The Rock Pit - Hard rock, Metal and Blues Interviews, news & reviews from Australia and around the world

The Rock Pit - Hard rock, Metal and Blues Interviews, news & reviews from Australia and around the world
CD Electric Light Orchestra Live review








ELO always transports me back to my childhood. It’s music that seemingly was always around me which as you grow up and discover your own sounds you generally reject. That never really happened with ELO though; they were always there and always accepted. Looking at them objectively today I actually realize that I have probably always appreciated them if not actively gone out and sought them.


That brings us to this live album, and to be honest listening to it a few times now I wish I’d been more involved because I imagine that an ELO concert would be something that you wouldn’t easily forget. Starting with the charming and easy on the ear ‘Evil Woman’ ‘Live’ is an album you need to hear and ELO a band you need to revisit. The orchestration to ‘Showdown’ really tells the story of a band that were largely accepted and yet stunningly talented.


Of course a lot of the hits are here and will bring back surges of memories for those familiar but it’s the lesser known tracks that are the hidden gems: songs like the aforementioned ‘Showdown’ and ‘Secret Messages’ from 1983 that only bothered the singles charts of the day in a minor way. But it is of course songs like ‘Mr. Blue Sky’ that really put the smile on your face – and that’s what ELO always did best.


Recorded at CBS TV Studios in 2001 it’s beautifully recorded and makes you wonder if now isn’t the time to get back on the road again. As if to test that proposed fresh water we get to ‘Bonus Tracks’ newly recorded by main man Jeff Lynne in ‘Out of Luck’ and ‘Cold Feet’. The former is stripped back Rock and Roll that owes more to the Travelling Wilburys and Elvis than to ELO, while ‘Cold Feet’ takes a graceful keyboard intro and really does capture the spirit of ELO that we hear on this live album. At the very least it’s interesting to see what happens next…  



Mark Diggins