Monday, 31 December 2012

YOURS TRULY 2012: A YEAR IN REVIEW

Hello ... Hello ... my old friends ... It's great to see you once again! What a year 2012 has been for ELO Beatles Forever [ELOBF]. This is the 186th ELOBF blog of 2012 and first of all I would like to thank each and every visitor for taking the time to check out my writings and musings. 2012 was a year of many varied activities. Interviews, Reviews, Recommendations and [of course] gigs!

Undoubtedly the major theme of 2012 was the release of the first new Joe Walsh and Jeff Lynne solo albums for over two [2] decades in "Analog Man"; "Long Wave" and "Mr. Blue Sky: The Very Best Of Electric Light Orchestra"- with ELOBF being amongst the first outlets to announce details of the track listings [and artwork] for those Jeff Lynne releases. But there were plenty of other happenings in the: ELOBF universe in 2012 too.

The year 2012 also saw over 50,000 visitors to ELOBF - sending to total number of hits past the 100,000 mark to over 125,000 at the time of writing. I've been absolutely astonished at the growth of ELOBF this year. 2012 also saw the conclusion of the Mike Edwards case as well as the news that The Orchestra [former members of ELO & ELO Part II] were returning to the UK for live dates in 2013 after a four year break. ELO Beatles Forever [ELOBF] has also continued to work with Hamilton Radio and has also continued to endorse independent local, national and international artistes as I see fit. Here is a brief summary of my activity with: ELOBF in 2012, for our perusal:

INTERVIEWS:
Pete Haycock [Climax Blues Band; ELO Part II]; Spencer Hannabuss [The 286]; Dave Collison [The Trembling Wilburys]; Bev Bevan [The Move; ELO; ELO Part II]; David Myhr; Gary Frenay [The Flashcubes]; Thomas Walsh [Pugwash]

REVIEWS:
"Beauty In Chaos" [Fay & Latta]; "All The Good Friends" [Red Shoes]; "Splash" [Kracked Earth]; "Across The Divide" [Dave Scott-Morgan]; "Return To Paradise" [Fragile X]; "Long Wave"; "Mr. Blue Sky: The Very Best Of Electric Light Orchestra" and: "Mr. Blue Sky: The Story Of Jeff Lynne & ELO" [Jeff Lynne]; BGO II [Bubble Gum Orchestra]; "The Lost Broadcasts" and: "Live At The Fillmore 1969" [The Move]; "On The Green Seventy Seen" [Cult of Wedge]; "Analog Man" [Joe Walsh]; "Sportin' Wood" [The Flashcubes]; "Soundshine" [David Myhr]; "One Tree Less" [Judie Tzuke]; The Debra Dee Exhibition of Roy Wood Art.

RECOMMENDED:
Made In Brum; Red Shoes; Steve Gibbons Band; Desperado; Brewood Music Festival; Duckworth Lewis Method; Vegas With Randolph; Vinnie Zummo; Apology None; Ivory Tower Project; The Flashcubes; Bates McBain; River City Portrait

CAUGHT LIVE:
The ELO Experience; Band On The Runn; Paul Parker & All The Right Friends; The Cohen Brothers; Bates McBain; "Brewood Music Festival"; The Abbey Road Experience; Desperado; Judie Tzuke; Pugwash

Many thanx go to my concert cohort: Chris 'July 2nd 1644' Evans. I've also enjoyed meeting up with folks like: Paul Richardson; Pete Dicks; Peter March; Debbie Richardson; Geoff Cook; Martin Kinch; Tony Kelsey; Jeff Cooper; Tilly Bates; Craig Whale; Adam Willetts; Ian Hammond; Ken Latta; Deb Chabotte and Jim Hoban amongst not a few others!

So, as you can see, it has been a great year and 2013 looks like being busy too. More interviews, more Reviews and even more gigs! Once again I truly thank you for your support and wish you a Happy, Peaceful, Prosperous and ELO-tastic New Year!

Until next "Time" in the ELO [and related] Universe ... KJS ... 31-Dec-2012

Friday, 28 December 2012

NOW AVAILABLE: ACROSS THE DIVIDE [Morgan]

Hello ... Hello ... my old friends ... It's great to see you once again! A nice arrival in the post-Christmas postbag this morning was the Digipak CD release of the excellent new album "Across The Divide" by Morgan a.k.a. Dave Scott-Morgan [#GDR2012] - which was originally released via download in November.

