention to music (as in McCartney’s Kisses On The Bottom). Never one for half measures, Jeff Lynne has opted for two out of the three, with the simultaneous release of a re-recorded greatest hits album and an album of teen favourites from the dawn of rock’n’roll.
Tempting as it may be, it's not quite accurate to call Jeff Lynne the rock & roll George Lucas, a technophile who can't resist tweaking his famous older work to bring it up to modern standards. Unlike Lucas, Lynne doesn't paint over his original work, turning it into something vaguely reminiscent of the past: with Mr. Blue Sky: The Very Best of Electric Light Orchestra, he simply re-creates his old arrangements with new technology.
Every avowed Beatles fan rues and revels in the day when he or she turns 64, and Jeff Lynne is no different. The master wall-of-sounder turned 64 this year and released a double album (one of ELO hits and one of covers). He raises the question: Do we still need him? Will we still feed him? Of course we need you, Mr. Lynne.
Jeff Lynne successfully freshens up a spread of ELO classics. Chris Roberts 2012 Jeff Lynne's primary love is music, but telephones once ran it a close second. Quite aside from the soaring Telephone Line here, there are several references to operators and late-night calls. It’s a wonder the one new song doesn’t encounter heartbreak across a patchy broadband connection.