Wednesday, 28 October 2020

Live Alert: Quill @ Lichfield Garrick 21st November

#1,542: The effects of the current plandemic on professional musicians and entertainment venues is undoubtedly beyond measure in these uncertain days so the positive news that bands and artistes in general are planning their return is most welcome.

And elobeatlesforever wouldn't be elobf if we didn't bring it to the attention of our readers that Joy-Strachan-Brain and Quill featuring The MoveELO and Black Sabbath drumming legend Bev Bevan are just a few weeks away from their return to performing live at The Garrick Theatre in Lichfield on Saturday 21st November. Having spoken to Joy recently, Yours Truly KJS can assure you that this intimate gig (due to a much reduced seating capacity) will be poignant for both the band and those who get to see them on the night. You'd better be quick though as only 50+ tickets priced at £24.50 each remain (at the time of writing) via this link thus ...

Quill are currently: Joy Strachan-Brain (Vox); Abby Brant (Vox/Keys); Kate McWilliam (Violin/Vox); John Jowitt (Bass); Lee Evans (Guitar) and Andy Edwards (Drums/Percussion) with Bev Bevan (Percussion/Drums)

Related elobf articles

elobeatlesforever (elobf) continues to recommend Quill featuring Bev Bevan to those enlightened folks who enjoy the music of ELOJeff LynneRoy WoodThe MoveThe Idle Race'Brum Beat'The Beatles and related artistes.

*** Until next "Time" in the elobf universe ... KJS ... 28-Oct-2020 ***

Friday, 23 October 2020

ELO Classics Burning Bright

#1,541: Fans and collectors of all things Electric Light Orchestra (ELO) will tell you, if asked, that it is quite possibly impossible to come up with a definitive list of every ELO compilation released across all territories, whether it be on vinyl, tape or CD (not forgetting those in VHS, DVD and Blu-ray formats) starting with the early ELO Harvest Heritage retrospectives in the UK and the success of "Olé ELO" (United Artists/Jet #UA-LA630-G) in attaining a respectable #32 in the US Billboard 200 during the Summer of '76.

Over in the United States, the advent of the CD presented opportunities for CBS (later to be rebranded Sony Music and then Sony BMG) to release and licence budget greatest hits compilations that contained not only hits but also selected album trax. These compilations turned up both in record shops and supermarkets and produced buoyant sales for the larger labels and imprints. Naturally, ELO's extensive back catalogue was ripe for the issue of such CD (and initially cassette) collections. Yours Truly KJS and elobeatlesforever (elobf) thought that it would indeed be a good idea to put together a brief overview of those aforementioned releases for you to peruse at your leisure.
1990: "ELO Classics" (CBS Special Products #A21583) featured an odd cover merging artwork from the "ELO II" album with the familiar ELO logo from the "Out Of The Blue" spaceship. The first seven of the ten trax were US singles (including "Boy Blue") with "Bluebird", "Birmingham Blues" and "Loser Gone Wild" making up the numbers. There was also a pselling mitsake (see above).

1992: "Burning Bright" (Sony Music Special Products #A22639) comprised another selection of ten ELO songs with seven US singles (including "Stranger") plus "Standin' In The Rain", "Night In The City" and "Fire On High". The glowing ELO logo on a black background certainly made this collection stand out. One has to wonder what the rationale was for picking the album trax!
2001: "ELO Classics" (Sony Music Special Products #A52073) licensed through KRB Music Companies (#KRB7045-2) resurfaces as this reissue with a twist in that "Birmingham Blues" is swapped out with "Waterfall". The new artwork replete with "Time" era portrait again makes this attractive CD worth collecting! Perhaps they were thinking of the other Birmingham in Alabama!

2003: "ELO Classics" (Sony Music Custom Marketing Group Collectables #COL-CD-9341) makes another return but this time it's a straight reissue of the 1990 edition with rather strange cover art using Richard Avedon's famous "On The Third Day" portrait (on steroids!) on the front and the photo of ELO's Magnificent Seven taken from the "A New World Record" inner sleeve on the rear.
2007: "Electric Light Orchestra 2CD Collection" (Sony BMG Custom Marketing Group #A712251) sees both "ELO Classics" and "Burning Bright" bundled together as a bargain 2CD package with the original trax and artwork from 1990 and 1992 referenced. Of the quintet of compilations featured herein, this is perhaps the hardest to locate at the time of writing.