RECOMMENDED: ACROSS THE DIVIDE [Dave Scott-Morgan]
REVIEW: ACROSS THE DIVIDE [Dave Scott-Morgan]

You may recall that Yours Truly KJS and ELO Beatles Forever [ELOBF] recommended and reviewed "Across The Divide" - which also features fellow former ELO member Martin Smith as well as Tony Kelsey - earlier this year. You can read those two [2] articles by clicking on the above links. You may also see that the guitar in the artwork has the word "JET" written upon it and that's definitely "Something" to ask Dave about during a future ELOBF interview me thinx! You can buy "Across The Divide" either in digital format [for $9.99] and/or CD format [for £8.99] via the official Dave Scott-Morgan web site thus:


ELO Beatles Forever [ELOBF] recommends "Across The Divide" by Morgan 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 ... 28-Dec-2012

Sunday, 23 December 2012

LONG WAVE & MR. BLUE SKY TO BE RELEASED IN COLOURED VINYL

Hello ... Hello ... my old friends ... It's great to see you once again! Quite by accident, whilst trawling eBay for some ELO and related rarities tonight, Yours Truly KJS has discovered that Frontiers Records appear to be releasing those twin Jeff Lynne releases "Long Wave" and "Mr. Blue Sky: The Very Best of Electric Light Orchestra" on white and blue vinyl respectively on Monday January 28th 2013 thus:


But beware, there will only be 1,000 of each LP in coloured vinyl with MBS also being released as a special double album [2LP] on this occasion. This is definitely one for the ELO fan and record collector to get excited about whilst placing their pre-orders. "Long Wave" is priced at £18 [plus £4.00 P+P] and "Mr. Blue Sky" at £20.00 [plus £4.00 P+P] with the above eBay vendor

Both albums are listed by Plastic Head at the price of £16.99 and £18.50 each for "Long Wave" and "Mr. Blue Sky" respectively thus:

Both albums are also listed by amazon.com for pre-ordering thus:

ELO Beatles Forever [ELOBF] is sure that these interesting 'new' releases will also be available for pre-order with the likes of amazon.co.uk et al soon.

Until next "Time" in the ELO [and related] Universe ... KJS ... 23-Dec-2012

Saturday, 22 December 2012

INTERVIEW: PETE HAYCOCK

Hello ... Hello ... my old friends ... It's great to see you once again! This interview for: ELO Beatles Forever [ELOBF] with one the world’s greatest exponents of both the Slide and Rhythm guitar: Pete Haycock - founding member of both the: Climax Blues Band and the: Electric Light Orchestra Part Two - owes much to Deb Chabotte and the: Pete Haycock Appreciation Society hence I am truly thankful for their assistance in putting this interview together.

