Thursday, 12 December 2019

Career Crossroads: Roy Wood & Jeff Lynne

#1,507: Perhaps the most fascinating period in the careers of Roy Wood and Jeff Lynne is the five year period between 1971-76 in which The Move morphed into the Electric Light Orchestra and Roy Wood excelled both with Wizzard and as a solo artist.

Yours Truly KJS has compiled the above matrix of twenty one (21) charting UK singles to highlight the amazing success that Roy Wood enjoyed during a time when Jeff Lynne had his first UK hit UK yet was very much in the shadow (commercially speaking) of his former band mate until the meteoric rise of ELO in their home country started in 1976. We can draw some interesting facts and conclusions from the aforementioned graphic produced for elobeatlesforever (elobf) thus:

Related elobf articles
ELO: The Burbank Years
ELO: The Jet/Polydor Years
An Appreciation of Roy Wood
Jet Records Discography
Chart Tragedy: ELO's UK Album Chart Famine
Another Chart Breaks: Early ELO in the UK & US
Caught Live: Nick Owen in Conversation with Roy Wood

*** Until next "Time" in the elobf universe ... KJS ... 12-Dec-2019 ***

Tuesday, 10 December 2019

Reasons to Release: Beatles Forever

#1,506: Much has been said down the years, not least by this writer, regarding "Beatles Forever", the one and only remaining (officially) unreleased track from "Secret Messages", ELO's originally intended 1983 double album (JETDP402) which was sadly culled "for commercial reasons" to the 1LP issue (JETLX527) that we all knew and loved until the 35th anniversary 2LP was released last year (albeit without its proverbial crown jewel) not forgetting the recent Japanese Blu-spec CD2 issue, also without "Beatles Forever".
Whilst we have been told that the track is an embarrassment to Jeff Lynne these days on account of his later work with George Harrison, Ringo Starr and Paul McCartney, we know that "Beatles Forever" was indeed deemed good enough to be revealed to the masses if the 2LP had been released back in 1983, even though elements of it appeared in 1984's "Video!" as part of the "Electric Dreams" OST. It's also fairly certain that it would have been part of a "Secret Messages" 30th anniversary edition in 2013 that was in the works before the ELO maestro signed up with Frontiers Records. Hence, leaving out "Beatles Forever" from "Secret Messages" (both in 2018 and 2019) still seems bizarre especially when it was labelled as "The Legendary Double Album As Conceived By Jeff Lynne - Recorded in 1983" and quoted in the brief sleeve notes as having "escaped intact".
The funny thing is that Jeff Lynne does not need be concerned with the title "Beatles Forever", it is not unique being a phraseology used in Beatles magazines, fanzines, books, tapes and even a German EP (see the above header montage) across six decades. His song would merely join a long line of tributes and accolades afforded to his Beatles heroes.

Yours Truly KJS began elobeatlesforever (elobf) in February 2009 to promote the official release of "Beatles Forever". If there were no appetite for another "Secret Messages" album set, a limited edition single would do! We continue with those hopes.

Friday, 6 December 2019

ChartWatch: From Out Of Nowhere Rebounds + Wizzard Return

 #1,505: Perhaps due to the recent BBC4 re-transmission of their November BBC Radio 2 In Concert show and the "Wembley Or Bust" film last weekend as well as the release of the "From Out Of Nowhere" picture disc (read more here), Jeff Lynne's ELO have returned to the Official Albums Chart Top 100 this week, jumping from #22 up to #18 after five (5) weeks on the chart. "All Over The World" has also chalked up its 201st week in the Top 100 by sneaking in at #99.

Meanwhile, over in the Official Singles Chart Top 100, Roy Wood and Wizzard have re-entered at #44 with "I Wish It Could Be Christmas Everyday". Having peaked at #12 last year, Woody stands a good chance gatecrashing the Top 20 again in 2019!

Related elobf articles

*** Until next "Time" in the elobf universe ... KJS ... 06-Dec-2019 ***

Thursday, 5 December 2019

Time for More ELO Picture Discs?

