Crashing the Starship
1 Out Of 5 Stars
I don't know which makes me feel worse; that Jeff Lynne decided he needed to do note-for-note recreations of some of ELO's best known songs or that I was sucker enough to drop my hard earned cash on this doggy-doo. I first heard that Lynne wanted to make "Mr Blue Sky" because he wanted to make the songs sound like they did in his head, and with modern technology. OKAY, I'm intrigued. My imagination gets an expectation that maybe Lynne's going to revisit these songs and do some major overhauls, like different orchestrations of arrangements. Silly me.
Like Kiss, Foreigner, Journey and a handful of other classic rock bands, Lynne pulls a George Lucas on us and decides the real thing would be so much cooler if he just made them a second time, without any help from the rest of those pesky original Electric Light Orchestra bandmates. Which should give everyone a terrific lesson in what is commonly referred to as "Band Chemistry." As technically proficient as he is, and as much as he was the driving force behind ELO's multiple line-ups (except for the awful ELO II from the late 80's/early 90's), he alone does not an ELO make.
So you end up with some various minor changes, like the much dryer version of "Do Ya" or the less disco-fied version of "Turning to Stone." For the most part though, this is like chocolate pudding when you could have chocolate mousse. They have some similarities, but they just aren't the same thing. Jeff Lynne has every right in the world to remake his own songs in whatever format he desires. I also have the right to call them doody. Don't make the same mistake I did. Stick to your copies of All Over the World: The Very Best of Electric Light Orchestra (Original Recording Remastered). Key word here? Original.