Tuesday, 20 April 2021
#1,583: Mention the name Del Shannon and many ELO fans will most likely think of his posthumous 1991 album "Rock On!" (UK: Silvertone Records #ORELP514) which was (of course) produced between Jeff Lynne and Mike Campbell with lead single "Walk Away" co-written by Del with Jeff and Tom Petty. Most of the album was already recorded before Del passed away in February 1990 but "Rock On!" was successful in not only bringing his name back into the limelight, it also introduced Del to a whole new generation of admirers particularly when taking into account the high probability that he would have officially joined the ranks of The Traveling Wilburys (who went on to record/release his worldwide #1 smash hit "Runaway" during the "Volume 3" sessions in tribute to Del) following the tragic death of Roy Orbison. Yet the connections between Del and Electric Light Orchestra maestro Jeff Lynne are even deeper than their shared birthdate of 30th December (Del was born in 1934 with Jeff following in 1947) not forgetting that Del is credited with backing vox for "Blown Away" on "Armchair Theatre" LP and that the 2001 expanded edition of ELO's "Discovery" album included a nice cover of "Little Town Flirt".
However, Del Shannon and Jeff Lynne had a working relationship going back as far back as the sessions at his Cherokee Ranch studio in the latter half of both 1973 and 1974 which produced a trio of songs known as The Dead Set ("Alive But I'm Dead"; "Deadly Game"; "Distant Ghost") plus a number of other songs that were either co-written by the two and/or initially involved the production skills of Jeff and at times the rhythm section of ELO. Of particular interest is the fruit of those sessions including the 1975 US single "Cry Baby Cry" (Island #IS-038) and "Ghost", the flip side to the 1974 Australian single "Oh, How Happy" (Interfusion #K-5439) which was reissued in 1984 as "Distant Ghost" (Raven Records #RVS-04) interestingly citing the artiste as Del Shannon (with Electric Light Orchestra). "Distant Ghost" was finally released in the UK as the flip side to the 1983 single "Cheap Love" (Demon Records #D1017). Might we also suggest that you have a listen to "Raylene" via YouTube? Most of the songs in question (in one form or another) can be found in three albums: "Del Shannon: A Complete Career Anthology 1961-1990" (Raven Records; 1998), "Runaway: The Very Best of Del Shannon" (Universal Music; 2010) and/or "The Dublin Sessions" (RockBeat Records; 2017).
The above ELO Beatles Forever (ELOBF) tabulation (hopefully) lists the songs that came out of the aforementioned sessions and details their release history - be they as original or later (sometimes live) recordings - and where they can be found. Further info can be found via Del's official website at delshannon.com and/or Robert Porter's excellent Jeff Lynne Song Database. Yours Truly KJS is of the opinion that Del Shannon will always be a musician and an artiste worthy of mentioning in the same breath as the Greats.
Related elobf articles
ELO Beatles Forever (ELOBF) recommends Del Shannon (Official Website) and the Jeff Lynne Song Database to those enlightened folks who enjoy the music of ELO/Jeff Lynne, Roy Wood, The Move, The Idle Race, 'Brum Beat', The Beatles and related artistes.
*** Until next "Time" in the elobf universe ... 20-Apr-2021 ***
Friday, 16 April 2021
#1,582: Being as Yours Truly KJS listed the majority of interviews on file in the preceding ELO Beatles Forever (ELOBF) article entitled "Interview Infusion (3)", it crossed my mind to also collate the obituaries that I've written down the years for many (mostly) well known ELO and related personalities who are sadly no longer with us. It's good to be reminded of the legacy of those much missed personalities and their contribution/connection to the ELO/ELO Part II story but also that of The Move, Wizzard and The Traveling Wilburys. It also serves to remind us to value and treasure those artistes who have shared and continue to bless us with their multiple musical talent(s).
*** Until next "Time" in the elobf universe ... 16-Apr-2021 ***
Saturday, 10 April 2021
#1,581: Yours Truly KJS and ELO Beatles Forever (ELOBF) have been meaning to put together an article highlighting the many interviews (either direct or indirect) published down the years and here it is! We've interviewed or featured over 40 interviews with quite a few artistes, authors and personalities not only in the ELOBF universe but also independent artistes whether they be locally, nationally or internationally based. With more interviews in the pipeline, this writer hopes that you enjoy perusing the links below and enjoy having a read or three!