KJS: First things first, Pete. Who were the musical heroes that inspired your early career steps?
PH: My first influences were The Shadows, then a little later, Blues artists like Muddy Waters, Bo Diddley, Otis Rush, Jimmy Reed and B.B. King.
KJS: How and where did you meet up with Derek Holt, Colin Cooper and the gentlemen who founded firstly The Climax Chicago Blues Band, later to be the Climax Blues Band [CBB]? 
PH: At the age of 14, I already had my own Blues based band called 'Mason Dixon Line'. We were supporting groups like the Graham Bond Organisation and other well known groups, when they came to my home town of Stafford. Colin Cooper, who was considerably older than myself, eventually approached me to join his 'Gospel Truth' soul band. Eventually, this band came to nothing so I suggested we played the Blues again - using my original drummer from 'Mason Dixon Line' - George Newsome - and Arthur Wood from 'Gospel Truth'. This band eventually became the 'Climax Chicago Blues Band'.
KJS: You were with the CBB for seventeen [17] years through many albums and changes in personnel. The band was a fixture on the live circuit on both sides of the Atlantic and enjoyed notable chart success particularly in the latter. But what were your personal highlights of those years with the CBB? 
PH: My highlights were [a] playing Carnegie Hall in New York as second on the bill to Albert King, with T-Bone Walker opening the show and [b] having a real 'hit' with "Couldn't Get It Right", a song that I wrote 80% of ... despite the equal split of the publishing income eventually with all the other band members.
KJS: You left the CBB back in ’85 ... What projects did you work on in the intervening years before you joined ELO Part II in 1990?
PH: After leaving the CBB, I recorded solo albums and the 'follow-up' to the last Climax Blues Band album entitled: 'Pete Haycock's Climax'; I also began work on: "Guitar & Son", an instrumental album for Miles Copeland's 'No Speak' label, and toured Australia and the Far East with my own 'Pete Haycock's Climax Band'. Parallel to this, I was working with composers like Hans Zimmer for "Thelma & Louise" and other movie projects.
KJS: How was Pete Haycock persuaded to join Bev Bevan in re-launching ELO as Part Two? What appealed to you about the project at that time?
PH: Bev Bevan called me personally and said he remembered playing with Climax Blues Band as ELO support in the 70's. I said I would be interested in joining his new band, but only if I did not have to 'replace' Jeff Lynne. He agreed and my job became lead guitarist,  with Eric [Troyer] and Neil [Lockwood] doing most of the lead vocals.
KJS: Personally, I really rate the songs you co-wrote with Bev for the debut ELO Part Two album: “Once Upon A Time”, “Heartbreaker” and particularly “Easy Street” [not forgetting “Love For Sale”]. Did you adapt your song writing style for Part Two or was it the same as with the Climax Blue Band? 
PH: Of course, I had to bear in mind that I was now writing for a new ELO project but I adapted my style as a composer only so far as to accommodate Bev's lyrics. The demos for these songs were made in my own home studio [including myself playing synthesized strings, which were largely just copied by Lou Clark eventually for a real orchestra to play].
KJS: How did you find it playing all those Jeff Lynne penned songs live?
PH: I was more impressed by Jeff's writing the more that I played those songs. He was a true innovator despite the comparisons with Lennon and McCartney.
KJS: And what was it like performing with the 80-piece Moscow Symphony Orchestra backing you? Was that indeed your personal highlight while you were with the band or was there something else?
PH: I would say that it was a highlight indeed!
KJS: I saw you perform with ELO Part II a few times, at the NEC [twice] and the London Hammersmith Odeon. You, Eric and Neil seemed to blend effortlessly with Kelly, Lou, Mik, Hugh and Bev. What are your abiding memories of the much-missed Kelly Groucutt and the other band members?
PH: I enjoyed my time with those guys very much indeed. As for Kelly, he was a lovely, down to earth lad, albeit sadly with a slight chip on his shoulder due to his being used somewhat badly by the band earlier. He was a fellow "Black Country" Midlands bloke - just like me - and we were good friends, almost from 'day one'. I can't really believe that he has gone. Bless him!
KJS: I have to ask this question too. How did you find Don Arden to deal with back in the day?
PH: Don Arden was an old fashioned, arrogant old slob in my humble opinion. His attempts at behaving like a 'Godfather' were laughable. His bad treatment of many people including myself, but also several important business contacts who had invested much time and money in the bands future, led to heartbreak and business disappointment. This came to a head when Don started to demand silly money for the band to play very important promotional TV shows in Europe. I know of at least one company who eventually were bankrupted thanks to his greed and stupidity. I would estimate that he alone caused the failure of ELO Part II.
KJS: You left Part Two in 1992. Please tell me how you came to begin a successful career in score writing for film soundtracks?
PH: I had already been working on Film and TV music. I had played on film scores for Stewart Copeland and Hans Zimmer during the period when Bev and I were first working together on ELO Part II.
KJS: Will you be bringing ‘Pete Haycock’s True Blues Live’ back to UK shores soon?
PH: I doubt it. The band no longer exists as such. Let us see.
KJS: How can your long time admirers in the ELO fan base find out what you are up to now and in future days?
PH: Maybe check with www.petehaycock.com?
KJS: Now finally, here is the question that I always ask next when interviewing for ELO Beatles Forever. What are your personal favourite ELO and Beatles tracks, and why? 
PH: What a silly question! "Telephone Line" is a nice production and has a fine, soulful lyric. As for The Beatles, there are way too many highlights to choose one song.
KJS: I would like to take this opportunity to thank you Pete for taking part in this interview for ELO Beatles Forever.
PH: Thank you, Keith!

ELO Beatles Forever [ELOBF] recommends Pete Haycock - his projects and collaborations - 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-Dec-2012

Thursday, 20 December 2012

REVIEW: BEAUTY IN CHAOS [Fay & Latta]


Hello ... Hello ... my old friends ... It's great to see you once again! Back in May 2011, Yours Truly KJS reviewed "The View From Here", the excellent debut album by Fay & Latta for ELOBF. This talented acoustic duo, who are based in West Yorkshire, have just released their second album entitled "Beauty In Chaos" and it is of special interest to avid ELO fans as it also features virtuoso violinist Mik Kaminski [ELO/Violinski/OrKestra/ELO Part II/BBBV and The Orchestra] on five [5] of the tracks.

In some ways "Beauty In Chaos" carries on where "The View From Here" left off - but that is half of the story. The addition of the sublime strings of Mik Kaminski brings a new edge to the five tracks "Sweet Surrender", "Don't Block Me Out", "Hold On", "Inside Out" and the title track "Beauty In Chaos" with which he assists Anneka Fay [formerly Latta] on Vocals/Piano/Whistles and Tom Fay [Acoustic/Electric Guitars]. Yet, having listened not a few times to this classy and atmospheric release for the last few days, one cannot fail to be impressed by the whole set of  predominantly acoustic songs supplanted by keyboards and, of course, a certain Blue Violin - but captained by the beautiful, clear voice of Anneka [which reminds me very much of Bailey Tzuke] and those thoughtful, pensive lyrics written by the duo.

