Monday, 26 May 2014

Caught Live (2): Desperado @ The Robin 25/05/14

Desperado [L-R]: Mike Tinsley; Chris Brighton; Darren Ashford; Steve Ashcroft; Frank Beach & Andy Saphir
#715: Hello ... Hello ... my old friends ... It's great to see you once again! The friendship and working relationship between Jeff Lynne and Joe Walsh as well as the contributions of Chris Brighton, Mike Tinsley and Darren Ashford from The Abbey Road Experience meant that the gig by Desperado at The Robin 2 last night [Sunday 25th May] was an attractive one for those of us in the ELO Beatles Forever [ELOBF] universe.

Most tribute bands tend to major on the well known hits of the artiste[s] whom they are replicating live. What strikes me about Desperado is their ability to deliver a set list that combines not only the familiar Eagles classics but also those album and solo tracks sometimes overlooked or even forgotten. And last night the bands attention to detail caught the eye [and ear!] particularly with the their intricate performance of Don Henley's 1984 classic "The Boys Of Summer".

Yours Truly KJS thoroughly enjoyed an evening which aptly commenced with "Take It Easy" and ended with my personal all time favourite Eagles track [not surprisingly!] "Desperado". Both The Eagles and ELO could have been said to have tied up the US arena circuit during their commercial seventies heyday and Desperado were well deserving of the ovation they received at the end of the evening as they gave the appreciative audience a real and true taste of both The Eagles' ballads and rockers in advance of their "History Of The Eagles" 2014 UK Tour, commencing later this week in Birmingham on Wednesday 28th May. Their cover of "Hotel California" was simply amazing. There is no other way to describe it.

Whether it being the superb individual and combined vocals of the band, particularly [but not exclusively] those of Chris Brighton and Steve Ashcroft or the glorious guitar prowess of Andy Saphir, the sublime bass of Mike Tinsley, the precise keyboards of Frank Beach or the pristine percussion of Darren Ashford, this sextet were very much in form for this performance. One was left with the impression that, as with the burgeoning number of ELO tribute bands, Desperado have enough of their own personality and individuality to more than hold their own in a busy marketplace. Go see 'em folks!

Desperado performed: "Take It Easy"; "Lyin' Eyes"; "The Boys Of Summer"; "Try And Love Again"; "Pretty Maids All In A Row"; "Somebody; "In The City"; "One Of These Nights"; "Wasted Time"; "The Last Resort"; "Victim Of Love"; "New Kid In Town"; "Peaceful Easy Feeling"; "Heartache Tonight"; "Life In The Fast Lane"; "Hotel California"; "Desperado"
Desperado Eagles Tribute are: Chris Brighton [Vocals/Guitar], Frank Beach [Keyboards], Steve Ashcroft [Vocals/Guitar/Percussion], Andy Saphir [Vocals/Guitars], Mike Tinsley [Vocals/Bass] and Darren Ashford [Drums]

Find out more about Desperado [including their current gig list] via their official web site thus:

ELO Beatles Forever [ELOBF] recommends Desperado to those enlightened folks who enjoy the music of ELO, Jeff LynneRoy WoodThe MoveThe Idle RaceThe Beatles'Brum Beat' , The Eagles and related artistes.

Until next "Time" in the ELO [and related] Universe ... KJS ... 26-May-2014

Sunday, 25 May 2014

Prized Possession

#714: Hello ... Hello ... my old friends ... It's great to see you once again! Over the light years, as have many ELO fans, I've managed to build up a collection of ELO (and related artistes) releases, rarities and memorabilia. Yours Truly KJS was asked the other day by a friend as to what was my most prized ELO Beatles Forever (ELOBF) related item. So, here is my answer to that question, at the time of writing: I've had the great pleasure of meeting - and in some cases interviewing - my musical heroes. However, my biggest disappointment was not being in a position to to attend Jeff Lynne's Broad Street 'Walk of Stars' presentation in Birmingham earlier this year.

Hence, when my uncollected invitation for that event arrived in the post a few days later signed by Jeff Lynne, it was instantly elevated to the top of my collection and more than made up for my misfortune. A prized possession in the truest sense of the word.

What's your most prized ELO related possession?

