Friday, 28 August 2015

WHAT TWO LIGHT YEARS WOULD YOU CHOOSE?


Hello ... Hello ... my old friends ... It's great to see you once again! Earlier this week, ELO Beatles Forever [ELOBF] published an article entitled THE ECO FRIENDLY LIGHT ORCHESTRA and within that post we mentioned the 'x2' twin CD packs of the expanded "Eldorado"/"Secret Messages" [#88697145162] and "Discovery"/"Time" [#88697149622] albums, which were issued in 2007 following the successful completion of the ELO remaster series by SonyBMG.

There have been not a few 2CD, 3CD and even 5CD original ELO album combo packs released down the years and the aforementioned article prompted me to wonder which Electric Light Orchestra albums are ideally suited to being twinned up with each other. After much thought and pondering, I came up with these ELO album partnerships:

"Eldorado"/"Time"
"ELO II"/"On The Third Day"
"Face The Music"/"A New World Record"
"Out Of The Blue"/"Secret Messages"
 "Discovery"/"Balance Of Power"

Try as I might, matching up "The Electric Light Orchestra" a.k.a. "No Answer" with ELO's "Xanadu" OST contribution and/or "Zoom" just doesn't work! ELO Beatles Forever [ELOBF] wonders what YOUR particular twin ELO album combo packs might be here in Yours Truly 2015 ...

Until next "Time" in the ELO [and related] universe ... KJS ... 28-Aug-2015

Thursday, 27 August 2015

REVIEW: A SELECTION OF BRITISH SEA SONGS ~ Cult of Wedge


Hello ... Hello ... my old friends ... It's great to see you once again! Pete Hackett is Cult of Wedge and this exceptionally talented singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist has just completed his fifth album, another collection of self penned local classics. With an album entitled "A Selection Of British Sea Songs", don't expect a modern take on classic sea shanties!

Considering that this album is the labour of love of one man, self-funded and completely bearing his own unique musical footprint, it is immensely impressive. The man from Rowley Regis has delivered a ten [10] track opus that - in the opinion of this writer - is his most accessible yet with elements that appeal to not only fans of the likes of ELORoy Wood and 10cc but also those folks who enjoy progressive rock and power pop combined with lyrics addressing sentimental recollection, social critique and quirky humour.

"Growing up is overrated,
So disappointing amd complicated ..."

Whilst "Ban The Bomb" and "Cashier Number Four" bear the unmistakeable musical influence of Jeff Lynne, "Indiana Bones" could easily be a homage to Manchester's finest: 10cc. The fond recollections and acoustic feel of "The Ghosts From The Grammar Banks" as well as "You And Me In The Summertime" add a nice balance to a thoughtful set. Any rock song that includes the lyrics "We formed a band and now it's a vendetta ..." and is a timely reminder of the sometimes vicious aftertaste that follows the internal politics and outward disintegration of certain well loved bands and it's a somewhat poignant inclusion followed, as it is, by the magnificent eight [8] minute long prog rock title track.

ELOBF is proud to review and recommend the work of this talented local artiste. "A Selection Of British Sea Songs" is well worth its asking price and a valuable addition to any music collection. [9/10]

Trax: [1] "The Ship Of Fools" [4:06]; [2] "Ban The Bomb" [4:22]; [3] "Cashier Number Four" [3:31]; [4] "Indiana Bones" [3:52]; [5] "The Ghosts From The Grammar Banks" [5:22]; [6] "The Beach" [5:57]; [7] "You And Me In The Summertime" [4:08]; [8] "The Sun Won't Come Out Tomorrow" [4:09]; [9] "We Formed A Band" [4:56]; [10] "A Selection Of British Sea Songs" [8:50] ~ Total Running Time: 49:13

"A Selection Of British Sea Songs" by Cult of Wedge is released on Friday 28th August 2015 and will be available to purchase from Bandcamp for just £6.00 via this link thus:


ELO Beatles Forever [ELOBF] recommends "A Selection Of British Sea Songs" by Cult of Wedge to those enlightened folks who enjoy the music of ELO & Jeff LynneRoy WoodThe MoveThe Idle Race'Brum Beat'The Beatles and related artistes.

