Thursday, 18 June 2015

PICTURE THIS: ELO'S JET PICTURE DISCS

Hello ... Hello ... my old friends ... It's great to see you once again! The fourth in a series of ELO Beatles Forever [ELOBF] articles looking at the tenure of ELO at Jet Records. For a band that released twelve [12] original studio albums between 1971-1986 [if you include the "Xanadu" OST] and multiple singles, compilations, boxed sets and some very attractive limited coloured vinyl editions at that "Time", there were remarkably few picture discs issued by Jet during the tenure of ELO between 1975-1983, specifically their commercial peak, save for just two items.
Also a picture sleeve for "The Way Life's Meant To Be" in Europe ...
Following on from the disappointing UK chart performance of "Twilight" [#JET7015; #30], Jet released a AA sided third single from the "Time" album in late 1981 featuring "Ticket To The Moon" and "Here Is The News" [#JET7018; #24] and to promote it, a 12" picture disc [#JETP12018] was issued, much to the delight of stalwart ELO fans and collectors. It was a significant release as the first two singles from "Time" were only issued on 7" with picture sleeves.
Both Sides Now: Spot the difference?
ELO's second [and final] picture disc was an intriguing 7" [#WA3720] issued to promote their second single [#A3720; #48] from the "Secret Messages" album in Summer 1983 [being, of course, the title track from that album]. The picture disc included a competition to win a personalized gold LP "Secret Messages" disc, two 7" silver discs and 25 "Secret Messages" LP's by identifying a line from a certain ELO song using the four clues presented in the picture disc.
Know the answer? Were you a winner?
Stay tuned to ELOBF as the answer to this three decade old quiz will be explained and revealed by Yours Truly KJS in a future article, that is if you can't work it out for yourself! ELO Beatles Forever [ELOBF] would, of course, love to hear from any of the winners of the above competition.
Thereafter, fans of ELO & Jeff Lynne did get to see Jeff Lynne's solo single "Video" from the "Electric Dreams" OST in 1984 [Virgin #VSY695]. The only other ELO related picture disc that comes to mind is the 1980 US 10" withdrawn promo picture disc [#MC10384] of "Xanadu", an item which still attains bids of several thousand dollars every time one turns up on eBay and was recently named as the #1 collectible by Record Collector magazine [see this ELOBF article].
Hence, amidst all those lovely ELO coloured vinyl issues and rarities [new and old], their official picture discs remain distinct and attractive to all ELO fans and collectors. Should you be interested, my previous articles in this series looking at the tenure of ELO at Jet Records can be viewed via these links thus:

ON THE FLIP SIDE: ELO'S JET 'B' SIDES
TAKEN FROM THE ALBUM: ELO'S JET 'B' SIDES
A NEW WORLD RECORD: ELO'S JET 'B' SIDES

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

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