*** Until next "Time" in the elobf universe ... 10-Apr-2021 ***
Tuesday, 6 April 2021
#1,580: Perhaps the biggest surprise of Jeff Lynne's post-Electric Light Orchestra production career to date was his involvement with the Danish all female quartet Miss B Haven for a trio of songs on their 1990 album "Nobody's Angel" (UK: EastWest #WX334). Their aforementioned long player comprised ten trax and was dominated by eight Lise Cabble penned songs, the others being a co-write with drummer Mette Mathiesen and a cover of the Steve Harley classic "Make Me Smile (Come Up And See Me)".
The songs produced by the ELO maestro were "You're Wrong" and "Sand In My Eyes" together with the title track (also released as a single) "Nobody's Angel" (UK: EastWest #YZ490) with Jeff contributing keyboards, backing vox and guitars ensuring a familiar feel to Lise's compositions and vocal talents. Miss B Haven were active for eleven (11) years from 1986-1997 and were Lise Cabble (lead vox), Anne Vig Skoven (guitar/bvox), Lene Eriksen (bass/bvox) and Mette Mathiesen (drums/bvox). Interestingly, you'll find Mette credited with drums/percussion for most of Jeff Lynne's "Armchair Theatre" album! She was also a member of The Warwickshire Warblers alongside Dave Scott-Morgan, Jake Commander, Phil Hatton, Richard and Sheila Tandy on "Blown Away".
"Nobody's Angel" remains a listenable if not enjoyable record and, despite it not troubling the charts, it's still a welcome addition to many ELO related collections. Yours Truly KJS/ELOBF recommend that you visit Ken Stavensoe Nielsen's fabtastic website at: www.10538overture.dk and/or read his excellent Miss B Haven overview therein.
*** Until next "Time" in the elobf universe ... 06-Apr-2021 ***
Sunday, 4 April 2021
#1,579: Regular visitors to ELO Beatles Forever (ELOBF) would have hopefully enjoyed reading up in several recent articles about the songwriting, producing and solo activities of ELO maestro Jeff Lynne outside of his Electric Light Orchestra duties from 1978 with Helen Reddy to Duane Eddy in 1987 - the year (of course) in which his post-ELO production success in the afterglow of "Balance Of Power" truly took off with his work on George Harrison's "Cloud Nine" album. It was a year that also gave Jeff the opportunity to spend some time collaborating with another of his musical heroes: Beach Boys legend Brian Wilson in sunny California.
The co-written and co-produced anthem "Let It Shine" was the result of time Brian and Jeff spent together and it remains a fascinating musical fusion that ELO and Beach Boys fans still enjoy as an integral component of Brian's eponymously titled solo album (UK: Sire #WX157). The liner notes for the expanded CD edition in 2000 recall that the song was essentially in the bag before Brian added his trademark lead and a cappella vocals. Yours Truly KJS will leave the final word on "Let It Shine" with Jeff taken from this 2015 interview for Mojo:
"I hadn't known him at all, but Brian asked me if I wanted to write a song and produce it with him. "Yes, please - I'd love to!" I went to his house in Malibu and wrote it with him right by the seashore; his place was only a couple steps from the sea. Him playing piano and me strumming guitar and we came up with the song "Let It Shine". Anyway, we got to the session and I played lots of the instruments: bass and rhythm guitar and keyboard, and he did some keyboard, and we co-produced. Despite our production backgrounds, there wasn't a lot on it actually. It's a nice tight-sounding record." (Jeff Lynne; Mojo magazine issue #265; December 2015)
Thursday, 1 April 2021
#1,578: It's great to see that Bev Bevan, Jasper Carrott, Geoff Turton and the gang (Phil Tree, Lee Evans & Abby Brant) are set to return to the stage soon with a string of eight (8) new Stand Up & Rock! theatre shows announced this week. Expect more dates extending into 2022 to be revealed soon. Details of all forthcoming shows can be found via the official Jasper Carrott website thus:
Get an idea of what to expect by reading these KJS/ELOBF 'Caught Live' gig reviews:
ELO Beatles Forever (ELOBF) recommends Stand Up & Rock! ft. Bev Bevan & Jasper Carrott to those enlightened folks who enjoy the music of ELO/Jeff Lynne, Roy Wood, The Move, The Idle Race, 'Brum Beat', The Beatles, Quill, Black Sabbath and related artistes.