Until next "Time" in the ELO [and related] universe ... KJS ... 27-Aug-2015

Monday, 24 August 2015

THE ECO FRIENDLY LIGHT ORCHESTRA

Hello ... Hello ... my old friends ... It's great to see you once again! You've heard of "Olé ELO" but "Do Ya" know about Eco ELO? Within the last decade, SonyBMG's subsidiary labels Epic and Legacy have made sure that certain releases were not only ELO friendly - they were Eco friendly too! The atypical clear plastic CD trays have been periodically ditched during this time starting with the expanded remaster of "Out Of The Blue" being offered in alternative carbon neutral packaging. Best selling "All Over The World", the 'x2' twin CD packs of "Eldorado"/"Secret Messages" and "Discovery"/"Time" were next to be issued in slim cardboard 'discbox slider' editions with US compilation "Playlist" following.


Multi-album boxed sets "Original Albums Classics" and "The Classic Album Selection" were then released, complete with replica cardboard sleeves and directions to the now defunct musicmadesimple site for full album credits. The irony is that those older Eco editions are now quite collectable too!

An ELO Eco Discography
"Out Of The Blue" [#88697123162][2007] in carbon neutral packaging
"All Over The World" [#88697046492][2007] in slim cardboard 'discbox slider' 
"Eldorado"/"Secret Messages" [#88697145162][2007] 2CD in slim cardboard 'discbox slider' 
"Discovery"/"Time" [#88697149622][2007] 2CD in slim cardboard 'discbox slider' 
"Playlist" [#88697298022][2008] in 100% recycled paperboard
"Original Albums Classics" [#88697787342][2010] 5CD slim box set
"The Classic Album Selection" [#88697873262][2011] 11CD boxed set

Until next "Time" in the ELO [and related] universe ... KJS ... 24-Aug-2015

Friday, 21 August 2015

REVIEW: PLAY THIS INTIMATELY [AS IF AMONG FRIENDS] ~ Pugwash

A masterful return: "Play This Intimately [As If Among Friends]" by Pugwash ...
Hello ... Hello ... my old friends ... It's great to see you once again! A few months ago if you had asked me how Pugwash could follow up "The Olympus Sound", Yours Truly KJS would have answered [on a postcard, naturally]: "With great difficulty!" Yet, the four [4] year wait for their latest accomplishment "Play This Intimately [As If Among Friends]" is more than satisfied within the first few chords of opener "Kicking And Screaming". And it gets better the deeper you delve into this lush effort.

With major nods to their musical heroes Jeff Lynne, Paul McCartneyThe BeatlesThe Idle Race, The KinksThe Beach Boys and Roy Orbison [and not a few others], founder Thomas Walsh has delivered another wonderful LP of varied musical styles replete with infectious melodies, luscious lyrical content and velvety harmonies with a little help from his good friends Tosh Flood, Joe Fitzgerald and Shaun McGee.

"If their 2008 release was fit to be entitled "Eleven Modern Antiquities", then this opus could easily be named "Twelve Modern Classics" ~ KJS

There is no weak link [tracks that fill out a release to add VFM if nothing else] here, the variety and class of this recording mean that you are instantly enthused. If their 2008 release was fit to be entitled "Eleven Modern Antiquities", then this opus could easily be named "Twelve Modern Classics".  We are greeted with the raucous and infectious "Kicking And Screaming" which is perfectly balanced by the next offering, the sentimental and sublime "Lucky In Every Way" [deserving of being a single].