Until next "Time" in the ELO (and related) Universe ... KJS ... 25-May-2014

Saturday, 24 May 2014

Recommended: Out Of The Blue Art Print

#713: Hello ... Hello ... my old friends ... It's great to see you once again! Yours Truly KJS spotted the above typographic art print - which features all seventeen song titles (except, of course, for "Concerto For A Rainy Day") from ELO's iconic 1977 double album "Out Of The Blue" - on eBay the other day and thought it well worth mentioning.
Print #27 duly arrived in the post this morning here at ELO Beatles Forever (ELOBF) HQ in Wolverhampton and I can tell you that this item is well worth the investment - especially when it is mounted in a suitable picture frame. There are only 295 prints available (supplied in high grade 240gsm gloss) to purchase with each one signed by the artist and numbered on the flip side. The print is sized at 10" (254mm) x 8" (203mm) and is keenly priced at just £5.99 (plus P+P). This very nice piece of ELO themed art can be purchased via this link thus:

Until next "Time" in the ELO (and related) Universe ... KJS ... 24-May-2014

Tuesday, 20 May 2014

Review: Mystery Girl Deluxe (Roy Orbison)

#712: Hello ... Hello ... my old friends ... It's great to see you once again! Tuesday 6th December 1988 is a day and date firmly fixed in my memory. It was the day the legend who is Roy Orbison passed away during the magnificent resurgence of his four decade career, just a month before "You Got It" hit #3 in the UK Singles chart with comeback album "Mystery Girl" rocketing to #2 in the UK Album chart just a month later. I remember that day even more vividly than the days in which we lost Elvis Presley in 1977 and John Lennon in 1980 when I was 9 and 13 years of age respectively, probably because I was just over 21 years of age when The Big O tragically died of a heart attack.
Ever since its release was announced, ELO Beatles Forever (ELOBF) has been counting down the days and looking forward to the release of the 25th Anniversary Edition of "Mystery Girl" here in the UK on Monday 19th May and in the US on Tuesday 20th May. And that anticipation was not in vain. Much as in the same way as the the excellent chart topping Traveling Wilburys Collection was presented to us back in 2007, Sony Legacy have now excelled themselves by combining the original ten song roster with nine trax including studio demos, worktape demos and 'new' song "The Way Is Love", based on a 1986 audio tape but re-worked with the musical talents of the three Orbison sons Wesley, Roy Jr. and Alex - not unlike that of The Beatles' "Free As A Bird" and "Real Love".

Those ten songs from the original release still impress and they still ooze class. The three songs co-written and produced by Jeff Lynne speak for themselves - "You Got It", "A Love So Beautiful" and "California Blue" are timeless classics in their own right but the whole album is a testament to Roy's astonishing gifting. The Bono produced "She's A Mystery To Me" is still spine-tingling as are those oft overlooked album gems "In The Real World", "(All I Can Do Is) Dream You" and "Careless Heart". In fact, there are no stocking fillers on this record. There never were. It was that good an album. The bonus tracks give a real insight to the undisputed talent of Roy Orbison in the studio and really emphasize the once-in-a-generation quality of his legendary voice. These recordings give the impression of the listener almost intruding into the Orbison household, such is the musical intimacy on show.
If this nineteen track reissue of "Mystery Girl" (#88697607032) ticks all the proverbial boxes, then the DVD included within the Deluxe CD set really is the jewel in the crown. "Mystery Girl: Unraveled" is an in-depth overview of all the songs that made up the album. With contributions by (of course): Jeff Lynne, Tom Petty, Bono, Roy's Boys, the late Barbara Orbison, Mike Campbell, Jim Keltner and engineer Richard Dodd amongst not a few others (plus archive footage of George Harrison), this has to be one of the most entertaining, thorough and respectful music documentaries that Yours Truly KJS has seen or heard. The fond recollections of their father by his sons are perfectly balanced by the thoughts and commentaries of those involved in the project.

"Without a doubt, the special friendship between Jeff Lynne and Roy Orbison shines throughout."

I loved the footage of the larking about of and the recording process involving Roy, Jeff, Tom and George in the bedroom and garage of Mike Campbell, including certain animal vocals! And seeing Roy singing backing vocals for TP's "Zombie Zoo" during the "Full Moon Fever" sessions was just simply superb. Without a doubt, the special friendship between Jeff Lynne and Roy Orbison shines throughout. "Mystery Girl: Unraveled" is a truly touching tribute to a real legend.

To cap this fantastic release, the inclusive DVD also includes eight bonus videos including those for "The Way Is Love", the original music videos for all four singles plus three alternate versions. The alternate acoustic video for "California Blue" with Roy in the studio is beyond description. "Mystery Girl Deluxe" is now available in Expanded CD (15 trax)Expanded download (15 trax)Deluxe CD/DVD (19 trax/8 videos/1 documentary) and Deluxe 2LP (19 trax) formats. (10/10)

ELO Beatles Forever (ELOBF) recommends "Mystery Girl Deluxe" by Roy Orbison to those enlightened folks who enjoy the music of ELO/Jeff LynneRoy WoodThe Move'Brum Beat'The Beatles and related artistes.

