Wednesday, October 25, 2006

I'm the King of the Universe!

Music has always played an important part in my life...I have a lot of personal historical events that are marked by songs and albums. There are two that happened around the same time...

It was my first trip to town with my friends and no parents. Record Factory on the Pacific Garden Mall in downtown Santa Cruz...the astronaut on the side of the building...laying down my OWN money to buy the Kink's "One For The Road."

The second is taking Electric Light Orchestra's "Discovery" out of the sleeve and breaking it in half.

I was young and very impressionable at the time...not sure of a lot things in life. I had been put into a private christian school in junior high and had a class that talked about backward masking on albums and how it was meant to influence us and turn us into satanists. They handed out a list of albums so afflicted and there on the list was my precious ELO album. I tried to play it backwards at home and couldn't discern any noticeable english in there...but what if it was true?

I could take no chances. I pulled the album out and bent it...shattering it into about 6 pieces. I kept the sleeve and the album for years...I remember it being in my collection for a looong time. I always felt so dissapointed in my self for falling for this.

So where is this all leading? To the recent re-releases of three of ELO's early albums, that's where.

I received On The Third Day (1973), Face The Music (1975) and A New World Record (1976) all as comps and I must say the re-releases are great. Fully remastered and with bonus tracks, there's not much to complain about. I wasn't as familiar with these discs, having not listened to them in awhile, but the magic that is ELO is as strong as ever. You can find all the info on the re-releases over at this site. Well worth your time.

The discs are filled with hits..."Showdown," 'Ma-Ma-Ma Bell," "Evil Woman," "Strange Magic," and the list goes on. ELO was a hit making machine, and the best part is they did it on their own terms. One of the interesting things about listening to these albums as a whole is discovering how much of an influence they've had on the current sound...the lush orchestration of ELO is so visible in bands like the Polyphonic Spree...and yes, some may say this is all a reflection of the Beatles, but ELO did something different with it. Made it a little bigger and a little more produced.

Check them out if you're even slightly interested. Well worth every penny.


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