Flashback is the second box set compilation by Electric Light Orchestra (ELO), released in 2000. In 2000, Jeff Lynne found a new impetus to work on the music of his old band and returned to the recording studio to work on an ELO project for the first time in some 15 years just prior to the comeback album Zoom in 2001. This work resulted in a digitally remastered compilation released in late 2000. Unlike its predecessors, this project, Flashback, was personally approved and endorsed by Lynne. The set includes songs featured from all 11 studio albums up to that point, including an edit of "Great Balls of Fire" from their live album The Night the Light Went On in Long Beach, plus some new recordings amongst the band's extensive back catalog, most notably a reworking of Lynne's only UK number one hit "Xanadu".
This mob, perhaps as a kind of homage to "the mob," takes no prisoners. It deals in a brand of fusion in which the immediacy of the moment is of paramount importance and the niceties and established intensities of the medium smack too much of politeness and a lack of engagement with the urgency of being alive. This set, caught live at the Molde International Jazz Festival in July 2006, proclaims it all from the rooftops.
The J. Geils Band were one of the most popular touring rock & roll bands in America during the '70s. Where their contemporaries were influenced by the heavy boogie of British blues-rock and the ear-splitting sonic adventures of psychedelia, the J. Geils Band were a bar band pure and simple, churning out greasy covers of obscure R&B, doo wop, and soul tunes, cutting them with a healthy dose of Stonesy swagger. While their muscular sound and the hyper jive of frontman Peter Wolf packed arenas across America, it only rarely earned them hit singles. Seth Justman, the group's main songwriter, could turn out catchy R&B-based rockers like "Give It to Me" and "Must of Got Lost," but these hits never led to stardom, primarily because the group had trouble capturing the energy of its live sound in the studio. In the early '80s, the group tempered its driving rock with some pop, and the makeover paid off with the massive hit single "Centerfold," which stayed at number one for six weeks. By the time the band prepared to record a follow-up, tensions between Justman and Wolf had grown considerably, resulting in Wolf's departure, which quickly led to the band's demise. After working for years to reach the top of the charts, the J. Geils Band couldn't stay there once they finally achieved their goal.
Flashback: Best of .38 Special is a terrific compilation of the Southern rock group's biggest hits, including "Caught Up in You," "If I'd Been the One," "Back Where You Belong," "Wild-Eyed Southern Boys," and the non-LP soundtrack contribution "Teacher Teacher." Since Flashback was released in 1987, it doesn't contain their biggest hit, 1989's syrupy ballad "Second Chance," but it remains a comprehensive overview of their best moments, and makes a convincing case that they were the last great Southern rock singles band.