Saturday, 2 June 2018

Compilation Corner: ELO's Greatest Hits Volume Two

Whether it be their early years with Harvest/EMI or the whole span of their long career, it would be true to say that when it comes to compilations, ELO are more than well represented. From "Olé ELO" to "All Over The World", there have been not a few attempts to pull together worthy overviews of their extensive chart career. Here in the UK, following a stellar year in 1979 in which the Electric Light Orchestra reigned supreme both in terms of singles and albums with "Discovery" (#1) yielding a plethora of Top 10 singles, Don Arden and Jet Records seized the pre-Christmas opportunity to release "ELO's Greatest Hits" (JETLX525/JETCX525), featuring 11 tracks from "Showdown" to "Sweet Talkin' Woman" but none of the "Discovery" hits of that year. It stalled at #7, perhaps being seen by casual record buyers as missing the more recent hits despite the novelty of "Showdown" being present under licence from Harvest.
Fast forward 13 years to 1992 and a compilation that slipped under the radar of some ELO fans when Epic/Sony released "ELO's Greatest Volume Two" (4719562/4719564) in similar artwork, alternate colours and no personal message from Jeff Lynne. It was, perhaps, an attempt to complete the (then) story of the band with 16 tracks taken from "Out Of The Blue" (1), "Discovery" (5), "Xanadu" (3), "Time" (4), "Secret Messages" (2) and "Balance Of Power" (1) with "Xanadu" (surprisingly) missing. "ELO's Greatest Hits II" failed to trouble the charts at all, falling between charting compilations in 1989 (Very Best Of; Telstar; #23) and 1994 (Very Best Of; Dino; #4) whilst following Jeff Lynne's debut solo LP "Armchair Theatre" (#24; 1990) and "Electric Light Orchestra Part Two" (#34; 1991).

Despite its perceived commercial failure, Yours Truly KJS and elobeatlesforever (elobf) reckon that "ELO's Greatest Volume Two" should be nestled next to its predecessor as an essential element of any ELO collection.

Until next "Time" in the ELO [and related] Universe ... KJS ... 02-June-2018

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