Saturday, 18 November 2017

Review: Wembley Or Bust (Jeff Lynne's ELO)

Live recordings generally struggle to live up to the excitement of the day. They are a great souvenir for fans but sometimes a sonic nightmare for the artiste. Without doubt, the night of Saturday 24th June when Jeff Lynne's ELO landed at London's iconic Wembley Stadium will always be at the head of my fave gigs of all time for very many reasons. So when it was announced before the concert that it was being filmed and subsequently in early October that the audio/visual multi-media "Wembley Or Bust" was just a month or so away, Yours Truly KJS was excited yet a little apprehensive as to what would transpire.

I needn't have worried. If the trickle of footage via ELOVEVO hadn't allayed any concerns, then listening to opening track "Standin' In The Rain" on the CD did. Thereafter the cascade of classic ELO songs (plus a Traveling Wilburys gem) reignited fond memories (and the odd tear of joy) as that jubilant June evening was replayed through my headphones. The 2CD and 3LP editions are worth their weight in Eldorado gold alone. My only issue with "Wembley Or Bust" is that the endless fade outs do somewhat reduce the continuity of the record as a live experience.

Then comes the Paul Dugdale directed film "Wembley Or Bust". Other reviewers have commented that the many rapid cuts from stage to audience footage were, to them, a distraction. But one has to remember that this is a film as opposed to a filmed concert with some quite wonderful panoramic views, superb audio quality and, in places, a commentary by Jeff and the band himself. It works for this writer as a fantastic capture of ELO's 2017 Wembley spectacular, not least when you get to see the behind the scenes whilst the likes of "Birmingham Blues", "Believe Me Now", "Secret Messages" and "Alone In The Universe" provide the soundtrack. It's a film that not only lives up to expectations, it exceeds them.

In terms of the songs on show, the promotional bandwagon makes much of the inclusion of "Xanadu" and "Do Ya" - and quite rightly so. I loved seeing/hearing "Prologue/Twilight", "All Over The World" has become an ELO anthem to rival "Mr. Blue Sky" and what better opener can there be than "Standin' In The Rain"? We were treated to a set that ticked all the boxes so picking faves is hard! The songs that relay the energy of an inspired performance and constitute my faves at the time of writing are: "10538 Overture", "Turn To Stone", "Ma Ma Ma Belle", "Do Ya" and "Can't Get It Out Of My Head" - this, of course is subject to change!

"Wembley Or Bust" is a package that will be the ultimate souvenir for those who were there and a thrilling entertainment package if not an excellent introduction to the wonderful world of ELO to those who weren't, capturing the essence and excitement of a momentous event. ★★★★★

Trax: "Standin' In The Rain" ~ "Evil Woman" ~ "All Over The World" ~ "Showdown" ~ "Livin' Thing" ~ "Do Ya" ~ "When I Was A Boy" ~ "Handle With Care" ~ "Last Train To London" ~ "Xanadu" ~ "Rockaria!" ~ "Can't Get It Out Of My Head" ~ "10538 Overture" ~ "Prologue/Twilight" ~ "Ma Ma Ma Belle" ~ "Shine A Little Love" ~ "Wild West Hero" ~ "Sweet Talkin' Woman" ~ "Telephone Line" ~ "Turn To Stone" ~ "Don't Bring Me Down" ~ "Mr. Blue Sky" ~ "Roll Over Beethoven" ~ "Wembley Or Bust" (film)

See also: Chart Expectations: Wembley Or Bust
See also: Recommended: Wembley Or Bust (Jeff Lynne's ELO)
See also: Caught Live (4): Jeff Lynne's ELO @ Wembley 24/06/17

elobeatlesforever (elobf) recommends "Wembley Or Bust" by Jeff Lynne's ELO to those enlightened folks who love ELOJeff LynneRoy Wood'Brum Beat'The Idle RaceThe Traveling WilburysThe MoveThe Beatles and related artistes.

Until next "Time" in the ELO [and related] Universe ... KJS ... 18-Nov-2017

Friday, 17 November 2017

Caught Live (11): Roy Wood @ Shrewsbury 15/11/17

It was time to sample the Roy Wood Red E 2 Rock Tour on Wednesday night (15th November) as the 2017 Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Inductee rock and rolled into Shrewsbury with his fab band to take the full house at Theatre Severn on a musical journey through both his classics and one or three more recent numbers. The man who brought us The Move, ELO and Wizzard thrilled the 638 onlookers (including Yours Truly KJS) with another polished, vibrant set interspersed with some highly amusing banter, particularly on the subject of one Englebert Humperdinck! Although this was my eleventh elobf gig review, having seen Woody not a few times more through the years, I still get a thrill seeing him perform the likes of "See My Baby Jive", "Fire Brigade", "California Man", "Flowers In The Rain" and "Blackberry Way" live.

