Monday, 22 January 2018

Recommended: King's Heath Walk of Fame Beatles Fest 2018

It's always a pleasure to oblige when my good friends Bob Prew and Ken Whittaker over at King's Heath Walk of Fame contact Yours Truly KJS and elobeatlesforever (elobf) to highlight their now annual Beatles All You Need Is Love Fest event which is being held this year on Sunday 11th February, especially when one recalls the fact that Beatles legend John Lennon stated that ELO were the "son of [The] Beatles" back in 1974. It was the ultimate of compliments and another huge nod to the influence of The Fab Four on Birmingham's finest whose hometown hosted The Beatles' when they played their maiden live performance on Friday 15th February 1963 - the first of three appearances at King's Heath Ritz Ballroom in the very home of 'Brum Beat'.

The Beatles All You Need Is Love Session is up first featuring an eclectic array of musicians and runs from 3PM until 6PM at Fletcher's Bar, York Road, King's Heath. Tickets are priced at £4 each (*plus booking fee) and can be purchased in person from Kitchen Garden Cafe and/or wegottickets with tickets on the door priced at £5 each (if available).

Acclaimed Beatles tribute Made In Liverpool will then strike up the band from 7PM onwards down the road at the Hare & Hounds. Tickets are priced at £10 each (*plus booking fee) and can be purchased from Skiddle with tickets on the door priced at £12 each (if available).

For further information, you can email info@kingsheathwalkoffame.org.uk and/or contact Bob on (0121) 689 2360 and/or Ken on (0121) 443 5237 and/or visit these sites thus:


elobeatlesforever (elobf) recommends King's Heath Walk Of Fame Beatles Fest 2018 to those enlightened folks who enjoy the music of ELOJeff LynneRoy WoodThe MoveThe Idle Race'Brum Beat'The Beatles and related artistes.

Until next "Time" in the ELO [and related] Universe ... KJS ... 22-Jan-2018

Sunday, 21 January 2018

Recommended: Concert For George (2018)

Concord Music will release an expanded reissue of the "Concert For George" album and film on Friday 23rd February (just two days before what would have been his 75th birthday) in 2CD, 2CD/2DVD, 2CD/Blu-ray and 4LP formats plus a limited edition 10 disc boxed set (only 1,000 copies). The concert was held on Friday 29th November 2002 at London's iconic Royal Albert Hall exactly one year after the passing of George HarrisonThe Quiet One - and featured Musical Directors ELO maestro Jeff Lynne and Eric Clapton alongside Beatles duo Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr, Tom Petty, Dhani Harrison and whole host of other artists.

Trax: "Your Eyes" (Anoushka Shankar) ~ "The Inner Light" (Jeff Lynne/Anoushka Shankar) ~ "Arpan" (Anoushka Shankar) ~ "Sit On My Face" (Monty Python) ~ "The Lumberjack Song" (Monty Python/Tom Hanks) ~ "I Want To Tell You" (Jeff Lynne) ~ "If I Needed Someone" (Eric Clapton) ~ "Old Brown Shoe" (Gary Brooker) ~ "Give Me Love" (Jeff Lynne) ~ "Beware Of Darkness" (Eric Clapton) ~ "Here Comes The Sun" (Joe Brown) ~ "That's The Way It Goes" (Joe Brown) ~ "Horse To The Water" (Jools Holland/Sam Brown) ~ "Taxman" (Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers) ~ "I Need You" (Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers) ~ "Handle With Care" (Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers/Jeff Lynne/Dhani Harrison) ~ "Isn't It A Pity" (Billy Preston) ~ "Photograph" (Ringo Starr) ~ "Honey Don't" (Ringo Starr) ~ "For You Blue" (Paul McCartney) ~ "Something" (Paul McCartney/Eric Clapton) ~ "All Things Must Pass" (Paul McCartney) ~ "While My Guitar Gently Weeps" (Paul McCartney/Eric Clapton) ~ "My Sweet Lord" (Billy Preston) ~ "Wah Wah" (Eric Clapton & Band) ~ "I'll See You In My Dreams" (Joe Brown)

The film "Concert For George" peaked at #13 in the Official UK Music Video Chart with the album reaching a respectable #97 in the US Billboard 200 upon their original releases in October and November 2003. Pre-orders for the 2018 version can be placed via these links thus:

www.concertforgeorge.com/new-configurations
georgeharrison.shop.bravadousa.com/concert-for-george.html
www.amazon.co.uk/Concert-George-Various-Artists/dp/B078XXC7WJ
www.amazon.co.uk/Concert-George-Various-Artists/dp/B078Y352DN
www.amazon.co.uk/Concert-George-LP-Various-Artists/dp/B078Y352DP
www.amazon.com/Concert-George-Various-Artists/dp/B078XXC7WJ
www.amazon.com/Concert-George-Various-Artists/dp/B078Y352DN
www.amazon.com/Concert-George-LP-Various-Artists/dp/B078Y352DP

elobeatlesforever (elobf) recommends "Concert For George" to those enlightened folks who enjoy the music of ELOJeff LynneRoy WoodThe MoveThe Idle Race'Brum Beat', George HarrisonThe Beatles, The Traveling Wilburys and related artistes.