Related articles from the elobf archives

Tuesday, 20 October 2020

Review: Made In Britain (Morganisation)

#1,540: Former Electric Light Orchestra member Dave Scott-Morgan is a man with a mission - literally! After a hectic decade in which he has released an amazingly prolific number of physical and digital albums, from the 2011 reissue of "Earthrise" through to the most recent "Seven", whether it be solo or with his Morganisation outfit, he has grasped the nuances of the modern music media business with both hands whilst writing and recording a remarkable collection of memorable songs.

As 2020 recedes, new album "Made In Britain" sees Dave and Morganisation return with an exceptional set of eleven (11) new tunes thanx to the combined resources of wife Mandy, guitarist Alex Lowe and Rick Benton (Rebecca Downes, Magnum) whilst renewing musical acquaintances with fellow ex-ELO tourist and bassist Martin Smith (Balance of Power, 1986).

"an album just waiting to be discovered"

"Made In Britain" duly landed at elobf HQ earlier this week and Yours Truly KJS has to say that from the first play of track numero uno onward, this is a record that will most certainly appeal to not only Dave's growing band of admirers but also fans looking to explore and expand their musical horizons beyond the proverbial ELO spaceship. This is an impressive collection of songs that serves to highlight the songwriting and production skills of someone who is surely one of the most unsung of Birmingham's musical talents.

You could say this is an eclectic as you venture through the songs and you get the feeling that Morganisation had fun putting this together! Whether its the stomping rock 'n' rollers "Lovin' On You" and "Cindy's Place" or sublime ELOesque ballads "Starry Lady" and "A Day Called Today" (replete with a superb guitar solo!), the folksy almost Beatlesque "Go-Getter Lady", the pensive "Turn To Grey" or atypical Morganisation stomper "Love Is ...", you find yourself musing on how quickly "Made In Britain" seems to fly by. ELO fans will love the pacy if not funky opening title track and "In The Darkness" (which wouldn't be out of place on any of ELO's Eighties long players). Check out the expansive "Big Ocean" and the Celtic tinged "Ammer & Pickle" which has the feel of a glorious jam session too! Ultimately this is an album just waiting to be discovered and something that is sure to uplift the listener during difficult times. ★★★★★

"A time to get up and step out of the footprints of yesterdays sand"
"Made In Britain" can be purchased in CD (£11.99) and/or digital (£9.99) formats via these links thus:
Related articles from the elobf archives

elobeatlesforever (elobf) recommends "Made In Britain" by Morganisation to those enlightened folks who enjoy the music of ELOJeff LynneRoy WoodThe MoveThe Idle Race'Brum Beat'The Beatles and related artistes.

*** Until next "Time" in the elobf universe ... KJS ... 20-Oct-2020 ***

Friday, 16 October 2020

ELO: The UK Singles Volume Two 1979-1986

#1,539: It's been a couple of years since Sony Legacy and Epic combined to release ELO: The UK Singles Volume One 1972-1978 back in September 2018. The sixteen (16) disc boxed set featured relatively faithful reproduction of all Electric Light Orchestra 7" singles and (picture) sleeves from "10538 Overture" to The ELO EP during their time on the Harvest, Warner Bros. (Burbank) and (of course) Jet labels. Fan reaction was generally positive despite its initial RRP of £100+ (currently available for £80 via amazon here).

Which leads many fans and collectors to question when a second volume covering ELO's singles from "Shine A Little Love" in 1979 to "Getting To The Point" in 1986 will see the (electric) light of day. Such a collection is expected to contain all eighteen (18) ELO UK singles from this period including their 1980 chart topping duet with Olivia Newton-John (subject to somewhat awkward licensing negotiations regarding "Xanadu" and its ONJ* only flip side "Fool Country").
Yours Truly KJS and elobeatlesforever have compiled a list of the singles in question replete with 'B' sides and their original UK catalogue numbers for you to peruse below. Watch this proverbial elobf space for further updates ...

