ELO Compilations, Greatest Hits and Best Of

albums issued World Wide in 1994 to 1996

In association with Patrik Guttenbacher - Face The Music Germany, presented here is a discography of Electric Light Orchestra compilation LPs & CDs issued world wide in 1994 to 1996 along with information/description on each release

Vinyl LPs plus later released CDs/MDs are listed along with the countries there were issued in, example front covers, LP labels and CDs are also shown.  Please see the countries listed on the main menu above for full catalogue numbers/details/issue variants.

Click a album cover below to be taken to the release information and details.

 
ELO Greatest Hits 450357 2

Title

First Issue Date

First Label Issue

Format & Country

ELO Greatest Hits / Best Of ELO Vol 1

1994

Epic

CD - UK

CD Europe

Track List

Evil Woman
Livin' Thing    
Can't Get It Out Of My Head
Showdown    
Turn To Stone
Rockaria    
Sweet Talkin' Woman
Telephone Line    
Ma Ma Ma Belle    
Strange Magic    
Mr. Blue Sky

A re-release of the album "ELO's Greatest Hits", originally released on vinyl in 1979. In 1994 it saw a new release by Sony as a CD in a cardboard-slipcase with the new title "Best Of ELO Vol 1". The new order code EPC 477500 2 is only printed on the cardboard case itself, as the CD is the previously released Epic / Sony CD release 45037 2 from 1990. This issue was the follow-up release to the Jet / CBS release from 1986, only differing in the label and order code.

 

Therefore the tracksare no different to the previously released CD versions. The single version of Showdown is faded out earlier and Ma-Ma-Ma Belle ends with "ma-ma-mama...". All other songs are featured like in their album versions, except of the orchestra intros for Evil Woman and Strange Magic.

 
ELO Greatest Hits II 471956 2

Title

First Issue Date

First Label Issue

Format & Country

Track List

ELO Greatest Hits / Best Of ELO Vol 2

1994

Epic

CD - UK

CD - Europe

Rock N' Roll Is King         

Hold On Tight    

All Over The World          

Wild West Hero  

Diary Of Horace Wimp     

Shine A Little Love          

Confusion         

Ticket To The Moon        

Don't Bring Me Down       

I'm Alive

Last Train To London      

Don't Walk Away

Here Is The News

Calling America  

Twilight

Secret Messages

As with 'Vol 1', the only two years old album "ELO's Greatest Hits Volume 2", was re-released as "Best Of ELO Vol2" with the order code EPC 477501 2. It has a cardboard slip-case too.

 

As it is only a re-packed 471956 2, the versions of the tracks are the same as with the 1992-release. With the exception of the Secret Messages single version, there are only album verions on it, although Rock 'n' Roll Is King missed its album intro. All Over The World and Don't Walk Away are faded out a bit earlier, at Twilight the outro was faded out faster and Here Is The News faded out later during the string interlude. With these two "Best Of ELO" releases, the two "ELO's Greatest Hits" albums form a unit, covering all successful UK single releases. Sad to see though that the first two albums are not featured. Manufactured by Sony Austria, these releases were available throughout the EEC.

 
Very Best Of ELO DINCD90

Title

First Issue Date

First Label Issue

Format & Country

The Very Best Of Electric Light Orchestra

1994

Dino Records

CD - UK

Track List

Sweet Talking Woman
Mr Blue Sky
Livin' Thing
Evil Woman    
Telephone Line    
Rockaria    
Turn To Stone    
Don't Bring Me Down    
Wild West Hero    
All Over The World    
Hold On Tight
Confusion    
Showdown
Last Train To London    
Strange Magic    
Shine A Little Love
Diary Of Horace Wimp    
Roll Over Beethoven (Live)

Released in 1994 was another licensed product from the United Kingdom. Dino Records released as DINCD 90 on June 20th "The Very Best Of The Electric Light Orchestra" and launched a never before seen promotional campaign, leaving nothing unconsidered.

 

TV-spots with scenes from the Wembley film, giant posters, in the record shops and displays. As a result, the compilation went as far as to No. 4 in the UK charts, bringing back the E.L.O. to the people's attention. This chart success also showcased that the interest in the music of the Electric Light Orchestra was still there.

