ELO's original line-up was pretty much the same as 1960's popsters The Move, so ELO was essentially The Move re-grouping (as it were) and then reinventing themselves, by introducing a whole raft of orchestral string instruments to the band's front line.
Thus they paved the way for other acts to experiment in a similar fashion, usually by adding just a violin (previously only deployed in folk-ish acts like Steeleye Span and Fairport Convention). Some examples of early 1970's bands who successfully incorporated a fiddle player into their ranks are Curved Air, Cockney Rebel, and Doctors of Madness, in each instance the violin making a significant contribution to those bands' overall sound.
As reflected in my reviews, I sorta like ELO - they could be considered one of the earliest Art Rock bands. But for some reason I never much cared for their singles. Jeff Lynn's rather whiney voice along with the rather sombre tones of bowed string instruments seem to me to suit melancholic material far better than chirpy popsongs, so consequently my favourite ELO songs are instead the more maudlin numbers taken from ELO's albums ... stuff like "Bluebird is Dead", "Oh No Not Susan", and "Whisper in the Night".
So the only tracks on this compilation that I'd have any regard for would be the more downbeat numbers - "Can't Get It Out of My Head" and "Telephone Line", but even so - at 4½ stars - I wouldn't rate them as highly as the album tracks I mentioned. And whilst everything else on this compilation is undeniably catchy, it seems to have a rather short shelf life and has proved less than durable, these songs sounded much better on the radio many years ago than they do on my stereo today.
by Reviewer: bluemoon