There was a point in the 1970’s when you couldn’t put on the radio for five minutes without hearing Jeff Lynne and co. pumping out crappy speakers with their latest single. Funny, but Electric Light Orchestra still sounded good through the crackle of a transistor radio. ELO at their best took on Beatles inspired tunes mixed with classical music and prog productions and boiled them down into three minute hit singles. Whether the songs were anthems, ballads or straight up rockers there was an atmospheric quality that loaned itself easily to emotional resonance; in other words you either loved or hated them. Arguably, they’re greatest record was 1977’s double album Out Of The Blue, with songs “Turn To Stone”, “Sweet Talkin’ Woman” and “Mr. Blue Sky” leading the charge.
So what’s the vinyl story?
Well… being a massive band back in 1977, there was a pre-order of 4 million records in anticipation of their huge following. It wasn’t just released on the standard vinyl, cassette and 8- track, but also on reel to reel. Some special limited edition vinyl was released in the UK and US on blue translucent vinyl which can still be found at both ridiculously low ($10.00) to outrageously high prices ($400).
The first batch of reissues started arriving in 86-87 with the release of the CD. As was popular at the time, it was just thrown out on the market without a proper remastering job.
In 1999, the first remaster resulted in a UK reissue on 180 gram vinyl. They can still be found on the reseller market for about $60 and up.
The biggest remaster was in 2007 for the 30th anniversary of Out Of The Blue. Released by Music On Vinyl on 180 gram vinyl the first 1000 copies were issued on blue translucent vinyl and all after were on black vinyl.
Sound quality is reputed to be outstanding on the release with the blue vinyl fetching over $100.00 for unopened copies. The black vinyl will run you a minimum of $35 (it is a double album) but likely more in North America as it is an import.
Anyway, it’s great fun, and all you Muse fans should see what over the top production really means by giving this a spin. How can you go wrong in a world made of neon spaceships and classical influenced rock? I would love to get my hands on one of those original blue ’77 copies.