Saturday, 7 July 2018

ELO: The Telstar Years

#1,429: When the dust had settled on what was then thought to be ELO's final studio album "Balance Of Power" (1986) and as more than adequately chronicled elsewhere, there was a vacuum for ELO members and fans alike as Jeff Lynne began his amazing post-ELO career with none other than Roy Orbison, The Traveling Wilburys and Tom Petty in the late eighties. Just three years after "Balance Of Power", Telstar Records (known mostly for their compilations and the dance mix series "Deep Heat") released "The Very Best of Electric Light Orchestra" (STAR2370) - licensed from CBS Special Products - and were rewarded with a respectable UK album chart position of #23 in December 1989 before returning a year later at #28.
Perhaps buoyed by the commercial success of their Greatest Hits compilation and the news that Bev Bevan was putting together an Electric Light Orchestra Part Two without Jeff Lynne, Telstar became the means by which the self-titled debut ELO Part II album (STAR2503) was released in May 1991 (peaking at #34) with two Eric Troyer penned singles: "Honest Men" (ELO100) and "1,000 Eyes" (ELO101) issued from it (the former peaking at #60) at a time when ELO Part II famously toured the UK with the 80 piece Moscow Symphony Orchestra.
The year 1991 was a busy year for Telstar as the accompanying video compilation "The Very Best of Electric Light Orchestra" (TVE1033) was also released featuring a selection of Jet Records promo videos but omitting many more including that for "Hold On Tight" - elobeatlesforever (elobf) still awaits a comprehensive DVD/Blu-ray compilation of ELO's many promo videos at the time of writing. After a two part airing on ITV, condensed footage of the ELO Part II gig with the MSO at Birmingham's NEC on Tuesday 28th May also saw VHS issue (TVE1037). This was the final ELO related release on Telstar, save for the inclusion of "1,000 Eyes" on the 1995 compilation "Precious Metal" (Temple TMPCD014).

If nothing else, Telstar kept the ELO interest going during a period of change, be it the "Afterglow" of original ELO and/or the birth of Electric Light Orchestra Part Two at a time when the record buying public had their ears tuned to a new generation of artistes. For that, Yours Truly KJS remains ELOternally grateful.

Related KJS/ELOBF articles

Until next "Time" in the ELO [and related] Universe ... KJS ... 07-July-2018


  1. Shhh! Don't tell anyone, but I actually like ELO Part II.

    They started as a hit and a miss (lyrics-wise, too many cheesy "I want to intercourse you"), but gotten better, then a lot better (coinciding with their cosmetic name change), then........... died suddenly.

    It's a shame, really. I wish they would get together to make just one more record, but, as Parthenon told me, "too busy with their personal lives". I hope that is a honest excuse.

    P.S. Honest Men, 1,000 Eyes, Easy Street, Love for Sale, half of Moment of Truth, and most of No Rewind is legendary material.

  2. I agree...and enjoyed being therencouragIngram mik and Kelly

  3. Ok here goes, for myself PERSONALLY, JEFF LYNNE IS ELO, MR BLUE SKY whatever you choose to brand him, ELO 2 or any tribute band is not for me, I would compare and that would not be fair, I easily accept any other tribute band and have seen a few over the years, but NEVER an ELO tribute, this is my own personal choice, for those who do go along enjoy, no one to stop you, just don't push it in my face, it's not welcome.Recently we saw the Illegal Eagles and Rumours of Fleetwood Mac both extremely professional and at times I closed my eyes and imagined I was listening to the real deal, people say it keeps the music alive and yes I suppose it does, but each to their own eh.
    Now Keith who wrote this GUESS ?