All tracks featured in their albums versions, apart from the orchestral intros of Evil Woman and Strange Magic. On All Over The World the babble voices are faded-out earlier. The version of Roll Over Beethoven (Live) is from the 1985 UK release of "The Night The Light Went On (In Long Beach)". Strangely the song titles in the 6-page fold-out booklet mention only the albums "Out Of The Blue", "A New World Record", "Discovery" and "Time".

Two pages are devoted to a cut-off market survey of Dino with a Midi HiFi System to win. The artwork with the famous E.L.O. Logo on a friendly orange glowing background was very well received in 1994. To go with the 70's revival it showcased a certain familiarity.

 

It remains unclear why higher placed songs like Calling America and Rock 'n' Roll Is King are missing, while the absence of Can't Get It Out Of My Head canbe explained as the song didn't chart in the UK. Soundwise there are differences on the album. While Showdown and Roll Over Beethoven sound rather muffled, Don't Bring Me Down and some recent songs sound very bright.

 

This compilation clearly has done a great job for the Electric Light Orchestra. The time was right for E.L.O. again and the anti-ELO mood of the mid-80's was overcome. Dino's "The Very Best Of The Electric Light Orchestra" also helped Bev Bevan's ELO follow-up group E.L.O. Part II, who played around this time some bigger venues in the UK, as they were mentioned when the compilation was promoted in the radio

 
The Best Of ELO EPC 479006 2

Title

First Issue Date

First Label Issue

Format & Country

The Very Best Of Electric Light Orchestra

1994

Sony

CD - Holland 

Track List

Mr. Blue Sky    
Livin' Thing    
Turn To Stone    
Rockaria!    
Sweet Talkin' Woman
Telephone Line    
So Fine    
Standing In The Rain
Big Wheels    
Summer And Lightning
Tightrope    
Mission (A World Record)    
Do Ya
Shangri-la

Sony Music Entertainment Holland B.V. released another compilation for the Dutch market in 1994. After all these "Very Best" in the album titles, this one was simply called "The Best Of Electric Light Orchestra". Epic 478066 2, has the well known logo of the Electric Light Orchestra on the sleeve too, but this time with a precious black backdrop.

 

Despite the common EEC market, this album was meant exclusively as a Dutch product. The advert for LP and CD gift vouchers in Dutch on the booklet reverse made this all too clear.

All songs are featured in their album versions. Even So Fine is faded-out in the last second of the downgoing tone 'A'. Above The Clouds is not listed on the cover, but is a part of Livin' Thing.

 

This mistake had been made on the first European CD-release of "A New World Record" and has ever since been made, depending on the knowledge of the people in charge for the respective compilation album.

 

For the first time the songs Big Wheels and Summer And Lightning from the Concerto For A Rainy Day are on a compilation album. The song selected on "The Best Of Electric Light Orchestra" are only taken from the albums "A New World Record" and "Out Of The Blue", with the first one featured in its entirety.

 

It is unknown if the compilation was a success in Holland or not. The artwork of this "A New World Record with some Out Of The Blue Songs" made some unmistakable statements.

 
The Very Best Of Electric Light Orchestra

Title

First Issue Date

First Label Issue

Format & Country

Track List

The Very Best Of Electric Light Orchestra

1994

Columbia

CD - Australia

Sweet Talking Woman
Mr Blue Sky
Livin' Thing
Evil Woman    
Telephone Line    
Rockaria    
Turn To Stone    
Don't Bring Me Down    
All Over The World    
Hold On Tight
Calling America    
Can’t Get It out Of My Head
Last Train To London    
Strange Magic    
Shine A Little Love
Diary Of Horace Wimp    
Roll Over Beethoven (Live)

In the same manner as the the successful "The Very Best" from Dino in the UK, Sony Music Australia released in March 1995 (with © 1994) "The Very Best Of Electric Light Orchestra" on their Columbia Label. For Columbia 477962 2, they however altered the track listing slightly for the Australian market.