Until next "Time" in the ELO [and related] Universe ... KJS ... 21-Jan-2018

Friday, 19 January 2018

Why ELO Part II, The Orchestra & ELO Tribute Bands Matter

When Jeff Lynne pulled the plug on ELO back in 1986, it left a black hole in the musical universes of members and fans alike, even though we all marvelled at and applauded the rise and rise of Jeff Lynne with the likes of George Harrison, Roy Orbison, Tom Petty, The Traveling Wilburys, Paul McCartney, The Beatles and not a few others. At that time, there was no appetite for ELO by the Shard Ender who had overseen and perhaps outgrown his band. Fast forwarding to the 21st century, we were all excited about the relaunch of ELO and then Jeff Lynne's ELO ... and we still are, judging by the hit albums and epic sold out shows since.

Most ELO fans also know how ELO Part II came about courtesy of Bev Bevan and how it became The Orchestra almost a decade later. The incredible growth of ELO tribute bands is also a testament to the popularity and ageless appeal of the music of Jeff Lynne/ELO. It was during that intervening period between "Balance Of Power" and Jeff's sensational Hyde Park return that elobeatlesforever (elobf) was born in February 2009 and Yours Truly KJS had many opportunities to see and hear those wonderful Electric Light Orchestra songs that we all know and love performed by a plethora of former members, great bands and gifted musicians.


Sadly, I never got to see classic ELO in the flesh despite getting into the band at the age of ten in 1977. Indeed, my first experience of ELO music in the live arena was with ELO Part II and the Moscow Symphony Orchestra in May 1991. It reignited my passion for the music and was followed by many trips to see both ELO Part II and The Orchestra and, thereafter, many fab ELO tribute bands before I finally got to see Jeff Lynne's ELO in person at Liverpool during April 2016.

It is for that reason that this writer is forever grateful to the likes of Bev Bevan, ELO Part II, The Orchestra and Phil Bates (not forgetting The ELO Experience, ELO Again, The Explosive Light Orchestra and latterly The ELO Encounter) for keeping ELO music live (and, to a degree, alive), particularly when Jeff Lynne was otherwise occupied in the studio. As a result, I get the best of both worlds these days because I can go see and hear ELO music played live regularly by multiple artistes in various venues in between Jeff Lynne's ELO tours!

Until next "Time" in the ELO [and related] Universe ... KJS ... 19-Jan-2018

Saturday, 13 January 2018

ELOwnership: What's In A Name?

Disclaimer: This is an article not intended to offend or affront ELO fans of any dissuasion. I was asked recently by a music mad friend of mine (who has no agenda) whether there has really been an ELO since Jeff Lynne disbanded the original band back in 1986. Their argument was that some folks did not consider ELO Part II on the same page as ELO and that any releases after "Balance Of Power" have been Jeff Lynne albums by any other name (even if marketed as ELO).

I therefore asked myself whether I considered that all those ELO Part II gigs I attended in the nineties and those studio/live albums I bought back then were ELO. I also considered the same when it came to "Zoom", "Mr. Blue Sky", "Alone In The Universe", "Wembley Or Bust" and the wonderful Jeff Lynne's ELO concerts that I've attended at Birmingham (twice), Liverpool and London in recent years. Jeff Lynne wrote and produced 99.5% of ELO's recorded output betwixt 1971 and 1986. In terms of recorded output, it can be argued that albums released since 2001 are practically Jeff Lynne with a little help from his friends. In my opinion, the Hyde Park show, the AITU tour and Wembley spectacular are the nearest we will all get to quintessential ELO. Having said that, the audience reaction last year at Rewind North to The Orchestra was also quite special, as was seeing ELO Part II perform with the Moscow Symphony Orchestra back in May 1991.

For me, it all comes down to the name: Electric Light Orchestra. Initially co-owned by Roy Wood, Jeff Lynne and Bev Bevan and now the property of Jeff since 1999, the moniker Jeff Lynne's ELO says it all. My ELO were the Magnificent Seven who adorned the inner sleeve of "A New World Record". For some people, ELO Part II and/or The Orchestra will also be their ELO and, most certainly, Jeff Lynne's ELO are ELO to many here and now.

Whilst you can't ignore the past or the facts as to who ELO were (i.e. former members, their contribution and so forth), fans will always have the right to perceive ELO as they so wish. Yours Truly KJS used to get in trouble for saying that "Zoom" was "Armchair Theatre Part II" but experience has taught me to quote a certain song from that very album: "It Really Doesn't Matter". It's about the music and, these days, it's also about what I term ELOwnership.

