ELO Compilations - Flashback issued in 2000 / 2001

In association with Patrik Guttenbacher - Face The Music Germany, presented here is a discography of Electric Light Orchestra Flashback Triple CD Box Set Compilation issued in 2000 / 2001 along with information/description on each release.

 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.

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ELO - Flashback Promo
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Title

First Issue Date

First Label Issue

Flashback - Electric Light Orchestra

2000

Epic

Format & Country

CD - UK & Europe

Track List

Grieg's Piano Concerto In A Minor
Xanadu (New Version)
Helpless
Mama (New Edit)
Do Ya (Unedited Alternate Mix)
Tears In My Life
Love Changes All
Indian Queen (Demo)
Mission (A World Record) (Alternate Mix)
After All
Roll Over Beethoven
Who's That?    

Missing From My Collection

Great events are often foreshadowed. By the end of 2000, the 3-CD-Box compilation and retrospective “Flashback” appeared because of the return of the E.L.O. and the 30th Anniversary of the foundation of the Electric Light Orchestra.


Back in 1990, to the 20th anniversary of the E.L.O. - foundation the 3-CD box set “Afterglow” had appeared. Likewise “Flashback” offered many unpublished songs. While CBS pre-released the Promo Sampler “Destination Unknown” for “Afterglow”, Sony decided to release a black & white 3 CD Jewel Case as Promo for “Flashback”.

 

Therefore “Highlights From Flashback” appeared not as an official Promo CD, but remained as “For Internal Promotional Use Only” within the area of Face The Music. Rob Caiger had selected the songs and written the liner notes for this unusual compilation album. 

 

All versions are the same as on the album “Flashback”. “Highlights From Flashback” appeared already at the beginning of November 2000.  

 
ELO Flashback EPC5009312
ELO Flashback EPC5009312
ELO Flashback EPC5009312
Flashback CD - AE3K 85123 - Promo
Flashback CD - AE3K 85123 - Promo
Flashback CD - AE3K 85123 - Promo
ELO Flashback Japan
ELO Flashback Japan

Title

Flashback - Electric Light Orchestra

First Issue Date

2000 / 2001

First Label Issue

Epic

Format & Country

3 x CD Box Set - UK / Europe

3 x CD Box Set - USA

3 x CD Box Set - Japan

Track List

CD 1:

10538 Overture    
Showdown
Ma-Ma-Ma Belle    
Mr. Radio    
Roll Over Beethoven    
Mama (New Edit)    
One Summer Dream    
Illusions In G Major
Strange Magic    
Eldorado Overture    
Can't Get It Out Of My Head
Eldorado    
Eldorado - Finale    
Do Ya (Unedited Alternative Mix)    
Mister Kingdom    
Grieg's Piano Concerto In A Minor    

CD 2:

Tightrope    
Evil Woman
Livin' Thing
Mr. Blue Sky
Mission (A World Record) (Alternative Mix)
Turn To Stone    
Telephone Line    
Rockaria!    
Starlight    
It's Over    
The Whale    
Sweet Talkin' Woman    
Big Wheels    
Shangri-La    
Nightrider    
Tears In Your Life    

CD 3:

Don't Bring Me Down    
The Diary Of Horace Wimp    
Twilight    
Secret Messages    
Take Me On And On    
Shine A Little Love    
Rock And Roll Is King    
Last Train To London    
Confusion    
Getting To The Point    
Hold On Tight    
So Serious    
Calling America    
Four Little Diamonds
Great Balls Of Fire (Live)    
Xanadu (New Version)    
Indian Queen (Demo)

Love Changes All
After All    
Helpless    
Who's That?

The appearance of the 3-CD retrospective “Flashback”, Epic/Legacy 5009312000 EPC 500931 2, in December 2000 marks a turning point in the compilation album history of E.L.O. It contains 53 songs, which were digitally remastered in the newest available technology by Jeff Lynne.

No E.L.O. - Fan would have expected at that time a further participation of Jeff Lynne at an E.L.O. - project, especially since Jeff had already said good-bye with the 3-CD compilation “Afterglow” in 1990. Of course Jeff had done a great job on “Flashback”, since he probably knew very exactly that we would not have wished differently at all. A strong artwork with a new E.L.O. - spaceship, which emerges abruptly from a galactic nebula, and a stable fold-open cover with a 44-page coloured booklet gave the whole album the charm of a book. Like a Jeff Lynne book about the Electric Light Orchestra.

 

Musically “Flashback” does not only give a foretaste of the soon to be appearing remastered E.L.O.- Albums, but - with six new, in the year 2000 finished songs, a demo-track, four alternative versions, two in-countings and an alternative intro it contains enough “new” material to be the E.L.O.-album of the year 2000.

