Friday, 23 June 2017

JEFF LYNNE'S ELO: NEXT STOP WEMBLEY!

Jeff Lynne's ELO @ Sheffield (Photograph courtesy of Kevin Wells)
The Jeff Lynne's ELO spaceship will be landing at the world famous Wembley Stadium in less than 48 hours and elobeatlesforever (elobf) will, of course, be there. By now, most folks will be aware that the 23 song set list from their Sheffield gig on Wednesday 21st June radically changed from that performed in Birmingham last June with four (4) songs dropped and no less than eight (8) songs added.

Yours Truly KJS has decided not to publish the song roster from Sheffield or the above noted changes so as to not spoil the surprise for those going to the show at Wembley on Saturday 24th June and/or Glasgow on Wednesday 28th June and/or Hull on Saturday 1st July. What elobf can say is that the London concert may include more songs and that a familiar ELO icon will make a return.

Yours Truly KJS will be nestled amongst the rows in Block B4 and it would be nice to meet some of the lovely people who perchance occasionally to visit (or even) read elobeatlesforever (elobf)Please say "Hi!" if you bump into me! An elobf review of the events at Wembley will be published by Monday (26th) latest.

JEFF LYNNE'S ELO: JUNE 2017 WEMBLEY DATE + TICKET DETAILS
HEADING FOR THE LIGHT: UK DATES BECKON FOR WILBURY TRIO
SUPPORT IN THE UNIVERSE: TOM CHAPLIN & THE SHIRES
JEFF LYNNE'S ELO: ONE WEEK TO WEMBLEY!

REGARDING RICHARD TANDY

elobeatlesforever (elobf) recommends Jeff Lynne's ELO live at Sheffield, London, Glasgow and Hull to those enlightened folks who enjoy the music of ELO, Jeff Lynne, Roy Wood, The Move, The Idle Race, 'Brum Beat', The Traveling Wilburys, The Beatles and related artistes. See you there?

Until next "Time" in the ELO [and related] Universe ... KJS ... 23-June-2017

Tuesday, 20 June 2017

REGARDING RICHARD TANDY

The initials RT to most folks these days mean 'retweet' but to followers of the Electric Light Orchestra they refer to Richard Tandy, the keyboard maestro who has been at the side of Jeff Lynne for well over four decades. His absence from ELO's recent Rock & Roll Hall of Fame [RRHOF] induction in New York left many fans wondering as to the reason for Richard's non-attendance, particularly as no news has been forthcoming from 'official' channels since.
Recent photos from the Jeff Lynne's ELO practice sessions and even the odd picture from Chris Evan's Dine 'n' Disco fundraiser for BBC Children Need, held last Saturday (17th June) at Chewton Glen in Hampshire (not too far from their rehearsal studio in South East London) do not show RT in his familiar position by the side of Jeff. It therefore seems reasonable (without speculating) to consider the strong possibility that Richard may well not feature during the forthcoming quartet of EJLO dates at Sheffield, London, Glasgow and Hull.
Whilst elobeatlesforever (elobf) and the 70,000 fans expected at Wembley Stadium on Saturday would dearly love to see RT on stage, if he is indeed not there (for whatever the reason), Yours Truly KJS would like to wish Richard all the very best for the future, hoping that he'll be back alongside Jeff in the ELO spaceship soon.

Until next "Time" in the ELO [and related] Universe ... KJS ... 20-June-2017

Saturday, 17 June 2017

JEFF LYNNE'S ELO: ONE WEEK TO WEMBLEY!

Yours Truly KJS and elobeatlesforever (elobf) have been quietly counting down the days to the appearance of Jeff Lynne's ELO and friends at London's iconic Wembley Stadium on Saturday 24th June and their trio of dates in Sheffield, Glasgow and Hull via elobf @ Twitter for almost a year now so it was reassuring to (finally) collect the tickets for the Wembley show this morning, just seven days before what is likely to be one of the gigs of the year.

Jeff Lynne's ELO will, of course, be joined by Tom Chaplin (of Keane fame) for all four dates with The Shires also on the bill at Wembley and Hull for the 2017 leg of the "Alone In The Universe" UK tour. Whilst special unannounced guests might be revealed during the tour, we should not expect to see Jeff's Wilbury brothers Tom Petty and Bob Dylan as they are both currently on tour in the United States and/or Canada.
Yours Truly KJS (and by extension elobf) will be there too, nestled amongst the rows in Block B4. It would be nice to meet some of the lovely people who perchance occasionally to visit (or even) read elobeatlesforever (elobf). Please say "Hi!" if you bump into me! See you there?


elobeatlesforever (elobf) recommends Jeff Lynne's ELO, Tom Chaplin and The Shires live at Sheffield, London, Glasgow and Hull to those enlightened folks who enjoy the music of ELOJeff LynneRoy WoodThe MoveThe Idle Race'Brum Beat'The Traveling WilburysThe Beatles and related artistes.

