The U.K. Singles Volume One: 1972-1978 Box Set (16 X 7″ Vinyl Singles)
Electric Light Orchestra
Sony Legacy 2018
Review by David Bowling
The Electric Light Orchestra (ELO) was formed in 1970 by Jeff Lynne and Roy Wood as a creative and innovative band that fused elements of rock and classical music into an inventive mix. When Wood left, Jeff Lynne assumed the leadership and for the next 15 years produced some of the best pure pop/rock music of the era.
While ELO sold tens-of-millions of albums; The UK Singles Volume One: 1972-1978 is a chronicle of their single releases in their home country, 20 of which reached the charts.
Vinyl has been making a comeback and this box set capitalizes on that fact. Their 15 singles are reissued as 45 rpm records with many original picture sleeves. The 16th disc is their four song EP “The ELO EP.” It is a unique release that will appeal to fans of the band and collectors of those old 7 inch 45’s.
The A sides are instantly recognizable for fans of 1970’s pop. “Roll Over Beethoven,” “Can’t Get You Out Of My Head,” “Turn To Stone,” “Strange Magic,” and “Livin’ Thing” have stood the test of time and helped propel the band into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame. While they have been reissued a number of times; now they are returned to their original format.
The B sides of the 45’s are an eclectic mix and delve deeper into the ELO catalogue. Many times 45 “flip sides” were songs deemed not strong enough to be hits or drive album sales. Still, songs such as “Illusions In G Major,” “Poker,” “Queen Of The Hours,” and live tracks “10538 Overture,” “Daybreaker” and “Showdown” give a different picture of the band and show their more experimental, if not commercial, side.
The sound is superior is you have a good stereo system. The crackle and pop of those old 45’s is missing. The technology of the present day allows vinyl to provide a sound as good as most CD’s.
The UK Singles Volume One: 1972-1978 is in many ways a niche release due to its format. The box set is old school and it takes patience to play 45’s and listen to music in three minute increments. Still, it is a nice ride through the music of the Electric Light Orchestra if you are so inclined.