[1] "Shine A Little Love" b/w "Jungle" (#SJET144)
[2] "The Diary Of Horace Wimp" b/w "Down Home Town" (#JET150)
[3] "Don't Bring Me Down" b/w "Dreaming of 4000" (#JET153)
[5] "I'm Alive" b/w "Drum Dreams" (#JET179)
[6] "Xanadu" b/w "Fool Country"* (#JET185)
[7] "All Over The World" b/w "Midnight Blue" (#JET195)
[8] "Don't Walk Away" b/w "Across The Border" (#JET7004)
[9] "Hold On Tight" b/w "When Time Stood Still" (#JET7011)
[10] "Twilight" b/w "Julie Don't Live Here" (#JET7015)
[12] "The Way Life's Meant To Be" b/w "Wishing" (#JET7021)
[13] "Rock 'n' Roll Is King" b/w "After All" (#A3500/JET7034)
[15] "Four Little Diamonds" b/w "Letter From Spain" (#A3869)
[16] "Calling America" b/w "Caught In A Trap" (#A6844)
[17] "So Serious" b/w "A Matter Of Fact" (#A7090)
[18] "Getting To The Point" b/w "Secret Lives" (#A7317)
Volume One included the singles "10538 Overture" through to "The ELO EP" ...
Related articles from the elobf archives

Wednesday, 14 October 2020

ELO Beatles Together: Daytripper

#1,538: Much has been written and mused by Yours Truly KJS via ELO Beatles Forever (elobf) down the years regarding the original inclusion and latter exclusion of "Beatles Forever" from ELO's enigmatic "Secret Messages" album since we began this journey back in February 2009 here. The relationship, both direct and indirect, between ELO maestro Jeff Lynne and all four Beatles - John, Paul, George and Ringo - both individually and corporately has also been a regular topic of discussion.

Yet, aside from ELO's moving live tribute to John Lennon comprising "Imagine", "Nowhere Man", "Across The Universe" and "A Day In The Life" in the aftermath of his assassination during the 1981/82 "Time" tour, recorded versions of Beatles tunes by Birmingham's finest is limited to various live renditions of "Daytripper" (with a slight lyrical deviation) not forgetting that they followed The Fab Four in covering the Chuck Berry classic "Roll Over Beethoven" on record (Harvest HAR5063) and stage whilst clean audio cuts of the aforementioned "Beatles Forever" can also be found in certain circles, apparently.
elobf archive: The original German press release for ELO's "Daytripper" single ...
Returning to the subject of "Daytripper", many ELO fans and followers will no doubt be aware that this famous Lennon/McCartney track is included in their live LP "The Night The Light Went On (In Long Beach)", a gatefold album released in 1974 in Germany (Warner Bros. WB56058), France, Holland, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa before being belatedly issued in the UK (Epic EPC32700) during 1985 and in CD format thirteen (13) years later in 1998 (Epic 4911032).

Perhaps less well known is the fact that "Daytripper" was also released as an edited single in Germany (Warner Bros. WB16456) replete with picture sleeve and backed by the (edited) instrumental "Daybreaker", also taken from the same live long player and ELO's previous studio album "On The Third Day" (Burbank K56021). It's interesting to note that "Daybreaker (Live)" also ended up as the flip side of the non-charting 1975 UK single "Nightrider" (Jet/Polydor JET769).
To conclude: "Daytripper" b/w "Daybreaker" remains a rather rare 7" and is still an essential capture for collectors of Electric Light Orchestra and Beatles related vinyl. ELO Beatles Together, indeed ...

Related articles from the elobf archives

*** Until next "Time" in the elobf universe ... KJS ... 14-Oct-2020 ***

Sunday, 11 October 2020

Best Remaster: Balance of Power

#1,537: Whether intentionally or not, some fans of the Electric Light Orchestra look down their proverbial noses at the 1986 LP "Balance of Power" (Epic/CBS Assoc #EPC26467/FZ40048). The reasons are varied. Perhaps the dramatic change in sleeve artwork and logo (as discussed in this elobf article) was too much or that ELO were down to a trio or that those trademark strings were ever more diminished or even that, in most territories, the familiar Jet Records label was missing. "Balance of Power" was a relatively successful album commercially, managing #9 in the UK coming along almost three years (a lifetime in the career of some bands) after "Secret Messages" (which peaked at #4 amidst heavyweight competition - read this elobf article explaining why) with their popularity somewhat on the wane considering that "Discovery" (1979), "Xanadu" (1980) and "Time" (1981) peaked at #1, #2 and #1 respectively.

