Saturday, 28 February 2009

Secret Messages & Kelly Groucutt

#7: Hello ... Hello ... my old friends ... It's great to see you once again! We are all still mourning the tragic loss of the late great Mick 'Kelly' Groucutt. Yet, it's interesting to note that the (incomplete) "Secret Messages" album (JETLX527) was his final bow for the 'original' Electric Light Orchestra (ELO) line-up, so Yours Truly KJS thought that it would be nice to highlight the presence of Kelly G on the album sleeve. This is about the time that he left the Jeff Lynne ensemble and it has been stated by various sources that Kelly didn't play on all the tracks (Kelly is, of course, credited as playing bass on "Secret Messages" but it is believed that he only played on "Train Of Gold" and "Rock 'n' Roll Is King" on the 1LP version plus "No Way Out" and "Beatles Forever" from the originally intended 2LP edition) but, for me, this is a fitting tribute to his contribution.

FYI: Don't forget that we now also have a YouTube channel by the name of (surprisingly enough) elobeatlesforever and that you can find it via this link thus:

Until next "Time" in the ELO (and related) Universe ... KJS ... 28-Feb-2009

Thursday, 19 February 2009

Remembering Kelly Groucutt

#6: Hello ... Hello ... my old friends ... It's great to see you once again! Anyone who knows Yours Truly KJS will know that I've always enjoyed the music of ELO and its extended family of related artistes since the age of 10 when I bought my first record, a certain 7" vinyl single entitled "Turn To Stone" by Electric Light Orchestra. So writing this article today is a little hard for me today because today (Thursday 19th February), an acquaintance of mine, Mr. Michael (Kelly) Groucutt passed away at just 63 years of age.

I was not old enough to see/hear the 'classic' line-up of ELO with my own eyes and ears but, thanks to Kelly G, I did not only get to see and hear their music live on multiple occasions in the nineties and noughties via the vehicles of ELO Part II and The Orchestra (former members of ELO & ELO Part II), I also got to enjoy many of Kelly's solo gigs in the Midlands too. My interest in ELO in the early nineties helped me recover from a major low point in my life. Meeting Kelly, and later on, the rest of the band totally fulfilled one of my childhood ambitions. But there are two occasions that really come to mind when I think of Kelly.

The first event was hearing Kelly playing and singing the Roy Orbison song "Blue Angel" at one of his gigs at The Dudley Arms in Himley just after the death of my son in September 1992. It broke me. The second event was going backstage at Wolverhampton Civic Hall, at his request, on Saturday 12th June 1993 and meeting the band. I'll never forget these immortal words either: "Don't talk to me about Part Two!" - for reasons known only to myself and my ELO gig buddy Christian Evans! I'll leave you with the message I posted on the BBC News website earlier today which sort of sums up how I feel:

"I was always proud to tell folks of the times my path crossed with Kelly G. All those gigs across the Midlands and with ELO Part II. "The Fox" was a great cut. He was a great singer and all round musician. We wouldn't have heard those ELO hits live in the 90's without him. Top memory was his playing me a song in 1992 following the death of my son. Encore ... Kelly"

Until next "Time" in the ELO (and related) Universe ... KJS ... 19-Feb-2009

Wednesday, 11 February 2009

DVD Alert: Electric Dreams

#5: Hello ... Hello ... my old friends ... It's great to see you once again! The first ever DVD release of the 1984 movie "Electric Dreams" will be on Monday 6th April. Why do I mention this? Because it contains two Jeff Lynne solo efforts on the soundtrack. The traxs were, of course, entitled "Video!" and "Let It Run". What is also interesting to purveyors of this particular blog is that according to Wikipedia:

"the chorus part of "Beatles Forever" was used by Jeff Lynne on his "Video!" solo single" 

So there is a link between the song "Video!" (a single that reached #87 in July 1984) from the "Electric Dreams" OST and our unique quest for "Beatles Forever". You can view &/or pre-order the DVD &/or buy the Original Soundtrack CD from via these links thus:

