Monday, 3 May 2021
#1,585: Down the years, record companies have thought of inventive ways to amplify and market the product of their artiste rosters be it coloured vinyl, picture discs and other such releases. Perhaps one one of the less obvious marketing vehicles is the gatefold album - a kind of halfway house between a single (1LP) and a double (2LP) wherein the record buying public is presented with one disc in a double album sleeve - and there have certainly been no shortage of gatefold issues when it comes to the Electric Light Orchestra (ELO), Jeff Lynne and Roy Wood whether it be original releases or the later proliferation of reissues thanx to the resurgence of vinyl over the last couple of decades.
Looking at the KJS/ELOBF tabulation below, it's interesting to see that "The Birthday Party" by The Idle Race (in 1968) preceded ELO's first three UK album released on EMI's Harvest imprint and Warner Bros. Burbank label were gatefolds as were many LP's at that time. It was the same in Germany with "The Night The Light Went On (In Long Beach)" and, surprisingly, even "Face The Music" got the gatefold treatment in France with Dutch compilation "All Over The World" (also known as "All Over The Wolrd") following in 1987.
Avid fans and collectors will all be aware that "Discovery" and "Xanadu" marked the return of ELO gatefolds at their commercial peak as did "Alone In The Universe" in 2015 although they may not be aware of the now ultra-rare white vinyl LETV reissue of "Long Wave" in early 2013. Note also that a trio of Roy Wood and Wizzard albums "Introducing Eddy & The Falcons", "Boulders" and "Mustard" (the latter two featuring Roy's unique artwork) were also gatefold editions. Q: How many ELO & related gatefold LP's do you own?
*** Until next "Time" in the elobf universe ... 03-May-2021 ***
Saturday, 24 April 2021
#1,584: Perhaps the ultimate compliment for an artiste/musician is to have a song written about you or a song quoting your songs and when it comes to the Electric Light Orchestra/Jeff Lynne there's now a growing list that includes Cheap Trick's "ELO Kiddies" (1977), Paul Melancon's "Jeff Lynne" (2002), Esa Linna's "She's Not A Human Being" (2013) and, of course, "ELO Forever" (2014) by Michael Laine Hildebrandt's Bubble Gum Orchestra (BGO) amongst not a few others in its ranks as well as a certain track crafted by American singer/songwriter Randy Newman for his album "Born Again" in 1979 just as ELO were approaching their commercial peak.
At the time of release, many thought that "The Story Of A Rock & Roll Band" (UK: Warner Bros. #K17447) was a parody of ELO and Jeff Lynne's trademark song arrangements and success in referencing, as it did, three of their hit singles ("Telephone Line", "Turn To Stone" & "Mr. Blue Sky") and hometown Birmingham. Yet this was far from what was intended by the writer on an album many listeners thought dark and critical of the music biz at that time. This was confirmed in a later interview when Newman affirmed: "What I like about it is that I got everything so wrong … I mispronounced the name of the town, made up their names. And they do have these idiosyncrasies about their music that are funny. It's maybe a kind of a joke, but I wouldn't have done it if I really hated them like I hate some people."
Lynne or intended by Newman was confirmed when the two music legends collaborated during the recording sessions nine years later for "Land Of Dreams" (UK: Reprise #WX212) in 1988 when the ELO maestro not only produced "Falling In Love" (UK: Reprise #W7578) but also contributed keys, guitar, bass and backing vox (alongside Tom Petty and Mike Campbell) to the eventual single as well as backing vox for "It's Money That Matters". This was a productive if not busy time for Jeff during the latter half of the decade as he worked alongside George Harrison, Roy Orbison, Tom Petty, Del Shannon, Miss B Haven, Brian Wilson and Duane Eddy aside from forming The Traveling Wilburys hence working with Randy Newman too must also have been a highlight.
One therefore wonders why there remains a reluctance to release "Beatles Forever" when taking into account songs such as "Titles" by Barclay James Harvest and "Something About The Beatles" by The Korgis which do great justice to their musical legacy in the same way as the aforementioned quintet of ELO friendly tunes (especially that of Randy Newman) do so for Jeff Lynne.