I always have and always will make a way to see Roy - now 70 years young - on stage, whatever the set list happens to be. And with loads more dates still to come on the current tour, there are still plenty of opportunities go see Dr. Roy Wood yourselves including his annual December dates at The Robin 2 in Bilston (Tuesday 12th) and, of course, Rockmas 2017 at Birmingham Symphony Hall (Saturday 16th) where you might also have the misfortune to bump into this writer too! See you there?
Photo by kind permission of Dale Miles via my ROY WOOD Facebook Group ...
The Roy Wood Rock & Roll Band performed: "Brontosaurus/Intro" ~ "California Man" ~ "Ball Park Incident" ~ "Kiss Me Goodnight, Boadicea" ~ "Fire Brigade" ~ "Big Girls Blues" ~ "New York City" ~  "I Can Hear The Grass Grow" ~ "Angel Fingers" ~ "Roy's Revenge" (Instrumental) ~ "R U Ready 2 Rock?" ~ "See My Baby Jive" ~ "Flowers In The Rain" ~ "Blackberry Way" ~ "I Wish It Could Be Christmas Everyday"
ROY WOOD: RED E 2 ROCK TOUR DATES 2017
ROY WOOD: ROCKMAS 2017 REVEALED + TICKETS


elobeatlesforever (elobf) recommends Roy Wood to those enlightened folks who enjoy the music of ELOJeff LynneWizzardThe MoveThe Idle Race'Brum Beat'The Beatles and related artistes.

Until next "Time" in the ELO [and related] Universe ... KJS ... 17-Nov-2017

Monday, 13 November 2017

Jeff Lynne's ELO: 2018 World Tour & Ticket Overview

Timed perfectly on the second anniversary of the release of "Alone In The Universe" and just four days before the much anticipated multi-format "Wembley Or Bust" hits the shelves, Jeff Lynne's ELO finally confirmed an initial total of 29 dates in the UK, North America and Europe earlier today (Monday 13th November). This will be the largest ELO tour (hopefully with Richard Tandy back on board) since their 1981-82 "Time" dates and includes the most extensive set of US dates in 35 years as well as a handful of welcome gigs in Scandinavia. Presales begin tomorrow morning (Tuesday 14th) with tickets going on general sale on the morning of Friday 17th November.

Yours Truly KJS and elobeatlesforever (elobf) have pulled together and listed all known dates (at the time of writing) along with ticket ordering links and ticket sale dates for you to peruse below thus:

United States & Canada
Thursday 2nd August: Oracle Arena, Oakland CA
Saturday 4th August: The Forum, Los Angeles CA
Wednesday 8th August: Pepsi Center, Denver CO
Friday 10th August: Toyota Center, Houston TX
Wednesday 15th August: Allstate Arena, Rosemont IL
Thursday 16th August: Little Caesars Arena, Detroit MI
Saturday 18th August: Air Canada Center, Toronto, ON


Europe
Wednesday 12th September: Ericsson Globe, Stockholm, Sweden
Friday 14th September: Oslo Spektrum, Norway
Sunday 16th September: Royal Arena, Copenhagen, Denmark
Tuesday 18th September: Barclaycard Arena, Hamburg, Germany
Wednesday 19th September: Mercedes-Benz Arena, Berlin, Germany
Friday 21st September: Olympiahalle, Munich, Germany
Sunday 23rd September: Vienna Stadthalle, Austria
Tuesday 25th September: SAP Arena, Mannheim, Germany
Thursday 27th September: Ziggo Dome, Amsterdam, Netherlands

United Kingdom & Ireland
Sunday 30th September: Motorpoint Arena, Nottingham
Wednesday 3rd October:  The SSE Hydro, Glasgow
Friday 5th October: Manchester Arena
Wednesday 10th October: Arena Birmingham (NIA)
Friday 12th October: Arena Birmingham (NIA) (additional date)
Monday 15th October: First Direct Arena, Leeds
Wednesday 17th October: The O2, London
Thursday 18th October: The O2, London (additional date)
Tuesday 23rd October: Echo Arena, Liverpool
Thursday 25th October: 3Arena, Dublin
Friday 26th October: The SSE Arena, Belfast


