Ultimate ULTIMATE Xanadu
A mix tape project
Back in 2008, before the file-sharing site MegaUpLoad was shut down, this web site offered for free and for a very limited
time, a compilation set called ‘Ultimate
Ultimate Xanadu’ for
downloading and personal enjoyment.
The following is the liner notes and track listing that came with it
Even though it had a short shelf life as an unsuccessful movie coupled with a successful yet forgotten soundtrack to the mainstream US market soon after its initial release, Xanadu would later find itself an active afterlife that might have Elvis and Michael Jackson and their lawyers looking over their collective shoulders.
The films legacy and fandom would take a while to develop, but it was the soundtrack that had hit the ground running once the shrink wrap was broken. The list of artists covering many of the movies tunes has been growing ever since.
Just ask Robert Porter…..
Porter is the webmaster behind Jeff Lynne Songs.com, an exhaustive site that covers and examines the works of Jeff Lynne, from his recording debut with The Nightriders circa 1966, digging straight through his Idle Race, The Move and ELO days and well into his current status as a solo act, a Wilbury and producer.
In the course of his thorough research for his large site, Rob compiled a large private collection of Xanadu recordings and covers that has peaked at 16 CDR’s, included were just a couple of official releases from both the movie and Broadway production. Oh, and an extra disc of “hidden music” from isolated ELO channels from the DVD.
When the smoke had cleared, there was a mountain to climb for the innocent listener; many re-mixes from underground DJ’s and far many cover versions from (you guessed it) all over the world. There’s even a bootleg recording of a preview performances AND the final production of Xanadu On Broadway! THAT is a dedicated Xanadu fan!
It comes to no surprise that the title track is the most covered song with 103 tracks discovered thus far. ELO’s other Xanadu hits, All Over The World and I’m Alive, came in a distant second and third with Olivia Newton-John’s Magic and The Fall rounding out the top five.
Only one group managed to cover the entire official soundtrack, a Brazilian group called La Sound while Oak and the Jack Livingston Orchestra and Singers covered the ELO songs. Even Porter snuck in an audio track from a Boston Legal episode where a character would sing Magic and Xanadu whenever she mentally flips out.
Porter once remarked that “16 CD’s worth of Xanadu is probably more than anyone can ever take in one setting.” Well, even if you’re smart enough to just skim through the set, the task IS daunting nevertheless.
Thus as a public service, Xanadu Preservation Society, with an “sure, knock yourself out” nod from Porter, is temporarily offering a ‘best of’ 2 CD set called Ultimate Ultimate Xanadu. This is a random-assed collection of material taken from Porter’s 16 disc Xanadu-a-thon.
While there are some well known’s included, this set selection is heavily on the unknowns and the more interesting, both good and the questionable.
Enjoy and good luck,
Xanadu Preservation Society
My thanks to Robert Porter for digging me deeper into my Xanadu psychosis and to Dale for the front cover.
Postscript: since this set was done and these notes were written, Robert warned me that volumes 17 through 20 are
on their way….well as a 3-disc set of isolated track from the film’s 2008 DVD 5.1 channel feature. Can you say ‘Duck,
ULTIMATE ULTIMATE XANADU
1) 1980 Billboard Interview/Jeff Lynne
2) The Fall (DJ Gold Mix Take 1)/ELO
3) All Over The World (Rock It Mix)/ELO
4) Xanadu 2000 (Re-glittered by Steve Anderson & His Merry Mirrorball Men)
5) The ELO Story (excerpt)/Jeff Lynne
6) Xanadu (Clint’s Million Lights Version/ONJ & ELO
7) Xanadu (Useless Remix)/ONJ & ELO
8) I’m Alive (unknown remix)/ELO
9) All Over The World (All Over Again) (Dew Salvin)/ELO
10) I’m Alive (live)/Hiromi Iwasaki
11) 1981 96FM Radio Interview/Bev Bevan
12) I’m Alive/Oak
13) Magic/Midnight Mood Orchestra
14) Magic (Hex Hector Radio Mix)/Richie Rich
15) 1983 Rockline Interview (excerpt)/Jeff Lynne
16) Whenever You’re Away From Me/La Sound
17) All Over The World/Hemes House Band
18) All Over The World/Klaus Wunderlch
19) All Over The World/Lisi Koikson
20) 1997 Martin Kinch Interview (excerpt)/Bev Bevan
1) 1998 88.3 Southern FM (excerpt)/Jeff Lynne
2) All Over The World (live 1999/Keiv)/ELO Part 2
3) All Over The World/Xanadu/David Last
4) Xanadu Medley/Lafayette Jefferson First Edition (2003)
5) Xanadu (Bossa Nova Toy Pop Version)/Andrew Scarface
6) Xanadu/Bob Downe
8) 2001 Mark & Brian Interview (excerpt)/Jeff Lynne
9) Xanadu (extended version)/DJ Happy Vibes featuring Jazzmin
11) Xanadu (Euro Dance Mix Radio)/Evelyn
12) Xanadu (live)/Five Alpha Breakdown
13) Xanadu/Kai Warmer
14) Mr. Blue Sky: The Jeff Lynne Story (excerpt)/Jeff Lynne
15) Xanadu/James Last
16) Xanadu/Lightspeed Champian
17) Xanadu/Maria De Luz
18) Xanadu/Mark S. Merrit
20) Xanadu (1981)/Midnight Mood Orchestra
21) 2001 Rockline Interview (excerpt)/Jeff Lynne
23) Xanadu/Regine Velasquez
24) Xanadu/Tiger Shovel Nose
25) 2005 Face The Music: The ELO Story (excerpt)/Jeff Lynne
26) Xanadu/totally unknown
UPDATE 2019: Sadly, this set was pulled off-line much sooner than planned as a collector complained that there were a couple of tracks from his collection were used here and demanded the whole set to be removed, despite the fact that he had no copyright ownership over the material in question.
I have since risked copyright wrath and posted this set on Internet Archive at: https://archive.org/details/UUXanadu
I have also since taken over the project from Roberts hands and as of this date the ULTIMATE XANADU mix tape project is halfway through volume 26. Wish me luck and hope there are NO freakin' repeats.