Search - Elo :: Face the Music (Exp)

Face the Music (Exp)
Face the Music (Exp)
Genres: International Music, Pop, Rock, Classic Rock
  •  Track Listings (12) - Disc #1


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CD Details

All Artists: Elo
Title: Face the Music (Exp)
Members Wishing: 5
Total Copies: 0
Label: Sony
Release Date: 9/12/2006
Album Type: Extra tracks, Original recording remastered
Genres: International Music, Pop, Rock, Classic Rock
Styles: Europe, British Isles, Progressive, Progressive Rock, Album-Oriented Rock (AOR)
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaCD Credits: 1
UPC: 827969427828

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CD Reviews

Mind-blowingly magical
Dr. Emil "Tom" Shuffhausen | Central Gulf Coast | 09/14/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)


Epic/Legacy has now given us this stellar re-mastered edition of FACE THE MUSIC, and it's a real treasure. It's one of those documents that vividly illustrate why ELO leader Jeff Lynne is considered on of the leading lights in popular music history.

The original 1975 classic by ELO is a bracing collection of some pretty hot tunes; on this re-mastered edition, these songs sound better than ever, and the graphics are wonderfully expanded, with a booklet full of rare photos and insightful commentary by Lynne and ELO historian Rob Caiger.


Here is a song-by-song review...

"Fire On High" is the ultimate progressive rock instrumental...Jeff Lynne packs more drama and punch and verve into this 5:31 minutes than many composers acheive in a lifetime. (Drummer Bev Bevan more than lives up to his "Basher" moniker here, with deft, speedy, and powerful work on the skins.) The drama builds majestically until it all finally explodes into a searing acoustic guitar riff--a symphony of guitars that dive and soar like a downhill skier.

"Waterfall" is the definition of "achingly gorgeous"--so pretty it almost hurts. The lyrics are sad, but cathartic, and the melodic vocal interplay is fantastic. It's a fine example of ELO's ablity to wash a song in strings without it all becoming sappy or soupy.

Then there's the decidedly funky "Evil Woman," one of the giant, enduring hits of the decade...that pounding piano motif is instantly recognizable and the background "hey hey hey's" stick in your brain long after the song ends.

One of ELO's better--but oft-forgotten--songs is "Nightrider," a clever little tribute to Jeff Lynne's earliest days in rock and roll, and it moves at a nice gallop. It acheived minor success as a single, and features some intriguing and engaging mood shifts, plus some fine vocal work from bassist Kelly Groucutt.

Another track that is sometimes unjustifiably overlooked is the rollicking "Poker," which is a dizzying duel between crunchy guitars and the swirling synths of Richard Tandy, and some amazingly Beatlesque harmonies. Why this was never released as a single is beyond me, but it's a real corker.

The band cools down for the massive hit ballad, "Strange Magic," which is beautifully atmospheric and engaging with mysterious imagery and yet more patented Lynne melodic brilliance.

The comedic country detour, "Down Home Town," is no joke musically--well-played, shifting rhythms and moods, and a sing-along chorus that--while humorous--remains memorable.

ELO always closes well, and "One Summer Dream" is no exception. It wafts along like a river flowing into Autumn, with some lovely chord changes and vocals and Bevan's deft drumming.


In this re-mastered edition, we get an interesting alternate take on the intro to "Fire On High," plus the U.S. single edit of "Strange Magic," and the beautiful instrumental mix of "Waterfall." But the real attraction is a "stripped down" mix of "Evil Woman," with a great vocal from Jeff and energetic playing from the band.

Again, it should be noted that the restored and expanded graphics are topnotch and the liner notes are outstanding. Hail to Rob Caiger, Lynn Hoskins, and all of those ELO fans/historians who helped make this project happen! Well done!


There are days when this is my favorite ELO album. And while I generally rate it barely behind A NEW WORLD RECORD or OUT OF THE BLUE, I still believe it is one of the best and most important album releases of the 1970s--by any artist. It's not as "tied together" or cohesive as many of ELO's albums, but it is an outstanding collection of individual tunes.