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

Friday, 16 June 2017

ELO: THE BURBANK YEARS

Between their two year tenure on EMI's Harvest Records imprint from 1971-73 and the beginning of their long association with Jet Records from 1975 onward, the Electric Light Orchestra (ELO) - and, of course, Wizzard - were signed to Warner Bros. Records in the UK. Yet their time on WB and its famous palm tree lined Burbank label marked something of a downturn in both of their fortunes. The botched exit of Wizzard from Harvest to Warner Bros. during the release of "I Wish It Could be Christmas Everyday" in late 1973 quite probably cost it a place at the chart summit alongside Slade and was sadly a sign of things to come.

ELO had enjoyed reasonable album chart success in UK with Harvest with their first two albums reaching #32 and #35 and their first three singles "10538 Overture", "Roll Over Beethoven" and "Showdown" attaining #9, #6 and #12 respectively (The Move also charting regularly with "Tonight", "Chinatown" and "California Man"). However, the first ELO release on WB, the gatefolded "On The Third Day" (K56021) failed to chart with lone single "Ma Ma Ma Belle" (K16349) managing a modest #22 in the singles chart. Even more disappointing was the fact that their much cherished fourth album, their second Warner Bros. release: "Eldorado - A Symphony by The Electric Light Orchestra" (K56090) also failed to chart in their home country as did a foreshortened single edit of "Can't Get It Out Of My Head" (K16510).

Yet, whilst their chart performance here in the UK was stalling, the opposite could be said of their fortunes in the US as a Jeff Lynne led ELO reaped the benefit of the "Do It With The Light On" campaign, relentless touring and their staying with LA based United Artists Records during the same period. Indeed, both "On The Third Day" and "Eldorado" made the Billboard 100 (at #52 and #16), the latter earning ELO their first gold disc whilst the dreamy "Can't Get It Out Of My Head" peaked at an impressive #9 in the US Top 10. The contrast between their growing popularity in the States and their home audience being somewhat unappreciative was stark.

Hoping to build upon their growing reputation as a live act, ELO's concert at Long Beach Auditorium was recorded on Sunday 12th May 1974 and was intended to follow the release of "On The Third Day" but was deemed of insufficient quality to be released in the both the UK and US. "The Night The Light Went On (In Long Beach)" did eventually find release in Germany via Warner Bros. (WB56058) becoming a much sought after import for avid ELO fans - including Yours Truly KJS! Interestingly, three tracks from the abandoned live LP: "10538 Overture", "Daybreaker" and "Showdown" ended up as the 'B' sides to "Evil Woman" (JET764), "Nightrider" (JET769) and "Strange Magic" (JET779), the trio of singles taken from "Face The Music" (JETLP11), after ELO had jumped label again here in the UK and Europe to Jet Records. A repackaged "The Night The Light Went On" finally saw official release in the UK in 1985 via Epic Records (EPC32700).
 Whilst the Ardens concentrated on ELO's American adventures and the rich rewards, their focus and commitment to Wizzard was seemingly inversely proportional. Despite that, Roy Wood still delivered hit singles in the UK before he too switched to Jet Records and found chart success as elusive as ELO had with Warner Brothers. Yet, even with Top 40 hits in "Evil Woman" and "Strange Magic", it took until "A New World Record" in 1976 for ELO to fully find favour with the UK record buying public. If nothing else, ELO's commercial struggle on Warner Bros. served as a remarkable demonstration of the differing markets on either side of the Atlantic. The rest, they say, is history ...

Until next "Time" in the ELO [and related] Universe ... KJS ... 16-June-2017

Saturday, 10 June 2017

RECOMMENDED: MOONRAKER (Gary Frenay)

You may recall that Gary Frenay has been featured here on elobeatlesforever (elobf) not least due to his being a co-founding member of The Flashcubes as well as a renowned musician in his own right. Gary contacted Yours Truly KJS this week on the subject of his contribution to a new album of James Bond themed covers entitled "Bond, Bond Songs" compiled by Andrew Curry, the man who brought us "Drink A Toast To Innocence: A Tribute To Lite Rock" back in 2013.

And, after tackling the immense songbook of Roy Wood with his fellow Flashcubes in their 2012 long player "Sportin' Wood", Gary has now recorded a sublime version of "Moonraker" for the newly released Bond album which oozes the Traveling Wilburys sound with a dab of George Harrison, a touch of Roy Orbison and the production values of Jeff Lynne, thanks to fellow Flashcube Tommy Allen thus:

"Moonraker" by Gary Frenay and "Bond, Bond Songs" can purchased in digital or limited edition 2CD format via these links thus:

currycuts.bandcamp.com/album/songs-bond-songs-the-music-of-007
store.cdbaby.com/cd/songsbondsongsthemusicof

You may also enjoy reading these elobf articles featuring Gary Frenay thus:

REVIEW: SPORTIN' WOOD [The Flashcubes]
INTERVIEW: GARY FRENAY [The Flashcubes]
REVIEW: FILE UNDER POP VOCAL [Gary Frenay]

elobeatlesforever (elobf) recommends "Moonraker" by Gary Frenay and "Bond, Bond Songs" to those enlightened folks who enjoy the music of ELOJeff LynneRoy WoodThe MoveThe Idle Race'Brum Beat', The Traveling WilburysThe Beatles and related artistes.

