The sixth Electric Light Orchestra album A New World Record proved to be their first multi-platinum album, selling in excess of 5 million copies worldwide. Not only was the album a huge seller, but it really honed in on the direction that ELO would take musically for the rest of their career. Combining uncanny pop hooks with classical orchestrations, A New World Record spawned numerous hit singles and songs that still remain popular with fans to this day. This new remaster package does a great job bringing superior sound to this album, as well as adding some interesting bonus tracks, photos, and commentary from Jeff Lynne.
Who can forget strong songs like "Tightrope", the huge hit "Telephone Line" (complete with Richard Tandy's Moog delivering the telephone ring), or the charged up Chuck Berry-meets-orchestra rock and roll of 'Rockaria!". Jeff Lynne proved that he was a master at writing memorable pop-rock material, so evident on the funky "So Fine" and the endearing "Livin' Thing". Sadly, many of the more progressive leanings that the band had earlier in their career were quickly fading by this time, but this album does contain the dreamy number "Mission ( A World Record)", complete with great violin parts, Tandy's array of keyboards, and Kelly Groucutt's nimble bass lines. "Above the Clouds" is another classical oriented piece, with Lynne's soaring vocals supported by plenty of keyboards and strings, and the band cranks out the hard rock on the remake of The Move's "Do Ya". The album ends on a meditative note with "Shangri-La", an emotional pop song given an atmospheric texture thanks to Tandy's keyboard tones, violin, cello, and Lynne's silky guitar lines.
The bonus tracks are interesting, as you get the previously uinreleased "Surrender", an uptempo rock song with a great chorus, as well as some alternate takes of a few songs, including fun instrumental early mixes of "Tightrope", "So Fine" and "Telephone Line". While perhaps not the classic that Face the Music is, or the full-blown genius of Out of the Blue, A New World Record certainly ranks up there in the top 5 of ELO's discography.
2. Telephone Line
4. Mission (A World Record)
5. So Fine
6. Livin' Thing
7. Above The Clouds
8. Do Ya
10. Telephone Line (Different Version)
12. Tightrope (Instrumental Rough Mix)
13. Above The Clouds (Instrumental Rough Mix)
14. So Fine (Instrumental Rough Mix)
15. Telephone Line (Instrumental)