Wild West Hero, Confusion and Showdown, had been replaced by Rock 'n' Roll Is King, Calling America and Can't Get It Out Of My Head. The songs included are all featured in their full album versions full intro's and outro's, except Evil Woman loosing its orchestral intro and Mr. Blue Sky has no Concerto Outro. Roll Over Beethoven is actually the 4:30 studio single version, although it was listed on the cover and in the booklet as live version. 


At the mastering, all songs got a bit more reverb. The four-page booklet with liner notes also shows the E.L.O. albums still available in Australia in 1995. This "The Very Best Of Electric Light Orchestra" utilizes the familiarity of the E.L.O. logo too and went as high as No. 15 in the Australian Charts.

 

In the national Western Australia charts it even got to No. 13. This was help by the many TV spots, promoting the album. In the record shops posters were displayed advertising the album.

 

There were also glossy smaller ones with only 30 x 42 cm reading "Hear The Power And The Glory - 18 Musical Masterpieces ...only from Sony". This compilation and the first concerts played with E.L.O. songs by ELO Part 2 since 1978 helped E.L.O.'s reputation over there a lot. 

 
ELO Definitive Collection 472421 9
ELO Definitive Collection 472421 9

Title

First Issue Date

First Label Issue

Format & Country

Track List

ELO Definitive Collection – Extra CD

1995

Epic

CD - Europe

CD1

Showdown
Eldorado Overture    
Can't Get It Out Of My Head
Evil Woman
Strange Magic    
Livin' Thing    
So Fine    
Rockaria    
Sweet Talkin' Woman    
Turn To Stone    
Mr. Blue Sky    
Don't Bring Me Down
Shine A Little Love    
The Diary Of Haracy Wimp
All Over The World 
Twilight    
Rock 'N Roll Is King    
Hold On Tight
Secret Messages

 

CD2

10538 Overture    
Roll Over Beethoven    
Poor Boy (The Greenwood)
Telephone Line
Last Train To London    
I'm Alive    
Here Is The News    
Calling America

 

The small flaw, that the first CD edition of "Definitive Collection" from 1992 contained only material from 1973 to 1983, has been resolved in 1995 with a special edition of the album: "Definitive Collection including Extra CD" was released as a double CD and the order code 472421 9. 

All songs are featured in their album versions, only Roll Over Beethoven is included in its 4:31-version. With a playing time of only 33:07 minutes, the second CD is rather short and could have had a few more songs.

 

Maybe "Definitive Collection including Extra CD" was probably more meant as a gift to the fans. The first CD for this re-release had been completely re-worked. The radio tuning of Mr. Blue Sky is a bit louder and without rain-sound (thanks to the studio-technique), resulting in a 2 seconds shorter version.

 

After the last 'welcome to the show' of Rock'n'Roll Is King to the first tone of Hold On Tight, we now hear 13 seconds outro instead of just 7, like on the 1992 release. The transition from Hold On Tight to Secret Messages is now without an overlapping of the songs. The guitar echo of Hold On Tight can be heard longer and the intro for Secret Messages starts well before 'welcome to the show'.

 
No Answer UAS 5573
A New World Record UA-LA679-G
No Answer UAS 5573

Title

First Issue Date

First Label Issue

Format & Country

Strange Magic The Best Of Electric Light Orchestra 

1995

Sony

2 CD - USA

2 CD - Canada

2 CD - Australia

Track List

CD 1:

10538 Overture    
Roll Over Beethoven
Showdown    
Daybreaker    
Ma-Ma-Ma Belle    
Can't Get It Out Of My Head
Boy Blue    
Evil Woman    
Strange Magic    
Livin' Thing    
Do Ya    
Telephone Line    
Rockaria!

 

CD 2:

Turn To Stone
Sweet Talkin' Woman    
Mr. Blue Sky    
It's Over    
Shine A Little Love    
Don't Bring Me Down    
Confusion
Last Train To London    
Hold On Tight    
Twilight    
Rain Is Falling    
Rock 'N' Roll Is King    
Four Little Diamonds
Stranger    
Calling America    
So Serious

Also in 1995 Sony issued in the USA a 'double disc greatest hits', which appeared on Legacy / Epic Associated. "Strange Magic : The Best Of Electric Light Orchestra" Z2K 64157, was released in a double CD Jewel Case including the sticker: "A gigantic collection of hits... -29 songs spanning the band's entire career - Comprehensive liner notes, track annotations & photos". 

