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BACK TO THE STORY
EMI/ZONOPHONE 385 3042 RELEASED 16 APRIL 2007
REVIEWS




Orchestra leader's overtures and beginners…

The seeds of ELO's million-selling symphonic pop were sown as early as 1966, when Jeff Lynne joined the Brummie R&B outfit The Nightriders. A name change to The Idle Race and a musical rethink led to three albums of Beatlesesque psych-lite, which, despite a wealth of big star fans, never got much of a public response.

Bringing together the band's entire recorded output (47 tracks), 'Back To The Story' is both quaint historical artefact and a pointer to its own future. Pseudo-novelty singles such as 'The Skeleton & The Roundabout' haven't aged particularly well, although the strings of 'The Lady Who Said She Could Fly' or the layered harmonies of 'Come With Me' wouldn't have sounded out of place on ELO's 'Eldorado' or 'A New World Record'. You could even imagine the likes of The Polyphonic Spree giving them an airing today.

Seemingly more enamoured with "The Quiet One" than Lennon or McCartney, Lynne's voice has always had more than a hint of Harrison about it, but he was also a dab hand at the folk-rock quiver of a Fred Neil or Tim Buckley. Voice comparisons aside, it's a testament to his talent that so many of these songs sound welcomingly familiar, despite having languished in obscurity for so long.

4 STARS - Terry Staunton, RECORD COLLECTOR no. 137, June 2007




Feakbeat purveyors with Move/ELO star-to-be Jeff Lynne in their ranks, and made several '60's Brit psych nuggets, including their single 'Imposters Of Life's Magazine', their trippy calling card.

3 STARS - Lois Wilson, MOJO no. 163, June 2007

 



Brummie guitarist Jeff Lynne's very first band The Nightriders quickly evolved into The Idle Race, a more than adequate foil for his prodigious early psychedelic outpourings and developing songwriting skills. He played on two albums with them - 1968's 'The Birthday Party' and 1969's 'Idle Race' - before quitting to join pal Roy Wood in The Move. All Lynne's hugely impressive early work, as well as a third album, 1971's 'Time Is' is collated on this excellent insight into the ELO mainman's early days.

8 OUT OF 10 - Jerry Ewing, CLASSIC ROCK no. 106, June 2007

 

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