Thursday, 23 November 2017

Review: Silverlake (Pugwash)

What "Do Ya" get if Dublin's finest adds a little of Brum's finest with Liverpool's finest and Swindon's finest and then sprinkles a spot of Californian West Coast sonic excellence over the whole affair? The answer (if you hadn't already guessed) is the new Pugwash long player "Silverlake" (Lojinx LJX111).

For this album at least, Pugwash is now essentially the affable and extremely talented Thomas Walsh alongside the equally legendary LA based musician cum producer Jason Falkner. Funded and delivered as a result of a successful pledge campaign, "Silverlake" is a tour de force of those familiar Pugwash hooks, melodies and genial lyrics that we've all come to love, this time overlaid with a classic Power Pop vibe. From the first notes of the perfect pop of opener "The Perfect Summer" through to the manic psychedelia of bonus track "Deeper Deeper", this is an album full of addictive tunes oozing Tom's major musical influences of ELO/Jeff Lynne, XTC and The Beatles (to name a few). If lead single "The Perfect Summer" doesn't grab you then "What Are You Like" and "Easier Done Than Said" are likely to with its catchy if not infectious guitars and those superb vocals. "Why Do I" is another belter (which will appeal to those who also enjoy XTC) as is the anthemic "Without You".

There's room here also for acoustic ballads "Better Than Nothing At All", "Such A Shame" and "Sunshine True", the latter which almost has a Norwegian Wood feel to it with its inspired string arrangement. The haunting "Autarch" has an early ELO if not late Beatles (or even Move) feel to it and, as mentioned earlier, "Deeper Deeper" is sheer fun! "Silverlake" should appeal to a wide range of music connoisseurs aside from the growing, loyal band of Pugwash admirers. If ever there were an artiste deserving of major success and recognition, then Thomas Walsh and Pugwash should be right at the top of the list. And if there were ever a record that deserves your attention and a decent slot in the album charts, then this it! ★★★★

Trax: "The Perfect Summer" ~ "What Are You Like" ~ "Why Do I" ~ "Better Than Nothing At All" ~ "Without You" ~ "Sunshine True" ~ "Everyone Knows That You're Mine" ~ "Make It Yourself" ~ "Such A Shame" ~ "Easier Done Than Said" ~ "Autarch" ~ "Deeper Deeper" (Bonus)

See also: Recommended: Pugwash New Album Kickstarter Campaign

"Silverlake" by Pugwash is released on Friday 24th November (vinyl edition follows two weeks later on Friday 8th December) and is available to buy via these links thus:

www.lojinx.com/releases/pugwash/silverlake
www.amazon.co.uk/Silverlake-Pugwash/dp/B075TR2PWJ
www.amazon.com/Silverlake-Pugwash/dp/B075TR2PWJ

elobeatlesforever (elobf) recommends "Silverlake" by Pugwash to those enlightened folks who love ELOJeff LynneRoy Wood'Brum Beat'The Idle RaceThe MoveThe Beatles and related artistes.

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

Monday, 20 November 2017

Jeff Lynne's ELO: Wembley Or Bust Hits UK Top 10

The Official Midweek Album Chart has just revealed that "Wembley Or Bust" by Jeff Lynne's ELO is nicely placed at #5 (see above) in the UK Top 10. This is an excellent performance for the live set and follows the success of "Alone In The Universe", which entered the Midweek Chart back in 2015 at #3 before being confirmed at #4 in its first week. ELO's million plus selling compilation "All Over The World" is also holding on tight at #70.

It'll be interesting to see how the 3LP set will also fare later this week in the Official Vinyl Chart. In the meantime, Yours truly KJS looks forward to seeing "Wembley Or Bust" confirmed in the upper reaches of the Official Album Chart later this week on Friday 24th November at 5:45PM ...

See also: Chart Expectations: Wembley Or Bust
See also: Review: Wembley Or Bust (Jeff Lynne's ELO)
See also: November Release Rush for ELO & Roy Orbison
See also: Recommended: Wembley Or Bust (Jeff Lynne's ELO)


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

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

Saturday, 18 November 2017

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Friday, 17 November 2017

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

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

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


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

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

Monday, 13 November 2017

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

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

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

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


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

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


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

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

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

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

Saturday, 11 November 2017

Chart Expectations: Wembley Or Bust

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


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

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

Thursday, 9 November 2017

LEGO Idea: ELO Spaceship Needs Your Support For Launch!

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

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

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


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

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

Tuesday, 7 November 2017

Two Million Thanx!

