A 21583 ELO Classics
Previously released material
Released on 1990
no chart information
Find it at GEMM
A 21583 cover  

I f this CBS product seems hits-challenged, cut it some slack, it’s “special.” The compilations released under the Special Products banner are notoriously stingy, striking just the right balance between bargain and value lest the consumer get too much bang for their buck. They purport to be greatest hits compilations, but on closer inspection usually serve some unseen master (here it’s Secret Messages). The selection is inexplicably spotty as usual: two tracks from Secret Messages (not even the hits, though they are good songs), “Boy Blue” in favor of “Can’t Get It Out of My Head,” “Rockaria!” over “Livin’ Thing,” “Birmingham Blues” instead of “Mr. Blue Sky.” It would take a pretty sinister rocket scientist to skip over those choices, so you have wonder just how much thought goes into not picking the obvious songs. I can imagine a great balance deep in the CBS stronghold with seven dollars resting in one tray, and someone gingerly placing a “Do Ya” or “Strange Magic” in the other tray just to have the whole thing come crashing down. Of course I kid, but is it mere coincidence that I now have a higher opinion of Secret Messages? Weird scenes inside the goldmine indeed. Note that the sound is nothing special for a CD, with “Boy Blue” and “Ma-Ma-Ma Belle” still sounding fuzzy. If you spot this in a supermarket (its likely venue), you could do worse for five bucks (pound of ground beef, I’m looking at you), but bear in mind that you’re getting what you pay for. And while we’re on the subject, why is all ground beef now sold in 1.3-lb packages? Has there ever been a recipe in the history of mankind that called for 1.3 pounds (or some multiple thereof) of ground beef? I suggest we send a letter to the world beef council (or the meat packers union) and tell them what they can do with their extra .3 pounds of ground beef. Actually the meat packers union has probably heard that joke like only a million times since yesterday. And don’t even get me started on the world pork council.


  1. EVIL WOMAN    4:16
  2. BOY BLUE    4:11
  3. TELEPHONE LINE    4:35
  4. ROCKARIA!    3:14
  5. DON'T BRING ME DOWN    4:03
  6. MA-MA-MA BELLE    3:35
  7. CAN'T GET IT OUT OF MY HEAD    4:23
  8. BLUEBIRD    4:03
  10. LOSER GONE WILD    5:13


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US 1990 CBS Special Products CD/CS A/BT 21583  


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