Until next "Time" in the ELO [and related] Universe ... KJS ... 13-Jan-2018

Wednesday, 10 January 2018

About Time: 21st Century Man

When "Twilight" b/w "Julie Don't Live Here" (JET7015) - the second single taken from ELO's classic album "Time" (JETLP236) - stalled at a modest #30 in the Official UK Singles Chart following the stellar success of lead single "Hold On Tight" b/w "When Time Stood Still" (JET7011), which had peaked at an impressive #4 in September 1981, it was a surprise if not a major disappointment to many fans of the band. Yet, with the third AA sided single "Ticket To The Moon" c/w "Here Is The News" (JET7018) peaking at #24 before fourth single "The Way Life's Meant To Be" b/w "Wishing" (JET7021) failed to chart, the writing seemed to be on the wall for a group whose previous twenty (20) UK singles going back to "Strange Magic" (JET779) in July 1976 had all made the UK Top 40.

Yours Truly KJS has often pondered (with the benefit of hindsight) if there had been a different choice or even order of singles issued from "Time " (after "Hold On Tight") whether their chart performance would have fared better. I say this as over in France, "21st Century Man" was paired with "Twilight" (JET808) and perhaps this was a more inspired selection following the up tempo aforementioned lead single rather than "Twilight" as an 'A' side alone. Undoubtedly the inclusion of the unreleased "Julie Don't Live Here" was also attractive to the ELO fan base, but one wonders if, following the death of John Lennon in December 1980 and the tribute dedicated to him during the ensuing 1981/82 "Time" tour plus the fact that "21st Century Man" was of slower pace in contrast to "Hold On Tight" - whether a potential #1 single opportunity was missed. Note also that the relatively sedate "Rain Is Falling" b/w "Another Heart Breaks" (ZS9 02693) was the choice of third single in the US as opposed to "Ticket To The Moon" and "Here Is The News".

This is, of course, all conjecture and theory yet "21st Century Man" remains the greatest ELO single never released (except, of course, in France!) - at least in the opinion of this writer.

See also: JET7021: IT'S A SLEEVIN' THING
See also: REVERSE RELEASE: TIME'S THIRD SINGLE TWIST
See also: HOLD ON TIGHT: THE VIDEO LEGACY
See also: CONCEPT THEORY: TIME AS A 2LP TOO?

Until next "Time" in the ELO [and related] Universe ... KJS ... 10-Jan-2018

Sunday, 7 January 2018

Album of the Year: Hornal CD now available via amazon

If you missed the elobeatlesforever (elobf) review of 2017, you will have missed the news that Iain Hornal's excellent album "The Game Begins With The Lights Out" was chosen as elobf Album of the Year. And, hot on the heels of that news, Iain - now a fully fledged member of both the 10cc and Jeff Lynne's ELO touring bands - contacted Yours Truly KJS with the welcome news that said album can now be ordered in CD format via amazon.co.uk having already been available to purchase digitally (and in limited edition vinyl) beforehand.

So without further ado, you can buy said CD and/or read my February 2017 album review and/or check out the aforementioned Album of the Year announcement via these links thus:

www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B06XRNCFRJ
REVIEW: THE GAME BEGINS WITH THE LIGHTS OUT [Hornal]
Yours Truly 2017: A Year In Review   www.hornal.net

elobeatlesforever (elobf) recommends "The Game Begins With The Lights Out" by Hornal to those enlightened folks who enjoy the music of ELOJeff LynneRoy WoodThe MoveThe Idle Race'Brum Beat'The Beatles10ccThe Feeling and related artistes.

Until next "Time" in the ELO [and related] Universe ... KJS ... 07-Jan-2018

Saturday, 6 January 2018

ChartWatch: Wembley Or Bust Suffers The Fall

The Official UK Album Chart Top 100 published yesterday (Friday 5th January) revealed that "Wembley Or Bust" by Jeff Lynne's ELO has fell an astonishing fifty six places from #40 to #96 this week (after seven weeks in the chart) whilst "All Over The World" has slipped from #50 to #53 (having clocked up a 174 week chart run to date). Elsewhere, Roy Orbison's orchestral overview "A Love So Beautiful" has exited the Top 10 in dropping from #10 to #14 and Bryan Adams' latest career compilation "Ultimate" has nudged up another six places from #61 to #55 meaning that ELO maestro Jeff Lynne has a hand (just about) in four Top 100 albums this week. Meanwhile, over in the Official Singles Chart, Wizzard and "I Wish It Could Be Christmas Everyday" have left the Top 100 after reaching a heady #15 last week.

See also: Review: Wembley Or Bust (Jeff Lynne's ELO)
See also: ChartWatch: Out Of The Blue Returns + Wembley Or Bust TV Debut
See also: ChartWatch: ELO/Jeff Lynne Continue + Wizzard Return for Roy Wood
See also: ChartWatch: ELO/Wizzard Consolidate + Wembley Or Bust BBC2 Reminder
See also: ChartWatch: Wembley Or Bust TV Debut Prompts ELO Uplift
See also: ChartWatch: Roy Wood & Wizzard Hit 44 Year Christmas High

elobeatlesforever (elobf) recommends "Wembley Or Bust" and "All Over The World" to those enlightened folks who enjoy the music of ELOJeff LynneRoy WoodThe MoveThe Idle Race'Brum Beat'The Beatles and related artistes.

Until next "Time" in the ELO [and related] Universe ... KJS ... 06-Jan-2018