Electric Light Orchestra: Jeff Lynne (vocals, guitar, piano, keyboards, bass); Richard Tandy (piano, keyboards); Bev Bevan (drums, percussion).
Additional personnel: Christian Shnieder (saxophone).
All tracks have been digitally remastered.
1986's BALANCE OF POWER, the last ELO album to feature Jeff Lynne--the rest of the group re-convened as ELO Part II in the late '90s with cult-fave singer/guitarist Parthenon Huxley replacing Lynne--looks at first like a dubious attempt at '80s-style modernization. The cliched, dated graphics--and keyboard player Richard Tandy's red-flag credit for "programming"--notwithstanding, this is a fine example of Lynne's '80s work. The opening "Heaven Only Knows" is a catchy tune with Lynne's trademark overdubbed Beatlesque harmonies that would have fit in well on OUT OF THE BLUE or DISCOVERY. The rest of the album is less immediately enthralling, but that's due to the slightly antiseptic, MIDI-heavy production, not the caliber of the songs. Listening past the surfaces reveals these songs to be a solid set of tunes well in Lynne's tradition of melodic pop.