Until next "Time" in the ELO (and related) Universe ... KJS ... 20-May-2014

Monday, 19 May 2014

Elsewhere with ELOBF #2

#711: Hello ... Hello ... my old friends ... It's great to see you once again! Just in case you weren't aware, Yours Truly KJS/ELO Beatles Forever (ELOBF) can also be found over at Twitter and YouTube. If you are so minded, you can investigate either or both sites via these links thus:

Until next "Time" in the ELO (and related) Universe ... KJS ... 19-May-2014

Thursday, 15 May 2014

Classic ELO VHS Still Cries Out for DVD Release

#710: Hello ... Hello ... my old friends ... It's great to see you once again! I was looking at my ELO music video (VHS) collection the other day and was reminded of my longstanding desire to see some of them (finally) released on DVD. The videos in question are "The Very Best Of The Electric Light Orchestra" (a 1991 compilation of ELO promotional videos from various sources featuring trax from "A New World Record" through to "Discovery", released by Telstar, #TVE1033) and "Electric Light Orchestra Part Two: Live In Concert With The Moscow Symphony Orchestra" (an edit of their legendary NEC gig, also released by Telstar in 1991, #TVE1037).

Telstar are no longer around so the question of who owns the rights to the ELO Part II/MSO live video needs to be resolved and, in addition to that, one of the biggest mysteries for me is why Sony BMG have never released an ELO Video Hits DVD. Yes, most of the video footage can be accessed on the internet, but ELO fans have never seen an official physical release of the bands music videos whereas other artistes (with the same or lesser legacy and pedigree as ELO) have long since released such compilations.

ELO Beatles Forever (ELOBF) have covered this subject before within these articles in 2009 and 2011 respectively. Yours Truly KJS hopes that one day soon, Eagle Rock Entertainment or Sony Music will add to their roster of ELO related releases with some or all of these two long deleted audio visual rarities transferred to DVD &/or even Blu-ray.
Until next "Time" in the ELO (and related) Universe ... KJS ... 15-May-2014

Saturday, 10 May 2014

My First Record: Turn To Stone (ELO)

#709: Hello ... Hello ... my old friends ... It's great to see you once again! Lots of folks fondly recall their memories of buying their first record. And my recollection of my first vinyl purchase is doubly so because it was "Turn To Stone" b/w "Mister Kingdom" by the Electric Light Orchestra (Jet/UA #UP36313) in that rather fetching deep blue sleeve complete with THE classic ELO logo.

Yours Truly KJS can still remember buying the famed 7" from Finlays, a confectionery shop on the Stafford Road in Oxley, Wolverhampton, who also happened to sell the Top 40 singles of the day. Credit will always be due to my elder brother Bob, who introduced me to both ELO and The Move. They were great days indeed and I'll never forget that first vinyl buy of mine, closely followed, if I remember correctly, by "A New World Record" at just 18p a week from my mum's catalogue!

What was first record that you bought? Was it by ELO, Roy Wood, The MoveThe Beatles or someone else?

Until next "Time" in the ELO (and related) Universe ... KJS ... 10-May-2014

Thursday, 8 May 2014

Caught Live (5): The Trevor Burton Band @ The Kingfisher 07/05/14

Trevor Burton: Guitar Great ... and he's not a bad vocalist either!
#708: Hello ... Hello ... my old friends ... It's great to see you once again! Going to a gig by The Trevor Burton Band is getting to be a regular occurrence for Yours Truly KJS. Because the co-founder of The Move and former member of Balls and The Steve Gibbons Band never ceases to amaze this writer with his six string prowess. It was during last nights inspired performance at The Kingfisher that Trevor delivered yet another stunning masterclass of Blues, ably supported by his trusted cohorts Pez Connor (Bass/backing vox) and Bill Jefferson (Drums).
Drummer Bill Jefferson (l) and Bassist Pez Connor (r) complete The Trevor Burton Band
In fact, this was no concert, it was more a glorious jam session showing off the undoubted class of this much underrated Midlands trio. Whether it be Freddie King or John Hiatt or the band's rendition of "Sunshine Of My Love""Little Rachel""Werewolves Of London" and Trev's very own "Down Down Down" (written for and recorded by none other than Dave Edmunds), it was a real privilege to see such professionals ply their trade without restriction. And with the promise of more to come with the impending addition of Tony Kelsey and Abby Brant, you really should go see 'em folks! Find out more about The Trevor Burton Band (including their current gig list) via their official website thus:

ELO Beatles Forever (ELOBF) recommends The Trevor Burton Band to those enlightened folks who enjoy the music of ELO/Jeff LynneRoy Wood, The Move, 'Brum Beat', The Beatles and related artistes.