#1,504: The arrival of the exclusive amazon Black Friday picture disc edition of the new Jeff Lynne's ELO album "From Out Of Nowhere" begs an interesting question for ELO (and related artistes) fans, followers and collectors: With all those iconic album sleeves, why have only "Out Of The Blue" and "From Out Of Nowhere" been issued as picture disc albums to date?

Looking at the above elobeatlesforever (elobf) montage of sixteen (16) ELO album covers (which is by no means exhaustive), you can see how agreeable they would be as picture discs. Prime examples (in the considered opinion of Yours Truly KJS) would be "Eldorado", "A New World Record", "Discovery" and "Time". Dare I suggest that a "Secret Messages" 2LP picture disc set including "Beatles Forever" would also tick many boxes? Which ELO albums would you like to see issued as limited edition picture discs?
Related elobf articles
Vinyl Story: ELO's Picture Discs
Picture This: ELO's Jet Picture Discs
Out Of The Blue: 40th Anniversary 2LP Picture Disc
Rare Xanadu 10" Picture Disc Tops Record Collector Guide
Traveling Wilburys: Picture Disc Debut for Volume 1
We Shout Raving Notes: ELO's Picture Disc Mystery
Black Friday Bulletin: Jeff Lynne's ELO, Cheap Trick & Roy Wood

*** Until next "Time" in the elobf universe ... KJS ... 05-Dec-2019 ***

Tuesday, 3 December 2019

Review: Secret Messages (ELO)[Japan Blu-spec CD2]

#1,503: The 35th Anniversary Blu-spec CD2 limited edition release of ELO's sublime 1983 "Secret Messages" album duly arrived at elobf HQ earlier today from Japan following its release last week and you can imagine that Yours Truly KJS was keen to have a listen or three!

You cannot but admire the way that these Japanese issues are presented with the disc in their own sleeve alongside a replica inner sleeve from the original LP emerging out of one side and the the CD booklet from the other in a neat downsized version of last years 2LP edition. The sound is obviously cleaner than previous CD issues thanx to the inherent phase transition mastering giving the seventeen (17) tracks comprising "Secret Messages" (Epic Records #SICP-31313) verve, clarity and a renewed freshness. "Hello My Old Friend", "Bluebird", "Stranger" and "Buildings Have Eyes" sound especially gorgeous in the opinion of this writer.
It should therefore come as no surprise for me to say that this is as good as "Secret Messages" by Electric Light Orchestra is going to get until "Beatles Forever", the final piece of the jigsaw, is added to complete what is still an album that some ELO fans still fail to grasp. You'd expect me to say that and I'll continue to do so! Expect the absence of "Beatles Forever" to be addressed again in a near future elobf article. In the meantime, you can still order this amazing Blu-spec CD2 package from CD Japan by clicking on this link. ★★★★

Related elobf articles

elobeatlesforever (elobf) recommends "Secret Messages" by Electric Light Orchestra 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 elobf universe ... KJS ... 03-Dec-2019 ***

Monday, 2 December 2019

Mr. Blue Sky: ELO's Signature Song

#1,502: If you were to ask the casual music follower and avid ELO fans what, in their opinion, is THE definitive ELO song, many would answer "Mr. Blue Sky" immediately. Taken from the finale of "Concerto For A Rainy Day" on side three of their much loved double album "Out Of The Blue", MBS peaked at #6 in the Official UK Singles Chart at the end of February 1978 and a more modest #35 in the United States Billboard 100. But the story, surprisingly, doesn't end there.

Casual fans are probably aware that ELO's UK chart performance waned as the eighties progressed from the high of "Xanadu" (JET185) reaching #1 in 1980 to the tragedy of "Getting To The Point" (A7317) attaining #97 in 1986. But what this writer didn't realise, thanx to my browsing through the Official Chart Archive, was that "Mr. Blue Sky" has breached the Official UK Singles Chart during the download era on five (5) occasions hitting (for one week) #99 in June 2011, #94 in August 2011, #88 in August 2012 (perhaps due to it featuring in the London Olympics closing ceremony), #97 in October 2012 and #88 again in May 2017.

