Tuesday, 12 January 2010

When 39 Ain't 40! (Part 1)

#79: Hello ... Hello ... my old friends ... It's great to see you once again! Speaking as someone who has (sadly) passed the threshold of the age of 40, I find it hard to understand all the fuss and promises of major ELO release activity celebrating the 40th 'anniversary' of Electric Light Orchestra. As far as I'm concerned, 2010 is ELO's 39th birthday because I consider their birth to be in 1971 and not 1970. Their self-titled first album (known, of course, as "No Answer" in the States) may well have been - in part - recorded in 1970 but, to me, as it was released in 1971, that is the year that ELO began. I remember one of the (many) EMI re-releases of ELO's tenure with Harvest being entitled "Early ELO: 1971-1973". I also recall that ELO Part II's 1997 UK tour was marketed as their 25th Anniversary Tour. Sony's "Light Years" compilation (Sony Music #4890392/4) was released and advertised in that very tour programme that year too! Evidently ELO Part II's management thought that 1972 was the year of their conception to further confuse the matter!

All this talk by certain parties of an ELO 40th anniversary release bonanza should be taken with a pinch of salt and as a master marketing campaign originated by Sony. Yours Truly KJS expects (yet) another ELO compilation this year! I'd rather see the full "Secret Messages" 18-track set released including "Beatles Forever" - to celebrate "Secret Messages" 27th and ELO's 39th anniversary!

Until next "Time" in the ELO (and related) Universe ... KJS ... 12-Jan-2010


  1. This is what Wikipedia says: 'Birth of the band:
    In the late 1960s, Roy Wood, guitarist, vocalist songwriter of The Move, had an idea to form a new band that would use cellos, violins, horns and woodwinds to give their music a classical sound, taking rock music in the direction "that The Beatles had left off." Jeff Lynne, frontman with fellow Birmingham band The Idle Race, was excited by the concept. In January 1970, when Carl Wayne left The Move, Lynne accepted Wood's second invitation to join the band on the condition that they focus their energy on the new project.

    On 12 July 1970, when Wood added multiple cellos to a Lynne-penned song intended to be a Move B-side, the new concept became a reality and "10538 Overture" became the first Electric Light Orchestra song. To help finance the fledgling band, two more Move albums were released during the lengthy ELO recordings. The resulting debut album The Electric Light Orchestra was released in 1971 (1972 in the United States as No Answer) and "10538 Overture" became a UK top ten hit.

    Roy, Jeff and Bev were the initial members of Electric Light Orchestra. They were joined in 1971 by Bill Hunt (horns, keyboards) and Steve Woolam (violin).

    ELO's debut concert took place on April 16, 1972 at The Fox & Greyhound Pub in Croydon, U.K. with a lineup of Wood, Lynne, Bevan, Bill Hunt (horns, keyboards), Wilfred Gibson (violin), Hugh McDowell (cello), Andy Craig (cello) and Richard Tandy on bass.'

    Chris 'Hold on Tight' Evans.

  2. Goodness me ... we have a comment from my lead researcher here ... Chris 'Xanadu II' Evans. Trust this badly misled Birmingham City supporter to add to the controversy! Then again; he even gets his own age wrong so the deabte can rumble on!

    Keith 'Is It Alright?' Sinclair