Tuesday, 9 October 2018

ELO: The Frontiers Years

#1,452: Eyebrows (even third eyebrows***) were raised back in 2012 when ELO maestro Jeff Lynne announced his return to releasing with the twin issue of "Long Wave" and "Mr. Blue Sky", just over a decade after the modest chart performance of "Zoom" in 2001. Whilst many fans were excited by the prospect of the new albums and an intensive media campaign with Jeff turning up on prime time TV and radio, some were surprised that Jeff had seemingly left the Sony ship and signed up with noted Italian rock imprint Frontiers Records.

The new relationship was an instant hit with both "Long Wave" (FRCD569) and "Mr. Blue Sky: The Very Best of Electric Light Orchestra" (FRCD570E) peaking at #7 and #8 respectively in the UK Album Chart, despite the odd distribution glitch when copies ran out early in certain stores. Two CD promos were sent out to promote the "Long Wave" digital singles "Mercy Mercy" and "At Last" plus a radio sampler including four tracks from "Mr. Blue Sky" headed up by the previously unreleased "Point Of No Return". Both albums were later issued by Let Them Eat Vinyl in coloured vinyl.

There was to be more to enthuse about within six months as Frontiers released expanded editions of "Armchair Theatre" (FRCD597) and "Zoom" (FRCD596) alongside "Electric Light Orchestra Live" (FRCD595E) - taken from the 2001 "Zoom Tour Live" show recordings. The trio also made the UK Vinyl Album Chart later following their 2LP release via Let Them Eat Vinyl in blue, white and red vinyl. A three track promo CD was also issued by Frontiers featuring a track from each album in "One Day", "Borderline" and "Turn To Stone (Live from Television City)".

Jeff's time with Frontiers was ultimately both busy and successful. With the success of his Hyde Park appearance in September 2014 opening new doors and ensuring that Jeff Lynne and ELO were firmly back in the nations consciousness, Jeff returned to the Sony fold under the moniker of Jeff Lynne's ELO in 2015 with Columbia Records in advance of "Alone In The Universe". The rest, they say, is history!

Related KJS/ELOBF articles

Until next "Time" in the ELO (and related) Universe ... KJS ... 09-Oct-2018

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