Until next "Time" in the ELO [and related] Universe ... KJS ... 10-June-2017

Friday, 9 June 2017

VINYL STORY: ELO'S AA SIDE SINGLES

Aside from coloured vinyl, picture discs and 10"/12" singles, one of the marketing techniques invented when single sales were king was the release of double 'AA' sided singles. Instead of the usual 'A' side backed by an obscure (or even familiar) 'B' side, casual record buyers and avid fans were treated to a double whammy making such releases attractive, particularly if they were following successful lead singles in promoting healthy album sales. It therefore came as no surprise to see Jet Records issue two 'AA' side singles in the UK when ELO were at their commercial peak.

Released as the fourth single from ELO's first UK #1 LP "Discovery" following the Top 10 trio of "Shine A Little Love" b/w "Jungle" (SJET144), "The Diary Of Horace Wimp" b/w "Down Home Town" (JET150) and "Don't Bring Me Down" b/w "Dreaming Of 4000" (JET153), the policy worked when "Confusion" and "Last Train To London" (JET166) were twinned together to peak at #8, confirming ELO as one of the biggest selling artistes of 1979, even challenging the supremacy of ABBA.
ELO's second 'AA' single came along following in the wake of their second #1 UK album "Time" in late 1981 in slightly different circumstances. Lead single "Hold On Tight" b/w "When Time Stood Still" (JET7011) was a smash hit peaking at #4 thanks partly to its then budget busting promo video. Both record company and fans both expected second single "Twilight" (JET7015) to also do well but were disappointed when it stalled at #30 despite being backed with the previously unreleased "Julie Don't Live Here". Jet duly rolled out "Ticket To The Moon" and "Here Is The News" (JET7018) as ELO's second 'AA' single (also as a highly desirable 12" picture disc), resulting in a significantly better chart placing of #24. Fourth single "The Way It's Meant To Be" b/w "Wishing" (JET7021) sadly failed to chart signalling the ebbing of ELO's stellar UK singles career.
Unofficial AA: "21st Century Man" was twinned with "Twilight" in France ...
Interestingly, "21st Century Man" and "Twilight" (JET808) were also paired together by Jet in France. Although not specifically described a 'AA' single on the sleeve or label, the release is essentially that although the run-out groove for "Twilight" does state "JET 808 B". One can only wonder what might have happened if "21st Century Man" had been released as a single in the UK, particularly as it is still regarded by many as Jeff Lynne's poignant tribute to John Lennon following his tragic death in November 1980.


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

Monday, 5 June 2017

REVIEW: HOW MUCH MORE? (Ivory Tower Project)

The amazing art of Ed Unitsky adorns the sleeve for the new Ivory Tower Project album "How Much More?"
It's been the best part of a decade while since Ivory Tower Project released their last album "Red Hot" (reviewed here by elobf back in 2012). Essentially the musical vehicle of NYC musicians Mark Regula and Tony Novarro (in the lyrical liaison with the late Johnny Jace), their latest recording "How Much More?" really is a tour de force encompassing a variety of music styles around a core theme of classic American AOR.

There's an eighties flavour here with dance orientated mixes of five tracks from "Red Hot" including a phenomenal funky remix of "Burning" alongside nine new wonderfully crafted guitar driven songs, the majority of which are highly impressive rockers with a sprinkling of ballads plus the sublime instrumental "Surf Song" (see video below) and the rather funky "Woman Of The Times". At times you are listening to a reinvention of classic American rock before being taken on a journey back to the days of extended 12" remixes or an adventure through inspired guitar solos that shout out "Prog Rock!". Yet what has endeared me to this record is the way it combines those qualities under the umbrella of what is essentially a soft rock MOR album with added complexities crammed into almost seventy minutes.

"... an album ... that is a credit to their talent and creativity."