Which brings me to the subject of the "Balance of Power" expanded remaster. Like many fans and collectors, Yours Truly KJS was quick to snap up all of the Legacy album remasters that were released between 2001 and 2007. In my opinion, the BoP reissue is the best of the bunch in terms of its presentation and the bonus material included. Be it the wonderful alternative version of "Heaven Only Knows" or the inclusion of "In For The Kill" alongside its progenitor "Caught In A Trap" and "Destination Unknown" as well as the two alternative takes of "Secret Lives" and "Sorrow About To Fall", this expanded, value for money package ticked all the boxes for me even though both versions of "A Matter of Fact" (found on the 12" flip side of "So Serious") and the infamous "ELO Megamix" (found on the 12" flip side of "Getting To The Point") were omitted.

One has to wonder how "Balance of Power" would have fared with an alternate "Heaven Only Knows" as its opening track with "In For The Kill" added for good measure. Placing "Balance of Power" ahead of an "Out of the Blue" including the sublime "Latitude 88 North" or an "On The Third Day" replete with "Everyone's Born To Die" is no easy matter yet I am content to do so. Which begs the question: What was your fave ELO remaster of the series? Answers on a postcard ...

Related articles from the elobf archives

*** Until next "Time" in the elobf universe ... KJS ... 11-Oct-2020 ***

Thursday, 8 October 2020

Telephone Line: Solid Centre Success!

#1,536: Regular visitors to elobeatlesforever (elobf) will doubtless be aware of the pursuit by this writer of certain hard to find or even mythical ELO 7" singles whether it be the second ELO EP (#ELO2), the Jet/CBS reissue of "Turn To Stone" (#SJET103) and rare solid centre original issues of "Showdown" (#HAR5077), "Turn To Stone" (#UP36313) and "Mr. Blue Sky" (#UP36342) in black vinyl.
After much patience, fortune and a little fiscal frivolity down the years, Yours Truly KJS had acquired two of the above noted solid centre rarities save for "Telephone Line" (#UP36254) ... until this week when a copy was landed for just £2.60 (inc. post & packing)! Although it's stamped with "John's Disco Fishguard", it plays beautifully and is a welcome addition to the KJS ELO collection being as it is rarer than hen's teeth!
There are other solid centre copies of "Telephone Line" out there including the relatively easy to find 1978 Jet/CBS reissue (#SJET101) and an Irish edition curiously allocated with catalogue number UP36264 as opposed to the regular UP36254 that only features "Poorboy (The Greenwood)" on its flip side with "King Of The Universe" obviously missing.

The big question now for this particular collector is: "Where do I go next?"

Related articles from the elobf archives

*** Until next "Time" in the elobf universe ... KJS ... 08-Oct-2020 ***

Monday, 5 October 2020

A Matter of Sax: Christian Schneider

A slight pselling mitsake in the Balance of Power sleeve notes for Christian ...
#1,535: Fans of the Electric Light Orchestra (including, naturally, Yours Truly KJS) playing their newly purchased copies of their new LP "Balance Of Power" (Epic #EPC26467) back in early March 1986 were not only surprised by the bright red artwork and a new logo, they also experienced a significant change in the familiar ELO sound too from their previous outing "Secret Messages" (Jet #JETLX527).

The trademark orchestral sound was nowhere to be seen but "Balance Of Power" did contain a new string to the proverbial ELO bow with several contributions from German saxophonist Christian Schneider.

