Wayne Klein | My Little Blue Window, USA | 02/21/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
""Out of the Blue" sounds better than ever! This reissue sounds terrific with much better dynamic range, better clarity and sharper sounding music than ever before. This edition features a 12 page booklet discussing the making of the album and some amusing stories about the tour with the giant spaceship to support the album. An excellent album from Lynne and company, "Out of the Blue" caught the band at their creative and musical pinnacle. This edition features the booklet but not a replica of the promo items in a standard jewel box. By the way, if you have the first pressing Japanese edition of this on CD reportedly this isn't a huge improvement on the sound quality from that release. It does however have a great bonus track and a good instrumental new to the CD. Be aware that the master tapes do have a couple of drop outs that occur (particularly at the beginning of "It's Over")but given the age of the tapes (and how unstable the tapes were during the 70's), I'm not surprised. I am a bit surprised that these drop outs weren't digitally repaired (I'm sure they could have been) but overall I'm very pleased with this terrific album.
I have read some complaints that his doesn't compare or improve on previous editions. Actually, it depends on which edition you have. The Japanese edition (where the album was divided over two discs reportedly still sounds the best--keep in mind that loudness doesn't always equate to better sound as the signal may have been compressed and much of the dynamic range lost, etc.--that said this sounds to my ears much better than the previous American edition mastered by Joe Gastwirt (who probably did the best with what he had at hand within the time frame he had). Sadly, no one thought to ever put this out in an audiophile edition (that would make sense given the sales and appeal of the band)which is a pity because of all of ELO's recordings this has the sonic detail and lush soundscapes that demand it. Nevertheless, this version sounds really good.
This is one of ELO's most infectious albums and while it may lack some of the more experimental touches on the band's first three albums, there are plenty of melodic experiments here such as the sythsizer driven "The Whale". "Turn to Stone" has never sounded so good on CD before. While the band would continue to put out hits after this, "Out of the Blue" captured the band at a commerical and artistic climax. They never got better than this!
We get three bonus tracks. The first is an alternate bridge for the song "Wild West Hero" and runs about 24 seconds. The second is an unfinished instrumental "The Quick and the Daft" that runs under a minute and a half. The last is "Latitude 88 North" which Lynne finished for this reissue. It's a terrific song that would have fit in well with the rest of the album. I'm glad that Lynne went back to finish it as it makes a fitting finish to a terrific album. "
The best ELO has to offer
NYC Leather Pants Wearin' Wierdo | New York | 08/24/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"ELO's ambitious "Out of the Blue" remains the standard by which all other ELO records would be judged. This is no doubt ELO's finest moment, a whopping double album of well crafted songs, each with a mini symphony of its own. It boggles the mind how so many good songs were written in such a short amount of time with such good production values. Many of the songs have a Broadway-like quality to them; For example, listen to "Wild West Hero", you will see what I mean.
There are also the radio staples: "Turn to Stone" and "Sweet Talkin' Woman", no strangers to heavy rotation on the FM airwaves to this day. However, the underrated star of side one is "Across the Border", a sweet mixture of Beatles, Symphony Orchestra and Aculpulco. This is Jeff Lynne on top of the world, doing what he does best...Beatles inspired rock and roll with an experimental twist.
Side three gives us the "Concerto for a Rainy Day"..a mini record unto its own. "Big Wheels" and "Summer and Lightning" are timeless.
In short, if there were one ELO collection to get, this is the one.
This is a great album and an excellent remaster!
August F. Hutchins | Mt. View, Ca USA | 03/27/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"For all of you reading the negative reviews now thinking "I shouldn't buy this because it doesn't sound good" forget that! From a technical side this album has always sounded great but now it sounds fantastic. Using state of the art technology Jeff Lynne personally oversaw and conducted the remastering. I too have compared the two CD releases and even the vinyl release and concluded this one just sounds best! But here's the thing, one can't fix something that's not broken. So when one thinks of a remaster one may expect a dramatic improvement in sound quality. Not so much on this remaster BUT! One will hear things that weren't as noticible before; actually make out the words on believe me now. Performances are more apparent so on and so forth. The only thing kinda lame about this expanded edition is that it gives the listener only three more tracks: two short ones and one brand new song; all of them are amazing.
Out Of the Blue is Electric Light Orchestra's most famous album, many consider it to be the best and that's difficult to argue with. The album was even more successful than another release prior to that and has some of the most famous ELO tunes on it, like Sweet Talkin' Woman and Turn To Stone and Mr. Blue Sky! This album released more singles than any other ELO album, and all of them shine. So If one is even a little interested in ELO, he/she should make sure that this decade defining album is in their possession!"
Yes this is the definitive version!
W. Euler | 11/21/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Okay there is considerable debate on this version verses the Joe gastwirt version. No comparison-especially in the bottom end-and no wonder it's only been 18 years since the original was done. This is the way it was meant to be heard, and the bonus track Latitude North is nearly worth the price alone. Buy and enjoy!"