Highlights for me include the epic title track and opener "How Much More?" (replete with almost the last lyrics written by Jace before his passing in 2003), the anthemic "When Friends Become Lovers" (another example of Tony Novarro's excellent guitar licks), "Please Tell Me" (a showcase for Mark Regula's smooth, soulful vocals), the immensely likeable "Woman Of The Times" and (of course) "Surf Song" - a retro sixties instrumental yielding yet another musical surprise. "How Much More?" is a confirmation that the journey that Ivory Tower Project had made through multiple personal tragedies has been worth it. Both Mark Regula and Tony Novarro have put together an album to not only justify their faith in the project but also something that is a credit to their talent and creativity. "How Much More?" by Ivory Tower Project is released worldwide on Tuesday 6th June. A pleasure to listen to and review. (9/10)

Trax (68:02): [01] "How Much More?" (6:35) ~ [02] "The Ides Of March (Et Tu Brute?)" (7:21) ~ [03] "Gotcha" (Full Length Remix) (5:56) ~ [04] "Ring Around Rosie" (3:39) ~ [05] "Way Too Late" (Full Length Remix) (3:52) ~ [06] "Always" (4:52) ~ [07] "When Friends Become Lovers" (3:36) ~ [08] "Please Tell Me" (4:11) ~ [09] "Woman Of The Times" (5:03) ~ [10] "Burning" (Full Length Remix) (4:52) ~ [11] "Surf Song" (2:58) ~ [12] "You Can See It In My Eyes" (Remix) (4:13) ~ [13] "Le Dare Un Anillo A Rosi" (3:29) ~ [14] "My Name" (DJ Distortion Remix) (7:25)

Ivory Tower Project are: Mark Regula (Vox, keys, acoustic guitars, percussion, bass, drums) and Tony Novarro (Guitars, backing vox, bass, drums, percussion, engineering). You can find out more about Ivory Tower Project and/or buy "How Much More?" in CD and/or digital formats via these links thus:


elobeatlesforever (elobf) recommends "How Much More?" by Ivory Tower Project 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 ... 05-June-2017

Saturday, 3 June 2017

CAUGHT LIVE [15]: THE ELO EXPERIENCE @ LEICESTER 02/06/17

The ELO Experience embarked on their Summer tour at the classy and somewhat impressive 2,200 capacity De Montfort Hall in Leicester last night (Friday 2nd June) as a near full house were treated to an electric light fantastic journey through not only the hits but also a wonderful exposition of two thirds of ELO's iconic 1977 "Out Of The Blue" double album as the Hull based octet celebrated the 40th anniversary of its release in some style.

Andy Louis (once again on top form following his health scare), Steve Hemsley, Andy Lawson and their talented troupe have developed a show over the years that has ticked all the boxes for fans of the Electric Light Orchestra and Jeff Lynne, setting the standard for all ELO tribute bands. But after this gig their reputation was surely further enhanced if not into the stratosphere as they performed songs not only never heard before by Yours Truly KJS but also never played live ever by ELO themselves.

I had to pinch myself as I saw and heard "Night In The City", "Starlight" and "Believe Me Now" live for the first time alongside "Steppin' Out", "Across The Border", "Summer And Lightning" and "Standin' In The Rain" as well as those familiar OOTB hit singles. Add into the mix the fact that a good selection of ELO singles from "10538 Overture" to "When I Was A Boy" were also there and you were witness to as inspired a collection of ELO classics in twenty eight songs as could be squeezed into a set. I loved this concert - the venue too - and elobeatlesforever (elobf) heartily suggests that ELO fans and admirers go see The ELO Experience and their show, especially in its present format, if you are so able. (10/10)

The ELO Experience performed: "All Over The World", "Evil Woman", "Telephone Line", "The Diary Of Horace Wimp", "Shine A Little Love", "Starlight", "Xanadu", "Believe Me Now", "Steppin' Out", "Showdown", "When I Was A Boy", "Wild West Hero", "Confusion", "Livin' Thing" ~ Intermission ~ "Standin' In The Rain", "Sweet Talkin' Woman", "Summer And Lightning", "Across The Border", "Night In The City", "10538 Overture", "Turn To Stone", "Last Train To London", "Rock 'n' Roll Is King", "Rockaria!", "Hold On Tight", "Roll Over Beethoven", "Don't Bring Me Down", "Mr. Blue Sky"

The ELO Experience were: Andy Louis (Lead vocals/guitar), Steve Hemsley (Keyboards/vocals), Pete Smith (Bass guitar/vocals), Jan Christiansen (Lead guitar/vocals), Tony Lawson (Drums), Liz Stacey (Violin), Clare Little (Cello/Twitter*) and Alex Marshall (Cello)

The ELO Experience continue to tour the UK extensively and you can view all their Tour Dates, sign their Guest Book and find out what they are currently up to via their official sites thus:


elobeatlesforever (elobf) recommends The ELO Experience to those enlightened folks who enjoy the music of ELO, Jeff Lynne, The Move, Roy Wood, The Idle Race, The Beatles, 'Brum Beat' and all related artistes.