My personal favourites at the time of writing are "Sweet Surrender", the soaring, moody instrumental "The Little Things That Count", the beautiful "Because Of You" and the grateful "Lucky One" - not forgetting the enigmatic title track and ELOesque "Hold On". [9/10]
This is a really nice thirteen [13] song package which is more than well worth the £6 [plus P+P] outlay. Speaking of which, you can now order "Beauty In Chaos" and /or "The View From Here" from the Fay & Latta official web site thus:


ELO Beatles Forever [ELOBF] recommends "Beauty In Chaos" by Fay & Latta to those enlightened folks who enjoy the music of ELOJeff LynneRoy WoodThe MoveThe Idle Race'Brum Beat'The Beatles and related artistes. Go see 'em live - especially if you happen to live in the vicinity of Yorkshire!

Until next "Time" in the ELO [and related] Universe ... KJS ... 20-Dec-2012

Sunday, 16 December 2012

UK ALBUM CHART UPDATE [9]


Hello ... Hello ... my old friends ... It's great to see you once again! The UK Top 100 Album Chart this week saw "Long Wave" by Jeff Lynne once again drop out of said Top 100 [from #99].


On the other hand, Roy Wood and Wizzard have re-entered the UK Top 30 Singles Chart this week at #29 [up from #31] with their classic seasonal hit "I Wish It Could Be Christmas Everyday":
Until next "Time" in the ELO [and related] Universe ... KJS ... 16-Dec-2012

Saturday, 15 December 2012

JEFF LYNNE DOCUMENTARY DIGITAL RELEASE CONFIRMED

Hello ... Hello ... my old friends ... It's great to see you once again! ELO Beatles Forever [ELOBF] is pleased to confirm that the much anticipated digital release of the acclaimed documentary "Mr. Blue Sky: The Story of Jeff Lynne & ELO" via iTunes will be in but a few days on Tuesday 18th December thus:


There is no official news yet of when the documentary will be released in DVD and/or Blu-Ray format but Yours Truly KJS understands that a physical release is planned.

ELO Beatles Forever [ELOBF] recommends "Mr. Blue Sky: The Story of Jeff Lynne & ELO" to those enlightened folks who enjoy the music of ELOJeff LynneThe MoveRoy WoodThe Idle Race'Brum Beat'The Beatles and related artistes.

Until next "Time" in the ELO [and related] Universe ... KJS ... 15-Dec-2012

Wednesday, 12 December 2012

RECOMMENDED: EDMUND & LEO [Maxi Dunn]

Hello ... Hello ... my old friends ... It's great to see you once again! One of the artistes who has been featured and recommended by Yours Truly KJS and ELO Beatles Forever [ELOBF] is Liverpudlian songstress Maxi Dunn. Maxi has just announced that her much anticipated third studio album "Edmund & Leo" is now available for pre-order via her official web site. The album is co-produced by Maxine and fellow ELOBF recommendee Pete Hackett [Cult of Wedge] and, based on the evidence of lead single "Dragonfly", it will be well worth waiting for!

The official release date is at the end of February 2013 but, hopefully, pre-ordered copies could be in your hands before the official release. Maxi's first two albums "Welcome To Soonville" and "The Neglected Gambit" are still available via her official web site at the time of writing. You may also recall that both albums were reviewed in December 2011 by ELOBF thus:

REVIEW: WELCOME TO SOONVILLE/THE NEGLECTED GAMBIT [Maxi Dunn]

In the meantime, why not have a listen to "Dragonfly" and check out the fantastic music at the Maxi Dunn official web site and/or at the Maxi Dunn YouTube channel?

ELO Beatles Forever [ELOBF] recommends "Edmund & Leo" by Maxi Dunn 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 ... 12-Dec-2012

Monday, 10 December 2012

PRE-ORDERS SOON FOR JEFF LYNNE DVD?

Hello ... Hello ... my old friends ... It's great to see you once again! Perhaps not unsurprisingly, according to this belated review of "Mr. Blue Sky: The Story of Jeff Lynne and ELO" in The Economist back on 27th November, the acclaimed rockumentary "... will be available for pre-order from iTunes in December 2012 and on DVD in 2013." [end quote]

There seems to be a good working relationship developing between Jeff, his manager Craig Fruin and iTunes as we are again seeing iTunes taking pre-orders in 2012 in advance of a 2013 formal [digital?] release coupled with the four [4] bonus tracks found on their Deluxe edition of the "Mr. Blue Sky" album. Doubtless, full release [and pre-order details] will be published soon ...

Until next "Time" in the ELO [and related] Universe ... KJS ... 10-Dec-2012

Sunday, 9 December 2012

UK ALBUM CHART UPDATE [8]


Hello ... Hello ... my old friends ... It's great to see you once again! The latest UK Top 100 Album Chart this week sees "Long Wave" by Jeff Lynne slipping down to #99 [from #90] following what is now an impressive two month or nine week chart run.

