As an avid collector, I was aware of the original 1974 German, Dutch and South African gatefold LP release of "The Night The Light Went On (In Long Beach)" (Warner Bros. Burbank WB56058) as a copy often turned up in local second hand record shops, usually with a relatively hefty price tag and not in particularly good condition. Sandwiched between the studio albums "On The Third Day" (K56021) and "Eldorado" (K56090), "The Night The Light Went On (In Long Beach)" was a poor recording based on a rough mix of the concert held on the night of Sunday 12th May 1974 yet it provided an edited cover of ELO's iconic Beatles cover "Day Tripper" b/w "Daybreaker" (WB16456) as a single in Germany and Holland which remains a rather rare collectible for completists to this day.
Warner Bros. issue owing to the fact that it was pressed using another superior recording of the gig found in the archives. The change in album art was also dramatic with the garish 1950's B movie parody slogan replaced by a sleeve sporting the familiar ELO logo atop an imagined LA highway sign replete with palm tree and traffic light. With the hiatus between "Secret Messages" in June 1983 and "Balance Of Power" in March 1986 nearing its end, the repackaging and reissuing of "The Night The Light Went On (In Long Beach)" - ELO's first official live album - was indeed timely.
More live albums followed in 1998 with "Live At Winterland '76" (EAMCD038) and "Live At Wembley '78" (EAMCD039) via Eagle Records before the release of "Live" (2013) and "Wembley Or Bust" (2017). In terms of live output, we should also consider ELO Part II's "Performing ELO's Greatest Hits Live" (1992) and "One Night - Live In Australia" (1996) in the list too.
The story of Electric Light Orchestra's first live album "The Night The Light Went On (In Long Beach)" is long and unique but wouldn't it interesting to find more songs on those archived tapes and, if so, enough material to warrant an expanded release?
Another Chart Breaks: Early ELO in the UK & US (2015)
ELO: The Eagle Years (2017)
Review: Live (Jeff Lynne/ELO) (2013)
Review: Wembley Or Bust (Jeff Lynne's ELO) (2017)
The Night That Bolan Went On (In Watford Town Hall) (2014)
First Live: ELO Part II & MSO @ Birmingham 28/05/91 (2016)