Thursday, 31 August 2017

Recommended: Don't Let It Get You Down (Fragile X)

#1,312: It's always been the great pleasure of elobeatlesforever (elobf) to recommend and feature Fragile X and Yours Truly KJS is pleased to bring you their brand new video showcasing a re-imagined version of classy rocker "Don't Let It Get You Down", a track previously found on their 2012 album "Return To Paradise". New look Fragile X - who previously covered the Jeff Lynne penned ELO classic "Turn To Stone" back in 2011 - are in the midst of relocating from Colorado to a new base in Los Angeles, where the new song was recorded and videoed at bassist Gail Sutton's aptly titled Gailforce Studios. Having spoken to founding drummer Sean Mack Page recently, it looks as if Fragile X are moving in a new direction - and that can only be up! Here's the video for "Don't Let It Get You Down" for you to view and peruse thus:
Fragile X are: Lance Allred (Lead Vocals) ~ Sean Mack Page (Drums) ~ Gail Sutton (Bass) ~ Aaron N Cruz (Guitars) and Louis Metoyer (Guitars)

Fragile X Official
elobeatlesforever (elobf) recommends "Don't Let It Get You Down" by Fragile X to those enlightened folks who enjoy the music of ELO, Jeff Lynne, Roy Wood, The Move, The Idle Race, 'Brum Beat', The Beatles, Rush and related artistes.

Until next "Time" in the ELO [and related] Universe ... KJS ... 31-Aug-2017

Tuesday, 29 August 2017

Drum Dreaming: ELO Trax Only in Vinyl

#1,311: Regular visitors to elobeatlesforever (elobf) will by now surely be aware of our initial goal: a campaign to see ELO's iconic 1983 LP "Secret Messages" released in its originally intended 2LP  glory replete, of course, with "Beatles Forever" and, as "Time" has gone by, Yours Truly KJS has also highlighted other hopefully interesting facts and anomalies regarding the recorded output of ELO (and related artistes). Back in May 2015, elobf posted an article pointing out that "Drum Dreams" had the unique record of being a 'B' side twice in the US having been of the flip side of both "I'm Alive" (#MCA-41246) and "All Over The World" (#MCA-41289) noting that "Drum Dreams" was also Side B of "I'm Alive" (#JET179) in the UK too.
"Drum Dreams": Three times a single ...
But there is more to "Drum Dreams" - Bev Bevan's stunning percussion demonstration from the "Xanadu" OST. And that it is one the very few Electric Light Orchestra tracks released on vinyl betwixt 1971-86 that has not made its way onto CD save also for the alternative lyric version of "Matter Of Fact" found on the 'B' side of the UK 12" single for "So Serious" (#TA7090) or the infamous "ELO Megamix" found on the 'B' side of the UK 12" single for "Getting To The Point" (#TA7317). There may be more as I am certainly no expert on the full ELO discography but with so many ELO singles backed by album tracks, this writer cannot recall any other Jeff Lynne penned tracks put out by ELO on vinyl back in the day that haven't made the move to CD.
The non-issue of "Drum Dreams" in digital format also reminds this particular writer that aside from "Secret Messages", an expanded remastered edition of the "Xanadu" OST (Jet/MCA #JETLX526) is also overdue including not only "Drum Dreams" but also Olivia Newton-John's "Fool Country" and the instrumental "Xanadu Overture" also found in the film soundtrack. Whether it be "Drum Dreams", an expanded "Xanadu" or even a 2LP "Secret Messages" complete with "Beatles Forever", there is still much to hope for when it comes to future ELO reissues and/or re-releases. Maybe the "ELO Megamix" will also make it one day alongside that alternative "Matter Of Fact" and any other tracks that I've undoubtedly missed!

