Thursday, 28 February 2019

Review: Synchronicity (Fay & Latta)

#1,487: As often stated by Yours Truly KJS, it's a great pleasure to feature talented local, national and international indie artistes here at ELOBF from time to time betwixt our main focus of ELO and related articles. Yorkshire based duo Fay & Latta are one of those artistes and it's our good fortune that they've just released their fourth studio album "Synchronicity" following on from 2017's "Dust To Stars".

Being as KJS/ELOBF have previously looked over their previous three offerings including "Beauty In Chaos" (an album which included significant input from none other than ELO violin legend Mik Kaminski), it seemed apt to run the rule over "Synchronicity" too. Predominantly acoustic, this record sees Tom Fay and Anneka Fay (Latta) in reflective and pensive mood with eleven tracks of the utmost quality including opener "Lost In My Own Youth", the dreamy instrumental "Periscope" (there's some intricate guitar craft from Tom throughout), "All For You" (the perfect showcase for Anneka's lovely vocals) and the haunting "Beneath My Skin". Undoubtedly, "Synchronicity" demonstrates the continued maturing of these two fine songwriters and musicians leaving this listener wondering why they are not operating in a higher if not synchronous circle. ★★

Trax: "Lost In My Own Youth" ~ "Burning Wings" ~ "Homeward Bound" ~ "Poles Apart" ~ "Wish You Could See" ~ "One Last Goodbye" ~ "Periscope" ~ "All For You" ~ "No Solution" ~ "The Secret" ~ "Beneath My Skin"

Find out more about Fay & Latta"Synchronicity" et al via these links thus ...
Review: Beauty In Chaos (2012)
Review: The View From Here (2011)   Review: Dust To Stars (2017)

elo beatles forever (elobf) recommends "Synchronicity" by Fay & Latta to those enlightened folks who enjoy the music of ELO/Jeff LynneRoy WoodThe Move, 'Brum Beat'The Beatles and related artistes.

Until next "Time" in the ELO (and related) Universe ... KJS ... 28-Feb-2019

Saturday, 23 February 2019

Review: Things U Say To A Stranger EP (Baby Scream)

#1,486: Over the last half a dozen years, it has been a real pleasure for Yours Truly KJS to feature relatively regularly the musical outpourings of my Argentinian friend Juan Pablo Mazzolo via his Power Pop vehicle Baby Scream here at ELOBF so it was good news to hear that a new release was imminent.

New EP "Things U Say To Strangers" arrived recently, a five song mini-album of more Mazzolo magic of just under fifteen minutes of running time, and it's another example of catchy tunes replete with heartfelt, personal lyrics and some very nice guitar licks. Aided and abetted in the studio by Alejando Bellini, Gonzalo Loppeato, Santio Ferrera and Nick Schinder, Baby Scream have developed a polished sound clearly influenced by the likes of Lennon, Bowie and Bolan, fine examples being "Fake It Till You Make It" and "Somebody Kill Me Now". This is an EP that you just keep on playing over and over whilst enjoying much. ★★
elo beatles forever (elobf) recommends Things U Say To Strangers by Baby Scream to those enlightened folks who enjoy the music of ELO/Jeff Lynne, Roy Wood, The Move, 'Brum Beat'The Beatles and related artistes.

Until next "Time" in the ELO (and related) Universe ... KJS ... 23-Feb-2019

Saturday, 16 February 2019

Another Chart Breaks: ELO & Move Midweek Musing

#1,485: Ever since the Official Albums Chart Update (or Midweek Album Chart as it's sometimes called) was launched back in March 2010, it's been easy for avid fans and casual enquirers to check on the progress of both new and current charting releases. Followers of ELO and related artistes have seen a plethora of releases in those nine years and have seen albums such as "Long Wave", "Get Up" and "Alone In The Universe" enter the Top 10 during midweek and hold that position (more or less) until the full chart was revealed four days or so later.  With pre-orders, streams and downloads now also a component in the chart statistics alongside traditional physical purchases, the charts these days are a lot different than those back in the day with some releases charting one week and fading away dramatically the next.