Tickets on general sale from 9AM on Friday 17th November
Showdown Mailing List ('Fan Club') Presale: Tues 14/11 @ 9AM until Wed 15/11 @ 9AM
Label (Jeff Lynne's ELO Shop) Presale: Wed 15/11 @ 8AM until Fri 17/11 @ 9AM
O2 Presale: Wed 15/11 @ 9AM until Fri 17/11 @ 8AM
Live Nation Presale: Thurs 16/11 @ 9AM until 17/11 @ 8AM

We also look forward to the release of a new Jeff Lynne's ELO studio album next Spring/Summer in advance of the above as yet untitled tour. Expect more UK dates in Birmingham and London to be announced upon buoyant ticket sales (as there are plenty of gaps in the schedule) too. Additional dates elsewhere (perhaps in Australia/New Zealand) are also a possibility. Good luck with your ticket purchasing!

elobeatlesforever (elobf) recommends Jeff Lynne's ELO Live 2018 to those enlightened folks who love ELOJeff LynneRoy Wood'Brum Beat'The Idle RaceThe Traveling WilburysThe MoveThe Beatles and related artistes.

Until next "Time" in the ELO [and related] Universe ... KJS ... 13-Nov-2017

Saturday, 11 November 2017

Chart Expectations: Wembley Or Bust

Now that the promotional campaign for "Wembley Or Bust" is ramping up to full speed, Yours Truly KJS and elobeatlesforever (elobf) thought it an apt moment to consider the potential chart impact of the new Jeff Lynne's ELO digital/2CD/3LP and film combo following its release next Friday 17th November. The pairing up of the audio and visual footage from that wonderful gig at Wembley in June is a marketing departure and really quite clever bearing in mind the amazing sales success of the 2014 Hyde Park spectacular in DVD and Blu-Ray formats. Add to that Jeff's recent UK visit, the news of a 2018 tour (and by extension a new studio album in advance of said tour) with pre-sale ticket links for those who have pre-ordered "Wembley Or Bust" and/or the "Out Of The Blue" 2LP picture disc set (out on Friday 24th November) and there is much cause for confidence that another high chart entry is likely with ELO fans buying it in droves.
In terms of the UK chart performance of ELO/Jeff Lynne since the turn of the century, the return of Jeff to recording and performing live since 2012 has yielded three Top 10 albums and has also led to "All Over The World" hitting #1 and becoming a million seller (see above). The only potential sales hindrance to "Wembley Or Bust" will likely be its price versus that of a typical 1CD release and the fact that live albums don't always have the same appeal to the general public as do studio releases. Even so, taking everything into account, this writer is of the opinion that "Wembley Or Bust" will become the latest ELO record arrive in the UK Top 20, if not higher.


elobeatlesforever (elobf) recommends "Wembley Or Bust" by Jeff Lynne's ELO to those enlightened folks who love ELOJeff LynneRoy Wood'Brum Beat'The Idle RaceThe Traveling WilburysThe MoveThe Beatles and related artistes.

Until next "Time" in the ELO [and related] Universe ... KJS ... 11-Nov-2017

Thursday, 9 November 2017

LEGO Idea: ELO Spaceship Needs Your Support For Launch!

Yours Truly KJS and elobeatlesforever (elobf) have been asked to help get the word out regarding an ongoing campaign to persuade LEGO to issue an ELO/Jeff Lynne Spaceship set via their Ideas programme where 10,000 supporters are needed to advance the project to formal review by the LEGO board. There are just 45 days to go and many more backers are needed to take this ELOtastic proposal further. Here's the official overview to whet your appetite:

Great rock bands have great spaceships, and the Electric Light Orchestra, or "ELO", had one of the greatest. In 1970, Jeff Lynne and friends formed the Electric Light Orchestra and fast became one of the most successful rock/pop acts of the 70's and 80's, with millions of records sold worldwide. The band's icon was originally based on a jukebox speaker design, but ELO's interest in futuristic sounds and imagery soon turned the iconic red and yellow disc into a spaceship or space station which adorned the cover of many of their best-selling albums. This LEGO version is a hand-held, "swooshable" version of that ship, complete with a cockpit that seats Jeff Lynne and his guitar! Thrusters on the bottom enable successful landings and takeoffs from any interplanetary surface! The Jeff Lynne mini figure sports his iconic large round sunglasses and shaggy mane. "Shine a Little Love", make some "Strange Magic", and fly this ship across "Mr. Blue Sky"!