On The Flip Side: ELO's Jet 'B' Sides
Taken From The Album: ELO's Jet 'B' Sides

Until next "Time" in the ELO (and related) Universe ... KJS ... 29-Aug-2017

Sunday, 27 August 2017

Here Is The Newsletter

#1,310: My good friend Patrik Guttenbacher over at FTM Germany is in need of a little assistance from ELO fans on the subject of Official ELO Fan Club newsletters and offers from 1978 onwards. Patrik is presently aware of eight newsletters, four chapters of ELO: The Complete History and at least seven fan club offers (the above eBay photo shows some of the items) thus:
  • Introductory Newsletter (Spring 78)
  • Autumn Newsletter (1978)
  • Spring Newsletter (1979)
  • Summer Newsletter (1979)
  • Christmas Newsletter (1979)
  • Spring Newsletter (1980)
  • Summer Newsletter (1980)
  • Spring Newsletter (1981) (*)
  • ELO: The Complete History Chapter 1
  • ELO: The Complete History Chapter 2
  • ELO: The Complete History Chapter 3
  • ELO: The Complete History Chapter 4
  • ELO Fan Club Offer #1: T-Shirt with fan club Logo in S/M/L/XL
  • ELO Fan Club Offer #2: Full colour tour poster (23.5" x 33")
  • ELO Fan Club Offer #3: Fan club logo pendant in metal or sterling silver
  • ELO Fan Club Offer #4: American style baseball cap in red or blue
  • ELO Fan Club Offer #5: Shoulder travel bag in brown or blue
  • ELO Fan Club Offer #6: ELO satin tour jacket
  • ELO Fan Club Offer #7: Four Light Years offer (*)
Patrik would like to know if there were any further Official ELO Fan Club newsletters or offers issued beyond those listed above, specifically whether there was another newsletter issued between Summer 1980 and Spring 1981 &/or a further offer for the "Four Light Years" boxed set. Please note that Patrik is also looking to acquire the Spring 1981 Newsletter and the "Four Light Years" offer as listed above (*)

If you are aware of any further Official ELO Fan Club newsletters or offers, please contact Yours Truly KJS here at elobeatlesforever (elobf) and/or contact Patrik at FTM Germany via email at with any scans or photographs. Thank you in advance for your kind consideration and help!
elobeatlesforever (elobf) recommends FTM Germany 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 ... 27-Aug-2017

Friday, 25 August 2017

Exclusive: New BGO Single: The Beatles Made Me

#1,309: elobeatlesforever (elobf) are pleased to confirm that the lead single from the much anticipated sixth Bubble Gum Orchestra (BGO) studio album "Sixthoverture" will be the excellent Michael Laine Hildebrandt penned track "The Beatles Made Me", released on Tuesday 29th August. With its guitar driven melodies, "The Beatles Made Me" will appeal to fans of The Fab Four and ELO, following lyrically to some degree in the footsteps of "Beatles Forever" and also BGO's very own "ELO Forever". Listen to and/or pre-order "The Beatles Made Me" via these links thus:

"Sixthoverture" is set to follow "The Beatles Made Me" with a mid to late September release date and Yours Truly KJS can assure you that BGO VI will be well worth the wait!

elobeatlesforever (elobf) recommends "The Beatles Made Me" and "Sixthoverture" by Bubble Gum Orchestra (BGO) to those enlightened folks who enjoy the music of ELOJeff LynneRoy WoodThe MoveThe Idle Race'Brum Beat'The Beatles and related artistes.

Until next "Time" in the ELO (and related) Universe ... KJS ... 25-Aug-2017

Friday, 18 August 2017

Roy Wood: Rockmas 2017 Revealed + Tickets

#1,308: Paul Young will be joining Roy Wood for his 2017 Rockmas date at the iconic Symphony Hall in Birmingham this year from 7:45PM on Saturday 16th December. Also joining the maestro who brought us The Move, ELO and Wizzard will be Galleon Blast - the musical ship of BBC Radio 2 and Radio 6 DJ Mark Radcliffe - with comedian Kev Orkian returning alongside regulars The Enigma Strings. We are also promised "surprises" for an event that Roy himself says:
Paul has performed before with Woody in Spike Edney's SAS Band and his inclusion is sure to make his annual Christmas bash even more memorable. Roy has also written a bonus track entitled "Sailing Home" for the new Galleon Blast album "A Band On A Ship", having also supported Roy and his Rock & Roll Band last year. You may also remember that the talented and very funny Kev Orkian almost stole the show at Rockmas 2016 so a fab evening is on the cards ... again!
Roy Wood with Galleon Blast
Tickets are already on sale to THSH members priced at £35.50 each and go on sale to the general public from 10:00AM on Friday 18th August via these links thus:

elobeatlesforever (elobf) recommends Roy Wood's Rockmas 2017 to those enlightened folks who enjoy the music of ELO/Jeff Lynne, Roy Wood, Wizzard, The Move, The Idle Race, 'Brum Beat', The Beatles and related artistes.

