Tuesday, 3 December 2019

Review: Secret Messages (ELO)(Japan Blu-spec CD2)

#1,503: The 35th Anniversary Blu-spec CD2 limited edition release of ELO's sublime 1983 "Secret Messages" album duly arrived at elobf HQ earlier today from Japan following its release last week and you can imagine that Yours Truly KJS was keen to have a listen or three!

You cannot but admire the way that these Japanese issues are presented with the disc in their own sleeve alongside a replica inner sleeve from the original LP emerging out of one side and the the CD booklet from the other in a neat downsized version of last years 2LP edition. The sound is obviously cleaner than previous CD issues thanx to the inherent phase transition mastering giving the seventeen trax comprising "Secret Messages" (Epic Records #SICP-31313) verve, clarity and a renewed freshness. "Hello My Old Friend", "Bluebird", "Stranger" and "Buildings Have Eyes" sound especially gorgeous in the opinion of this writer.
It should therefore come as no surprise for me to say that this is as good as "Secret Messages" by Electric Light Orchestra is going to get until "Beatles Forever", the final piece of the jigsaw, is added to complete what is still an album that some ELO fans still fail to grasp. You'd expect me to say that and I'll continue to do so! Expect the absence of "Beatles Forever" to be addressed again in a near future elobf article. In the meantime, you can still order this amazing Blu-spec CD2 package from CD Japan by clicking on this link. ★★★★

Related KJS/ELOBF articles

elobeatlesforever (elobf) recommends "Secret Messages" by Electric Light Orchestra to those enlightened folks who enjoy the music of ELO/Jeff LynneRoy WoodThe MoveThe Idle Race'Brum Beat'The Beatles and related artistes.

*** Until next "Time" in the ELOBF Universe ... KJS ... 03-Dec-2019 ***


  1. Its about Time, This should have been a general release on CD, but times are changing and CD's like vinyl before them are falling out of favour. keep up the good Work KJS, great to see ELOBF back on the long Black road. Cheers Keith A.

  2. Thank the gods this is a separate remaster! The 2003-2005 remasters sound so compressed and harsh, I normally try to get the original CDs every chance I can (even though so far I only bought On the Third Day).

  3. Received my copy, and am partially disappointed. The new tracks sound perfect to great (Buildings Have Eyes takes last place, No Way Out second to last, among the added "missing" tracks that is), but the old ones are barely better than the 2001 release. I will gander a guess that the old (re-remaster....ed) 2001 master was used AGAIN, just compressed a little less. Will seek out the original CD release (or a later pre-2001 reissue of same).

    Fun fact: when old ELO albums (excluding Balance) were released on CD in late 80s and 1990, THEY WERE ALREADY "REMASTERED" (the music was re-mixed for the new and revolutionary compact disk, since the tapes meant for vinyl would not sound right...... at least in theory). Also, "Blu-Spec CD2" merely means the microscopic dots are less blurry which leads to less potential reading errors. There is 0% increase in the actual sound quality.

    1. I agree with some points with Mister Twister, but the starting high volume of "No way Out" is really dissapointing, with the snaps of the fingers. After All sounds superb, as Hello My Old Friend, whose sound is AWESOME as in the double vinyl. For me it´s a good release, they must have included the, perhaps a bit naivy, but heartfelt and sincere Jeff tribute to the fab four, being a Japanese edition, as a bonus...perhaps on its 40th anniversary?