Until next "Time" in the ELO [and related] Universe ... KJS ... 03-June-2017

Friday, 2 June 2017

CAUGHT LIVE [5]: STAND UP & ROCK! @ WOLVERHAMPTON 01/06/17

Yours Truly KJS took a second look at the 2017 version of Stand Up & Rock! alongside my good friend (and leading light in elobf recommended The 286) Spencer Hannabuss as Jasper Carrott and Bev Bevan rock and rolled into Wolverhampton's iconic Grand Theatre last night (Thursday 1st June).

Whereas the songs were the same as per the show in Telford (see elobf review here), a full house and a polished performance both by legendary comedian Jasper Carrott and best pal Bev Bevan with his most excellent musical troupe ensured another hugely entertaining night of laughter and some superb renditions of classics largely from the Sixties and Seventies. Stand Up & Rock! is truly a show that you can watch again and again yet still leave with a smile on your face after having a great time - even if your 6' 4" frames cannot squeeze into somewhat limited legroom! Needless to say, there's plenty in this show to please fans of ELO and The Beatles.
It was also great to see Spencer meet one of his musical heroes in Bev Bevan after the show whereupon you can be assured that Bev was more than adequately congratulated re: his recent RRHOF award (once again, many thanx to Musical Director Tony Kelsey). There are still plenty of Stand Up & Rock! shows for you to consider going to see during the remainder of 2017 thus:

Malvern Forum Theatre (Wednesday 21st to Friday 23rd June)
Shrewsbury Theatre Severn (Monday 26th to Wednesday 28th June)
Cheshire Gawsworth Hall (Friday 21st July)
Torquay Princess Theatre (Sunday 23rd July)
Weston-super-Mare Playhouse Theatre (Monday 24th to Tuesday 25th July)
Leicestershire Kilworth House (Thursday 27th to Friday 28th July)
Great Yarmouth Britannia Pier Theatre (Saturday 29th July)
Norwich Holt Festival (Sunday 30th July)
Shanklin Theatre (Sunday 24th September)
Chesterfield Winding Wheel (Friday 29th September)
High Wycombe Swan Theatre (Sunday 1st October)
Lichfield Garrick Theatre (Wednesday 4th to Saturday 7th October)
Weymouth Pavilion Theatre (Wednesday 11th October)
Poole Lighthouse Theatre (Thursday 12th October)
King's Lynn Corn Exchange (Tuesday 17th October)
Peterborough East of England Arena (Friday 20th October)
Chatham Brook & Central Theatre (Sunday 22nd October)
Basingstoke Anvil Theatre (Wednesday 25th October)
Buxton Opera House (Wednesday 8th November)
Llandudno Theatre Cymru (Thursday 9th November)
Aylesbury Waterside Theatre (Tuesday 14th November)
Guildford G Live Theatre (Friday 17th November)
Northampton Royal & Derngate Theatre (Wednesday 22nd November)
Clacton Princess Theatre (Tuesday 28th November)
Southend Cliffs Pavilion (Wednesday 29th November)
St. Albans Arena (Friday 1st December)
Southampton Mayflower Theatre (Sunday 3rd December)
Stratford Arts House (Wednesday 6th to 8th December)

elobeatlesforever (elobf) usually include a set list within our gig reviews but on this occasion we've decided to keep you in suspense to encourage you to go see the show (where it's not already sold out) so as to not spoil the theatrical pleasure of later attendees.  Stand Up & Rock! in 2017 featured Jasper Carrott, Bev BevanPhil Tree, Tony Kelsey, Abby Brant, Geoff Turton and Suzi Woo. Find out more about Stand Up & Rock! via these links thus:


elobeatlesforever (elobf) recommends Stand Up & Rock! 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 ... 02-June-2017

Sunday, 28 May 2017

VINYL REMINDER: TOM PETTY (Produced by Jeff Lynne)

Yours Truly KJS has received a couple of timely Tom Petty themed nudges over the weekend from my good friends and intrepid record collectors Paul Scott in Birmingham and Dave Jones in Derby. Paul sent me a photo on Saturday morning of our newly arrived tickets for the Tom Petty gig at Hyde Park in London on Sunday 9th July (Paul will be graciously putting up with me all day!) and that followed a brief chat with Dave on Friday night whereupon he reminded me that the Jeff Lynne co-produced albums "Full Moon Fever" (1989) and "Into The Great Wide Open" (1991) are set for release in 180g black vinyl next Friday 2nd June - alongside six other Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers classics including "Southern Accents" and "Damn The Torpedoes". This, of course, follows the release of the other Jeff Lynne produced Tom Petty album "Highway Companion" in 2LP format back on Friday 21st April. Orders and/or pre-orders for this trio of JL produced TP LP's can be placed via these links thus:

You can find out more about Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers and their current 40th Anniversary World Tour via their official web site thus:

www.tompetty.com

elobeatlesforever (elobf) recommends "Full Moon Fever", "Into The Great Wide Open" and "Highway Companion" by Tom Petty to those enlightened folks who enjoy the music of ELOJeff Lynne, Tom Petty, The Traveling WilburysRoy WoodThe MoveThe Idle Race'Brum Beat'The Beatles and related artistes.