Until next "Time" in the ELO (and related) Universe ... KJS ... 18-Aug-2017

Wednesday, 16 August 2017

Singled Out: The Electric Light Orchestra (No Answer)

#1,307: In writing my recent elobeatlesforever (elobf) article: Reaping The Harvest regarding the multiple releases of ELO's Harvest singles "Roll Over Beethoven" (#HAR5063) and "Showdown" (#HAR5077) , Yours Truly KJS mentioned "Manhattan Rumble (49th Street Massacre)" the withdrawn 'B' side for "Roll Over Beethoven" replaced by "Queen Of The Hours". Yet , whereas "Manhattan Rumble" was possibly the most unlikely of ELO 'B' sides here in the UK, it was matched in the US by the even more unlikely selection of "The Battle Of Marston Moor (July 2nd 1644)" as the flip side of "10538 Overture" (UA #50914) while the amiable Roy Wood composition "First Movement (Jumping Biz)" was found on the 'B' side of ELO's debut single here in the UK.

This means that five of the nine tracks from debut album "The Electric Light Orchestra" (or "No Answer" in the US due to a secretarial misunderstanding) were released in 7" format in the UK/US. This is especially surprising when you consider that tracks like "Whisper In The Night", "Look At Me Now" and "Mr. Radio" remain as album tracks to this day although a withdrawn 7" single edit of "Mr. Radio" can be found on the 2006 Harvest 3CD compilation "The Harvest Years: 1970-1973" (#SHDW414), suggesting that it may have initially intended as ELO's second single.

These words - as written by Harry Doherty and found on the sleeve notes for the 1979 Harvest Heritage compilation LP "The Light Shines On Vol. 2" (#SHSM2027) - come to mind when it comes to early ELO output, specifically their first album:

"And - please - will you sit up and take notice this time. If you're a real ELO fan, there's a lot to be learned from this early stuff, you know ... It's for that very reason that you should listen attentively to these early works. Okay?"

Reaping The Harvest: Showdown & Roll Over Beethoven
Singled Out: The Battle of Martston Moor

Until next "Time" in the ELO (and related) Universe ... KJS ... 16-Aug-2017

Tuesday, 15 August 2017

Turn To Stone: Solid Centre Setbacks

Classic solid centre (left) versus four pronged (slotted) centre (right)
#1,306: Regular visitors to elobeatlesforever (elobf) will know that ELOBF has, from time to time, featured the odd ELO 7" vinyl single solid centre rarity, specifically "Turn To Stone" b/w "Mister Kingdom" (Jet/UA #UP36313) and "Showdown" b/w "In Old England Town (Instrumental)" (Harvest #HAR5077). Having finally tracked down a solid centre "Showdown" last year, Yours Truly KJS had set my sights not only on finding "Turn To Stone" but now also - thanks to alerts from my fellow record collecting pals Jon Lock of ELO Light Years Ahead and Matt McGough of ELO UK Albums - solid centre editions of "Telephone Line" (Jet/UA #UP36254) and "Mr. Blue Sky" (Jet/UA #UP36342).
Nabbed in November: A solid centre "Showdown"
Yet my search for a solid centre "Turn To Stone" remains fruitless at the time of writing due to the fact that many folks who are selling items on eBay, Discogs and MusicStack appear to be unaware of the difference bewtixt a four prong (slotted) centre and a solid centre. So much so that I now in possession of at least five copies of "Turn To Stone" replete with a four prong centre having decided to not bother returning them! Hence the purpose of this article is to educate anyone interested as to the visual difference between a solid and a four pronged centre - as pictured above top!
Still seeking these ELO solid centre rarities (Photos: Matt McGough/ELO UK Albums)
It goes without saying that elobf would love to hear from folks who have a spare copy of any or all of the above trio of black vinyl solid centre singles and also if you'd like a copy of my overflowing stock of four pronged "Turn To Stone" singles for a charitable donation ...

