Funny. It took a friend of mine who's a biology professor to explain to me whay I enjoy the bonus tracks on this CD so much. Take So Fine (Instrumental Early Rough Mix) for instance. There's a part of your brain that's left unsatisifed when you can't really hear what's going on in the background of a song. After all these years, your brain finally clearly catches what you suspected was going on underneath the layers of vocals. The orchestrated part of So Fine (Instrumental Early Rough Mix) reveals the spine tingling arrangement the guys came up with and in the end, almost leaves you wanting a cigarette. Same goes for the three other backing tracks on this album.
The main album sound quality is as superior as Third Day and Face The Music, revealing these little parts I never knew (or forgotten) were there. I thought Mission (A World Record) was the starkest improvement for me. It could be because I never paid that close attention to it before. Many people will argue whether Surrender is indeed from these sessions, but either way it works here. Many people will also argue whether Kelly Groucutt's voice is on it. I'll go out on a limb here: considering Jeff's current relationship with the former bass player and the advent of ProTools, I think Kelly's backing vocal was the first to go... if it was there in the first place.
Anyway, the disc is perfect ELO listening. Starting with a perfect and powerful sounding Tightrope to the compelling instrumental version of Telephone Line to finish, this version of A New World Record lives up to what we always hope an ELO release will be: well-done, well-thought out, and well presented for a band who deserves such treatment.