Until next "Time" in the ELO [and related] Universe ... KJS ... 28-May-2017

Saturday, 27 May 2017

CAUGHT LIVE: TAKE THAT @ LIVERPOOL 22/05/17

Take That: Tripping the (electric) light fantastic in Liverpool ...
This elobeatlesforever (elobf) article is dedicated to those affected by the tragic events in Manchester that occurred just after this concert ended in Liverpool on the night of Monday 22nd May.

This was a hard review to write for obvious reasons ... but here goes. Gary Barlow is rightly appreciated by ELO fans for having played a pivotal role in the return of Jeff Lynne to playing live and recording again under the moniker of Jeff Lynne's ELO by persuading the ELO maestro to appear at BBC Children In Need Rocks! back in November 2013. He then promptly lent him the Take That touring band thereafter and invited Jeff to produce the track "Fall Down At Your Feet" on their "III" album back in 2014. It was therefore an easy decision for Yours Truly KJS to return to Liverpool's Echo Arena on Monday 22nd May to see and hear Take That for myself on their "Wonderland" tour, not forgetting that elobeatlesforever (elobf) had also lauded their "Beautiful World" comeback album and tour in 2009 here and here.
Take That: In the round ...
First things first: Take That were preceded by a powerful and professional set by All Saints (a supremely successful act in their own right) that included their five chart toppers, my faves being "Never Ever""Pure Shores", "Under The Bridge", "Black Coffee" and the more recent "One Strike". A real bonus and an inspired choice of support.
All Saints: Tryin' a l'il "Black Coffee" ...
And what of the trio from "Mancunian Way" who are Take That in 2017?  This was my first concert in the round and it was truly the perfect stage for a concert that oozed entertainment switching effortlessly from performance to dance to multi-media projection to performance again with twenty five songs spanning the now lengthy career of a group who have reinvented themselves into something of a national institution - judging from the amazing crowd reaction alone. This was a show with Gary Barlow, Mark Owen and Howard Donald jumping (sometimes literally) from set to set and song to song aided and abetted by a remarkable troupe of performers and dancers and, as expected, their most excellent band musically directed by Mike Stevens with fellow EJLO cohorts Marcus Byrne, Milton McDonald, Lee Pomeroy and Donavan Hepburn also in attendance plus Ben Mark.
Take That: Relighting their fires ...
The majority of a balanced set list featured songs from new album "Wonderland" drawing also from the excellent "Beautiful World" onward with a fair selection of classics from their incarnation first time around. The acoustic medley of "Beautiful World"/"Wait"/"Satisfied"/"Lovelife" with its eastern theme was a surprise and a highlight. If you'd have told me that I'd be at a Take That concert twenty years ago, I'd have laughed at you but tunes such as "Back For Good" and "Never Forget" held up well with later mega-hits "Patience", "Rule The World", "Greatest Day", "The Flood", "These Days" and "Giants". Perhaps it was pure prophecy when "Shine" was written with its huge ELO references (not forgetting the use of part of "Concerto For A Rainy Day" as a preamble in earlier tours) that those links with Jeff Lynne would bear so much fruit a few years later but "Shine" remains my fave TT track and hearing it live for the first time reinforced that view - especially as a fair portion of Jeff Lynne's ELO played it. You therefore won't be surprised to read that here in Yours Truly 2017, I quite like Take That. Go see 'em!
Take That performed 25 songs: "Wonderland" ~ "Greatest Day" ~ "Get Ready For It" ~ "Giants" ~ "Kidz" ~ "Underground Machine" ~ "Relight My Fire" ~ "Superstar" ~ "Hope" ~ "Beautiful World" ~ "Wait" ~ "Satisfied" ~ "Lovelife" ~ "How Deep Is Your Love?" ~ "New Day" ~ "Shine" ~ "Back For Good" ~ "Patience" ~ "Pray" ~ "It's All For You" ~ "The Flood" ~ "Cry" ~ "These Days" ~ "Never Forget" ~ "Rule The World"

elobeatlesforever (elobf) recommends both "Shine" and Take That 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 ... 27-May-2017

Thursday, 25 May 2017

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

Fans of Roy Orbison, Jeff Lynne and The Traveling Wilburys can look forward to a new album from The Big O later this year when "A Love So Beautiful: Roy Orbison with The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra" is released on Friday 3rd November via Sony Music/Roy's Boys LLC in CD, vinyl and digital formats. Produced by Don Reedman and Nick Patrick - the same duo who oversaw the hugely successful "If I Can Dream: Elvis Presley with The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra" and "The Wonder of You: Elvis Presley with The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra" - it will be interesting to hear the vocals of one of the greatest singer/songwriters of all time given the ultimate in orchestral treatment with additional contributions by Roy's sons Wesley, Alex and Roy Jr. as well as Roy's grandson Roy III!