*** Until next "Time" in the elobf universe ... 01-Apr-2021 ***
Sunday, 28 March 2021
#1,577: With two episodes already under their belts, it's good to see the success that the ever adaptable Quill are enjoying with their Quill Connect broadcasts on their new YouTube channel. In case you didn't know, each episode is presented by the effervescent Joy Strachan-Brain and world renowned drumming legend Bev Bevan as they not only trawl the Quill archives but that also of members past and present. You'll also get to see and hear exclusive performances by the band of songs from their forthcoming new album "Riding Rainbows", some birthday banter and Bev's reminiscences of his stellar career with The Move, ELO and Black Sabbath whilst the duo interview guests in the biz. Three of the aforementioned new Quill songs are now available to download via these links thus:
So far Joy and Bev have talked to Louis Clark Jr. (The Orchestra) and Nick Pentelow (Wizzard, Andy Fairweather Low & The Low Riders) with future guests sure to include many surprises. You might also be surprised to hear the odd mention of Yours Truly KJS/ELOBF during the shows! Episode 3 is already in the works for April featuring another guest of interest hence we recommend that you subscribe to Quill Connect @ YouTube and or join their mailing list by clicking HERE. Please click on the links below for further Quill info ...
Saturday, 27 March 2021
#1,576: In recent KJS/ELOBF articles, readers will have noticed a focus on artistes who worked with Jeff Lynne whilst he was winding down his Electric Light Orchestra (ELO) duties and crossing paths musically with Dave Edmunds, The Everly Brothers, Agnetha Fältskog and (earlier) Helen Reddy. Mention the name Duane Eddy and many folks will call to mind tunes such as "Peter Gunn" or "Cannonball" or "Because They're Young" or another one of his many worldwide hit singles or albums, primarily in the late 50's and early 60's.
Most fans and followers of Jeff Lynne will doubtless be aware of his growing association with George Harrison following the dissolution of ELO in 1986 after the "Balance Of Power" promotion campaign had ended. They will point to the release of "Cloud Nine" in November 1987 as Lynne's breakthrough post-ELO production collaboration in terms of chart and commercial success but they may be unaware that he was also contributed three trax to none other than legendary twanger Duane Eddy's eponymously titled album in the same year.
The ELO maestro found himself teaming up with George Harrison (again) for two songs as well as future Traveling Wilburys drummer Jim Keltner, saxophonist Jim Horn and his preferred engineer Richard Dodd for the instrumentals "Theme For Something Really Important", "Rockabilly Rebel" (both written by Jeff) and "The Trembler" (an interesting song title being as The Traveling Wilburys were conceived as The Trembling Wilburys before they opted for the latter name per Jeff's suggestion) with "Rockabilly Rebel" also chosen as the flip side of US single "Spies" (Capitol Records B-44018). Unfortunately, "Duane Eddy" (UK: Capitol Records EST2034; US: ST-12567) failed to trouble the charts yet it still remains both an enjoyable listen and an essential collection item for fans of both Duane Eddy and ELO/Jeff Lynne.
Please go to The Duane Eddy Circle at www.duaneeddycircle.com for more information on all things Duane Eddy ...
Thursday, 25 March 2021
#1,575: If ever there were a record that you'd say was the best Jeff Lynne penned song that ELO never recorded, then surely it must be Helen Reddy's wonderful cut of "Poor Little Fool" from her 1978 album "We'll Sing In The Sunshine". Released as a single (Capitol Records #CL16007) in the UK (which sadly failed to chart) and although neither produced by the Electric Light Orchestra maestro or arranged by Jeff, Richard Tandy or Louis Clark, it's a track replete with familiar Lynne lyrics that oozes the classic ELO sound of the time and would undoubtedly have been at home on either "A New World Record", "Out Of The Blue" or "Discovery" in the opinion of KJS/ELOBF.
My good friend Mark Manley kindly reminded this writer today that during the live version of "Poor Little Fool" found on her "Live In London" (1977) double album, Helen actually remarks in the recording that "this is a song written by my friend Jeff Lynne of Electric Light Orchestra". Undoubtedly, "Poor Little Fool" manages to both reflect the iconic songwriting traits of Jeff Lynne whilst also showcasing the immense vocal talents of Helen Reddy. Perhaps the title of her fifth studio album "Love Song For Jeffrey" (1974) was almost prophetic in advance gratitude for this great song that would later be generously gifted to her by the Brummie legend. Helen Reddy sadly passed away last year on Tuesday 29th September, just a month or so shy of her 69th birthday.