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

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

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

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

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

Monday, 6 November 2017

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sunday, 5 November 2017

Roy Wood Day: Wednesday 8th November

Following on from last years minor controversy as to the actual age of The Move, ELO and Wizzard founder Roy Wood, a very special day is forthcoming on Wednesday 8th November 2017 when the man affectionately called Woody celebrates his 70th birthday by performing on the night with his Rock & Roll Band at Glasgow's Pavilion Theatre. My good friend John Collins (who is also proprietor of the excellent Forever web site) has come up with a great idea to both congratulate and raise the profile of this acclaimed singer, songwriter, producer, multi-instrumentalist, musical icon and recent RRHOF inductee.

The suggestion is for fans and admirers to contact their local radio stations and media outlets to request that they play and/or feature the songs of Dr. Roy Wood this coming week, specifically on Wednesday. You might also consider asking them to play something other than a certain Christmas hit so that listeners can appreciate the other pages in Roy's immense songbook ...

If you are so minded and in agreement, let's do this!

AN APPRECIATION OF ROY WOOD
CHRISTMAS CLASSICS: HOW WIZZARD & SLADE COMPARE
ROY WOOD: RED E 2 ROCK TOUR DATES 2017
ROY WOOD: ROCKMAS 2017 REVEALED + TICKETS
SEVENTY SOON: ROY WOOD & JEFF LYNNE

Yours Truly KJS and elobeatlesforever (elobf) continue to recommend Roy Wood to those enlightened folks who enjoy the music of ELO, Jeff Lynne, Wizzard, The Move, The Idle Race, 'Brum Beat', The Beatles and related artistes.

Until next "Time" in the ELO [and related] Universe ... KJS ... 05-Nov-2017

Friday, 3 November 2017

The Diary of Jeff Lynne: Wembley Or Bust

The promotional juggernaut for "Wembley Or Bust" is now up and running as Jeff Lynne's ELO and Sony Music (via RCA in the UK) build towards the official release date of Friday 17th November in just two weeks time. The ELO maestro flew into the UK the other day in advance of a flurry of corporate engagements, media appearances and a world premiere (more on that below) before he returns to the States for a screening of the film in LA next week. Yours Truly KJS and elobeatlesforever (elobf) thought it would be worthwhile to compile this unofficial diary of the forthcoming events for you to peruse thus:

Monday 6th November
Jeff Lynne's ELO will perform at a gala ceremony held in aid of the BRIT Trust and Nordoff Robbins in The Great Room, Grosvenor House Hotel, London where Sony Music CEO Rob Stringer will receive the prestigious Music Industry Trusts Award.
www.gq-magazine.co.uk/article/rob-stringer-interview-mits-award

Tuesday 7th November 
Following a live Q&A session with Jeff, the worldwide premiere of "Wembley Or Bust" will be held at The Electric Cinema in London. A competition to win a pair of tickets to attend this not-to-be-missed event is being run by Sony Music (UK) via this link thus:
forms.sonymusicfans.com/?forms=elo_comp_2017_11_02%2F&ss=0

Wednesday 8th November
Jeff will be getting to the point during Simon Mayo's Drivetime show on BBC Radio 2 just after 6:00PM.

Thursday 16th November
Jeff will attend a sold-out intimate screening of "Wembley Or Bust" at The Clive Davis Theatre within the Grammy Museum in Los Angeles followed by a Q&A session.
www.grammymuseum.org/events/detail/jeff-lynne

Friday 17th November
Worldwide release of "Wembley Or Bust" by Jeff Lynne's ELO in multiple formats!
elobeatlesforever.blogspot.co.uk/2017/10/recommended-wembley-or-bust-jeff-lynnes.html
elobeatlesforever (elobf) recommends "Wembley Or Bust" by Jeff Lynne's ELO to those enlightened folks who love ELOJeff LynneRoy Wood'Brum Beat'The Idle RaceThe Traveling WilburysThe MoveThe Beatles and related artistes.

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

Sunday, 29 October 2017

ELO: The Eagle Years

If ever there were a label that has sought to keep generating interest in the music of classic and modern ELO - particularly when Jeff Lynne had parked up the ELO spaceship both before and after the release of "Zoom" in 2001 - then it has to be Eagle Rock Entertainment with a flurry of notable CD releases in the late nineties and some essential DVD and Blu-Ray issues since.

Whereas it could be said that it was naive to lift the soundtrack from ELO's famed 1978 Wembley show straight onto CD, their quintet of releases during 1998-1999 remain much sought after items with prices for the now ultra-rare "The BBC Sessions" and "Live At BBC Sessions" occasionally going for significant amounts on a certain online auction site. Their "Friends And Relatives" 2CD compilation contained many tracks previously not found in digital form and fills many a gap in the record collection of Yours Truly KJS even now.  Note also that "Live At Winterland '76" was still being licensed from their somewhat controversial former manager Don Arden at this point, as was "Live At Wembley '78".