Until next "Time" in the ELO (and related) Universe ... KJS ... 11-Feb-2009

Monday, 9 February 2009

Waxing Lyrical: Beatles Forever

#4: Hello ... Hello ... my old friends ... It's great to see you once again! Here are the lyrics (as best as Yours Truly KJS can do them justice) for the legendary "Beatles Forever" , written by a certain Jeff Lynne circa 1982 thus:
"There's something about a Beatles' song, that lives forever more,
The beauty of the harmonies, the sound of the Fab Four,
All their music will live on and on, John 'n' Paul, George and Ringo,
They really taught the world to sing!
Beatles Forever, Sergeant Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band,
Beatles Forever, All You Need Is Love, yeah yeah yeah,
Beatles Forever, I Wanna Hold Your Hand,
Beatles Forever, Hey Jude and Revolution, number nine!
'Cause when you feel the beat, you've gotta move your feet,
You get the rhythm 'n' blues, and a pretty tune,
Rock 'n' roll eternity, that started out as Merseybeat!
I try to write a good song, a song with feel and care,
I think it's quite a good song, 'til I hear one of theirs,
Makes you wonder how they did it, John 'n' Paul, George and Ringo
I wish I knew the secret!
Beatles Forever, Strawberry Fields Forever and ever,
Beatles Forever, Nowhere Man and Penny Lane,
Beatles Forever, Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds,
Beatles Forever, Get Back and Yesterday!
'Cause when you feel the beat, you've gotta move your feet,
You get the rhythm 'n' blues, and a pretty tune,
Rock 'n' roll eternity, that started out as Merseybeat,
All the children sing!
Beatles Forever, Please Please Me, Eleanor Rigby,
Beatles Forever, I Am The Walrus,
Beatles Forever, She Loves You, ooh, Day Tripper,
Beatles Forever, Eight Days A Week, Magical Mystery Tour!
'Cause when you feel the beat, you've gotta move your feet,
You get the rhythm 'n' blues, and a pretty tune,
Rock 'n' roll eternity, that started out as Merseybeat!
Feel the beat, gotta move your feet,
Rhythm and blues, pretty tune, rock 'n' roll, eternity,
Started out, as Merseybeat!
Beatles Forever, Beatles Forever, Beatles Forever!"

Until next "Time" in the ELO (and related) Universe ... KJS ... 09-Feb-2009

Saturday, 7 February 2009

Welcome To The Show

#3: Hello ... Hello ... my old friends ... It's great to see you once again! Quoting one of the secret messages included within this album: "Welcome to the Show!", we now move onto the missing seven tracks that define the difference between both formats of this album. "Beatles Forever" is a subject all on its own so we now look at how the six other deleted gems can be found: "Hello My Old Friend", "Mandalay", "No Way Out", "After All", "Buildings Have Eyes" and the original 1983 version of "Endless Lies". Let's go through the list!

"Hello My Old Friend" and "Mandalay" (still) can only be found on the 1990 US 3CD release "Afterglow" (Epic Associated #Z3K46090). "No Way Out" can also be found on "Afterglow" but was also included as a bonus track in the 2001 reissue of "Secret Messages" (Epic #5024962). "After All" was the 'B' side to the single "Rock & Roll Is King" (Jet #A3500) and can currently only be found as a bonus track of the 2001 version of "Secret Messages" (note that a much shorter 41 second version was found on the original "Secret Messages" 2LP). "Buildings Have Eyes" was the 'B' side to the single "Secret Messages" (Jet #A3720) and can only be found on "Afterglow". This is where it gets a little complicated! "Endless Lies" turned up on the 1986 release "Balance Of Power" but it was not the original version ... this was slated to appear on "Secret Messages" and that 1983 version was the third and final bonus track on the 2001 expanded remaster of "Secret Messages". So there you have it! Six tracks, two released on vinyl as 'B' sides, four from "Afterglow", three from "Secret Messages" (2001 edition), one track released twice as alternate versions, all six available in some form on CD ... all except (of course) for "Beatles Forever"! By the way; "Secret Messages" (2001) misses out the 20-30 seconds of 'secret messages' at the end of "Rock & Roll Is King" on the LP and original CD release (Epic #4624872).

So now you know how to gather seventeen out of the eighteen tracks of the originally intended "Secret Messages" double album. Yours Truly KJS will address this in more detail later but next time it'll be time to investigate "Beatles Forever" a little more closely.