Recent releases by both The Move and ELO have been examples of this modern chart trait. The excellent compilation "Magnetic Waves of Sound: The Best of The Move" was released via Cherry Red/Esoteric in January 2017 and landed in the Midweek Chart at #54 (their first charting album since "Move" in April 1968) before falling away and not even appearing in the full album chart that week. Likewise, the long awaited 2LP edition of ELO's enigmatic 1983 album "Secret Messages" (albeit without "Beatles Forever" or a parallel CD issue) was revealed in early August 2018 and hit the halfway chart running at a healthy #49 before also slipping away out of the full Top 100 album roster within a few days (although it did enter the Official Vinyl Chart at a very respectable #7).

Although neither "Magnetic Waves of Sound: The Best of The Move" or the "Secret Messages" double album won't be found in the Official Chart Archive in and of themselves, Yours Truly KJS wants this elobeatlesforever (elobf) article to mark their brief unofficial charting success in the ever changing music buying climate of the 21st Century.

Related KJS/ELOBF articles
Secret Messages Enters UK Vinyl Chart Top 10

Until next "Time" in the ELO (and related) Universe ... KJS ... 16-Feb-2019

Sunday, 10 February 2019

ELO: The JETLX Files

#1,484: When Don Arden ditched United Artists and signed Jet Records' marketing and distribution rights up with CBS in early 1978, it initially led to the Electric Light Orchestra back catalogue of albums from "On The Third Day" through to "Out Of The Blue" being reissued and reassigned new JETLP prefixed catalogue numbers, as had been the case during the brief Jet/Polydor years.

Thereafter most Jet/CBS albums were JETLP save for a few exceptions including the quartet of JETLX prefixed LP's released featuring ELO which were "Discovery" (JETLX500), "ELO's Greatest Hits" (JETLX525), "Xanadu" (JETLX526) and "Secret Messages" (JETLX527).
Quite why all four records were prefixed JETLX with two released in gatefold sleeves and two in single LP sleeves (as many fans will recall) is unknown but it is interesting that they all breached the Official UK Album Chart Top 10. It's also of note that ELO's other UK #1 album "Time" (JETLP236) - released between "Xanadu" and "Secret Messages" in 1981 - did not receive the JETLX prefix whereas a "Secret Messages" including "Beatles Forever" in its originally intended 2LP format would have been JETDP402.

If nothing else, ELO's JETLX releases reflect the phenomenal popularity of ELO during the years 1979 to 1983 as Birmingham's best reached their commercial peak at a "Time" when vinyl ruled.

Until next "Time" in the ELO (and related) Universe ... KJS ... 10-Feb-2019

Friday, 8 February 2019

Review: Sometimes They Get Into The Machinery (Imaginary Creatures)

#1,483: When lyricist and songwriter David Scott contacted Yours Truly KJS recently regarding the release of "Sometimes They Get Into The Machinery", the latest and fourth studio album from his virtual band Imaginary Creatures, informing me that it's a release heavily influenced by early ELO and recorded with "real strings - principally cellos", this particular writer was instantly intrigued and very much looking forward to listening to it in readiness for this latest elobeatlesforever (elobf) review.

.Imaginary Creatures is a collaboration with producer, composer and multi-instrumentalist Iain McKinna with "Sometimes They Get Into The Machinery" also featuring the late, great Ted McKenna (The Sensational Alex Harvey Band, Rory Gallagher, Band of Friends, Michael Schenker Fest and many more) on drums alongside cellists Wendy Weatherby and Ron Shaw not forgetting violinist Seonaid Aitken. This is very definitely a progressive rock album with a supernatural theme throughout underpinned by some wonderful, earthy string arrangements and a sound that draws on those first three ELO long players: "Electric Light Orchestra" (or "No Answer" in the States), "ELO2" and "On The Third Day".
 Indeed, there are moments here where you get an idea of what ELO might have become if Roy Wood had not have left to form Wizzard ("At Winter's End" being an example). "Dreams Of California" has a late Move feel to it and there is plenty here to please those who love the early ELO outpourings of Jeff Lynne too. Have a listen to "Mr. Teddy Bear", a track with a deferential nod to both "Mr. Radio" or "The Messenger", a real ELOesque rocker in all but name and reminiscent of "Ma Ma Ma Belle". You can even hear Roy Wood and ELO quoted in the lyrics for "The Night" if you listen carefully!

