Saturday, 13 February 2021

Jet Connections: Roll Over Beethoven & Showdown

#1,565: If nothing else, ELO's stellar chart career in the US benefitted much from their having a stable label as their records were either distributed via UA or CBS from "No Answer" and "10538 Overture" onward incorporating their tenure on Jet Records from 1975.

It was a different story in their home country as the Electric Light Orchestra proverbially jumped biz from EMI's Harvest label to Warner Bros. Burbank imprint before Jet Records took off albeit subject to multiple distribution deals with Island and Polydor before United Artists and later CBS took the helm. This meant significant licensing issues for any compilation albums where "Showdown" did not appear on any official Jet UK release until "ELO's Greatest Hits" (#JETLX525) in 1979 thanx to the withdrawal of "OlĂ© ELO" (#JETLP19) in 1976.
Which leads KJS/elobf to highlight the relatively unknown reissue of two early ELO hits under the umbrella of the Golden Oldie series of 7" singles in the United States after CBS took over manufacturing and distribution rights from UA during 1978. Believe it or not, when "Roll Over Beethoven" and "Showdown" (Jet/CBS #ZS8 5152) were twinned together, this was the first time that either song had made their way onto the classic yellow Jet Records single label so familiar with fans and collectors down the years - as far as this writer is aware. There you go!


  1. Interesting collector history of the singles. Thanks for sharing.

  2. The pairing of Roll Over Beethoven and Showdown was also re-issued in the USA a few years later, still by Jet Records, same Cat Number, but with the edition of a white block on the right side of the label in preparation for bar-codes to be printed on the label from the early 80's onwards. Images can be seen here