Tuesday, 26 June 2012

Chart Chat: Rolling Over Without Beethoven

 #363: Hello ... Hello ... my old friends ... It's great to see you once again! It's "Time" to ask that question again: Are ELO and Jeff Lynne mutually exclusive? Can either be successful in terms of record sales without the other? The reason I ask this is because it is very interesting when you consider that:
  • Jeff Lynne's first solo outing: "Armchair Theatre" peaked at #24 in the UK album chart in 1990 with a four [4] week chart run
  • ELO Part II's eponymous album "Electric Light Orchestra Part Two" peaked at #34 in the UK album chart in 1991 with a four [4] week chart run
  • ELO's "Zoom" also peaked at #34 in the UK album chart in 2001 with a three [3] week chart run
  • Regina Spektor's "Far" [part produced by Jeff] attained #30 in the UK album chart in 2009 with a five [5] week chart run
  • Joe Walsh's "Analog Man" [co-produced by Jeff] has managed #53 in the UK album chart so far after a two [2] week chart run
Looking at the above chart data, it's interesting that that neither the ELO ‘brand’ without Jeff Lynne or Jeff Lynne without ELO have had anything more than moderate direct or indirect [album] chart success. If we set aside Jeff's posthumous work with George Harrison and his great success with The Beatles as well as the best-selling Traveling Wilburys Rhino re-issue - even with all the good, positive press about the Regina Spektor and Joe Walsh albums as well as what appears to be the full backing of the ELO fan community - the UK album chart Top 20 has not been breached by any Jeff Lynne solo or part Jeff produced material save for the many [and relatively successful] ELO compilations and the "Out Of The Blue" remaster [#18] in the last two decades or so. This is an observation and not a criticism.

Again, one has to wonder where a second Jeff Lynne truly 'solo' album would chart. And where would an ELO album with the involvement of at least a few more of that ‘classic’ ELO line-up in Bev Bevan, Richard Tandy, Mik Kaminski [but sadly not Kelly Groucutt] chart too? Perhaps a little better. For that reason could it be that trademark ELO/Jeff Lynne without each other are rather like [in charting terms] ‘Rolling over without Beethoven’ yet never quite "Getting To The Point"? I honestly hope that Yours Truly KJS is proven wrong ...

Until next "Time" in the ELO [and related] Universe ... KJS ... 26-June-2012


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  2. it is a different world from the 70's and 80's. Jeff & ELO is not what is played to the younger demographics. My Father loves his Sinatra, always will. Our demo will always love Jeff Lynne. And the kids will have their own hero. "Every generation throws a hero up the pop charts" - Boy in the Bubble -Paul Simon