 

For the remastering, which was done under the supervision of Jeff Lynne by Al Quaglieri and Jeff Magid, the original master tapes were used. In combination with the newest studio technology an up to then unequalled clarity in the sound was reached.

Jeff describes the procedure of the remastering like cleaning a dusty windowpane, through which one can now see much clearer. Which certainly succeeded him with “Flashback” very well. Over all, the remastered songs sound warmer and have more soul. Often one can listen to single instrument passages in a song throughout it, which had been buried in the mix on the earlier LP and CD publications.

 

This is particularly obvious with the songs from the so-called bombastic albums like “Eldorado”, “Face The Music”, “A New World Record”, “Out Of The Blue” and “Discovery”. The albums “Time”, “Secret Messages” and “Balance Of Power” had already been recorded with a high-quality studio technology and show not so large differences in comparison to the previous releases.

 

The first three albums “The Electric Light Orchestra”, “E.L.O. 2” and “On The Third Day” did not have yet this bombastic complexity of the multi-track recordings and already offered a good sound on the good mastered vinyl pressings from Japan. The text in the booklet is based on an interview, which David Wild had conducted with Jeff Lynne and which was written in the personal form.

 

Besides new pictures of Jeff there are also older photos of the E.L.O. line-up, which were to a large extent not yet published. Jeff thanks the musicians, who played for E.L.O., and divides them in five rough Line-Ups based on the LP-personnel. Thus Trevor and Martin Smith are missing as well as is Andrew Craig!

 

Each song contains a short comment by Jeff Lynne as well as data of the recording time of the appropriate album, from which the songs was taken. Looking at “Flashback” as a whole, it is a well-done thing and was a great opening release for the new E.L.O.-phase with the publications of “Zoom” and the remastered albums.

Most songs are featured in its complete and unabridged album versions on “Flashback”. There are nevertheless a number of “special” versions on it. Showdown  is faded out earlier at the end, in comparison to the UK Version. So the song ending is more quiet (not as loud as UK). Ma-Ma-Ma Belle begins without the Piano Intro is played up to the end and is however more quietly faded-out. With which the mystery could be solved around the “On The Third Day” remaster edition.

 

The long 8:02 - album version of Roll Over Beethoven is here without the harmonium-intro, which was played before the 5th Symphony, as this is probably not on the original multi-track tape of Roll Over Beethoven. Thus it becomes also clear why on some compilation albums this Intro is at the end of Mama.

 

For Mama (New Edit) the 7:04 - original version from October 1972 was edited by Jeff Lynne for “Flashback” to 4:06, with which he fulfilled a long-preserved desire to do a shorter version of this song. At the end of the 1st verse at 1:04 it goes directly into the 2nd chorus played with drums, which begins on the album version only at 2:14. The first chorus and “A misty morning rider…”-verse are missing completely. After the following violin solo intro it goes directly into the “Midnight, maiden madness…”-chorus up to the end of the song.

 

One Summer Dream appears here probably unintentionally in a new, now third version, since the second intro verse is missing. At 0:25 it continues directly at 0:49 in the album version. Do Ya (Unedited alternative mix) have a length of 4:09 and are thus longer as the 3:44 - album version, which was edited from this mix. The preludes prior the choruses are a few riffs longer. The drum-solo is twice as long and the wood block is also played louder. In the third verse Jeff and Kelly sing the chorus in the background, which was then mixed-out on the album version. The voices are altogether louder, since it is according to Jeff a backing vocals take.

 

On Mister Kingdom, here in a 5:08 - version, the first orchestra tone is missing and is then faded out in the instrumental part. Grieg's Piano Concerto In A-Minor with Richard on the piano, Jeff at the drums and both on the guitars was recorded in 1982 in the Wissellord Studios in Holland. Marc Mann plays on it additional keyboards, though here only a few background sounds in the second part can be meant. Edvard Grieg would certainly have loved it. As arrangers (“Arranged and Adapted by”) here “Jeff Lynne - Richard Tandy” are listed.

 

Evil Woman has likewise its orchestra transition of the full album version, which was attached however - as it is the case with some further songs on “Flashback” - for playing time-reasons to the previous song. On Mr. Blue Sky the Concerto Outro of the album version is missing, since it does, according to Jeff Lynne, not belong to the actual song.

 

Mission (A World Record) (Alternative Mix) has a different Intro, spoken with a clear and louder mixed voice. The spoken backing vocals in the pre-chorus are missing just like the “cry” after “Someone singing from a window” and also a text line at the conclusion. Two background-sentences are more understandable.

 

On Rockaria! one hears the counting of Jeff with much resound: “One, two, three, four”, before Mary Thomas begins with her German lyric line. Big Wheels begins already with the so far known end of Standin' in The Rain.