Recent elobf articles
Sunday, 21 March 2021
#1,574: If you were to ask this particular writer what would be my fave track by The Move, it might surprise you to discover that it would be "Beautiful Daughter" from their album "Shazam" featuring the sublime vocals of Carl Wayne and, in my opinion, one of the very best of Roy Wood's many compositions. There was a richness and depth to the voice of Carl, also known as Charlie Wayne (née Tooley), on many Move trax. Carl was there when The Move was born on Sunday 23rd January 1966 with his ensuing career spanning more than five decades before his untimely passing on Tuesday 31st August 2004 at just 61 years of age.
|Carl Wayne discography compiled by KJS for ELOBF ...|
After his departure from The Move in 1970 just before the formal release of their second album "Shazam" (Regal Zonophone SLRZ1012), Carl went on to release not only his eponymously titled debut solo album in 1971 but a string of singles on well known labels including RCA Victor, Polydor and later Jet Records. 45RPM highlights include "You're A Star" (the theme to the popular TV talent show New Faces), his cover of John Lennon's "Imagine", his recording of "Aerial Pictures" (written, of course, by old pal Roy Wood) and his version of the Jeff Lynne penned ELO ballad "Midnight Blue" (the flip side of his "Deeper Than Love" single, arranged by Louis Clark).
Carl also enjoyed a varied and successful stage career including a six year role as the narrator in the West End production of the Willy Russell musical Blood Brothers before joining The Hollies as lead singer in his latter years (you can buy a download of their live version of "Fire Brigade" here). His connections with The Move and their successor the Electric Light Orchestra were never forgotten and not limited to the aforementioned cover of "Midnight Blue" as previously unreleased Carl Wayne vocals from the recording sessions at Air Studios were included in EMI's Light Years 30th anniversary expanded reissue of "ELO 2" in 2003. Bonus disc "The Lost Planet" included his lead vox for three Lynne penned songs in "Your World", "Get A Hold Of Myself" and "Mama" with what was effectively the ELO rhythm section.
|Charlie Wayne joined ELO on Jet Records during 1982 ...|
Undoubtedly, there was much more to Charlie Wayne than his time with The Move and no better subject matter for this long overdue KJS/ELOBF overview of his musical legacy. You can find out more by going to The Official Carl Wayne Website ...
Tuesday, 16 March 2021
#1,573: Being as the previous trio of elobeatlesforever (elobf) articles featured the mid-eighties collaborations of Jeff Lynne with Dave Edmunds, The Everly Brothers and Agnetha Fältskog, an elobf overview is well overdue of what is the most well known outing of the ELO maestro at that time as he formally recommenced his solo career (having recorded a medley of "With A Little Help From My Friends"/"Nowhere Man" for the "All This And World War II" soundtrack in 1976 and launched debut solo single "Doin' That Crazy Thing" b/w "Goin' Down To Rio" in 1977) whilst the Electric Light Orchestra took a break following the release of "Secret Messages" in 1983 and drummer Bev Bevan was off touring with close pal Tony Iommi, Ian Gillan and Black Sabbath.
Following on from the immense success of ELO's contribution to the "Xanadu" OST in 1980, it was no surprise that a further opportunity arose in 1984 for Jeff to write and produce songs for the aptly named movie "Electric Dreams" - an atypical 80's film about an love triangle between a boy, a girl and a computer named Edgar that Yours Truly KJS actually went to see twice at the ABC cinema in Wolverhampton! Three trax were developed with long time ELO keyboard cohort Richard Tandy for the project ensuring interest from fans and collectors alike.
"Video!" backed by "Sooner Or Later" (UK: Virgin VS695) was released as lead single in June 1984 famously including, in part, the chorus from the unreleased "Beatles Forever" (need we say more?) and managed a modest #84 in the UK and #85 in the US Billboard 100. The "Electric Dreams" soundtrack (UK: Virgin V2318) peaked at #46 and also included the up tempo "Let It Run" (reputed to have also been lined up as a single should "Video!" have fared better). All three songs retained an ELOesque feel reflecting Jeff's preference for a more synthesized sound and would undoubtedly have been at home on either the "Secret Messages" or "Balance Of Power" albums.
Four singles followed on after "Video!" including "Together In Electric Dreams" by Giorgio Moroder with Phil Oakey (of Human League fame) which was beaten to top spot by "Freedom" (Wham!) and "No More Lonely Nights" (Paul McCartney) during October later that year. "Electric Dreams" is currently available to buy in both DVD and Blu-ray formats from reputable vendors.
Sunday, 14 March 2021
#1,572: If ELO maestro Jeff Lynne wasn't busy enough in the years betwixt their albums "Secret Messages" (1983) and "Balance Of Power" (1986) in working with Dave Edmunds, The Everly Brothers and providing songs for the film soundtrack to "Electric Dreams" (ably assisted, of course, by Richard Tandy), it was noteworthy that one of his songs made its way onto the second English language solo album "Eyes Of A Woman" (UK: Epic EPC26446) released in April 1985 by former ABBA member Agnetha Fältskog.