The advent of the aforementioned "Zoom" and the subsequent relaunches of ELO thereafter saw the remastering and repackaging of the entire ELO back catalogue after Jeff Lynne assumed full control of the ELO brand in 1999, with Eagle Rock switching their attention to the visual aspect of ELO material. Their "Out Of The Blue" Wembley show was paired with the promotional film for "Discovery" by Eagle Vision on DVD at first with the same concert later put out in 2006 with improved DTS, Dolby 5.1 and PCM stereo as well as a nice reproduction of the original 1978 world tour programme. Four years later, Eagle Vision squeezed footage from Brunel University (1973), Rockpalast (1974) and "Fusion" (1976) into the impressive "Live: The Early Years".
Not listed: "Out Of The Blue Tour: Live At Wembley" and "Discovery" were also released in VHS format ...
The Wembley charity concert finally made its debut on Blu-Ray (together with most of "Live: The Early Years" as a bonus) in 2015 hitting #1 in the Official Music Video Chart before Eagle Vision caught up with Jeff Lynne's ELO, releasing the "Live In Hyde Park" spectacular (with "Mr. Blue Sky: The Story of Jeff Lynne & ELO" as a not-to-be-missed bonus) before going on to top said chart (again) for six weeks whilst staying therein for 15 months. Eagle Rock Entertainment have played a significant part in keeping the interest in ELO going for fans and the general public alike over the last two decades and, as far as elobeatlesforever (elobf) is concerned, they should be congratulated for doing so.

Note that the forthcoming "Wembley Or Bust" album will include video footage of Jeff Lynne's ELO gig in June as part of the deluxe package as opposed to a separate DVD/Blu-Ray release.

A request therefore is presented to Eagle Vision by this writer: Please can you consider putting out that iconic Electric Light Orchestra Part Two concert with The Moscow Symphony Orchestra at Birmingham NEC in May 1991 (Telstar #TVE1037) on DVD and/or Blu-Ray?


Until next "Time" in the ELO [and related] Universe ... KJS ... 29-Oct-2017

Thursday, 26 October 2017

Petty Thinking: Wilburys Mourn TP + Learning To Fly

Almost a month has elapsed since the tragic passing of Tom Petty on Monday 2nd October and still it is difficult to get my head around it. Indeed, Yours Truly KJS picked up a pristine vinyl copy of fellow Wilburys brother Roy Orbison's fab 1989 gatefolded LP "Mystery Girl" last weekend. And there, of course, on side one was the name of Tom Petty alongside Jeff Lynne and Roy as co-writer of "You Got It" and "California Blue". Wherever I go, I just can't escape TP.

The news that Bob Dylan paid tribute to Tom in performing "Learning To Fly" with his band as an encore on Saturday 21st October in Denver, Colorado was also of note. Both happenings had me looking back to the beginning of the month to read again the words of Bob Dylan and Jeff Lynne as they paid tribute to and remembered Charlie T. Wilbury Jr. thus:

"It's shocking, crushing news. I thought the world of Tom. He was a great performer, full of the light, a friend, and I'll never forget him." (Bob Dylan)

"Tom Petty was the coolest guy I ever knew." (Jeff Lynne)

Perhaps the most unwanted and the saddest of my thoughts at this time is that we now only have two Wilburys with us. I'm so glad I got to see Tom (for the first time) in July, Jeff in June and Bob (also for the first time) in May of this year. I have early New Year resolutions to not take for granted Messrs. Dylan and Lynne and to be truly thankful for the amazing legacies of Roy, George, Tom and The Traveling Wilburys. We were blessed to have them, see them and hear them.

Remembering Tom Petty

Until next "Time" in the ELO [and related] Universe ... KJS ... 26-Oct-2017

Sunday, 22 October 2017

ELO: The Jet/Polydor Years

Jet Records were launched by Don Arden in October 1974 with the Lynsey De Paul single "No Honestly" (amusingly given the catalogue number JET747) breaching the UK Top 10. Initially distributed by Polydor with a brief stint by Island Records during which Roy Wood enjoyed his final Top 20 non-Christmas themed hit "Oh What A Shame" (JET754), Jet Records went onto to become the flagship label for ELO right up until 1983. Formed after the limited success of ELO and Wizzard on the Warner Bros. Burbank label, the majority of the Jet single releases during this period were of injection moulded manufacture (typical of Polydor at the time) of a deep blue label colour.
Interestingly, Jet released eight singles and three albums featuring a combination of ELO, Roy Wood, Roy Wood's Wizzard and Bev Bevan during this period before Jet switched to United Artists Records in Summer 1976. Yet chart success was again hard to achieve for ELO in the UK. Despite "Evil Woman" (JET764) peaking at #10 in late January 1976, only "Strange Magic" (JET779) also charted (reaching #38 in July of that year) with "Nightrider" (JET769) and - quite amazingly - their acclaimed album "Face The Music" (JETLP11) failing to chart at all.