"A Love So Beautiful: Roy Orbison with The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra" will consist of these fifteen (15) tracks covering most of Roy's extensive recording career thus: "In Dreams" ~ "Crying" ~ "I'm Hurtin’" ~ "Oh, Pretty Woman" ~ "It's Over" ~ "Dream Baby" ~ "Blue Angel" ~ "Love Hurts" ~ "Uptown" ~ "Mean Woman Blues" ~ "Only The Lonely" ~ "Running Scared" ~ "I Drove All Night" ~ "You Got It" ~ "A Love So Beautiful"

Particularly appealing to Yours Truly KJS is the inclusion of my personal fave "Blue Angel" and the trio of tracks that, of course, originally featured ELO maestro Jeff Lynne: "I Drove All Night" plus "You Got It" and "A Love So Beautiful" from "Mystery Girl". Pre-orders for "A Love So Beautiful: Roy Orbison with The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra" can presently be placed via these links thus:

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

Until next "Time" in the ELO [and related] Universe ... KJS ... 25-May-2017

Saturday, 20 May 2017

REVIEW: WALL TO WALL (Dave Scott-Morgan)

Aside from his assured place in 'Brum Beat' folklore and a successful songwriting career (including, of course, a stint with Jeff Lynne and ELO betwixt "Time" and "Balance Of Power") and when he's teaching folks to fly "On A Plane", Dave Scott-Morgan is first and foremost a pastor, teacher and evangelist. One of the thrills of running elobeatlesforever (elobf) is that Yours Truly KJS sometimes gets to listen to the odd advance release and publish my thoughts and opinions on those recordings. So when a copy of Dave's forthcoming new album of Christian themed songs arrived literally in a "Letter From Spain" recently, courtesy of my good friend Luis Miguel Alcalá Ortiz, my interest was indeed piqued.

"Wall To Wall" is a nine track sampler with a strong Gospel message underpinned by some truly inspired songs. With hints of ELO (naturally) throughout alongside the familiar rasping voice of DSM as well as some catchy guitar riffs and lush keyboard and vocal arrangements, listening to "Wall To Wall" with its witty yet challenging lyrics (particularly if you are of a Judeo-Christian disposition) is also a hugely enjoyable musical experience at the same time.

"... an album that has had heart, soul and life experience poured into it."

Reassuring ELOesque opener "It's Alright" instantly grabs your attention followed by a musical interpretation of "Numbers 23" with a smooth bluegrass intro and, at times, with a Chris Rea feel to it reminding the listener of the validity of God's promises. "Jabez" (a renowned character whose heartfelt prayer is found in I Chronicles chapter 4) is also given a musical outing next replete with its a cappella interludes. "No One Else" is a guitar driven laced testimonial rocker followed in the same vein by the more sedate title track proclaiming the goodness of God. The classy acoustic take on the familiar "Abide With Me" also impresses as does "The Jeremiah Tree" (both have a definite Dylan feel to them). "Matthew 24" tackles the subject of the Second Coming as cited in The Olivet Discourse and is carried by more folksy-bluesy guitar riffs, being a Christian call to arms for what the Bible terms the Last Days before the dreamy "All True Love" looks forward to the eternal state. This is an album that should appeal to those who enjoy the musical outpourings of both ELO, Dave Scott-Morgan and Morganisation - whatever their current worldview happens to be. "Wall To Wall" sounds and feels like an album that has had heart, soul and life experience poured into it. (10/10)

Trax (31:06): "It's Alright" (3:22) ~ "Numbers 23" (3:39) ~ "Jabez" (3:43) ~ "No One Else" (3:44) ~ "Wall To Wall" (2:39) ~ "Abide With Me" (2:28) ~ "The Jeremiah Tree" (3:42) ~ "Matthew 24" (3:47) ~ "All True Love" (4:02)

"Wall To Wall" is due for release later this year. In the meantime, you can find out more about Dave Scott-Morgan and/or Morganisation and/or buy selected tracks from "Wall To Wall" in digital format via these links thus:

www.scottmorgan.co.uk  mandy016.wixsite.com/davescottmorgan
www.123mga.com/wp2016   mandy016.wixsite.com/mysite
earthrise-tm.blogspot.com   twitter.com/_morganisation   twitter.com/zn102
www.youtube.com/davescottmorgan   soundcloud.com/davescottmorgan

elobeatlesforever (elobf) recommends "Wall To Wall" by Dave Scott-Morgan 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 ... 20-May-2017

Friday, 19 May 2017

ERIC TROYER: CLASSIC VIDEO CAMEO UNCOVERED

Eric Troyer is a familiar name to fans and followers of ELO Part II and The Orchestra (former members of ELO & ELO Part II). As a co-founder member of ELO Part II alongside Bev Bevan, Pete Haycock and Neil Lockwood, Eric is responsible for a large proportion of the songs recorded by ELO Part II and The Orchestra including their sole charting UK single "Honest Men", "1000 Eyes" and many more. Yet many folks don't realize that the career of the Elkhart, Indiana born musical journeyman extends far beyond the twenty six (26) years of his performing the music of Jeff Lynne and the Electric Light Orchestra on stage.