 

The 16-page booklet contained black & white pictures and explained that the liner notes were adapted from "Afterglow". Only new information was the US chart placings.

This compilation thus contains for the first time all single releases from the USA and Canada, but the songs are unfortunately not included in their edited single versions. All songs are album versions. MA-MA-MA BELLE even still has its piano intro, and is faded from 4:00 to 4:10. EVIL WOMAN does not have the orchestra intro.

 

TWILIGHT starts without fade-in direct at the first tone from the synthesizer and is faded-out at the transition from 3:32 to 3:38. On ROCK 'N' ROLL IS KING the album outro is missing. For the first time DAYBREAKER, the originally planned A-side to MA MA MA BELLE is included, as it entered the USA charts, and STRANGER are featured on a compilation.

 

"Strange Magic" offers with its chronological track-listing a kind of continuation to the "Olé ELO" idea. Only ROCKARIA! has never been released on a single by United Artists Records. The value in the E.L.O. Compilation Album history cannot be estimated highly enough, even if it appears at first sight, like it was a usage of "Afterglow" remainders.

 
Electric Light Orchestra CD - Italy EE9795

Title

Electric Light Orchestra 

First Issue Date

1995

First Label Issue

Della

Format & Country

CD - Italy

Track List

Secret Messages    
Heaven Only Knows
Bluebird    
Evil Woman    
Showdown    
Rockaria!    
Telephone Line    
Mr. Blue Sky    
Can't Get You Out Of My Head
Turn To Stone    
Last Train To London
Midnight Blue
Eldorado    
Shangri-La

In 1995, Italy released a compilation with the title "Electric Light Orchestra" on Enda Editoriale as a license product of Sony Music Entertainment Italy S. p. A., which was manufactured in Austria.

 

Obviously, the title is not particular witty, as besides the first E.L.O. album "The Electric Light Orchestra", there are two further compilation albums with the same title, which usually leads to misunderstandings. For Enda EE 9795, probably a music connoisseur, in particular Fausto Vitaliano, was in charge, which is quite obvious by the special songs selection. The DJD logo stands for D.J. Dossier which might indicate that it could be a sort of club-edition.

The songs are featured in its album versions on this compilation. Naturally Evil Woman does not have the orchestral intro. Showdown is faded quieter at 3:40 and ends at 3:50.

 

Noteworthy is, that Secret Messages and Eldorado are terminated accurately at their natural end, without long-winded fade-out and without the first tones of Loser Gone Wild or Eldorado Finale.

 

Despite the - for E.L.O. compilation albums – less obvious titles such as Heaven Only Knows, Bluebird and Eldorado, there are however no songs that have not been included on compilation before. The picture CD comes with a somewhat too small cut-off colored 12-page booklet, in which the history of E.L.O. is told lengthy and highly detailed in Italian language.

 

Under the photos with the different E.L.O. line-ups is also a very interesting one from the era of "E.L.O. 2". The album offers musically a nice selection of songs, which make the album quite enjoyable to listen to. 

 
The Gold Collection 7243 837162 2 7

Title

First Issue Date

First Label Issue

Format & Country

Track List

Electric Light Orchestra – The Gold Collection

1996

EMI

CD - UK

CD - Europe

CD - Australia

CD - Argentina

10538 Overture    
Mr.Radio
All Over The World (Showdown Early Version)
Look At Me Now    
Manhattan Rumble (49th. Street Massacre)
In Old England Town (Boogie No.2)    
My Woman (Ma Ma Belle Early Version)    
Roll Over Beethoven    
The Battle Of Marston Moor (July 2nd. 1644)    
Queen Of The Hours    
Showdown (Single Version)
First Movement (Jumping Biz)
Whisper In The Night
Momma

Exactly five years after "Early ELO 1971 - 1973" EMI published another compilation album at the beginning of 1996, entitled "The Gold Collection", EMI UK  7243 8 37162 2 7, as part of the new series: 'EMI Gold'. 

The track ALL OVER THE WORLD, with its metallic phasing due to the noise reduction system used, originates like MY WOMAN, with its vast guitar riff of the third and fourth lead guitar, from the 1991 release "Early ELO 1971 - 1973".

