Note: the CD I listened to was the 2006 reissue with 6 bonus tracks.
This was ELO's sixth studio release and arguably their best album - it's succinct, full of hooks, and there are no tracks I want to skip. According to the excellent liner notes included in this reissue:
It's hard to believe now, but it only took a few weeks to record and complete whole album. The songs started to flow and most of them came quickly to me. To have all those hits, it was just ...I mean amazing really. Going from doing okay for probably three or four years to suddenly being in the big time, it was a strange but great thing. --Jeff LynneSure, ELO tried to copy The Beatles (and why not?), but I also hear some Procol Harum, Yes, and Moody Blues in these tunes. The production, orchestration, and arrangements, however, could only be Jeff Lynne. Certainly a defining work for the band.
Peak on the US Billboard Top 200 chart: #5
Peak on Cash Box album chart: #10
Tracks: In addition to the Top 40 singles, Livin' Thing (#13), Do Ya (#24), and Telephone Line (#7), I like Tightrope and the cheesy Rockaria!, but like I said earlier, there's nothing to skip here until we get to the...
Bonus tracks: Of the six bonus tracks, the only one worth listening to more than once is Surrender. The remainder are alternative versions of Telephone Line and songs that they cleverly label "Instrumental Early Rough Mix" instead of calling them what they are: backing track demos.
Personal Memory Associated with this CD: I had heard this album on various formats throughout the years, but never owned a copy until I recently spied this CD in the clearance rack of the local music store. The nice thing about loving music from 1976-85 is that you can easily pick up new CDs of music from that era for $3 these days. And I do. Often.
Livin' Thing reminds me of the movie Boogie Nights.
Previously revisited for the blog:
Xanadu Original Motion Picture Soundtrack (1980)
ELO's Greatest Hits (1979)