Undoubtedly, "Mr. Blue Sky" (originally UP36342/SJET104) remains the ultimate iconic, feel good song that simply never loses its appeal across all generations and is always guaranteed to get audiences up on their feet at every ELO themed gig!

Related elobf articles
Mr. Blue Sky: All Over The World
Mr. Blue Sky: Jeff Lynne Endorses Cancer Charity Single
Mr. Blue Sky Tops Music Charity Feel Good Top 10
B-Side Brum: Mr. Blue Sky

*** Until next "Time" in the elobf universe ... KJS ... 02-Dec-2019 ***

Sunday, 1 December 2019

Review: From Out Of Nowhere (Jeff Lynne's ELO)

#1,501: Having decided to recommence writing new elobeatlesforever (elobf) articles after a seven (7) month hiatus, Yours Truly KJS feels quite strange to be putting together this review regarding "From Out Of Nowhere" (RCA/Big Trilby Records), the latest studio album from Jeff Lynne's ELO, a whole calendar month after its release back on Friday 1st November (which just happens to have been my 52nd birthday) in the wake of its impressive recent chart topping exploits, especially now that the rather nice amazon Black Friday exclusive edition picture disc has enjoined the earlier black, blue and gold vinyl releases and FOON has slipped out of the UK Top 20 after four (4) weeks.

Having reacquainted myself with 2015's "Alone In The Universe" in advance of the release of FOON, my first impression of the 10 new trax on offer was that "From Out Of Nowhere" was an improvement, a more cohesive and consistent recording than AITU. Whereas retrospectively the former now feels like it was hastily assembled, the latter is a much more polished affair, a little like ELO albums of old. From the familiar tones of the opening title track (thanx to extensive BBC Radio 2 airplay) through to classy closer "Songbird", this writer senses a return to the songwriting form of the ELO maestro harking back to the good 'ol days. ELO fans, new and old, will love the changes in tempo afforded throughout what is a relatively short outing (32:42) with the pensive "All My Love" and "Losing You" balanced (with power) by "Down Came The Rain" (a familiar theme)"One More Time" (isn't it great to see Richard Tandy credited on an ELO LP again?) and "Time Of Our Life", a thoughtful inclusion to thank the 60,000+ fans who attended the 2017 "Wembley Or Bust" show. On a personal note, my twin faves at the time of writing continue to be "Down Came The Rain" and "Sci-Fi Woman" - formerly "WiFi Woman".
"From Out Of Nowhere" is a record that deserved to hit the heights of #1 in a challenging modern music market. We now look forward to some extensive 2020 dates and, hopefully, more fabtastic memories. ★★★★★

  Trax: [1] "From Out Of Nowhere" (3:15) ~ [2] "Help Yourself" (3:14) ~ [3] "All My Love" (3:06) ~ [4] "Down Came The Rain" (3:29) ~ [5] "Losing You" (3:36) ~ [6] "One More Time" (3:28) ~ [7] "Sci-Fi Woman" (3:07) ~ [8] "Goin' Out On Me" (3:09) ~ [9] "Time Of Our Life" (3:10) ~ [10] "Songbird" (3:08) 

Related elobf articles
Hints of New Jeff Lynne's ELO Album Emerge
ChartWatch: From Out Of Nowhere Exits Top 10
ChartWatch: Jeff Lynne's ELO Slipping Away from Top 10
Black Friday Bulletin: Jeff Lynne's ELO, Cheap Trick & Roy Wood

elobeatlesforever (elobf) recommends "From Out Of Nowhere" by Jeff Lynne's ELO to those enlightened folks who enjoy the music of ELOJeff LynneThe Traveling WilburysRoy WoodThe MoveThe Idle Race'Brum Beat'The Beatles and related artistes.

*** Until next "Time" in the elobf universe ... KJS ... 01-Dec-2019 ***

Thursday, 28 November 2019

UP36264: Telephone Line Twist

#1,500: Every so often, record collectors of all genres come across vinyl oddities and the same is true when it comes to ELO and related artistes. Regular visitors to elobeatlesforever (elobf) down the years would have read various elobf articles on the subject of rare ELO singles and albums not forgetting the attempts by this writer to locate certain hard to find solid centre issues of "Showdown" (HAR5077), "Turn To Stone" (UP36313) and more latterly "Mr. Blue Sky" (UP36342).

