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A New World Record

Electric Light Orchestra

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Jeff Lynne reportedly regards this album and its follow-up, Out of the Blue, as the high points in the band's history. One might be better off opting for A New World Record over its successor, however, as a more modest-sized creation chock full of superb songs that are produced even better. Opening with the opulently orchestrated "Tightrope," which heralds the perfect production found throughout this album, A New World Record contains seven of the best songs ever to come out of the group. The Beatles influence is present, to be sure, but developed to a very high degree of sophistication and on Lynne's own terms, rather than being imitative of specific songs. "Telephone Line" might be the best Lennon-McCartney collaboration that never was, lyrical and soaring in a way that manages to echo elements of Revolver and the Beatles without ever mimicking them. The original LP's second side opened with "So Fine," which seems like the perfect pop synthesis of guitar, percussion, and orchestral sounds, embodying precisely what Lynne had first set out to do with Roy Wood at the moment ELO was conceived. From there, the album soars through stomping rock numbers like "Livin' Thing" and "Do Ya," interspersed with lyrical pieces like "Above the Clouds" (which makes striking use of pizzicato bass strings).

Of all the ELO albums that deserved a Mobile Fidelity-style audiophile treatment (and never got it), A New World Record was the one, if only because it was ELO's most finely realized album, their Revolver or Sgt. Pepper's. It finally arrived in the late summer of 2006, sounding magnificent, although it's something of a tribute to the material here that some of the interim remasterings of the material on it, as part of anthologies such as the Flashback triple-CD set, were pretty damn good, too — the upgraded sound and the volume pushed harder (like to the limit) has brought out the full majesty of the arrangement used on "Do Ya" and imparted greater impact to songs such as "Telephone Line" and "Livin' Thing." And then there are the outtakes — "Telephone Line" with an alternate vocal track is intriguing, but the real treat is "Surrender," a stunning hook-laden piece of pop/rock that ought to have been a single (and surely would have been a hit); its presence alone would justify buying this CD, and if it were the only new element here, it would have made the effort behind this release worthwhile. And instrumental mixes of "Tightope," "Above the Clouds," "So Fine," and "Telephone Line" aren't just icing on the cake — they're practically a whole extra cake, making this one very full musical meal, even for those who don't love the original album. The annotation isn't quite as thorough as what has appeared in other reissues in this series, but that's the only place where this CD lags even a little bit, in terms of telling about each song.


結成: 10月, 1970 Birmingham, England

ジャンル: ロック

活動期間: '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s

The Electric Light Orchestra's ambitious yet irresistible fusion of Beatlesque pop, classical arrangements, and futuristic iconography rocketed the group to massive commercial success throughout the 1970s. ELO was formed in Birmingham, England in the autumn of 1970 from the ashes of the eccentric art-pop combo the Move, reuniting frontman Roy Wood with guitarist/composer Jeff Lynne, bassist Rick Price, and drummer Bev Bevan. Announcing their intentions to "pick up where 'I Am the Walrus' left off,"...