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Electric Light Orchestra: Discovery (remaster)

Viewed by many as the beginning of ELO's decline, Discovery, released in 1979, saw the band dip deeper into disco, pop, and ballads even heavier than they had on the previous monster seller Out of the Blue. While the band still briefly touched on their classical and prog influences, for the most part those moments would be very brief indeed. That being said, there are still a few standout tracks here, so let's investigate.

The vibrant opener "Shine a Little Love" is a swinging, Bee Gees sounding pop/disco number, with raging drums, sweeping synths and string arrangments (the band was reduced to a quartet by this point, with all the violin & cello players gone) supporting Jeff Lynne's catchy, high pitched vocal melodies. "Confusion" is a great pop rocker, with catchy hooks aplenty and majestic keyboards and synths courtesy of Richard Tandy. The influence of The Beatles and Paul McCartney & Wings is very much apparent on the ballad "Need Her Love" and the quirky "Diary of Horace Wimp", the latter featuring all sorts of lush vocal layers from Lynne and bassist Kelly Groucutt, and Tandy's soaring synth and string melodies. "Last Train to London" is the albums other disco-oriented piece, but is also happens to be one of the strongest tracks, as it's filled with a truly addicting and memorable chorus, Tandy's funky keyboards, Groucutt's groove laden bass licks, and majestic string arrangements. After the bland and sappy ballad "Midnight Blue" comes the upbeat rock piece "On the Run", a neat piece that has some Yes-styled synth passages and the driving drum beats of Bev Bevan. "Wishing" is a slow, forgettable pop song that features a good vocal from Lynne, but little else, and leads into the album's heavy rocker, "Don't Bring Me Down", which was also the most popular single from Discovery. Kicked off by Bevan's thunderous drums, Groucutt's pounding bass lines, Lynne's snarling guitar, and Tandy's funky piano then come crashing into the mix, with Jeff singing "Don't Bring Me Down, no, no, no, no, no, whoo eee whoo...I tell you once more before I get off the floor, don't bring me down!" to great effect. If nothing else, the song showed that ELO could still rock out, amidst all this pop and disco flavored material.

This remaster contains a few bonus tracks, two mainly throwaways , but "Little Town Flirt" is actually a clever number that has a Beach Boys/Beatles/The Who early 60's feel to it. The booklet recreates the original LP, complete with photographs and full lyrics, and overall the sound of the CD is greatly improved, compared to the low audio and muddy quality of the original CD pressing back in the early 90's. Discovery may not be one of the better ELO albums, but there are a few gems here, and if you are a fan of the band this remaster will be a must purchase to replace your old CD copy.

Track Listing
1. Shine a Little Love
2. Confusion
3. Need Her Love
4. Diary of Horace Wimp
5. Last Train to London
6. Midnight Blue
7. On the Run
8. Wishing
9. Don't Bring Me Down
10. On the Run-bonus
11. Second Time Around-bonus
12. Little Town Flirt-bonus

Added: October 23rd 2006
Reviewer: Pete Pardo
Related Link: ELO Website
Hits: 2140
Language: english

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