ELO Beatles Forever (ELOBF) recommends Randy Newman 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 elobf universe ... 24-Apr-2021 ***
Tuesday, 20 April 2021
#1,583: Mention the name Del Shannon and many ELO fans will most likely think of his posthumous 1991 album "Rock On!" (UK: Silvertone Records #ORELP514) which was (of course) produced between Jeff Lynne and Mike Campbell with lead single "Walk Away" co-written by Del with Jeff and Tom Petty. Most of the album was already recorded before Del passed away in February 1990 but "Rock On!" was successful in not only bringing his name back into the limelight, it also introduced Del to a whole new generation of admirers particularly when taking into account the high probability that he would have officially joined the ranks of The Traveling Wilburys (who went on to record/release his worldwide #1 smash hit "Runaway" during the "Volume 3" sessions in tribute to Del) following the tragic death of Roy Orbison. Yet the connections between Del and Electric Light Orchestra maestro Jeff Lynne are even deeper than their shared birthdate of 30th December (Del was born in 1934 with Jeff following in 1947) not forgetting that Del is credited with backing vox for "Blown Away" on "Armchair Theatre" LP and that the 2001 expanded edition of ELO's "Discovery" album included a nice cover of "Little Town Flirt".
However, Del Shannon and Jeff Lynne had a working relationship going back as far back as the sessions at his Cherokee Ranch studio in the latter half of both 1973 and 1974 which produced a trio of songs known as The Dead Set ("Alive But I'm Dead"; "Deadly Game"; "Distant Ghost") plus a number of other songs that were either co-written by the two and/or initially involved the production skills of Jeff and at times the rhythm section of ELO. Of particular interest is the fruit of those sessions including the 1975 US single "Cry Baby Cry" (Island #IS-038) and "Ghost", the flip side to the 1974 Australian single "Oh, How Happy" (Interfusion #K-5439) which was reissued in 1984 as "Distant Ghost" (Raven Records #RVS-04) interestingly citing the artiste as Del Shannon (with Electric Light Orchestra). "Distant Ghost" was finally released in the UK as the flip side to the 1983 single "Cheap Love" (Demon Records #D1017). Might we also suggest that you have a listen to "Raylene" via YouTube? Most of the songs in question (in one form or another) can be found in three albums: "Del Shannon: A Complete Career Anthology 1961-1990" (Raven Records; 1998), "Runaway: The Very Best of Del Shannon" (Universal Music; 2010) and/or "The Dublin Sessions" (RockBeat Records; 2017).
The above ELO Beatles Forever (ELOBF) tabulation (hopefully) lists the songs that came out of the aforementioned sessions and details their release history - be they as original or later (sometimes live) recordings - and where they can be found. Further info can be found via Del's official website at delshannon.com and/or Robert Porter's excellent Jeff Lynne Song Database. Yours Truly KJS is of the opinion that Del Shannon will always be a musician and an artiste worthy of mentioning in the same breath as the Greats.
ELO Beatles Forever (ELOBF) recommends Del Shannon (Official Website) and the Jeff Lynne Song Database 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 elobf universe ... 20-Apr-2021 ***
Friday, 16 April 2021
#1,582: Being as Yours Truly KJS listed the majority of interviews on file in the preceding ELO Beatles Forever (ELOBF) article entitled "Interview Infusion (3)", it crossed my mind to also collate the obituaries that I've written down the years for many (mostly) well known ELO and related personalities who are sadly no longer with us. It's good to be reminded of the legacy of those much missed personalities and their contribution/connection to the ELO/ELO Part II story but also that of The Move, Wizzard and The Traveling Wilburys. It also serves to remind us to value and treasure those artistes who have shared and continue to bless us with their multiple musical talent(s).