Likely drafted in courtesy of legendary ELO engineer Mack alongside Tom Thiel when the album was completed at Hartmann Digital Studios in Untertrubach following initial sessions in The Bahamas at Compass Point, Christian added sublime solos to album trax "Getting To The Point" and "Sorrow About To Fall" as well as "Destination Unknown", a song that failed to make the original album release but did turn up on the 12" single 'B' sides of "Calling America" in the UK (Epic #QTA6844) and "So Serious" in Holland (Epic #EPC 12.7090) before also being included in the 3CD boxed set "Afterglow" (Epic Associated #Z3K46090) in the States four years later.
Christian Schneider in The Welcome Home Band (L) and live in Munich 1989 (R) ...
Christian Schneider (who is now nearly 58 years of age) has enjoyed an impressive, extensive and long career as a saxophonist, keyboardist, percussionist and producer in his native Germany having also been a member of The Jean Shy Band, Mimi, Schatzi and The Welcome Home Band. He is particularly noted for his involvement with Westernhagen Live project in 1990.

KJS: "Just wondering if you remember meeting Christian Schneider during the Balance of Power sessions?"
Bev Bevan: "Aha! ... yes ... I was at that session ... great sax player!"

Despite the unfortunate misspelling of his surname in the "Balance Of Power" credits, Christian Schneider certainly does deserve to be the subject of this elobeatlesforever (elobf) article celebrating his unique part in the Electric Light Orchestra story!

*** Until next "Time" in the elobf universe ... KJS ... 05-October-2020 ***

Saturday, 3 October 2020

Golden 45's: 10538 Overture & Roll Over Beethoven

#1,534: In the three year hinterland between the release of the ELO studio albums "Secret Messages" (1983) and "Balance Of Power" (1986), fans of the Electric Light Orchestra were left largely looking to see what Jeff Lynne was up to, whether as a solo artiste in his own right or whether he was twiddling his knobs behind the production desk. June 1984 revealed the ELO maestro's involvement in the soundtrack of the aptly named film "Electric Dreams" wherein he contributed two songs (ably assisted by long time ELO cohort Richard Tandy) in "Video!" and "Let It Run", the former being released as a single (Virgin #VS695) which peaked at a modest #87 in the Official UK Singles Chart and the latter allegedly pencilled in as a single too should "Video!" have shifted significantly more copies. His writing and production work with Dave Edmunds and The Everly Brothers was also ongoing during this period (the subject of a forthcoming elobf article!) so avid fans and collectors were pleased when two early ELO classic hits were re-released as part of EMI's Golden 45's series.
Whereas EMI and Harvest had reaped the benefit of their early career with multiple compilations and two reissues of "Roll Over Beethoven" backed by "Showdown" (see this previous elobf article on that very subject), it was noteworthy that "10538 Overture" and "Roll Over Beethoven" (#G45 22) were the tracks selected in this case, ensuring that not only was Roy Wood's crucial role in ELO's formation acknowledged but also that both of ELO's Top 10 UK hits were included (the former peaking at #9 and the latter at #6 whereas "Showdown" managed #12). Initial copies were printed on a light blue backed version of the familiar Harvest label with rarer, more collectable editions following in black/silver or as an injection moulding. This was essentially a record for ELO completists yet is still a valued part of many collections (including that of this writer) - especially if replete with a solid centre!
Related articles from the elobf archives

Reaping the Harvest: Showdown & Roll Over Beethoven

HAR5077: Solid Centre Showdown   Jeff Lynne: The Solo Singles

Singled Out: The Battle Of Marston Moor

HAR5063: The Massacre of Manhattan Rumble

The Fame Game: The Electric Light Orchestra & ELO 2

*** Until next "Time" in the elobf universe ... KJS ... 03-October-2020 ***

Wednesday, 30 September 2020

JETLP236: ELO's Time Transition

#1,533: Yours Truly KJS still fondly remembers hurtling up to Wolverhampton town centre back in early July 1981 to grab a copy of ELO's then new album "Time" (JETLP236/FZ37371). It had been the best part of a year since their involvement in the "Xanadu" soundtrack (JETLX526) had led to another quartet of hit singles including a debut UK #1 chart topper alongside Olivia Newton-John. Much was expected by fans, if not a change in their sound from what promised (and turned out to be) something futuristic and almost prophetic in its imagery.