"Feed His Heart With Coal" is very much reminiscent of "Cluster Bomb" - and just as infectious - followed as it is by "Just So You Know" with its inherent James Bond themed undercurrent and sultry guitar work. "The Fool I Had Become" - showcased during their recent UK tour - is marvellous and demonstrates not only the pure vocal gifting that Tom Walsh possesses in abundance but also the immense creativity of the band as a unit. I can hear The Fab Four and The Kinks within "You Could Always Cry" too. Another modern Pugwash classic is surely "Hung Myself Out To Dry" with fantastic vocal arrangements that Jeff Lynne would be proud of. I'm sure that I can hear his voice on this one!
Pugwash in intimate CD and vinyl cinemascope ...
There is very definitely a Macca quality to the ultra warm "Silly Love" and "All The Way From Love" is a song that oozes Roy Orbison. It could easily could be a "Mystery Girl" or Traveling Wilburys track. It's that good and one that reduced this writer to tears upon first listen.

If I haven't mentioned the other superb songs, it's because I've run out of applicable adjectives! Bravo Thomas Walsh, Bravo Pugwash. This is a measured, mature record and as intimate and honest an album that I've ever had the pleasure of reviewing. The wait for Pugwash VI was well worth it. Take it from me, an honest album review should [a] be of few words and [b] leave you ready to press the 'Buy Now' button and/or rush to your nearest retailer. I hope that you do soon. You won't be disappointed. [11/10]
An intimate listening experience with Pugwash ...
Trax: [1] "Kicking And Screaming" [3:20]; [2] "Lucky In Every Way" [3:05]; [3] "Feed His Heart With Coal" [3:07]; [4] "Just So You Know" [4:24]; [5] "Clouds" [2:45]; [6] "The Fool I Had Become" [4:13]; [7] "You Could Always Cry" [2:58]; [8] "Hung Myself Out To Dry" [3:45]; [9] "Silly Love" [3:46]; [10] "Oh Happy Days"  [2:24]; [11] "All The Way From Love" [2:59]; [12] "We Are Everywhere" [5:30] ~ Total Running Time: 43:16


"Play This Intimately [As If Among Friends]" by Pugwash also features Jeff Lynne, Ray Davies, Andy Partridge and Neil Hannon and will be released by Omnivore Recordings in download, CD and limited edition translucent red vinyl formats on Friday 4th September 2015. You can still pre-order and/or purchase the new Pugwash album via these links thus:

www.amazon.com/Intimately-Among-Friends-Vinyl-Download/dp/B00XWSL8DA

ELO Beatles Forever [ELOBF] recommends "Play This Intimately [As If Among Friends]" by Pugwash to those enlightened folks who enjoy the music of ELO & Jeff Lynne, Roy Wood, The Move, The Idle Race, 'Brum Beat', The Beatles and related artistes.

Until next "Time" in the ELO [and related] universe ... KJS ... 21-Aug-2015

Thursday, 20 August 2015

RECOMMENDED: ROY WOOD ROCKMAS 2015


Hello ... Hello ... my old friends ... It's great to see you once again! ELOBF is pleased to confirm that Roy Wood and his festive friends will be returning to Birmingham with his annual Christmas extravaganza in early December. Roy Wood Rockmas 2015 is scheduled to take place on Sunday 6th December [7:00PM] and will have a new home at The Barclaycard Arena [formerly the NIA].

The Move, ELO and Wizzard founding member will be joined by his Rock & Roll Band, Chas & Dave, Andy Fairweather-Low & The Low Riders [making a welcome return], The Enigma String Quartet, comedian Stan Boardman and perhaps one or three surprise guests too in what promises to be a fantastic pre-Christmas event nestled in amongst his already announced UK dates. Here's what Roy has to say about his Rockmas show for 2015:

"Hello Chums! This year 2015 we have moved our ‘Rockmas’ special Christmas Concert to the New Barclaycard Arena (formerly the NIA Birmingham) One thing that makes this annual event really unique are the variety of ‘Special Friends’ who join us, even playing together with our band.

