Wednesday, 10 August 2011

Review: EarthRise (Morgan/Tandy)

#237: Hello ... Hello ... my old friends ... It's great to see you once again! This week saw the long awaited re-release of that enigmatic (US:1984; UK: 1986) release by Morgan/Tandy (previously Tandy Morgan) entitled "Earthrise". The much anticipated CD arrived here at ELO Beatles Forever (ELOBF) earlier this week, duly signed (see above) by Richard Tandy and Dave Scott-Morgan, former members of classic ELO line-ups between 1972-86 and 1981-86 respectively. Up to now, Yours Truly KJS has had limited access to the twin works of these two ELO stalwarts other than buying the excellent charity single "Action!" by The Tandy Morgan Band - released via Wolverhampton's very own FM Records label (#VHF26) in aid of Birmingham Children's Hospital and produced, of course, by Jeff Lynne - and having also found original "Earthrise" tracks "Under The Blue/Asteroid", "Pictures In My Pillow" and "Ria" included in Eagle Records' 1999 compilation "Electric Light Orchestra - Friends and Relatives".

This was therefore an opportunity to listen to this album almost as a 'new' release. "Earthrise" is a recording that will sit very well with ELO fans who were in their element in the early eighties when they were treated to their second concept album "Time" in 1981 and its successor "Secret Messages" in 1983. Without a doubt, "Earthrise" is the musical twin sister to "Time". Both are musical journeys into an advanced yet uncertain cosmic future of time travel with the afterglow of regret at the loss of the simplicity and personal aspect of life. The use of the vocoder is a common trait with its progenitor and there are not a few shades of "Secret Messages" apparent throughout it.

"Earthrise" trax are: "Spaceship Earth"; "Earth Rise"; "Under the Blue/Asteroid"; "Starclipse/Purpose"; "One Thousand Worlds"; "Escape from the Citadel"; "Third Planet"; "Suddenly"; "Princeton"; "Wheels"; "Caesar of the Galaxy"; "The Secret" and "Zero Zero". Additional trax: "Pictures In My Pillow"; "Ria (Backing)" and "Starclipse (Outmix)"

Having listened to this album a few times now, one can see a natural progression into and between each of the 'original' first thirteen tracks - as was the case with "Time" coincidentally. There isn't a weak track on show here at all. It's hard to pick fave tracks too but if I had to pick three, they would be (at the time of writing): "Under the Blue/Asteroid", "One Thousand Worlds" and the sublime "Princeton". A very difficult choice indeed!
The new "Earthrise" artwork differs from the original but this new DigiPak edition is well presented in a gatefold sleeve and a nice eight page CD booklet. As you read said CD booklet, you cannot help but notice those ELO connections in terms of the musicians involved with this project! You will find acknowledgements for Brian Badhams (a member of Wheels Of Fire with Phil Bates), the late great Carl Wayne, Tony Clarkin (of Magnum fame) and Tony Kelsey (currently with The Move ft. Bev Bevan and Trevor Burton). There have also been contributions to the project by Phil Hatton (long time cohort of Jeff Lynne and founding member of WelshMansHill) and Colin Owen (live sound engineer for ELO). I am also hoping to interview both Dave Scott-Morgan and Colin Owen for ELO Beatles Forever (ELOBF) in the near future.

"Earthrise" has its very own dedicated web site and it can also be often found referred to over at Rock Legacy (both are Ged Eastick productions and are highly recommended). Although the initial offer for signed copies has expired, this is a 'must-have' release for all ELO fans. (9/10)

ELO Beatles Forever (ELOBF) recommends "Earthrise" (2011 Special Edition) by Morgan Tandy to those enlightened folks who enjoy the music of ELO/Jeff LynneRoy WoodThe MoveThe Idle Race'Brum Beat'The Beatles and related artistes.

Until next "Time" in the ELO (and related) Universe ... KJS ... 10-Aug-2011


  1. I've put it on my Amazon wish list Keith sounds rignt up my street :-) Marky D

  2. You keep telling me of releases I never knew of.