Having bought some of the Jet/CBS album reissues of the Electric Light Orchestra's earlier studio albums in coloured vinyl, this writer was familiar with the greyish murky Jet Records label first found on the original Jet/Polydor issue of "Face The Music" (JETLP11) and how it contrasted with the rather attractive definitive, bright blue label that was found on the "Discovery" (JETLX500) and Greatest Hits (JETLX525) issues in 1979. It was therefore interesting to note that my newly purchased copy of "Time" had receded to the aforementioned grey label. I was unaware at the time (please excuse the pun!) that there was another pressing of ELO's second concept album that followed wherein its label reverted to that brighter Jet label that I much preferred.

Fast forwarding to Summer 2020, it was most satisfying to finally obtain a further copy of "Time" recently with the alternative label (in pristine condition) to add to my ever increasing collection. Check out the above montage to see both versions of the label. Being somewhat of an ELOnorak (as my closest friends will attest), I noticed that the familiar ELO logo also changed from solid black to shadowed not only on the LP but also between "Hold On Tight" (JET7011) and "Twilight" (JET7015), the first and second singles taken from the #1 album (see below).
As often stated during the 11+ years that elobeatlesforever (elobf) has been around, there remains much pleasure not only listening to these classic records, but also collecting and writing about 'em ...

Related articles from the elobf archives

About Time: ELO's Inner Sleeve Munich Mystery   The Fall: ELO & Jet Records 1981-86

About Time: 21st Century Man   Concept Theory: Time as a 2LP Too?

Hold On Tight: The Video Legacy   JET7021: It's a Sleevin' Thing

Reverse Release: Time's Third Single Twist   Another Art Breaks: It's ELO Time!

*** Until next "Time" in the elobf universe ... KJS ... 30-September-2020 ***

Friday, 25 September 2020

Jeff Lynne at Abbey Road Studios?

#1,532: Yours Truly KJS and elobeatlesforever (elobf) are back after a six (6) month break mostly due to a startling occurrence on one of my fave radio shows - The Richie Allen Show - on Thursday 24th September wherein after premiering his first ever record/single: "You're Sticking No Vax In Me", the affable Manchester based DJ stated that the song - recorded at the iconic Abbey Road Studios in London - was "produced by Jeff Lynne of Jeff Lynne's ELO".

If true this, of course, suggests that the ELO maestro is back in the UK at present tweaking his next project(s). You can hear the song and the story behind it between 2:27 and 6:48 by clicking below thus ..


*** Until next "Time" in the elobf universe ... KJS ... 25-September-2020 ***

Sunday, 29 March 2020

First Live: The Night The Light Went On (In Long Beach)

#1,531: It was quite a surprise to Yours Truly KJS when, following years of ELO releases on Jet Records, that "The Night The Light Went On (In Long Beach)" (EPC32700) appeared on record shop shelves not only on the Epic label but also with new album artwork in November 1985. This writer was 18 years old and I remember buying the cassette at the time. It took another seven years to acquire a pristine vinyl copy of the album, thanx to my good friend Christian Evans, some persuasion and a copy of "Afterglow".

As an avid collector, I was aware of the original 1974 German, Dutch and South African gatefold LP release of "The Night The Light Went On (In Long Beach)" (Warner Bros. Burbank WB56058) as a copy often turned up in local second hand record shops, usually with a relatively hefty price tag and not in particularly good condition. Sandwiched between the studio albums "On The Third Day" (K56021) and "Eldorado" (K56090), "The Night The Light Went On (In Long Beach)" was a poor recording based on a rough mix of the concert held on the night of Sunday 12th May 1974 yet it provided an edited cover of ELO's iconic Beatles cover "Day Tripper" b/w "Daybreaker" (WB16456) as a single in Germany and Holland which remains a rather rare collectible for completists to this day.
The '85 Epic release was far better to the original '74 Warner Bros. issue owing to the fact that it was pressed using another superior recording of the gig found in the archives. The change in album art was also dramatic with the garish 1950's B movie parody slogan replaced by a sleeve sporting the familiar ELO logo atop an imagined LA highway sign replete with palm tree and traffic light. With the hiatus between "Secret Messages" in June 1983 and "Balance Of Power" in March 1986 nearing its end, the repackaging and reissuing of "The Night The Light Went On (In Long Beach)" - ELO's first official live album - was indeed timely.
It would be a further thirteen years before a remastered "The Night The Light Went On (In Long Beach)" (Epic 4911032) finally arrived on CD in 1998 with the accompanying booklet based on the 1985 sleeve with the original 1974 album art also faithfully reproduced within.

