Electric Light Orchestra – Listen for Enthusiastic Female Background Vocals

This review for our Shootout Winner was written in 2008.

Let’s start with side two. So many great songs, with So Fine getting things off to a lively start, and Do Ya rockin’ out toward the end.

Side one is almost as good. The sound is rich and full, yet transparent, the ideal combination in our experience.

Love those female background singers — their voices are clear and individually separated, but even more importantly, on the best copies like this one they are ENTHUSIASTIC. This is the very definition of a Hot Stamper: ELO on this copy is full of life and energy. 

Even though I am not the world’s biggest ELO fan, I am a HUGE fan of this album, which is why I’m so happy to have finally found one with AMAZING SOUND, on both sides!

The British originals are the only ones that can convey the sweet TUBEY MAGIC of the British Master Tapes.

The string tone on the average domestic copy is shrill and smeary; too little of the critically important texture remains after the master tapes have been dubbed and the copies sent to America for mastering. 

As a result of Jeff Lynne’s everything-but-the-kitchen-sink production approach, it will be the rare copy that provides enough transparency and resolution to bring out all the elements in these incredibly dense mixes, strings included.

Analog Only

And I have never heard a CD in my life with this kind of Tubey Magical richness and sweetness. That medium never does justice to the sound of recordings like this one, in my experience anyway. People who exclusively play CDs have forgotten what that sound is; that’s why they can happily live without it. I sure can’t. At present this sound is exclusively the domain of analog and likely to remain so well into the future.

Quiet Vinyl? Not With Dynamics Like These

There are so many quiet passages on this record that there are frequently going to be surfaces laid bare for all to hear, at the beginning of songs (side one especially) and throughout each side. Mint Minus is the best we were able to manage on any copy, and the killer copies had Mint Minus Minus passages on both sides.

Two of the copies in our shootout were sealed; we cracked them open ourselves and still the vinyl was ticky in places. I seriously doubt if you can find quieter copies than these.

Other Records with Similar Qualities to Listen For:

Choruses that Are Big, Clear and Lively


String Tone and Texture