It is also nice to see Roy Wood and Wizzard re-enter the UK Top 40 Singles Chart at #31 [up from #58] this week with their classic seasonal hit "I Wish It Could Be Christmas Everyday" thus:
Until next "Time" in the ELO [and related] Universe ... KJS ... 09-Dec-2012

Friday, 7 December 2012

SEEKING OUT THE SECOND ELO EP

Hello ... Hello ... my old friends ... It's great to see you once again! The above listing of ELO collectibles as printed on page #78 of the latest ELO-themed issue of RECORD COLLECTOR magazine makes for some interesting reading. Besides my fascination with "Beatles Forever", I must admit that I have never laid eyes on the [withdrawn] second ELO EP [Jet #ELO2] from the less successful boxed set "Four Light Years" back in 1981 or, from the same period, the rumoured [mythical?] picture sleeve for "The Way Life's Meant To Be" [Jet #JET7021].

Now, returning to the subject in hand, the ultra-rare four track 7" single EP included the tracks "Mr. Blue Sky", "Across The Border", "Telephone Line" and "Don't Bring Me Down". According to the above listing, there are both plain and picture sleeved versions out there somewhere. Yours Truly KJS has to admit that I would love it if a visitor to ELO Beatles Forever [ELOBF] were to forward a photograph of either or both editions - just to satisfy my curiosity!
The sleeve originally intended for the second ELO EP?
ELO Beatles Forever [ELOBF] recommends RECORD COLLECTOR magazine 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 ... 07-Dec-2012

Thursday, 6 December 2012

RECORD COLLECTOR #410: COVER STORY: TOM PETTY & JEFF LYNNE

Hello ... Hello ... my old friends ... It's great to see you once again! The fantastic latest ELO themed edition [#409] of RECORD COLLECTOR magazine has just been published here in the UK with not only extensive, consecutive interviews with both Jeff Lynne and Bev Bevan [pages #70 thru' #82] but also a nice review of THE MOVE: THE LOST BROADCASTS [page #104].

But hidden away right at the end of the Jeff Lynne article entitled "BLUE SKY THINKING" on page #78 is a teaser for the next issue [see above], which is due for release on Thursday 3rd January 2013. Issue #410 will feature Tom Petty, Jeff [again!] and The Traveling Wilburys and looks like a 'must buy' for the New Year thus:

"In the next issue, out on 3 January: RC talks to Tom Petty, who reveals the inside secrets of Jeff's work as a producer, both for himself and the Wilburys"

ELO Beatles Forever [ELOBF] recommends RECORD COLLECTOR 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 ... 06-Dec-2012

Wednesday, 5 December 2012

RECORD COLLECTOR #409: COVER STORY: JEFF LYNNE & BEV BEVAN

Hello ... Hello ... my old friends ... It's great to see you once again! I know what I shall be doing this weekend because I shall be flicking through and reading the December 2012 Christmas edition [#409] of Record Collector magazine  - which is out on Thursday 6th December - with not only a lead article on Jeff Lynne and ELO to study, but also a nice feature with Bev Bevan on the subject of ELO, The Move and Black Sabbath too.

This must be the first time that they have literally been on the same page - or  'together' in the same magazine - for a very long time! Here is an overview of this ELO themed issue:

COVER STORY: ELO: Out Of The Blue: Jeff Lynne on his sudden return; drummer Bev Bevan sticks around for a chat

Record Collector is issued on a monthly basis and is priced at just £4.00 and can also be subscribed to for one [1] year at the discounted annual rate of £46.00 thus:

 recordcollectormag.com/subscription-info

ELO Beatles Forever [ELOBF] recommends Record Collector 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 ... 05-Dec-2012

Sunday, 2 December 2012

UK ALBUM CHART UPDATE [7]


Hello ... Hello ... my old friends ... It's great to see you once again! The latest Official UK Top 100 Album Chart this week has indeed seen [as hoped for last week] the return of "Long Wave" by Jeff Lynne at #90 [up from #105 last week]. This may well be due to the extensive airplay this last week of "At Last" and "Mercy Mercy" on not a few UK radio stations. This is all the more remarkable due to the high volume of Christmas themed releases and compilation albums entering the chart at this time of year.