Even more disappointing was the fact that none of the Jet/Polydor single releases by Roy Wood, Roy Wood's Wizzard and Bev Bevan troubled the UK charts either. Even "Mustard" (JETLP12) drew a blank. This was, of course, in complete contrast to the rising profile of the Electric Light Orchestra in the United States and was likely the reason that the compilation "Ole ELO" (JETLP19) was withdrawn in the UK. Perhaps the difference in the fortunes of ELO on either side of the Atlantic could be explained by the fact that they changed labels three times in the UK for their first five studio albums when in the US they remained with United Artists Records.
Of special interest to Yours Truly KJS and elobeatlesforever (elobf) is the fact that "Heavy Head" (the 'B' side of the "Let There Be Drums" single) cited shared songwriting credits for Bev Bevan, Kelly Groucutt and Richard Tandy alongside Jeff Lynne for the first and only time on the Jet label (see above). Note also that that the transition from Jet/Polydor to Jet/UA was highlighted by the quoting of JET786 and JETLP20 in brackets when "Livin' Thing" (UP36184) and "A New World Record" (UAG30017) were released, following on from the final Jet/Polydor catalogue numbers JET785 and JETLP19 respectively (also shown above).

Undoubtedly, the creation of Jet Records provided the platform for the later successes of Jeff Lynne and ELO whilst it marked a lack of promotion, focus and support for Roy Wood. ELO returned to the UK Top 10 singles chart during these days but there was little else commercially to shout about. Another change in marketing and manufacturing partners ensued, this time with United Artists Records (more on that subject in a forthcoming elobf article) and the rest, they say, is history.

See also: ELO: The Burbank Years

Until next "Time" in the ELO [and related] Universe ... KJS ... 22-Oct-2017

Friday, 20 October 2017

Recommended: Roy Orbison In Dreams: The Hologram UK Tour

Timed perfectly to compliment the much anticipated forthcoming new orchestrated Roy Orbison album "A Love So Beautiful: Roy Orbison with The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra" (released in the UK on Friday 3rd November), tickets go on sale next week for "Roy Orbison In Dreams: The Hologram UK Tour" which will see a holographic Roy performing his biggest hits across the UK next April at ten venues backed by The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. Fans and followers of The Big O are promised a "transformative live entertainment concert experience".

This is most definitely a "must see" for Yours Truly KJS and elobeatlesforever (elobf)! Pre-sale tickets will be available here on Wednesday 25th October. Tickets go on general sale from 9AM on Friday 27th October via these links thus:

www.ticketline.co.uk/roy-orbison#tour
listings.ticketmaster.co.uk/royorbison

These previous elobf articles might also interest you:
Recommended: A Love So Beautiful (Roy Orbison with The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra)
November Release Rush for ELO & Roy Orbison

elobeatlesforever (elobf) recommends "A Love So Beautiful" by Roy Orbison with The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and "Roy Orbison In Dreams: The Hologram UK Tour" to those enlightened folks who enjoy the music of ELO, Jeff Lynne, The Traveling Wilburys, Roy Wood, The Move, The Idle Race, 'Brum Beat', The Beatles and related artistes. See you there?

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

Tuesday, 17 October 2017

Turn To Stone Tease: Jeff Lynne's ELO Unveil Wembley Video

Perhaps it shouldn't have come as a surprise to elobeatlesforever (elobf) that Jeff Lynne's ELO chose to release footage of "Turn To Stone"  - taken from the forthcoming album/film "Wembley Or Bust" - yesterday (Monday 16th October) via ELOVEVO and The Independent following on from the audio only video and download track made available on Thursday 5th October. But it sure was a poignant choice to this writer.

The reason for the above statement is that "Turn To Stone" has very much a part of my fabric since the age of 10 when Yours Truly KJS bought my first record, "Turn To Stone" b/w "Mister Kingdom" (Jet/UA UP36313) in November 1977. "Turn To Stone" was also the first ELO song that I saw performed live when I saw ELO Part II with The Moscow Symphony Orchestra at Birmingham's NEC in late May 1991. Looking at the new video only whets the appetite for a release that will serve not only as a fantastic souvenir of a great night but also as an excellent introduction to the ELO universe for those folks who are not yet acquainted with all things Jeff Lynne. How apt that this song still grabs my attention after all these years ...

"Wembley Or Bust" by Jeff Lynne's ELO is released on Friday 17th November.


elobeatlesforever (elobf) recommends "Wembley Or Bust" by Jeff Lynne's ELO to those enlightened folks who love ELO, Jeff Lynne, Roy Wood, 'Brum Beat', The Idle Race, The Traveling Wilburys, The Move, The Beatles and related artistes.

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