Please consider signing up and supporting this worthwhile adventure via this link thus:


elobeatlesforever (elobf) recommends LEGO Idea: ELO Spaceship to those enlightened folks who enjoy the music of ELOJeff Lynne, The Traveling WilburysRoy WoodThe MoveThe Idle Race'Brum Beat'The Beatles and related artistes.

Until next "Time" in the ELO [and related] Universe ... KJS ... 09-Nov-2017

Tuesday, 7 November 2017

Two Million Thanx!

Here Is The News: elobeatlesforever (elobf) nudged over the two million (2,000,000) visitor threshold yesterday evening (Monday 6th November) at around 8:00PM. Rather than list the many exclusives, interviews, reviews and other articles, I'd like to simply thank each and every visitor and/or contributor to elobf since we started out on Monday 2nd February 2009.

The first million took 2,694 days and 1,129 articles to achieve. The second million was attained in just 505 days and 207 articles so that this amazing journey has now endured for 3,199 days or 457 weeks or 105 months and 1,336 articles since elobf was launched on Groundhog Day eight and three quarter years ago.

I'm really hoping that you've enjoyed the journey and that you've found elobf to be an accurate and helpful source of information. I've tried to give fair and unbiased coverage of all artistes in the ELO universe [and beyond] whilst still holding on tight to the hope that the originally intended eighteen (18) track, 2LP "Secret Messages" - including, of course, "Beatles Forever" - will still see the electric light of day soon. Many thanx for your continuing support. It's appreciated!

elobeatlesforever.blogspot.com
One Million Thanx!
#ThankYou #elobf #elobeatlesforever

Until next "Time" in the ELO [and related] Universe ... KJS ... 07-Nov-2017

Monday, 6 November 2017

Review: A Love So Beautiful (Roy Orbison with The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra)

When the news broke back in May that the songs of Roy Orbison were going to be stripped down and given the lush orchestration of the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra as per the 2005 Elvis Presley #1 album "If I Can Dream", Yours Truly KJS wondered (a) how the earlier material would hold up when mixed using 21st century digital recording techniques and (b) how those wonderful tracks originally produced by ELO maestro Jeff Lynne would fare when adapted.

So when "A Love So Beautiful" arrived here at elobeatlesforever (elobf) a few days ago, a few listens were in order but not before I heard "You Got It" broadcast through the speakers at the HMV store in Wolverhampton. I needn't have worried. It sounded marvellous and a few plays of said album thereafter confirmed that an essence of care and some deft enhancements by co-producers Nick Patrick and Don Reedman have combined to deliver a rather good album that retains the magic of the Roy Orbison voice whilst surrounding it in a blanket of classical instrumentation. The new sounds works especially well with ballads such as "In Dreams", "Crying", "Love Hurts", "Blue Angel" (my all time fave Big O song) and the stunning "It's Over" - a song that takes on an even deeper sense of emotion and tragedy this time around. The trio of songs familiar to ELO/Jeff Lynne fans: "I Drove All Night", "A Love So Beautiful" and "You Got It" also work nicely partly because the Jeff Lynne contributions of guitars, keyboards and backing vocals are retained (see credits below) alongside those new, inspired string arrangements.

"A Love So Beautiful" is an album that will surprise the purists yet serve as an excellent introduction to the legend who is Roy Orbison to the casual listener. Now for those holographic orchestral gigs next year
Jeff Lynne is mentioned not a few times ...
Recommended: A Love So Beautiful (Roy Orbison with The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra)
November Release Rush for ELO & Roy Orbison
Recommended: Roy Orbison In Dreams: The Hologram UK Tour

elobeatlesforever (elobf) recommends "A Love So Beautiful" by Roy Orbison with The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra to those enlightened folks who enjoy the music of ELOJeff LynneThe Traveling WilburysRoy OrbisonRoy WoodThe MoveThe Idle Race'Brum Beat'The Beatles and related artistes.

Until next "Time" in the ELO [and related] Universe ... KJS ... 06-Nov-2017