Until next "Time" in the ELO [and related] Universe ... KJS ... 02-Dec-2012

Friday, 30 November 2012

REVIEW: ALL THE GOOD FRIENDS [Red Shoes]

Hello ... Hello ... my old friends ... It's great to see you once again! I first heard about Red Shoes while I was chatting away with Christian Evans and Move guitarist Tony Kelsey at the Brewood Music Festival back in July 2012. Tony mentioned to me that he was a member of Red Shoes and that pledging was ongoing towards the release of the follow-up release to their 2010 release "Ring Around The Land" [#CEDAR13]

Their new album, entitled "All The Good Friends", has just been released on Cedarwood Records [#CEDAR14] and there are many good reasons why fans in the ELOBF universe should take an interest in this latest volume, besides the fact that there is a new take on that Roy Wood penned Move classic "Blackberry Way" included within. The core foursome of Mark and Carolyn Evans, Bert Priest and Tony Kelsey were joined by, amongst others, Bev Bevan [The Move/ELO], Bill Hunt [ELO/Wizzard], Julian Crook [The Move/The Cohen Brothers] and Brian Badhams [Wheels Of Fire] during the recording sessions as well as Dave Pegg, Chris Leslie and Dave Swarbrick [Fairport Convention] and respected producer Mick Dolan

This delectable record, with Carolyn predominantly on lead vocals, includes great songs such as "Red Coat Ride" [featuring one Bev Bevan on drums and Bill Hunt on French Horn], a violin and mandolin flavoured call to arms against the hunting brigade, complete with a hook reminiscent of "Brontosaurus", "The Well" – a gritty electric guitar driven composition, "Hidden Name" is an ode to motherly love with a beautiful bamboo whistle solo, "If This Is Life" features Mark on lead vocals and is almost a protest song, "Blackberry Way" is given a whole new twist as a sultry folk song with Bev 'Bullfrog' Bevan also appearing here on backing vocals, "River Rea" is simply beautiful, "Swansong" is a catchy, multi-vocal folk foot stomper that either Steeleye Span or Fairport Convention would be proud of and "The Last Dance" is a lovely tune reminiscent of those days when a girl impatiently waited for that special question at the local dance. "All The Good Friends" oozes maturity in terms of the introspective lyrics that often look back to days gone by, sometimes with regret and sometimes with a knowing smile. To this listener and writer, it has a familiar feel to it and is a recording that warms the heart yet pleases the ear.
Trax: [1] “Red Coat Ride” [2] “The Well” [3] “Hidden Name” [4] “Sunday Afternoon” [5] “If This Is Life” [6] “Blackberry Way” [7] “River Rea” [8] “Through The Window” [9] “Swansong” [10] “Every Blade Of Grass” [11] “The Last Dance”

"All The Good Friends" is available from the shop at the Official Red Shoes web site thus: 


ELO Beatles Forever [ELOBF] recommends "All The Good Friends" by Red Shoes 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 ... 30-Nov-2012

Monday, 26 November 2012

REVIEW: SPLASH [Kracked Earth]

 Hello ... Hello ... my old friends ... It's great to see you once again! There are positives and negatives about Facebook. One of the positives is that I met Martin Kinch of that excellent Roy Wood [and related artistes such as: The Move, Wizzard and ELO] web site Cherry Blossom Clinic there. But the benefit is doubled when one considers that I also crossed paths with Martin's extremely talented brother Andy Kinch too. Andy previously worked with the late, great ELO bassist and vocalist Kelly Groucutt on his 1998 release entitled: "Andy's Diner" with his song "Everlastin' Love" and he has just written the newly released debut album of his present band Kracked Earth, interestingly entitled "Splash" - and is self-described as "recorded via the internet for the internet age!"
"Splash" - an album which was recorded on three continents yet written over five years between 2007 and 2012 - is a rock extravaganza par excellence that, as all good albums do, impresses upon the very first listen. From the opening string laden intro on "Heaven's Gate" to the concluding 2012 'Remix' of "Simple Man" [the original version can be found on the aforementioned "Andy's Diner"], this whole album of Kinch written songs and lyrics which vary in style and tempo but deliver that long-lost classic repertoire of thoughtful lyrics [laden with commentary, encouragement, angst, love and hope], driving rockers, instrumental solos and ballads that this writer hasn't even wanted to listen to for a very long time. But he does now! This is one of those albums that needs must be heard.

At over an hours length there really are some great songs on here. Andy has stated that "Strange Desire" was written just after the death of Kelly Groucutt and besides being ELOesque, it would have suited Kelly's vocal talents. Some of the tracks could be Whitesnake yet some could be John Farnham, such is the range of the compositions on here. The thumping rock of: "Run" grabs your attention while the Celtic-tinged "The Promise" and the beautiful "Simple Man" are sublime and very much in that 'chill-out' zone. "Into The Vortex/Harvest" enters into the Pink Floyd and progressive rock arena whilst "Onwards Upwards" and "Freak Show" could be defined as soul and "Footsteps In The Snow" is just plain marvellous to the ear. This album should satisfy every kind of music lover, ELOnorak or not!