Until next "Time" in the ELO (and related) Universe ... KJS ... 08-May-2014

Monday, 5 May 2014

Review: Record Collection EP (David Myhr)

#707: Hello ... Hello ... my old friends ... It's great to see you once again! ELO Beatles Forever (ELOBF) featured artiste David Myhr releases the follow-up to his astounding album "Soundshine" today (Monday 5th May) with the impressive five track digital EP (including lyric video) "Record Collection" (LoJinx #LJX078). Three of the trax also feature Japanese artiste Puffy and the whole EP would indeed be an impressive addition to the "Record Collection" of most folks.

"Record Collection" kicks off with the title track (originally released on the Japanese edition of "Soundshine") and a classic piece of perfect power pop, complete with trademark Lynnesque layered backing vocals, it is too. Next up is a brand new song entitled "You Stole My Heart Away". Another top quality high tempo foot tapper! Track three is "Boom Boom Beat" - another superb guitar driven rocker from that expanded Japanese release. "The Things We Do For Love" was David's fantastic contribution to last years "Drink A Toast To Innocence: A Tribute To Lite Rock" tribute album and is, of course, a cover of the 10cc classic - par excellence! Last, but not least, sees the famed Abbey Road version of "Never Mine", a truly Beatlesque take of one of the strongest trax from "Soundshine". Any fan of ELO, The Beatles and Power Pop in general will have good reason to love this EP! (9/10)

Trax: "Record Collection" (ft. Puffy) ~ "You Stole My Heart Away" (ft. Puffy) ~ "Boom Boom Beat" (ft. Puffy) ~ "The Things We Do For Love" ~ "Never Mine (Abbey Road Version)"

A personal overview of "Record Collection" by David Myhr himself can be read here and the EP can purchased via these links thus:

ELO Beatles Forever (ELOBF) recommends the "Record Collection EP" by David Myhr to those enlightened folks who enjoy the music of ELO/Jeff Lynne, Roy Wood, The Move, 'Brum Beat', The Beatles and related artistes.

Until next "Time" in the ELO (and related) Universe ... KJS ... 05-May-2014

Saturday, 3 May 2014

That Was The Week That Was

#706: Hello ... Hello ... my old friends ... It's great to see you once again! This last week was of particular interest to ELO Beatles Forever (ELOBF) for two reasons here in the UK. It was the week that saw both the DVD release of "American Hustle" on Monday 28th April and the British TV premiere of "The Beatles: The Night That Changed America - A Grammy Salute" on Friday 2nd May.

Yours Truly KJS enjoyed watching "American Hustle". It's a good film with a plot that intrigues and ultimately serves up the expected twist at its finale. Obviously, the inclusion of "10538 Overture", "Long Black Road" and "Stream Of Stars" has long been a draw for fans of ELO/Jeff Lynne so the only negative for me was my failure to discern Jeff's much vaunted new interpretation of "Clair de Lune" within the film soundtrack. Note that both "10538 Overture" and "Long Black Road" appear twice, in the film itself and again during the credits. Also of note is that "Couldn't Get It Right" (co-written by ELO Part II founding member - the much missed Pete Haycock - for the Climax Blues Band) also makes an appearance in the deleted scenes section under "Carmine On Stage Singing". (8/10)

The other major media event in the ELOBF universe this week was the debut on British television, (almost three months) after the US TV broadcast, of "The Beatles: The Night That Changed America - A Grammy Salute". The programme was fascinating and tremendously informative as the makers detailed the pre-Beatles lives of JohnPaulGeorge and Ringo and their fated coming together. The interviews, not only with Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr, were complimented by the memories of the studio crew and some of those present in the audience on 9th February 1964. Real history indeed.

It goes without saying that it was great seeing Jeff Lynne again performing "Something" with Dhani Harrison and Joe Walsh plus "Hey Bulldog" with Dave Grohl on nationwide TV here in the UK. I thought that the broadcast sound was a little flat, however, but not as annoying as the frequent and unannounced adverts. It was a noteworthy tribute to a Great Band. Looking forward to seeing a DVD this time! (9/10)

Until next "Time" in the ELO (and related) Universe ... KJS ... 03-May-2014