"Sometimes They Get Into The Machinery" (Birnam CD #IMAGC004CD) is twelve songs to be listened to in its entirety - as is the case with all prog rock records. This is an album that will delight those who found ELO in their early days, fans of both Roy Wood and Jeff Lynne, and the followers who came thereafter. ★★

Trax: "Electric Warrior" ~ "Extase" ~ "At Winter's End" ~ "Dreams Of California" ~ "Shades In The Rain" ~ "Mr. Teddy Bear" ~ "Wait For Me Judy" ~ "The Messenger" ~ "The Night"  ~ "Dread The Dark Season" ~ "Ground Zero" ~ "The Wrap Party Of The Damned"

You can find out more about "Sometimes They Get Into The Machinery" by Imaginary Creatures via these links thus:

elobeatlesforever (elobf) recommends "Sometimes They Get Into The Machinery" by Imaginary Creatures to those enlightened folks who enjoy the music of ELO/Jeff LynneRoy WoodThe Move, 'Brum Beat'The Beatles and related artistes.

Until next "Time" in the ELO (and related) Universe ... KJS ... 08-Feb-2019

Saturday, 2 February 2019

Ten Light Years: A Decade of elobeatlesforever

#1,482: This is our 1,482nd elobf article and today is Saturday 2nd February 2019. It's also Groundhog Day and a whole decade since elobeatlesforever (elobf) was born in 2009 with our first article (oddly enough) entitled Beatles Forever! So much has happened in the elobf universe in the 3,652 days and 120 months since. Gig reviews, album reviews, interviews, loads of vinyl issues and not a few exclusives (thanx to some amazing pals and reliable sources in the biz). Amazingly, the number of visitors to elobf went over the 3 million mark on Tuesday 23rd October last year and we are now (hopefully) on the journey to four (4) million views. It's all thanx to you!
A lot has happened in those ten years. Yours Truly KJS has been asked on a number of occasions recently as to what happenings stick out. It's impossible to detail it all but obviously the 2LP release of "Secret Messages" would have been the icing on the cake if it had included "Beatles Forever".

Highlights undoubtedly were being backstage with Roy Wood and Rick Wakeman at Rockmas 2014, seeing Paul McCartney live at Birmingham in May 2015, watching ELO maestro Jeff Lynne perform on stage for the first time at Liverpool in April 2016 and experiencing Tom Petty at Hyde Park in July 2017 amongst many more. Losing Kelly Groucutt in those early elobf days also comes to mind as does the tragic passing away of Mike Edwards, Pete HaycockWilf Gibson, Mike Burney and Hugh McDowell in the ensuing years.

It's been a pleasure introducing regular elobf readers to not a few local, national and international ELO/Beatles influenced indie artistes whilst supporting not only former members of ELO & ELO Part II in their endeavours and covering the ever increasing number of ELO (and related) tribute bands as the music of Jeff Lynne is discovered and/or rediscovered by the masses "All Over The World". I'm also very grateful for the support and courtesy extended to me by ELO co-founders Roy WoodBev Bevan and a whole host of musicians, artistes and their management. It's been a blast despite some negatives from people/organisations who should know better and those infernal internet trolls.
And it doesn't end there. Thanx to The Robin 2 in Bilston and the Explosive Light Orchestra (ExpLO), you are cordially invited to elobf's 10th belated birthday bash on Saturday 25th May. What better way to celebrate than to join up with fellow ELO fans whilst enjoying two hours of ELO's greatest hits (and more)? You can find out more via these links thus:

Recommended: ELOBF 10th Birthday Bash with Explosive Light Orchestra

Yours Truly KJS hopes that you enjoy the content and variety within elobf and would like to thank each and every visitor, reader, follower and participant of elobeatlesforever (elobf) for journeying here. Every click really is appreciated!

Until next "Time" in the ELO (and related) Universe ... KJS ... 02-Feb-2019