Trax: [#1] "Heaven's Gate"; [#2] "Can't Live Without You"; [#3] "Strange Desire"; [#4] "Coming Up For Air"; [#5] "Into The Vortex/Harvest"; [#6] "Onwards Upwards"; [#7] "Run"; [#8] "Unconditional"; [#9] "Footsteps In The Snow"; [#10] "Never Walk Away" [#11] "Freak Show"; [#12] "These Days"; [#13] "The Promise"; [#14] "Simple Man"

 Kracked Earth feature songwriter Andy Kinch [Acoustic Guitars/All Keyboards], Tim Lynk [Vocals/Recorders], Elyan Fernova [Drums], Doug Scarratt [Electric Guitars], Simon Dennis [Bass] and Mark Millin [Percussion]. "Splash" also features: Don Schiff [Stick Bass]; Troy Donockley [Uillean Pipes and Whistles] and Butch Thomas [Soprano Saxophone].
Kracked Earth [clockwise]: Andy Kinch, Tim Lynk, Elyan Fernova, Mark Millin, Simon Dennis, Doug Scarratt

"Splash" by Kracked Earth will be available via iTunes, amazon.co.ukCDBaby and other music outlets from Tuesday 27th November and can be purchased via these links thus:

melodicrevolutionrecords.com/album/splash
www.amazon.co.uk/Splash-Kracked-Earth
www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Kracked-Earth-Splash
www.cdbaby.com/cd/krackedearth

ELO Beatles Forever [ELOBF] recommends "Splash" by Kracked Earth 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 ... 26-Nov-2012

COMING SOON: BGO TRIBUTE TO DAVY JONES

Hello ... Hello ... my old friends ... It's great to see you once again! My good friend Michael Laine Hildebrandt has announced that his aptly titled musical outlet Bubble Gum Orchestra will be releasing their tribute to another of Mike's musical heroes [besides ELO and Jeff Lynne, of course] on Sunday 30th December when the track "Girl" will be made available for free download via the official BGO web site [on what would have been Davy's 67th birthday] with an accompanying video being released in parallel on YouTube.

"Girl" is a full collaboration with Sugarbomb member Les Farrington [keyboards/vocals] and has been mastered by Billy Stull over at Masterpiece Mastering. Davy, who sadly died on 29th February earlier this year, released the song in the US as a single in November 1971, peaking at #52 in the US Billboard Top 100.
The song is best remembered for featuring in The Brady Bunch episode "Getting Davy Jones" as well as "The Brady Bunch Movie" in 1995. Michael has afforded me the opportunity to listen to an edited sample of the track and Yours Truly KJS has to say that it does sound nice and, of course, it has a certain BGO flavour to it! It's a real 'feel good' tune that is both a tribute to Davy and a testament to the musical talents of Michael. Better get downloading it on December 30th folks!

ELO Beatles Forever [ELOBF] recommends "Girl" by Bubble Gum Orchestra 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 ... 26-Nov-2012

Sunday, 25 November 2012

UK ALBUM CHART UPDATE [6]

Hello ... Hello ... my old friends ... It's great to see you once again! The latest UK Top 100 Album Chart this week [sadly] saw the trio of ELO & Jeff Lynne releases: "Long Wave""Mr. Blue Sky" and "All Over The World" drop out of the chart ... for the "Time" being at least.


Until next "Time" in the ELO [and related] Universe ... KJS ... 25-Nov-2012

Thursday, 22 November 2012

CAUGHT LIVE [8]: THE ELO EXPERIENCE

Hello ... Hello ... my old friends ... It's great to see you once again! When you have seen The ELO Experience on not a few occasions, it becomes difficult to not repeat previous live reviews and sound somewhat repetitive. Yet, because they have improved and perfected their act so well over the last few years, each gig by The ELO Experience is actually quite unique.
My latest ELO Experience concert at The Prince Of Wales Theatre in Cannock had the effect of not only being again impressed by their set of accurately reproduced ELO hits [and album tracks], but also in the way that Andy Louis went out of their way to promote those twin Jeff Lynne albums: "Long Wave" and "Mr. Blue Sky" - even mentioning that "Mercy Mercy" was Record of the Week over on BBC Radio 2. It was also nice to see that their new tour brochure included the newly written forward by Yours Truly KJS just inside the front cover [see below]:
Whether it be their sublime renditions which include "Telephone Line", "Strange Magic", "Big Wheels", "Latitude 88 North" and even Jeff's "Flashback" re-cut of "Xanadu", or the sight of a fair portion of the excited audience waving their luminous blue glow sticks to the [final] encore of "Mr. Blue Sky", it was [again] a most enjoyable, feel good occasion on account of this live exposition of the ELO songbook. They are a 'must-see' attraction for any ELO fan. You can find out what The ELO Experience are up to via their official web site thus:


Please feel free to explore my previous reviews for the The ELO Experience thus:


ELO Beatles Forever [ELOBF] recommends The ELO Experience to those enlightened folks who enjoy the music of ELO, Jeff Lynne, The Move, Roy Wood, The Idle Race, 'Brum Beat', The Beatles and related artistes.