*** Until next "Time" in the elobf universe ... 16-Apr-2021 ***
Saturday, 10 April 2021
#1,581: Yours Truly KJS and ELO Beatles Forever (ELOBF) have been meaning to put together an article highlighting the many interviews (either direct or indirect) published down the years and here it is! We've interviewed or featured over 40 interviews with quite a few artistes, authors and personalities not only in the ELOBF universe but also independent artistes whether they be locally, nationally or internationally based. With more interviews in the pipeline, this writer hopes that you enjoy perusing the links below and enjoy having a read or three!
*** Until next "Time" in the elobf universe ... 10-Apr-2021 ***
Tuesday, 6 April 2021
#1,580: Perhaps the biggest surprise of Jeff Lynne's post-Electric Light Orchestra production career to date was his involvement with the Danish all female quartet Miss B Haven for a trio of songs on their 1990 album "Nobody's Angel" (UK: EastWest #WX334). Their aforementioned long player comprised ten trax and was dominated by eight Lise Cabble penned songs, the others being a co-write with drummer Mette Mathiesen and a cover of the Steve Harley classic "Make Me Smile (Come Up And See Me)".
The songs produced by the ELO maestro were "You're Wrong" and "Sand In My Eyes" together with the title track (also released as a single) "Nobody's Angel" (UK: EastWest #YZ490) with Jeff contributing keyboards, backing vox and guitars ensuring a familiar feel to Lise's compositions and vocal talents. Miss B Haven were active for eleven (11) years from 1986-1997 and were Lise Cabble (lead vox), Anne Vig Skoven (guitar/bvox), Lene Eriksen (bass/bvox) and Mette Mathiesen (drums/bvox). Interestingly, you'll find Mette credited with drums/percussion for most of Jeff Lynne's "Armchair Theatre" album! She was also a member of The Warwickshire Warblers alongside Dave Scott-Morgan, Jake Commander, Phil Hatton, Richard and Sheila Tandy on "Blown Away".
"Nobody's Angel" remains a listenable if not enjoyable record and, despite it not troubling the charts, it's still a welcome addition to many ELO related collections. Yours Truly KJS/ELOBF recommend that you visit Ken Stavensoe Nielsen's fabtastic website at: www.10538overture.dk and/or read his excellent Miss B Haven overview therein.
*** Until next "Time" in the elobf universe ... 06-Apr-2021 ***
Sunday, 4 April 2021
#1,579: Regular visitors to ELO Beatles Forever (ELOBF) would have hopefully enjoyed reading up in several recent articles about the songwriting, producing and solo activities of ELO maestro Jeff Lynne outside of his Electric Light Orchestra duties from 1978 with Helen Reddy to Duane Eddy in 1987 - the year (of course) in which his post-ELO production success in the afterglow of "Balance Of Power" truly took off with his work on George Harrison's "Cloud Nine" album. It was a year that also gave Jeff the opportunity to spend some time collaborating with another of his musical heroes: Beach Boys legend Brian Wilson in sunny California.
The co-written and co-produced anthem "Let It Shine" was the result of time Brian and Jeff spent together and it remains a fascinating musical fusion that ELO and Beach Boys fans still enjoy as an integral component of Brian's eponymously titled solo album (UK: Sire #WX157). The liner notes for the expanded CD edition in 2000 recall that the song was essentially in the bag before Brian added his trademark lead and a cappella vocals. Yours Truly KJS will leave the final word on "Let It Shine" with Jeff taken from this 2015 interview for Mojo:
"I hadn't known him at all, but Brian asked me if I wanted to write a song and produce it with him. "Yes, please - I'd love to!" I went to his house in Malibu and wrote it with him right by the seashore; his place was only a couple steps from the sea. Him playing piano and me strumming guitar and we came up with the song "Let It Shine". Anyway, we got to the session and I played lots of the instruments: bass and rhythm guitar and keyboard, and he did some keyboard, and we co-produced. Despite our production backgrounds, there wasn't a lot on it actually. It's a nice tight-sounding record." (Jeff Lynne; Mojo magazine issue #265; December 2015)
Thursday, 1 April 2021
#1,578: It's great to see that Bev Bevan, Jasper Carrott, Geoff Turton and the gang (Phil Tree, Lee Evans & Abby Brant) are set to return to the stage soon with a string of eight (8) new Stand Up & Rock! theatre shows announced this week. Expect more dates extending into 2022 to be revealed soon. Details of all forthcoming shows can be found via the official Jasper Carrott website thus:
Get an idea of what to expect by reading these KJS/ELOBF 'Caught Live' gig reviews:
ELO Beatles Forever (ELOBF) recommends Stand Up & Rock! ft. Bev Bevan & Jasper Carrott to those enlightened folks who enjoy the music of ELO/Jeff Lynne, Roy Wood, The Move, The Idle Race, 'Brum Beat', The Beatles, Quill, Black Sabbath and related artistes.
