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The Essential Electric Light Orchestra

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Review

There have been many ELO collections over the years -- some exhaustive, some not -- so it might initially seem that the 2003 collection The Essential Electric Light Orchestra is a little unnecessary, especially since the definitive 1995 double-disc set Strange Magic was still in print at the time of this release. This line of reasoning conveniently ignores the simple fact that not everybody needs two discs of ELO; some may prefer one career-spanning collection with all the big hits on one disc, which is precisely what this is. Given its hits-oriented nature, it's inevitable that some great songs are missing and there are, including such early masterworks as "10538 Overture" and "Showdown," as well as fan favorites like "Boy Blue" and "Four Little Diamonds." But, if you care enough to care that these songs are missing, you won't hesitate to buy Strange Magic. If you just want "Can't Get It Out of My Head," "Livin' Thing," "Mr. Blue Sky," and "Don't Bring Me Down" along with other big hits, this suits the bill almost perfectly (the one quibble being that it would be nicer to have chronological order instead of this jumble, but this is enjoyable all the same). ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine
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  1. # Track Artist Length
  2. 1 10538 Overture [7" Edit] Electric Light Orchestra 4:2
  3. 2 Roll Over Beethoven Electric Light Orchestra 4:30
  4. 3 Showdown Electric Light Orchestra 4:7
  5. 4 Ma-Ma-Ma Belle Electric Light Orchestra 3:36
  6. 5 Can't Get It Out Of My Head [7" Edit] Electric Light Orchestra 3:6
  7. 6 Evil Woman Electric Light Orchestra 4:10
  8. 7 Nightrider [7" Edit] Electric Light Orchestra 3:39
  9. 8 Strange Magic Electric Light Orchestra 4:4
  10. 9 Livin' Thing Electric Light Orchestra 3:29
  11. 10 Do Ya Electric Light Orchestra 3:43
  12. 11 Rockaria! Electric Light Orchestra 3:12
  13. 12 Telephone Line Electric Light Orchestra 4:37
  14. 13 Turn to Stone Electric Light Orchestra 3:45
  15. 14 Mr. Blue Sky Electric Light Orchestra 5:1
  16. 15 Sweet Talkin' Woman Electric Light Orchestra 3:45
  17. 16 Wild West Hero Electric Light Orchestra 4:39
  18. 17 It's Over Electric Light Orchestra 4:6
  19. 18 Shine a Little Love Electric Light Orchestra 4:7
  20. 1 Don't Bring Me Down Electric Light Orchestra 4:2
  21. 2 The Diary of Horace Wimp Electric Light Orchestra 4:14
  22. 3 Confusion Electric Light Orchestra 3:35
  23. 4 Last Train to London Electric Light Orchestra 4:28
  24. 5 I'm Alive Electric Light Orchestra 3:40
  25. 6 Xanadu [New Version] Electric Light Orchestra 3:20
  26. 7 All Over the World Electric Light Orchestra 4:0
  27. 8 Don't Walk Away Electric Light Orchestra 4:42
  28. 9 Hold on Tight Electric Light Orchestra 3:6
  29. 10 Twilight Electric Light Orchestra 3:43
  30. 11 Ticket to the Moon Electric Light Orchestra 4:5
  31. 12 The Way Life's Meant to Be Electric Light Orchestra 4:38
  32. 13 Rock and Roll Is King Electric Light Orchestra 3:6
  33. 14 Secret Messages Electric Light Orchestra 4:40
  34. 15 Four Little Diamonds Electric Light Orchestra 4:5
  35. 16 Calling America Electric Light Orchestra 3:25
  36. 17 So Serious Electric Light Orchestra 2:39
  37. 18 Surrender Electric Light Orchestra 2:30
  38. 19 Latitude 88 North Electric Light Orchestra 3:20

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