Until next "Time" in the ELO [and related] Universe ... KJS ... 22-Nov-2012

Wednesday, 21 November 2012

THE ORCHESTRA: RETURNING HOME

Hello ... Hello ... my old friends ... It's great to see you once again! Yours Truly KJS is pleased to hear that The Orchestra [former members of ELO and ELO Part II] will be returning 'home' to the UK next Summer after an absence of far too long. The band, who presently feature Mik Kaminski, Louis Clark, Eric Troyer, Parthenon Huxley, Glen Burtnik and Gordon Townsend, are slated to appear at the Grassington Music Festival in North Yorkhire and the Rewind Festival in Oxfordshire [and possibly other UK venues] thus:

Friday 28th June
"Festival In The Field"
Colvend, Hebden Road, Grassington, Skipton, North Yorkshire, BD23 5LB
Tickets: £25.00 each [standing only]
www.grassington-festival.org.uk/events/the-orchestra-starring-elo-former-members/
www.grassington-festival.org.uk/purchasing-festival-tickets/

Sunday 18th August
"Rewind Henley-on-Thames"
Temple Island Meadows, Remenham Farm, Remenham, Henley-on-Thames, Oxon, RG9 3DB
Day Ticket: £55.00 each [adult]/£27.50 [child]
www.rewindfestival.com/tickets

ELO Beatles Forever [ELOBF] recommends The Orchestra [former members of ELO & ELO Part II] 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 ... 21-Nov-2012

JEFF LYNNE'S ELECTRIC CONTRIBUTION TO SANDY RELIEF ALBUM

Hello ... Hello ... my old friends ... It's great to see you once again! Jeff Lynne is joining both Ringo Starr and Joe Walsh in contributing new tracks to a new album being released in aid of the victims of Hurricane Sandy from Red Hook, south Brooklyn entitled "Songs After Sandy: Friends of Red Hook For Sandy Relief - Volume 1" as mentioned in this report thus:


Ringo Starr's live version of “Wings” [as recorded during the latest All Starr Band tour] is one of the song as is Joe Walsh’s new live version of “Rocky Mountain Way” [which also features Ringo on drums]. Followers of ELO and Jeff Lynne will be interested to find out that the ELO maestro has contributed a "Brand New Electric Version" of "Save Me Now", originally found on Jeff's 1990 debut solo album "Armchair Theatre". In his official press release, Jeff stated:

"This is a brand new electric version of ‘Save Me Now', a song I wrote 22 years ago about this very subject - global warming and the need to listen and be kind to our planet. I wanted to contribute to 'Songs After Sandy' because I feel terrible about what happened, and my heart goes out to all of the people still stuck in it and trying to work through it."

"Songs After Sandy: Friends of Red Hook For Sandy Relief - Volume 1" will be initially available as a pre-order download via Pledge Music for just $15! You can pledge, investigate the track listing and artist roster as well as the project details via these links thus:


ELO Beatles Forever [ELOBF] recommends "Songs After Sandy: Friends of Red Hook For Sandy Relief"  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 ... 21-Nov-2012

Tuesday, 20 November 2012

ELOBF IN PRINT

Hello ... Hello ... my old friends ... It's great to see you once again! It's been very humbling to see that ELO Beatles Forever [ELOBF] have been quoted on the odd occasion in various issues and publications this year. It's not something that Yours Truly KJS actively seeks out but it is nice all the same to see ELOBF in print from "Time" to "Time" thus:
from: "BGO II" by Bubble Gum Orchestra ...
 from: "Return To Paradise" by Fragile X ...
From the latest ELO Experience tour brochure ...
Until next "Time" in the ELO [and related] Universe ... KJS ... 20-Nov-2012

Monday, 19 November 2012

VERDICT REACHED IN MIKE EDWARDS CASE

Hello ... Hello ... my old friends ... It's great to see you once again! A somewhat surprising verdict has been reached in the trial at Plymouth Crown Court with respect to the untimely and unfortunate death of former ELO cellist Mike Edwards [above left]. After two [2] days of considering their verdict, the jury cleared defendants Brian Burden and Russell Williams of the two [2] Health and Safety charges brought against them after a rogue hay bale rolled and then crushed the cab of a vehicle being driven by Mike on the A381 in September 2010, killing him instantly. This report from BBC Devon was published earlier today thus:


ELO Beatles Forever [ELOBF] has actively followed this case to its conclusion and wishes to support Mike's family in calling for new safety rules for hay bale storage to indeed be put in place soon so that this kind of tragedy does not happen again.
Yours Truly KJS and ELO Beatles Forever [ELOBF] would also like to put on record our thanks to my friend Pete Reynolds down in South Devon for his input into my series of articles on the case, as summarized in this ELOBF posting last week:


Until next "Time" in the ELO [and related] Universe ... KJS ... 19-Nov-2012