Thursday, 31 December 2015
Yours Truly 2015: A Year in Review
#1,036: Hello ... Hello ... my old friends ... It's great to see you once again! By anyone's standards, 2015 has been an amazing year for fans and artistes in the ELO Beatles Forever [ELOBF] universe. So much so, Yours Truly KJS has really struggled to squeeze it all into one concise article, this being my third attempt! Without doubt, the focus of 2015 was the continued resurgence of Jeff Lynne's ELO with an appearance at the 57th Grammys in February, the presentation [at long last] of his star on the Hollywood Walk of Stars in April, the official release of "Live At Hyde Park" on DVD/Blu-Ray in September, Jeff's trademark production of the latest Bryan Adams' studio album "Get Up" in October, the new EJLO LP "Alone In The Universe" unveiled in November to critical acclaim whilst debuting in the upper reaches of the UK official album chart with significant global commercial success, the announcement of the 2016 UK/European AITU tour plus those intimate UK live performances in and around London - including a show stealing cameo at The Royal Variety Performance - all before Jeff's 68th birthday in December!
Yet there is so much more to recall from a memorable year for ELO Beatles Forever [ELOBF] in which we broke through the 500K and 750K visitor milestones. Well over thirty  concerts/events have been attended and reviewed featuring the likes of Roy Wood, Pugwash, Alex Vann, Quill with Bev Bevan, Wings Over Abbey Road, ELO Again, Rebecca Downes, Pete Hackett, The ELO Experience, The Trevor Burton Band, China Crisis, The Explosive Light Orchestra, Morganisation, The Trembling Wilburys, Andy Fairweather Low & The Low Riders, ABC, Stand Up & Rock! with Jasper Carrott, The 2015 Mothers Club Reunion, Roy Orbison & The Traveling Wilburys Tribute, The Lemuns, Sight 'n' Sound, Fleetwood Mac, Elton John and [my fave of the year] the utterly amazing Paul McCartney. Apologies if I left anyone out!
ELOBF Record of the Year
ELOBF also reviewed some great albums in 2015 - besides, of course, "Alone In The Universe" - the highlights being "Brush With The Moon" [Quill], "Autumn In The Neighbourhood" [China Crisis], "World Premiere" [Starflight], "Play This Intimately [As If Among Friends]" [Pugwash], "Get Up" [Bryan Adams] amongst not a few others. It would be decidedly difficult to not select AITU as my Record of the Year so I've settled on a triple award for 2015.
At #3 I've selected "Get Up", not only because it's produced by our Jeff but also because musically it is a departure for Bryan Adams from his usual style and it worked for me from the very first play. Thomas Walsh delivered another astoundingly fab long player in "Play This Intimately [As If Among Friends]" alongside his wonderful Pugwash friends with their debut international release and it is fully deserving of being my #2 choice. No guesses as to what my #1 is!
2015 was also the year that also saw Yours Truly KJS interviewed for BBC Radio WM as well as the publishing of my interview with Marge Raymond as well as unveiling of the much deserved Blue Plaque for the late, great Kelly Groucutt in his beloved Coseley. ELO Beatles Forever [ELOBF] also pointed you towards a number of great books by Brian Paone ["Yours Truly, 2095"], Randy Blazak ["The Mission Of The Sacred Heart"], John Van Der Kiste ["Jeff Lynne: Electric Light Orchestra: Before And After"], Mark Stanway ["Close To The Mark"] and Bob Lawton ["The Man Who Stole Rock 'n' Roll"] aside from the usual artiste, album and event alerts.
It was nice to meet new friends and to also repair a couple of old friendships in 2015. I missed a few events and gigs too during the year but overall it really has been a bostin' [superb] year for ELO Beatles Forever [ELOBF] and 2016 looks like being busy too with more interviews, reviews, gigs, recommendations and [hopefully] the odd exclusive!
Yours Truly KJS would like to take this opportunity to say a big "THANK YOU!" to you for visiting ELO Beatles Forever [ELOBF] during 2015 and to also wish you a Happy, Peaceful, Prosperous if not ELOtastic New Year. See you in 2016 folks!
Until next "Time" in the ELO [and related] Universe ... KJS ... 31-Dec-2015