Sadly, the Lynne penned second single "One Way Love" (UK: Epic A6351) failed to trouble the UK Singles Chart although lead single "I Won't Let You Go" did manage #84 with the Eric Stewart (of 10cc fame) produced album peaking at a respectable #38 in the UK Album Chart. Released in Europe via Polydor, the UK/Eire release on the Epic label renders it a much sought after and unique record for completist fans and collectors of both ELO and ABBA. A remastered and expanded "Eyes Of A Woman" CD was issued in 2005.
"That the individuals can be more than their sum has been shown again since the four members of ABBA went their separate ways. While Björn and Benny are harvesting musical awards, Frida and Agnetha continue their solo careers, which, as is well known, had several high points before the groups formation. After the successful "I Won't Let You Go", "One Way Love" is the second single from Agnetha Fältskog's current album "Eyes Of A Woman". The lively song is composed by ELO's Jeff Lynne and produced by Eric Stewart and is one of three that Agnetha sang at the Golden Montreux Rock Festival. This show featuring the top stars has already been broadcast by TV stations around the world to around 400 million viewers and can be seen on ZDF." (KJS/elobf translation)
Friday, 12 March 2021
#1,571: Being as previous elobf article "Dave Edmunds: Information, Riff Raff & Jeff Lynne" discussed the busy mid-eighties musical relationship between Dave Edmunds and ELO maestro Jeff Lynne, it seems quite natural to take a look at their further collaboration at that time with Everly Brothers Don and Phil for their "EB84" album in (funnily enough!) 1984 during the intervening period between "Secret Messages" (1983) and "Balance Of Power" (1986).
The ten trax that comprised "EB84" (Mercury #MERH44) or simply "The Everly Brothers" in the States were all produced by Welsh rock icon Edmunds and saw Richard Tandy return on keys alongside songwriter Lynne on bass for "The Story Of Me". With the Paul McCartney penned lead single "On The Wings Of A Nightingale" (Mercury #MER170) peaking at UK #41, it was disappointing that "The Story Of Me" (Mercury #MER180) didn't trouble the 7" chart in its wake. Although the album also failed to chart in the UK, it did manage a respectable #44 in the US Billboard 200. Phil Everly sadly passed away at 74 years of age in January 2014.
With a busy schedule outside of his ELO duties (aided and abetted , of course, by Richard Tandy) with the likes of the "Electric Dreams" OST, "Information", "Riff Raff" and "The Story Of Me", Jeff Lynne still managed to feature in another major pop legend's career in 1985 before "Balance Of Power" was unveiled. More on that soon in a forthcoming elobeatlesforever (elobf) article!
Wednesday, 10 March 2021
#1,570: As the electric light of ELO faded like The Beatles on Hey Jude during the intermission between 1983's "Secret Messages" and 1986's "Balance Of Power", fans and followers of Jeff Lynne began to witness his progression to both a solo and songwriting/production career as song contributions to the "Electric Dreams" soundtrack ("Video!"; "Let It Run"; "Sooner Or Later") and releases by The Everly Brothers ("The Story Of Me") in 1984 and ABBA's Agnetha Fältskog ("One Way Love") in 1985 attest.
Yet, if there were one musical partnership during this time that defined Jeff Lynne's burgeoning transition from behind his proverbial shades with ELO to the acclaimed songwriter/producer known worldwide today, it was surely his studio stint producing and writing for Welsh rockabilly rock legend Dave Edmunds (well known for his UK #1 single "I Hear You Knocking" plus seven other Top 40 singles including "Girls Talk") on his mid 80's albums "Information" and "Riff Raff" released via Arista (UK/EU) and Columbia (US).
|Two Dave Edmunds/Jeff Lynne rarities ...|
Released in April '83, "Information" (UK #92) rendered two Jeff Lynne produced trax ("Slipping Away"; "Information") recorded at Wisseloord Studios in Holland during the "Secret Messages" sessions and also featured ELO keyboard cohort Richard Tandy as well as engineer Bill Bottrell. Lead single "Slipping Away" (released in the UK on collectible clear vinyl whilst peaking at #60) was an instantly recognisable Lynne song with the title track following as the second 7" lifted from the LP.
Released in September '84 and commercially less successful, "Riff Raff" saw Jeff and RT return with a more substantive contribution of three new songs ("Breaking Out"; "Far Away"; "S.O.S.") and five production credits (also "Something About You"; "Hang On"). The Lynne produced "Something About You" was the only single taken from the album in the UK with "Breaking Out" released as a promotional 12" single in the States meant that every single from both albums credited JL as writer and/or producer.
|Dave with Jeff (Princes Trust; 1990) and on stage with Roy Wood (alongside Cheap Trick; 1979)|
*** Until next "Time" in the elobf universe ... 10-March-2021 ***