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