JEFF LYNNE’s ELO – Wembley or Bust
“Wembley or Bust” is a damn-near flawless and monumental live release. I was lucky enough to get my hands on the 2CD/DVD combo package and the entire show is stunning both musically and visually. At times, it feels almost trance-like and hypnotic. The musicianship is out of this world – it simply defies words. Lynne is clearly enjoying himself and appears charming and sympathetic throughout the entire thing. Classic cuts such as “Evil Woman”, “All Over the World”, “Don’t Bring Me Down”, and “Mr. Blue Sky” have never sounded as powerful and majestic as they do here. “When I Was a Boy” off the “Alone in the Universe” record is another highlight filled with longing and emotion. “Turn to Stone” rocks like there is no tomorrow and “Showdown” is as moving as ever. The actual sound and production is fabulous in that each instrument is clear in the mix and that there is a perfect balance between them. Rarely have I witnessed such an enthusiastic and grateful audience – they really do add a lot to this live representation and you can tell that the band feeds off the energy and applause.
As cool and interesting as the interviews and backstage footage that are interspersed with the concert footage are, they do take a bit of the focus away from the actual show. There could have been a small documentary or bonus feature section of some kind that would have kept it separate from the show so that the concert footage would lose none of its flow or momentum, but that is my only real complaint and it is a minor one.
“Wembley or Bust” is one of those magical releases that takes you far away from your everyday existence and transports you to a place where dreams, warmth, and musical excellence reign supreme. Words such as beautiful and mesmerizing come to mind yet I feel that those are inadequate to fully describe and summarize this exceptional and amazing release. On a side note, the lavish packaging is worthy of praise as well and simply looks lovely. This live album and film is oustanding.