UP36313: Turn To Stone Twist
HAR5077: Solid Centre Showdown

Until next "Time" in the ELO (and related) Universe ... KJS ... 15-Aug-2017

Saturday, 12 August 2017

Reaping the Harvest: Showdown & Roll Over Beethoven

#1,305: Back in the dying embers of 1977 when Yours Truly KJS first found the Electric Light Orchestra (ELO) as a ten year old, starting with the purchase of "Turn To Stone" b/w "Mister Kingdom" (Jet/UA #UP36313), it was quite natural to go backwards in time and rummage through either the Oldies Unlimited catalogue (remember those?) or various second hand record shops in Wolverhampton and Birmingham to collect the ELO back catalogue including (of course) their Harvest hit singles "10538 Overture" (#HAR5053), "Roll Over Beethoven" b/w "First Movement (Jumping Biz)" (#HAR5063) - especially with original 'B' side "Manhattan Rumble (49th Street Massacre)" withdrawn in favour of the more widely available "Queen Of The Hours" - and "Showdown" b/w "In Old England Town (Instrumental)" (#HAR5077).
Note that The Electric Light Orchestra became Electric Light Orchestra for the Harvest reissues
Back then you noticed just how many compilation albums were about that covered the Harvest career of early ELO which cut and pasted their first two studio albums "The Electric Light Orchestra" (#SHVL797) - also known, amusingly, as "No Answer" in the States - and "ELO II" or "ELO2"(#SHVL806) together with the then non-album UK single "Showdown" including the 1974 collection not unsurprisingly entitled "Showdown" (#SHSP4037). 1977 also saw the release of the Harvest Heritage LP "The Light Shines On" (#SHSM2015) which saw the first reissue of the single "Showdown" backed by "Roll Over Beethoven" (#HAR5121) on 7" together with a limited edition demo also issued on 12" (#PSLP213) doubtless hoping to build on the success of "A New World Record" (Jet/UA #UAG30017) and the newly unveiled "Out Of The Blue" (Jet/UA #UAR100).
Two years later in 1979, with ELO at their commercial peak following their 1978 spaceship festooned world tour, the multi-platinum selling "Out Of The Blue" (with its four hit singles) and ELO's first #1 UK album "Discovery" (with four Top 10 singles following in its wake), Harvest Heritage put out "The Light Shines On Vol. 2" (#SHSM2027) - another trawl through ELO's first duo of Harvest albums with a second reissue of "Showdown" b/w "Roll Over Beethoven" (#HAR5179) this time with a rather attractive full 12" pressing too (#12HAR5179) including the eight minute album version of the Chuck Berry penned classic.

This was a time of Discovery - literally - for this writer as it also led to an appreciation also of the role of Roy Wood not only in the invention and foundation of ELO but also his amazing songwriting, musicianship and production for himselfThe Move, Wizzard and beyond. If nothing else, the very many reissues and compilations issued by EMI/Harvest over the years covering the first light years of ELO cement the core trio of Jeff Lynne, Roy Wood and Bev Bevan in rock music folklore. And hidden in the background, somewhat underlining that early ELO promise, has been those aforementioned thrice released singles "Showdown" and "Roll Over Beethoven".

Until next "Time" in the ELO (and related) Universe ... KJS ... 12-Aug-2017

Monday, 7 August 2017

Caught Live (2): The Orchestra @ Rewind North 06/08/17

#1,304: It's been almost three and a half years since Yours Truly KJS had the opportunity to see and hear The Orchestra (Starring Former ELO Members) perform here in the UK hence their appearance at the ever popular Rewind North eighties bash in the the stately Cheshire grounds of Capesthorne Hall yesterday (Sunday 6th August) was always on the radar for elobeatlesforever (elobf) - especially as it was the first time that I'd seen The Orchestra play as a septet with Louis Clark joining his father on stage.
If their 2014 date at The Plug in Sheffield was impressive, then this festival cameo as delivered by The Orchestra was literally as out of this world as nearby Jodrell Bank. As soon at the septet struck up the first notes of "Evil Woman" on the coolest (temperature wise) of August afternoons, they had the watching masses on their feet, singing along and eating out of their hands as they dipped into five ELO albums and delivered those Jeff Lynne penned hits (see set list below) that we all know and love to raucous applause and very visible excitement.
Without any bias, it would be true to say that their 40 minute slot transformed proceedings, providing a real feel good factor whilst riding of the crest of the wave of current ELO popularity. The only problem with a performance such as this is that it leaves you wanting more! Let's hope that the crowd reaction and this electric light fantastic show will lead to some long overdue UK dates by The Orchestra soon. It's been said that a picture can say more than a thousand words so I hope that you will find that this somewhat brief review (with plenty of surprisingly good KJS photos) adequately portrays what was a tremendous gig!
The Orchestra (Starring Former ELO Members) performed: "Evil Woman" ~ "Livin' Thing" ~ "All Over The World" ~ "Sweet Talkin' Woman" ~ "The Diary Of Horace Wimp" ~ "Turn To Stone" ~ "Mr. Blue Sky" ~ "Don't Bring Me Down"
The Orchestra are: Mik Kaminski (Blue violin) ~ Louis Clark (Orchestral keyboards) ~ Eric Troyer (Vocals/keyboards) ~ Parthenon Huxley (Vocals/guitars) ~ Gordon Townsend (Drums) ~ Glen Burtnik (Vocals/bass) ~ Louis Clark Jnr. (Cello/guitar)
Check out The Orchestra's official web site for more information via the link below thus:

elobeatlesforever (elobf) recommends The Orchestra (Starring Former ELO Members) to those enlightened folks who enjoy the music of ELO/Jeff Lynne, Roy Wood, The Move, 'Brum Beat', The Idle Race, The Beatles and related artistes.

Until next "Time" in the ELO (and related) Universe ... KJS ... 07-Aug-2017

Saturday, 5 August 2017

Shine: When Take That Met ELO

#1,303: The reformation of Take That in 2006 was not only a delight for their fans but also, as it turned out, a pleasant surprise later for elobeatlesforever (elobf) when Yours Truly KJS positively purred over "Shine" - the second single from their "Beautiful World" album and, of course, a #1 chart topper.
With it's piano driven pomp and familiar string arrangement, the song - written by Take That and Steve Robson - is viewed by many as a nod to The Beatles and especially ELO. Indeed, one could say that "Shine" is a hint at things to come bearing in mind the role of Gary Barlow in beckoning the return of Jeff Lynne during November 2013. The ELO connections continued with "Shine" preceded by the outro from "Concerto For A Rainy Day" and "Mr. Blue Sky" during their "Beautiful World" tour not forgetting that the CDS artwork for the aforementioned single was festooned with light bulbs too - whether intentionally or not! Without a doubt, "Shine" remains and always will be my fave Take That tune and it deserves to be in the elobf spotlight again.

Take That: Beautiful World (1)   Take That: Beautiful World (2)
Caught Live: Take That @ Liverpool 22/05/17

elobeatlesforever (elobf) recommends "Shine" by Take That to those enlightened folks who enjoy the music of ELOJeff LynneRoy WoodThe MoveThe Idle Race'Brum Beat'The Beatles and related artistes.

Until next "Time" in the ELO (and related) Universe ... KJS ... 05-Aug-2017

Thursday, 3 August 2017

Kiste Me Read: The Musical Musings of John Van Der Kiste

#1,302: John Van der Kiste's new book "Electric Light Orchestra: Song By Song" duly arrived here at elobeatlesforever (elobf) HQ in Wolverhampton earlier this week and, having already made startling progress through its 127 pages, it is very much a fitting addition to the South Devon authors steadily growing library of elobf themed music books as well as his recent biography on the career of Lindisfarne. Here's a brief overview (or even bibliography) of the quartet of books authored by John Van der Kiste on the subject of Roy Wood, Jeff Lynne, The Beatles and ELO to date:
"Roy Wood: The Move , Wizzard And Beyond"
~ Originally published under the title "The Roy Wood Story" (1985) ~
Published by Amazon KDP (2012, 2014)
164 pages
ISBN 978-1502990365
"Jeff Lynne: The Electric Light Orchestra: Before And After"
Published by Fonthill Media (2015)
190 pages
ISBN 978-1781554920
"A Beatles Miscellany"
~ Originally published under the title "The Little Book Of The Beatles" (2014) ~
Published by Fonthill Media (2016)
144 pages
ISBN 9781781556828
"Electric Light Orchestra: Song By Song"
Published by Fonthill Media (2017)
127 pages
ISBN 9781781556009
elobeatlesforever (elobf) recommends author John Van der Kiste 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 ... 03-Aug-2017