Aside from his minor hit "Mirage" b/w "Meet Me At Midnight" (Chrysalis #CHS2445) in 1980, Eric has worked on albums with the likes of John Lennon ("Double Fantasy"), Billy Joel ("An Innocent Man"), Bonnie Tyler ("Faster Than The Speed Of Night"), Meat Loaf ("Bat Out Of Hell II"), Jim Steinman ("Bad For Good"), Julian Lennon ("Valotte") and Celine Dion ("Falling Into You") et al. In fact, it was the legendary Jim Steinman, with whom Eric has been associated for very many years, who recommended that Eric join ELO Part II back in the day (Steinman was reportedly being lined up as producer for their first album at the time). Which leads me to the reason for this elobf article.
Hence, not only has Eric appeared on many a well known album and been a long time cohort of Jim Steinman, he can also be found in a certain classic eighties music video. And if you look carefully in the above video for "Dead Ringer For Love" by Meat Loaf - also starring (of course) Cher - you'll find Eric in the background dusting down the bar!
KJS with Eric @ Sheffield, February 2014
Some call it trivia but it's something that has always bemused Yours Truly KJS and others when I've pointed it out to fans and general music enthusiasts alike. "Honest Men" remains my fave ELO Part II song to this day, being the subject of these (and other) elobf articles down the years:

CALLING ALL HONEST MEN [1]   CALLING ALL HONEST MEN [2]
CHART TRAGEDY: HONEST MEN

Until next "Time" in the ELO [and related] Universe ... KJS ... 19-May-2017

Tuesday, 16 May 2017

WELCOME TO THE ELO SHOW

A measure of the popularity of the music of ELO and Jeff Lynne is the incredible rise in the number of ELO tribute bands in the UK in recent years. Brian Cummins contacted elobeatlesforever (elobf) earlier this year to introduce his new project: The ELO Show. Having been privy to some impressive rehearsal recordings, Yours Truly KJS asked Brian, born and bred in Liverpool, about his career to date and The ELO Show in this recent mini-interview thus:

KJS: Please tell me about The ELO Show?
BC: We started rehearsals as The ELO Show earlier this year in preparation of our launch show in November at the O2 Academy here in Liverpool. The band consists mainly of members from established Genesis tribute show The Carpet Crawlers including Raymond Pitt, Chris Watt and Daniel Saleh so hopefully we will be able to do justice to ELO's amazing legacy of songs. We'll also be joined by four ladies who've also worked with the Liverpool Philharmonic on violin and cello.
KJS: What do you feel will attract ELO fans to your shows?
BC: A big factor of the band's appeal will I'm sure will be the production values that we will bring from our Genesis shows including lighting, sound and a top class stage crew.
KJS: You've been an ELO fan since childhood. How excited are you about this project?
BC: I cannot wait to launch this new project! I'm a bit of a chameleon of a vocalist having toured the world performing with some of  my musical heroes such as The Mick Pointer Band (performing the early material of Marillion as 'Fish'), The Security Project USA (performing the early solo material of Peter Gabriel with members of Peter's band and King Crimson) and solo with my 'Plays Live' show. I'm already counting down the days to November!
KJS: The transition from playing the music of Genesis to that of ELO must be interesting?
BC: A lot of work has already gone into this project and it's fantastic music to play, quite tricky but nowhere near as intense as some of the Genesis stuff so we are all just smiling at each other as we play these beautiful songs. I've grown up with a lot of this material since a kid. Obviously coming from Liverpool means that The Beatles are instilled in us from birth, so to play this stuff live really is a dream come true. I'm positive the ELO and Jeff fans (and music fans in general) will enjoy the night.
KJS: Finally - for the "Time" being - how can folks find out more about The ELO Show?
BC: Right now we have a Facebook page at www.facebook.com/TheEloShow and our new web site is coming soon!

The ELO Show perform at The O2 Academy in Liverpool on Friday 10th November. Tickets are priced at £17.50 each (plus booking fee) and can be purchased via these links thus:

seetickets.com/event/the-elo-show/o2-academy-liverpool
academymusicgroup.com/events/962204/elo-show-tickets

Find out more about The ELO Show via their official sites thus:

www.facebook.com/TheEloShow

elobeatlesforever (elobf) recommends The ELO Show 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 ... 16-May-2017