More live albums followed in 1998 with "Live At Winterland '76" (EAMCD038) and "Live At Wembley '78" (EAMCD039) via Eagle Records before the release of "Live" (2013) and "Wembley Or Bust" (2017). In terms of live output, we should also consider ELO Part II's "Performing ELO's Greatest Hits Live" (1992) and "One Night - Live In Australia" (1996) in the list too.

The story of Electric Light Orchestra's first live album "The Night The Light Went On (In Long Beach)" is long and unique but wouldn't it interesting to find more songs on those archived tapes and, if so, enough material to warrant an expanded release?

Related articles from the elobf archives
*** Until next "Time" in the elobf universe ... KJS ... 29-March-2020 ***

Monday, 23 March 2020

Flashback: Whatever Happened to Clair de Lune?

#1,530: When it comes to the musical output of Jeff Lynne and Electric Light Orchestra, perhaps one of the more recent mysteries for fans and followers of the ELO maestro is the non-appearance of his interpretation of Claude Debussy's "Clair de Lune" not only in the film itself but also in the original soundtrack album for the motion picture "American Hustle" back in 2013.

"Clair de Lune" - originally the third movement of Debussy's "Suite bergamasque", an instrumental piano composition based on a 1869 Paul Verlaine poem - was cited for possible inclusion in "American Hustle" by several sources at the time including the now retired Official Jeff Lynne Facebook page. Although never leaked or sampled (as far as this writer is aware), it is believed to be a guitar based version with Jeff's familiar sound and production characteristics.

The "American Hustle" OST did include a new Jeff Lynne penned instrumental "Stream Of Stars" as well as his solo version of "10538 Overture" and "Long Black Road" (first found on the Japanese edition of "Zoom" in 2001). Yours Truly KJS believes that when it came to song selections for the film, Soundtrack Executive Producer David O. Russell chose "Stream Of Stars" over "Clair de Lune" as a third instrumental track alongside Danny Elfman's "Irving Montage" and Duke Ellington's "Jeep's Blues".

Maybe Jeff's take on "Clair de Lune" will turn up on a bonus album track or a future rarities release or even an expanded "American Hustle" OST release. Or perhaps it will remain another one of those enigmatic unreleased tracks - not unlike "Beatles Forever" ...

Related elobf articles
*** Until next "Time" in the elobf universe ... KJS ... 23-March-2020 ***

Thursday, 19 March 2020

Time for a 40th Anniversary Expanded Xanadu?

#1,529: Many fans will be aware that ELO's studio albums between 1971 and 1986 have all been reissued, remastered and/or expanded to the max save for their five song contribution to the "Xanadu" original soundtrack album (UK: #JETLX526; US: MCA-6100), alongside a quintet of Olivia Newton-John songs, which peaked at #2 in the Official UK Album Chart back in August 1980. Now that the 40th anniversary of "Xanadu" is fast approaching, this writer is of the opinion that an expanded CD (and vinyl) edition is long overdue bearing in mind that the original gatefold LP produced an impressive six Top 40 hits in the UK alone including, of course, a certain #1 single ...
Aside from the familiar ten songs spread over its ELO and ONJ sides, there are a number of other trax that could be included in an expanded "Xanadu" including "Drum Dreams" ('B' side to "I'm Alive"; #JET179), "Fool Country" ('B' side to "Xanadu"; #JET185), "You Made Me Love You" ('B' side to "Suddenly; #JET7002) and the enigmatic "Xanadu Overture" (sometimes referred to as "Xanadu Reprise") as heard in the film finale. You could even add Jeff Lynne's re-recorded version for "Flashback" in 2000 for good measure meaning that up to fifteen trax could be squeezed onto an updated release thus ...