*** Until next "Time" in the elobf universe ... 01-Apr-2021 ***
Sunday, 28 March 2021
#1,577: With two episodes already under their belts, it's good to see the success that the ever adaptable Quill are enjoying with their Quill Connect broadcasts on their new YouTube channel. In case you didn't know, each episode is presented by the effervescent Joy Strachan-Brain and world renowned drumming legend Bev Bevan as they not only trawl the Quill archives but that also of members past and present. You'll also get to see and hear exclusive performances by the band of songs from their forthcoming new album "Riding Rainbows", some birthday banter and Bev's reminiscences of his stellar career with The Move, ELO and Black Sabbath whilst the duo interview guests in the biz. Three of the aforementioned new Quill songs are now available to download via these links thus:
So far Joy and Bev have talked to Louis Clark Jr. (The Orchestra) and Nick Pentelow (Wizzard, Andy Fairweather Low & The Low Riders) with future guests sure to include many surprises. You might also be surprised to hear the odd mention of Yours Truly KJS/ELOBF during the shows! Episode 3 is already in the works for April featuring another guest of interest hence we recommend that you subscribe to Quill Connect @ YouTube and or join their mailing list by clicking HERE. Please click on the links below for further Quill info ...
Saturday, 27 March 2021
#1,576: In recent KJS/ELOBF articles, readers will have noticed a focus on artistes who worked with Jeff Lynne whilst he was winding down his Electric Light Orchestra (ELO) duties and crossing paths musically with Dave Edmunds, The Everly Brothers, Agnetha Fältskog and (earlier) Helen Reddy. Mention the name Duane Eddy and many folks will call to mind tunes such as "Peter Gunn" or "Cannonball" or "Because They're Young" or another one of his many worldwide hit singles or albums, primarily in the late 50's and early 60's.
Most fans and followers of Jeff Lynne will doubtless be aware of his growing association with George Harrison following the dissolution of ELO in 1986 after the "Balance Of Power" promotion campaign had ended. They will point to the release of "Cloud Nine" in November 1987 as Lynne's breakthrough post-ELO production collaboration in terms of chart and commercial success but they may be unaware that he was also contributed three trax to none other than legendary twanger Duane Eddy's eponymously titled album in the same year.
The ELO maestro found himself teaming up with George Harrison (again) for two songs as well as future Traveling Wilburys drummer Jim Keltner, saxophonist Jim Horn and his preferred engineer Richard Dodd for the instrumentals "Theme For Something Really Important", "Rockabilly Rebel" (both written by Jeff) and "The Trembler" (an interesting song title being as The Traveling Wilburys were conceived as The Trembling Wilburys before they opted for the latter name per Jeff's suggestion) with "Rockabilly Rebel" also chosen as the flip side of US single "Spies" (Capitol Records B-44018). Unfortunately, "Duane Eddy" (UK: Capitol Records EST2034; US: ST-12567) failed to trouble the charts yet it still remains both an enjoyable listen and an essential collection item for fans of both Duane Eddy and ELO/Jeff Lynne.
Please go to The Duane Eddy Circle at www.duaneeddycircle.com for more information on all things Duane Eddy ...