 

Tears in Your Life is another leftover from 1982. The vocoder-part in the centre, on which Jeff sings the title line, is not recognized as such at first. The drums and the piano sound much like Jeff.

 

The Outro of Twilight changes smoothly into Secret Messages. Shine A Little Love is here represented without choir intro just like Rock 'n' Roll Is King has no album intro and outro. Before Last Train To London one still hears the counting-in from “Six” to “Sixteen”.

 

Hold on Tight begins with a 23-second Intro, which was planned as a transition for the album “Time”. Bells ring, then it concludes with synthesizer effects smoothly into the well-known guitar riff from Hold on Tight. Great Balls Of Fire (Live) originates from the 1974 album “The Night The Light Went On In Long Beach”. At the beginning of the song fan cries were added, because the song originally started directly after In The Hall Of The Mountain King.

 

Xanadu (new version) is the only new E.L.O.-Song from the year 2000. Jeff does not sing a backing in the verses. Additional keyboards were contributed by Marc Mann. Melody and lyrics were changed a bit, “eternally” was changed to “so let it be”. Indian Queen (Demo) is 57 seconds long and originates from the first demo version from 1973. The song should become a further station for the dreamer of “Eldorado”, in which he visits the Indian queen. In a later version it was ready, in order to take the place of Laredo Tornado on the album.

 

Love Changes All is a rework of the unreleased movie-song Xanadu Overture. The track opens with a violin intro, then choir and strings join in. Helpless is likewise a song from 1982, with very strong singing by Jeff. The pre-chorus has a bit of Vocoder and has exciting speed changes.

 

Who's That? is as such not an E.L.O.-song. It sounds like 20's or 30's music with a bit of skiffle and cembalo and had been recorded in 1982 with the working title Got No Echo. A little melody with made-up farting sounds and the text “who's that?”. The song ends abruptly with a sampled choir chord from Mr. Blue Sky.

 

While we got for the first time single B-Side songs on “Afterglow” and three unpublished album-songs, Jeff Lynne and Sony put more effort into “Flashback” and offered us new versions and just finished songs.


For press and radio stations "Flashback" was released "For Promotional Use Only. Not For Sale", Epic/Legacy AE3K 85123, as a 3 CD-Set in a double-CD Jewel Case. The artwork and the CD-label printings are completely in black and white.

 

The running-order could be seen through the transparent inserts. Apart from a more extended press statement, there are no further liner-notes or booklet in this Promo-Set. 

Sony Japan had published the 3CD-Album “Flashback” as late as 6th June 2001 together with E.L.O.'s new album “Zoom” and the first four remastered albums.


“Flashback” closes a 10-year gap, in which E.L.O. did not exist. In this time we saw the release of 32 compilation albums from all over the world. Now a more planned phase for E.L.O. compilations should take place. Although this was also not reached over night. 

 
Flashback Japan Promo Cover

Title

First Issue Date

First Label Issue

Format & Country

Electric Light Orchestra

2001

Sony Music

CD - Japan

Track List

Mr. Blue Sky 
Telephone Line 
Evil Woman 
Livin' Thing
Strange Magic
Sweet Talkin' Woman Shine A Little Love 
Don't Bring Me Down/ Confusion 
Last Train To London Xanadu
I'm Alive 
Twilight
Hold On Tight
Secret Messages
Calling America 
Xanadu (New Version

Missing From My Collection

Sony Japan had published the 3CD-Album “Flashback” as late as 6th June 2001 together with E.L.O.'s new album “Zoom” and the first four remastered albums. For this reason a compilation album was put together, which should promote “Zoom” and “Flashback”. With a section of the album-design from “Zoom”, “Electric Light Orchestra” appeared on Sony Records International as a Promo-CD in a Slim Case. XDCS 93463 

The versions of the songs are all like the album versions, with the exception of Evil Woman, which is featured without orchestra introduction. As single versions, Shine A Little Love without the choir-intro, Twilight with in- and out-faded beginning and end and Hold On Tight, accurately up to the last tone, without fading into the Epilogue, were used.

 

The inclusion of Twilight and the two tracks from the “Xanadu” - album, which are not on “Flashback”, are interesting. Xanadu and I'm Alive were however mastered to the standard of the other tracks, so that they fit to the other songs, thus the original version with Olivia Newton-John can be compared directly with Xanadu (New Version).

The 4-page folding sheet contains short liner notes to each song, particularly dealing with Moment In Paradise. One can however describe this album as a bit unusual, since in the past the Japanese Promo compilations contained half of the songs from the current album and had also been more inventive regarding the song selection and the cover design as “ELO Special Digest - The Best Of ELO” and “Fantasy World Of E.L.O”, had proved. But all in all a beautiful idea for the many releases approaching at that time..

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

For help, corrections, images and information on this website.

ELO Flashback EPC5009312