[1] "I'm Alive" (ELO) ~ [2] "The Fall" (ELO) ~ [3] "Don't Walk Away" (ELO) ~ [4] "All Over The World" (ELO) ~ [5] "Xanadu" (ELO/ONJ) ~ [6] "Magic" (ONJ) ~ [7] "Suddenly" (ONJ/Harry Webb) ~ [8] "Dancin'" (ONJ/The Tubes) ~ [9] "Suspended In Time" (ONJ) ~ [10] "Whenever You're Away From Me" (ONJ/Gene Kelly) ~ [11] "Drum Dreams" (ELO) ~ [12] "Fool Country" (ONJ) ~ [13] "You Made Me Love You" (ONJ) ~ [14] "Xanadu Overture"/"Xanadu Reprise" (ELO) ~ [15] "Xanadu" (2000 version)
Undoubtedly, it would be interesting to gauge whether there is enough interest in both the Olivia Newton-John and Electric Light Orchestra fan bases for Universal and/or Sony to put together an attractive commercial package, the only potential obstacle being that the OST was originally a joint Jet/MCA release in the UK/Europe but MCA elsewhere. Yours Truly KJS and elobeatlesforever (elobf) would like to know if you would welcome an expanded, remastered "Xanadu" release. Thoughts?

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*** Until next "Time" in the elobf universe ... KJS ... 19-March-2020 ***

Sunday, 15 March 2020

2021 Release for Wembley Or Bust Budget Hardback

#1,528: Fans and followers of Jeff Lynne and Electric Light Orchestra (ELO) who were unable to afford the Deluxe or Collectors edition of the Jeff Lynne's ELO book "Wembley Or Bust" (Genesis Publications ISBN 978-1905662524) back in 2018 will be pleased to hear that a more affordable 212 page hardcover edition (ISBN 978-1905662647) is set to be published on Sunday 14th March 2021.

Pre-orders for the new budget edition of "Wembley Or Bust" by Jeff Lynne's ELO can presently be placed with (currently priced at £35) and (currently priced at $45) via these links thus:
elo beatles forever (elobf) recommends "Wembley Or Bust" by Jeff Lynne's ELO to those enlightened folks who enjoy the music of ELO, Jeff LynneRoy WoodThe MoveThe Idle Race'Brum Beat'The Beatles and related artistes.

*** Until next "Time" in the elobf universe ... KJS ... 15-March-2020 ***

Friday, 13 March 2020

Remembering Beryl Sinclair: My Mother, Music & Me

#1,527: These words are difficult to write. My mom Beryl Sinclair passed away last weekend hence the pause in new elobf articles. Whilst others have quite rightly posted their photos and memories via social media and expressed their grief in their own way, Yours Truly KJS wanted to pause for thought and remember her influence on me, specifically how I developed such a love for music in general and later, of course, the music of all things Electric Light Orchestra (ELO) et al.

The truth is that even before I bought my first record "Turn To Stone" in November 1977 at the age of ten, my mother had inadvertently seeded me with an ELOve! I recall vividly that she used to do the weekly shop in Wolverhampton town centre and occasionally brought home pristine copies of "Hot Hits" or "Top Of The Pops" from Woolworths. The amazing thing is that I used to play them on the family record player (and later my own modified Dansette). I still fondly remember taking a particular liking to a version of "10538 Overture" on the "Hot Hits XIII" (#MFP50041) album and later "Evil Woman" on the "Top Of The Pops 50th Special Edition" (#SHM935) LP. So perhaps it was not a surprise that I would eventually latch onto a lifelong love of ELO and be writing these words.

Later, I would go on to buy "A New World Record" (#UAG30017) from her catalogue for 18p a week (over 20 weeks) before my mum bought me "Three Light Years" (#JETBX1) and "ELO's Greatest Hits" (#JETLX525) as Christmas presents in 1978 and 1979 respectively. All of which I still treasure as you can see in the above photo montage.

Grief is hard to express in mere words. My mother was a beautiful, kind, generous and loving lady. She was and is an integral part of my life: past, present and yet future. You would not be reading these words but for her, hence this tribute.

In memory of Beryl Lilian Sinclair
Tuesday 6th July 1937 ~ Sunday 8th March 2020

*** Keith James Sinclair ... 13-March-2020 ***