I therefore asked myself whether I considered that all those ELO Part II gigs I attended in the nineties and those studio/live albums I bought back then were ELO. I also considered the same when it came to "Zoom", "Mr. Blue Sky", "Alone In The Universe", "Wembley Or Bust" and the wonderful Jeff Lynne's ELO concerts that I've attended at Birmingham (twice), Liverpool and London in recent years. Jeff Lynne wrote and produced 99.5% of ELO's recorded output betwixt 1971 and 1986. In terms of recorded output, it can be argued that albums released since 2001 are practically Jeff Lynne with a little help from his friends. In my opinion, the Hyde Park show, the AITU tour and Wembley spectacular are the nearest we will all get to quintessential ELO. Having said that, the audience reaction last year at Rewind North to The Orchestra was also quite special, as was seeing ELO Part II perform with the Moscow Symphony Orchestra back in May 1991.
For me, it all comes down to the name: Electric Light Orchestra. Initially co-owned by Roy Wood, Jeff Lynne and Bev Bevan and now the property of Jeff since 1999, the moniker Jeff Lynne's ELO says it all. My ELO were the Magnificent Seven who adorned the inner sleeve of "A New World Record". For some people, ELO Part II and/or The Orchestra will also be their ELO and, most certainly, Jeff Lynne's ELO are ELO to many here and now.
Whilst you can't ignore the past or the facts as to who ELO were (i.e. former members, their contribution and so forth), fans will always have the right to perceive ELO as they so wish. Yours Truly KJS used to get in trouble for saying that "Zoom" was "Armchair Theatre Part II" but experience has taught me to quote a certain song from that very album: "It Really Doesn't Matter". It's about the music and, these days, it's also about what I term ELOwnership.
Until next "Time" in the ELO [and related] Universe ... KJS ... 13-Jan-2018