Electric Light Orchestra

The Night the Light Went On (In Long Beach)

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Recorded at Long Beach Auditorium on May 12, 1974, ELO's The Night the Light Went On was a limited release in a handful of countries in the mid-'70s. The show was unusually raw and spirited, and the resulting performance is ferocious, like little else the band ever delivered. The material is all rooted in the group's first three albums. "Daybreaker,” "Showdown," and "In the Hall of the Mountain King" are juxtaposed with "10538 Overture" and robust covers of "Day Tripper," "Orange Blossom Special" (with a Mik Kaminski solo violin spot), and "Great Balls of Fire," with the band's version of "Roll Over Beethoven" as the finale.

The album pre-dates ELO's emergence as a major international act by perhaps a year, and captures them playing the material upon which their basic sound was formed and cast. Lynne's sinewy guitar playing, in particular, is extraordinary and Bev Bevan's lunatic rolls and fills on "Roll Over Beethoven" might've made even Keith Moon a little dizzy. The band also manages to have fun with their own history, while anticipating their future, integrating a quotation from what was then exclusively a Move song, "Do Ya," into their version of "10538 Overture." It makes the song and the album.

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