 

All other songs are in their album versions. ROLL OVER BEETHOVEN is actually the UK album version, however without the harmonium intro, which was attached to the song MOMMA. Which probably means that the harmonium transition belongs probably rather to MOMMA, but had been mistakenly attributed to ROLL OVER BEETHOVEN since the first compilation album "Showdown".


The songs are represented with the then newest mastering technology on this album. It replaced the EMI Compilation "First Movement" from 1986. The 8-page booklet contains liner notes by Chris Withe, giving a high-speed run through the history of E.L.O., also mentioning the moderate success of E.L.O. Part II.

 

The front cover is based on an early press shot by E.L.O. with the unknown string player on the upper left, who was of someone who had applied as a musician but was however not taken. With the almost complete album "The Electric Light Orchestra" EMI shows us on "The Gold Collection" again, in another possible a new track running order, how they insisting to their rights of their material from the first two E.L.O. albums. 

 
ELO - Roll Over Beethoven - DC 864272

Title

First Issue Date

First Label Issue

ELO - Roll Over Beethoven

1993

Disky

Format & Country

CD - UK

CD - Europe

CD - Japan

Track List

Roll Over Beethoven
Whisper In The Night    
Battle Of Marston Moor (July 2nd 1644)    
Manhattan Rumble (49th Street Massacre)    
Look At Me No
Nellie Takes Her Bow
Mr. Radio    
In Old England Town (Boogie No. 2)    
Momma    
Kuiama    
Baby I Apologise    
10538 Overture

In June 1996 a licensed product of EMI International Products appeared in Holland on Disky, with the title "Roll Over Beethoven". DC 864272 once again contains a new track order of the songs from the Harvest time of E.L.O.

Instead of any hardly different early versions, they chose BABY I APLOGISE, a song demo previously released in 1991 on "Early ELO 1971 -1973" for the first time. Apart from ROLL OVER BEETHOVEN UK Album Version without harmonium intro, and the appropriate subsequent delivery at the end of MOMMA, all other songs on this compilation are featured in their usual album versions. For the cover artwork with the star background a picture from the 1977 tour was used, which thus has no connection with the line-up on the album….


The deletion of two Early Versions, and the replacement of QUEEN OF THE HOURS, SHOWDOWN and FIRST MOVEMENT (JUMPING BIZ) by NELLIE TAKES HER BOW, KUIAMA and BABY I APOLOGISE, give this compilation a completely different, fresher note than the UK edition. But "Roll Over Beethoven" should suffer another fate.

 

Only four month later it was replaced by a further Disky compilation in Holland.

Probably EMI UK was not too excited by the fact that Disky had compiled a "deviating" compilation. "Roll Over Beethoven" is the only further compilation to feature Baby I Aplogise.

 
The Best Of Electric Light Orchestra - DC 870042

Title

First Issue Date

First Label Issue

Format & Country

The Best Of Electric Light Orchestra

1996

Disky

CD - Europe

Track List

10538 Overture    
Mr.Radio
All Over The World (Showdown Early Version)
Look At Me Now    
Manhattan Rumble (49th. Street Massacre)
In Old England Town (Boogie No.2)    
My Woman (Ma Ma Belle Early Version)    
Roll Over Beethoven    
The Battle Of Marston Moor (July 2nd. 1644)    
Queen Of The Hours    
Showdown (Single Version)
First Movement (Jumping Biz)
Whisper In The Night
Momma

Disky Holland rush-released the album "The Best Of Electric Light Orchestra" DC 870042, in October 1996. Again a license product of EMI International Records, but this time "The Gold Collection" by EMI UK as above was used for the tracks.

Thus all song versions are identical to those of the UK edition. The 4-page booklet now contains liner notes by John Philips.

The E.L.O. photo on the cover does again not show the suitable line-up, but at least the light bulb from the first album. The title of the compilation is obviously not particularly clever chosen.

All pictures, graphics, record designs and logos are the property of Jeff Lynne / ELO, this is non profit fan based site .

I would like to thank and credit:

Peter Miles, Graham from OutOfTheBlueArtifactsPatrik Guttenbacher from Face The Music Germany

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