In short, there are no weak songs here--only great songs, greater songs, and greatest songs. Somewhere on the radio right now, "Evil Woman" or "Strange Magic" is playing; and "Fire On High" remains the finest rock instrumental ever recorded by anyone.

Don't miss this re-mastered edition! If you already love ELO or have earlier editions of FACE THE MUSIC, you really owe it to yourself to hear the much-improved sound, check out the updated graphics, and enjoy it all over again.

FACE THE MUSIC would qualify as a BEST OF collection for most bands. Pick it up and discover why!"
One of Lynne's best albums gets deluxe remaster with bonus t
Wayne Klein | My Little Blue Window, USA | 09/22/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)

"This deluxe remastered edition of the album features a terrific sounding remaster as well as four bonus tracks. From the disturbing opening track "Fire on High" to the lilting "Waterfall" (one of Lynne's personal favorites)to "Evil Woman" the album shows Lynne in top form. The richest melody and ballad (although I love "Waterfall") (in my opinion) was the closer "One Summer Dream".

We get four bonus tracks. The original "Fire on High" early mix which lacks many of the overdubs on the final version. An stripped down mix of "Evil Woman" (Lynne in retrospect feels is superior to the album version. I would agree that rocks harder without the string and backing vocal overdubs and sounds equally as good)created for this release to mimic the early version without overdubs. We also get the single version of "Strange Magic" which has only appeared on import "Best of" collections to date and a lovely instrumental mix of "Waterfall" without the vocals.

The booklet features brief comments by Lynne on the songs as well as a brief recording history of the album, how it performed on the charts and photos of the various sleeves for the 45's issued from the album. We also get a pictue of the infamous electric chair billboard that promoted the album in Los Angeles.

I have the gold edition released by Sony 7 or 8 years ago and this sounds slightly better to my ears than that original edition. The cool back cover with the band's eyes darkened so it appears that they are staring out at you from the cover is replicated here. The original gold CD had a fold out sleeve that basically replicated the original inner sleeve with lyrics on it. Here it's presented as the much more user friendly booklet.

"Face the Music" became the big breakthrough album for ELO. "El Dorado" and "On the Third Day" set the stage for their largest hit album to date. With singles "Evil Woman" and the ballad "Strange Magic" ELO took the airwaves by storm. During the 70's there were lots of great singles on so-so albums "Face the Music" proved an exception to the rule with each song almost as inventive as the last. "Down Home Town" has always felt like a bit of filler but its melodic filler. The first album recorded in Germany with engineer Mack at the helm this would be the first of many recorded in that studio located in the basement of a hotel."
Not so reversible now, but still great.
lighten_up_already2 | Kirkland, WA USA | 10/11/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)

"I had a lot of fun with my vinyl copy of this album when I'd get into arguements with people as to whether or not backward masking was used on records. I'd plop this record down on the turntable and run the "Fire on High" track backwards and you'd clearly hear "The music is reversible, but time is not...turn back...turn back...turn back." Also, at the beginning of the song Down Home Town they've got "Face the mighty waterfall" backward masked into the intro.

I won't repeat what everyone else wrote. I think most of us know where this album fits into the history of ELO and what the songs are like, but what we're wondering is whether or not to pony up the money to but another copy of it.

Well, I listened to this version through my computer on nice Sennheiser headphones and I can't tell where the improvement in sound happened. Perhaps I can hear it on some of the quieter passages.

However, I can say that the "stripped down" Evil Woman is very cool, especially with the additional verse that isn't on the original. Also, the Waterfall instrumental is great. The "strange magic" single edit is the same truncated and out-of-context version that I got rather sick of when it was played on the radio all the time. The alternative version of Fire on High sounds like the intro to an old Twilight Zone episode only it goes on and on and on. It was interesting but I'll probably skip it next time I listen to this CD.

So, should you but this again? Sure, there's just enough here to warrent spending the money. Of course, if you don't own it in any form then here's your chance to get a truly great 1970's progressive power-pop period piece that you'll find to be a lot of fun."