UA-LA546-G Face The Music
Produced by Jeff Lynne
Released on October 1975
US CHART POSITION #8 . . . GOLD RECORD
Find it at GEMM
UA-LA546-G cover
[high resolution photo]

K ronomyth 5.0: POKER PHASE. The mix of Beatlesque melodies, strings and studio sophistication further solidifies on Face The Music. The album produced a pair of massive singles: “Evil Woman” and “Strange Magic.” Beginning with another overture (this time the chilling “Fire On High,” one of several instances where backwards voices are used on the album), Face The Music features some very solid tracks (“Waterfall,” “Nightrider,” “One Summer Dream”) and a couple of clunkers (“Poker,” “Down Home Town”). Historically, I’ve seen this and Eldorado as two of the less interesting chapters from the ELO story, simply because the filler-to-killer ratio seemed too high. But that was before I heard the 2006 remaster. The trouble with most of the early ELO albums is their murkiness. The remaster removes that veil, and the sheer beauty of songs like “Waterfall” and “One Summer Dream” is striking. The opening “Fire On High” (explored in an alternative mix as the first bonus track) is also more interesting in its remastered state, though still too eclectic for my tastes. As the first album to feature Kelly Groucutt and Melvyn Gale, Face The Music marks a new chapter for ELO, ushering in a golden age of brilliant albums (New World, Blue, Discovery). The hits are absolute classics, while the misses in some cases barely miss being great songs themselves. I would avoid owning this (and mostly of the early ELO) on vinyl. The 2006 Epic/Legacy remaster sheds a far more flattering light on the music and pretty much adds one whole imaginary star to my impression of this album. The bonus tracks are also a nice touch (US single edit of “Strange Magic,” awwwright!) though secondary to the improved sound.

UA-LA546-G back cover UA-LA546-G lyric sleeve 94278-2 front cover
UA-LA546-G back cover UA-LA546-G lyric sleeve 94278-2 front cover
[high resolution scan]

TRACK LISTING

  1. FIRE ON HIGH    5:29
  2. WATERFALL    4:11
  3. EVIL WOMAN    4:34
  4. NIGHTRIDER    4:22
  5. POKER    3:30
  6. STRANGE MAGIC    4:29
  7. DOWN HOME TOWN    3:53
  8. ONE SUMMER DREAM    5:45

    CD reissue bonus tracks
  9. FIRE ON HIGH INTRO (EARLY ALTERNATIVE MIX)    3:20
  10. EVIL WOMAN (STRIPPED DOWN MIX)    4:57
  11. STRANGE MAGIC (U.S. SINGLE EDIT)    3:25
  12. WATERFALL (INSTRUMENTAL MIX)    4:15

    All compositions by Jeff Lynne

CREDITS

BEV BEVAN -- drums and percussion, backing vocals
MELVYN GALE -- cello
KELLY GROUCUTT -- bass, vocals and backing vocals
MIK KAMINSKY -- violin
JEFF LYNNE -- guitar, vocals, backing vocals, string arrangements
HUGH McDOWALL -- cello
RICHARD TANDY -- piano, moog, guitar, clavinet, string arrangements
Louis Clark -- string arrangements
Brian's feet -- Brian's footsteps
Mack -- engineer
Richard -- engineer
Jimmy and Dave -- remix engineers
Fred Valentine -- cover & inside sleeve photos
Norman Seeff -- back cover photo
John Kehe, Mick Haggerty/Art Attack -- design & execution

return to ELECTRIC LIGHT ORCHESTRA discography

REGION RELEASE DATE LABEL MEDIA ID NUMBER FEATURES
US/CAN October 1975 United Artists LP/8T UA-LA546-G/EA546-H lyric sleeve
UK November 14, 1975 United Artists LP UAG 30034 lyric sleeve
GER 1975 United Artists LP UAS 30034 XOT lyric sleeve
ARG   Epic LP 147221  
AUS'L/NZ 1975 Polydor/Jet LP 2310 414 lyric insert
NET   Polydor LP 2344 054  
MEX   Epic LP NJS 17227  
UK 1978 Jet LPGRN JETLP 201 green vinyl, lyric sleeve
JPN 1978 Jet LP GP-544 lyric insert
UK   Jet LP JETLP 11 picture sleeve
MEX   Polydor LP LRG-16184 reissue
UK June 1985 Epic LP 32544 picture sleeve
US   Jet LP/CD JZ/ZK 35527  
JPN   Sony CD SRCS-9431  
  October 1995 Sony 3CD 64813 repackaged w. A NEW WORLD
RECORD & DISCOVERY
US May 23, 2006 Epic/Legacy CDX 94278-2 digital remaster w. bonus tracks
JPN 2006 Epic CDX MHCP-1096 digital remaster w. bonus tracks

 

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