Sunday, 24 November 2019

Jet Connections: ELO Related Albums 1979-80

#1,497: With the back to back success of "Out Of The Blue" (1978), "Discovery" (1979) and "Xanadu" (1980) under their belts, Jeff Lynne and the Electric Light Orchestra (ELO) were at their commercial peak as the seventies lapsed into the eighties both in terms of record and ticket sales. Everything they released charted whether it was a single, a new album, a compilation or even a boxed set. This was, of course, good news for both the band and their label since 1975: Don Arden's Jet Records.

ELO were still regarded as a septet by many fans at this time, even though their studio recordings began to revolve around Jeff Lynne, Bev Bevan, Richard Tandy and Kelly Groucutt. It was during this time that various members of ELO's string section began to release albums via Jet (when distributed by CBS) in their own right and/or with side projects. Four albums were issued in total (and a number of singles too, the subject of a future KJS/elobf article) and although only one of the quartet charted, they did and still do generate interest in the ELO fan base for avid vinyl collectors ...

Surprising non-charting orchestral outing by the ELO arranger with a little help from his friends including Roy Wood and former Wizzard saxophonist Nick Pentelow.

Violinski ~ "No Cause For Alarm" (1979) ~ JETLP219
Mik Kaminski and his blue violin brigade featuring ex-ELO bassist Mike de Albuquerque crept into the UK Top 50 at #49 with their debut album. Lead single "Clog Dance" (JET136) also made the UK Top 20, peaking at #17.

Wilson Gale & Co. ~ "Gift Wrapped" (1980) ~ JETLP223
ELO cellist Melvyn Gale teamed up with Frank Wilson for this hard to find album with Hugh McDowell also contributing.

Violinski ~ "Stop Cloning About" (1980) ~ JETLP232
Their second album featured "Silent Love" which would likely have been another hit single as Radio 1's "Record of the Week" but for an "account problem" with the Jet label.

It's worth noting that during the Jet Records period between 1975 and 1983, every record released by individual members of ELO (other than those noted above by Mik Kaminski and Violinskidid not trouble the charts. That list includes the solo singles "Doin' That Crazy Thing" (1977) by none other than Jeff Lynne (UP36281/SJET102) and "Let There Be Drums" (JET777) by Bev Bevan! You may also enjoy perusing these elobeatlesforever (elobf) articles on similar subject matter ...

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*** Until next "Time" in the elobf universe ... KJS ... 24-Nov-2019 ***

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