Other than the withdrawn second ELO EP (ELO2), the phantom 1978 Jet/CBS reissue of "Turn To Stone" (SJET103) and even the ultra-rare original UK Jet/Polydor issue of "Olé ELO" (JETLP19), the only remaining realistic record that I'm actively searching for these days is a solid centre copy of "Telephone Line" (UP36254). Hence you can imagine my surprise recently when Yours Truly KJS came across a quirky Irish solid centre copy of "Telephone Line" on the United Artists label (see above photos) - as was the case with "Livin' Thing" (UP36184/JET786), the lead single from "A New World Record" (UAG30017/JETLP20).
"Telephone Line" and its jumbled 'B' side has been the subject of not a few elobf articles down the years!
The funny thing about this particular 7" is that it has been allocated the catalogue number UP36264 (whether intentionally or not) whereas UP36254 is evident in the run-out groove. It's also noteworthy that the flip side features only "Poorboy (Greenwood)" - albeit without the "The" - but not "King Of The Universe", as was the case in the UK. Whilst I'm happy with this capture, the search for that elusive solid centre UP36254 will go on. Please let me know if you see one!

Related elobf articles
King of the Greenwood Revisited 
King of the Greenwood 

Turn To Stone: Solid Centre Success! 
HAR5077: Solid Centre Showdown 

*** Until next "Time" in the elobf universe ... KJS ... 28-Nov-2019 ***

Tuesday, 26 November 2019

Black Friday Bulletin: Jeff Lynne's ELO, Cheap Trick & Roy Wood

#1,499: Watch out for a couple of interesting items that might well have Electric Light Orchestra (ELO), Jeff Lynne and Roy Wood vinyl collectors queuing up to "Hold On Tight" to this coming (Black) Friday 29th November 2019!

Firstly, a rather nice collectable amazon exclusive picture disc edition of the new Jeff Lynne's ELO album "From Out Of Nowhere" will be released on Friday priced at £19.99 with pre-orders now being taken here:

Secondly, Cheap Trick will be also releasing a cover of John Lennon's "Gimme Some Truth" on Friday backed with a 2018 live version of Wizzard's "I Wish It Could Be Christmas Everyday" featuring Roy Wood as a limited edition 7" single in blood red vinyl. Any remaining copies can be ordered from 30.11.2019 here:

*** Until next "Time" in the elobf universe ... KJS ... 26-Nov-2019 ***

Monday, 25 November 2019

Bev Bevan: Happy 75th Birthday!

#1,498: Today is Monday 25th November and it's also the 75th birthday of Bev Bevan! After starting out with Denny Laine & The Diplomats and then Carl Wayne & The Vikings, Bev co-founded The Move alongside Roy Wood, Trevor Burton, Carl Wayne and Chris 'Ace' Kefford before, of course, also co-founding the Electric Light Orchestra alongside Roy Wood (again) and Jeff Lynne and then ELO Part IIBev also played with Black Sabbath on their "Born Again" tour and more recently has performed with best pal Jasper Carrott in both the Made In Brum and Stand Up & Rock! shows as well as performing with Quill in a 50+ year stellar career.

Throughout the 10+ years of elobeatlesforever (elobf), Yours Truly KJS has often bumped into Bev (often discussing the fortunes of Wolves FC as well as the biz) and featured his many musical projects on multiple occasions. We were there when he received his Broad Street Walk of Fame Star in April 2011 (review here) and also celebrated his induction into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2017 (report here)Bev has often been supportive of and extended much courtesy to elobf and aside from being the best drummer in the business, the powerhouse of the classic ELO line-up and keeping the music of ELO live (and alive) in the nineties with ELO Part II, it goes without saying that we wish Bev a Very Happy 75th Birthday!

By the way, you can still catch Bev performing with Quill during their upcoming Christmas Tour between Saturday 7th and Sunday 22nd December. See poster below for more details or click on this link to buy tickets:
*** Until next "Time" in the elobf universe ... KJS ... 25-Nov-2019 ***