All Over The World - The Very Best Of The Electric Light Orchestra (2005)
Last year, Sony Music released worldwide yet another ELO compiliation. What was different about this collection is that all the tracks have been remastered and this collection involved Jeff Lynne and ELO Archivist Rob Caiger. The sound of all the tracks is fresh, alive and breathtaking, with licks and phrases so catchy and music production and arrangements so grand and wondrous, this serving is a ready reminder to all who care to listen why ELO records were so irresistable in the first place. This sparkling collection of great ELO recordings spans from Showdown ( "On The Third Day", 1973 ) to the recent remade version of Xanadu ( "Flashback", 2000 ) and the twenty-first century number from 2001's "Zoom", Alright, though, curiously, the two hit making singles that paved the way for the band in America from the "Eldorado" album ( Can't Get It Out Of My Head and Boy Blue ) were not included.
Nevermind. Much of the singles featured here are teasers for the continued rollout of Sony/BMG's remaster series of ELO's albums due out in 2006 (look for On The Third Day, Out Of The Blue and Face The Music - but where, oh, where is A New World Record?). The liner notes and photos are fab, entertaining and informative, though the info tends to be prosaic, short and sweet, than evocative and voluminous like those found in Elvis Costello's remasters.
This album has been a massive hit in the UK and other territories throughout the world, but I was extremely offended by the lack of promotional effort by Sony Music USA in North America, clearly ELO's largest market. Retailers barely stocked this item, most fans in U.S. and Canada who wanted a copy had to order online. A hugely squandered opportunity. "Zoom" sold more copies in North America than "All Over The World". Honestly, I have had it with Sony USA's consistant non support of Jeff Lynne and ELO. Howard Stringer isn't firing anybody and Jeff Lynne's management isn't firing Sony, so that's that.