Those of you, who attended previous concerts at the Birmingham Symphony Hall, will remember that The Proclaimers didn’t just perform their own material with us, but to hear them singing ‘I Wish It Could Be Christmas Every Day’ in that broad Scots accent, was really priceless. Last Christmas was Rick Wakeman and his son Adam together with a lady opera singer, so we’ve hopefully made the format interesting and different for every concert.

We have been lucky enough this year, to team up with Chas & Dave. With their ‘Rockney’ sound, fun personalities and great hits like ‘Rabbit’ and ‘Gertcha’, they are sure to get you on your feet and dancing. For the second year running, Andy Fairweather Low and The Low Riders have
agreed to open the evening for us. They recently opened for Eric Clapton at Madison Square Garden NY and are truly a great band. I always try to keep at least one surprise tucked away behind the curtain, and this year will be no exception. If you remember last time Jasper Carrott made an unscheduled appearance, and went down an absolute storm.

Join us at this year’s ‘Rockmas’ festivities and you are sure to have a thoroughly superb evening.
All The Very Best ... ROY WOOD" [end quote]

Tickets are priced from £33.75 each and go on sale tomorrow [Friday 21st August 2015] at 10:00AM.

www.theticketfactory.com/roy-wood-rockmas-2015
www.barclaycardarena.co.uk/whats-on/roy-wood-rockmas

ELO Beatles Forever [ELOBF] recommends Roy Wood Rockmas 2015 to those enlightened folks who enjoy the music of ELO & Jeff LynneRoy WoodThe MoveThe Idle Race'Brum Beat'The Beatles and related artistes. See you there?

Until next "Time" in the ELO [and related] universe ... KJS ... 20-Aug-2015

Wednesday, 19 August 2015

EIGHT RECOMMENDED READS


Hello ... Hello ... my old friends ... It's great to see you once again! ELO Beatles Forever [ELOBF] recommends - from "Time" to "Time" - books that regular visitors to ELOBF may might find of interest. This particular literary octet are written by the likes of John Van Der Kiste, Mark Stanway [Magnum], Brian Paone, Charlie Grima [Wizzard], Dave Scott-Morgan [The Uglys/Magnum/ELO], Randy Blazak and Bob Lawton.

These eight [8] publications include recollections, memoirs, fiction and biographies and form an ever expanding ELOBF recommended reading list. Please click on the links below to find out more about each publication [from top to bottom] thus:

Until next "Time" in the ELO [and related] universe ... KJS ... 19-Aug-2015

Tuesday, 18 August 2015

FAVE ELO SONGS [2]: JUDIE TZUKE


Hello ... Hello ... my old friends ... It's great to see you once again! This is #2 in a series of ELOBF special posts. One of fave artistes besides [obviously!] my love of all things ELO] is the fantastically talented songstress and musician Judie Tzuke. Back in January 2012, Judie told Yours Truly KJS what her favourite songs by ELO and The Beatles were thus:

KJS: "What would be your favourite 'Beatles' track and why?
Judie: "Of course ... "Hey Jude" because it's my name and I loved it and 'The Beatles' ... I always felt it was written for me as a child but obviously I know now it wasn't ... But I sang it anyway!"

KJS: "Do you also have a fave ELO track? ... and maybe a reason for that too?"
Judie: "Well! I do remember buying: "Evil Woman" and playing it over and over. Probably a bit of hairbrush miming and dancing on the bed went on too at that time! No particular reason but that it was a memorable time in my life ... but I didn't think that this song was written for me!"

FAVOURITE ELO SONGS [1]: OWEN PAUL

ELO Beatles Forever [ELOBF] recommends Judie Tzuke to those enlightened folks who enjoy the music of ELO & Jeff LynneRoy WoodThe MoveThe Idle Race'Brum Beat'The Beatles and related artistes.

Until next "Time" in the ELO [and related] universe ... KJS ... 18-Aug-2015