Until next "Time" in the ELO (and related) Universe ... KJS ... 07-Feb-2009

Tuesday, 3 February 2009

Getting To The Point

#2: Hello ... Hello ... my old friends ... It's great to see you once again! Following on from my previous article entitled "Beatles Forever", it's time to look at the track list of this originally intended double album "Secret Messages". Here is the originally intended track listing:

Side A: "Secret Messages" (4:51) ~ "Loser Gone Wild" (5:17) ~ "Bluebird" (4:13) ~ "Take Me On And On" (5:02) Side B: "Stranger" (4:30) ~ "No Way Out" (3:27) ~ "Beatles Forever" (4:30) ~ "Letter From Spain" (2:59) ~ "Danger Ahead" (3:47) Side C: "Four Little Diamonds" (4:12) ~ "Train Of Gold" (4:22) ~ "Endless Lies" (3:35) ~ "Buildings Have Eyes" (4:04) ~ "Rock 'n' Roll Is King" (3:10) Side D: "Mandalay" (5:20) ~ "Time After Time" (3:56) ~ "After All" (0:41) ~ "Hello My Old Friend" (8:37)

Obviously, all eleven trax from the single LP version (#JETLX527) are here plus seven additional trax in "No Way Out", "Beatles Forever", "Endless Lies" (not the 1986 version found on "Balance Of Power" but the original 1983 version), "Buildings Have Eyes", "Mandalay", "After All" and "Hello My Old Friend" not forgetting "Time After Time" which was released on the original cassette format (#JETCX527) of the album.
So we have these 'extra' tracks from the Hilversum sessions that we can locate and obtain on various later releases (more on that soon). The one track, of all eighteen, that remains elusive is "Beatles Forever". Wikipedia says this about it:

Yours Truly KJS always been enamored with the "Secret Messages" album. I think it was vastly underrated. So to find out in the later eighties that it should have been a double album (#JETDP402) and then to identify six out of seven of the 'missing' songs leaves us with the tantalizing and enigmatic "Beatles Forever" outstanding. It's my hobby, an interest but never an obsession. I think it would be nice to close the chapter with a full reissue of this classic 1983 album - that's all. The jewel in the crown (hence the above title being ELO Beatles Forever), would be "Beatles Forever" in its proper place. My next article will cover the various releases of those six 'lost' songs and where to find them before addressing "Beatles Forever" in more detail after that.

Until next "Time" in the ELO (and related) Universe ... KJS ... 03-Feb-2009

Monday, 2 February 2009

Beatles Forever

#1: Hello! My name is Keith James Sinclair. The goal, purpose, aim of this new blog is simple. To campaign for the release of the intact; originally-intended; 18-track, double album released by the Electric Light Orchestra (ELO) in 1983 entitled "Secret Messages" (Jet #JETLX527)"Secret Messages" was released as a single album in June 1983, peaking at #4 in the UK album charts with a 15 week chart run. Just the three singles were released from the album: "Rock 'n' Roll Is King" (Jet #A3500/UK #13)"Secret Messages" (Jet #A3720/UK #48) and "Four Little Diamonds" (Jet #A3869/UK #84).
The single album release included eleven trax whereas the double album version had a roster of eighteen trax. Here's the track listing of the single LP version (Side A: trax #1-4; Side B: trax #6-11): (1) "Secret Messages" ~ (2) "Loser Gone Wild" ~ (3) "Bluebird" ~ (4) "Take Me On And On" ~ (5) "Time After Time" (Cassette only) ~ (6) "Four Little Diamonds" ~ (7) "Stranger" ~ (8) "Danger Ahead" ~ (9) "Letter From Spain" ~ (10) "Train Of Gold" ~ (11) "Rock 'n' Roll Is King"

My next article will look at the intended trax for the double album version and summarize the differences between the two versions before introducing you to the enigmatic "Beatles Forever". If you are an ELO &/or Beatles fan, please spread the word and lobby SonyBMG Records to release this album in its entirety - including, of course, "Beatles Forever"!

Until next "Time" in the ELO (and related) Universe ... KJS ... 02-Feb-2009