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Electric Light Orchestra - 'Out Of The Blue: Live At Wembley' http://www.rocktopia.co.uk/media/reviews/photos/thumbnail/200x200s/f3/c2/8e/Electric-Light-Orchestra-Out-Of-The-Blue-Live-At-Wembley-Blu-ray-18-1444329139.jpg Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     October 08, 2015    
 
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A terrific retrospective collection of one England's greatest Rock bands.

What we have here is a collection of the best ELO recorded live performances that are available, plus videos from the 1979 'Discovery' album. The sound is in uncompressed stereo and DTS-HD Surround with a smart and easy to use menu.
The original VHS and first DVD release of the London Wembley 1978 show gave rise to the belief that the band was blatantly miming, something they never quite shook off. Studio tracks were added to the audio in post-production due to technical issues with the sound, giving the false impression of lip syncing. The band did indeed use some backing tapes but only to keep time and add harmonies during live performances.

This release has the original live audio as ELO played it on the night; sadly the complete unedited show has never been released. The sound is somewhat cluttered, an issue they struggled with throughout the tour. Trying to replicate the string section in a live arena was a big problem but despite that, this release still shows the band at the top of their game offering an incredible performance; complete with the legendary spaceship.

The introduction of said spaceship and first number 'Standing In The Rain' is still awe inspiring to watch and this BluRay edition certainly brings out the colours to fine effect. Some of the awful visual effects added at the time unfortunately make some of the songs difficult to watch.

All seven band members are kitted out in white silk suits, complete with two cello players and a violinist. All the hits from 'Mr. Blue Sky' to 'Sweet Talkin' Woman' to 'Showdown' are played superbly with the encore consisting of 'Roll Over Beethoven' throwing in a touch of string-based organised chaos.

Fireworks - The Ultimate Magazine For Melodic Rock Music

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The Wembley show may be the spectacle, but the 'Fusion 76' presentation has a superior sound and includes a more varied set-list. Just prior to the mega-success of 'A New World Record', this was a leaner version of ELO. What the band lacked in stage presence, they more than made up for in musicianship and song craft. 'Strange Magic' with drummer Bev Bevan out front helping out on vocals is a real highlight while obscure tracks like 'Poker' and 'Nightrider' are a treat too.

'Live At Brunel University 1973' and 'Rockpalast 1974' are two great shows, the latter showing the band in early Prog Rock mode and clearly a lot looser on stage. A brief interview with the band has been included with singer Jeff Lynne looking a little worse for wear!

Finally, we have the complete videos from the 'Discovery' album, something that was unheard of at the time. All are studio mimed with some warm seventies animation added for effect and clearly show the confidence the record company had in ELO in 1979. The best I think is 'Dairy Of Horace Wimp', though having 'Wishing' and 'Need Her Love' as obscure additions is a nice touch.

All in all, this is a terrific retrospective collection of one England's greatest Rock bands.

Ray Paul

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