Saturday, 27 February 2021

#ELO50: Electric Light Expectations

#1,569: Although a little tardy, it was good to see Jeff Lynne's ELO finally announce on Monday 22nd February their plans via social media (several weeks after this elobf article pondered their intentions) to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Electric Light Orchestra (ELO) thus: "2021 marks 50 years of ELO. We’ve been all over the world and have so many incredible memories to look back on, and more to create! Throughout the year, we will be sharing special 50th anniversary surprises with you. Follow along to see what we have in store!"

Whilst KJS/ELOBF are not given to unduly speculate on the intentions of the marketing gurus at Sony Legacy, it is not unreasonable to postulate the potential ELO releases and reissues that fans, followers and collectors can anticipate or hope to see during 2021. Here's a list of twelve items that could see the electric light of day this year including some longstanding wish list items oft cited by Yours Truly KJS and elobeatlesforever (elobf). It'll be interesting to see what actually occurs over the next ten months!

ELO: Vinyl studio album boxed set with bonus material/discs ("Beatles Forever"?)
ELO: Album picture disc set (excluding "Out Of The Blue & "From Out Of Nowhere"?)
ELO: Music video collection DVD/Blu-ray
ELO: Limited edition CD rarities set
ELO: UK singles boxed set 1979-1986
Jeff Lynne's ELO: New studio album (Q4 2021)
ELO: Expanded 2LP "Time" edition with tour recording
ELO: Vinyl reissue of "On The Third Day"
ELO: Vinyl reissue of "Xanadu" &/or expanded CD
ELO: Vinyl reissue of "Balance Of Power"
Jeff Lynne: More ELO re-recordings (follow-up to "Mr. Blue Sky")
Jeff Lynne: "Down The Lane And Far Away" (follow-up to "Long Wave")

Monday, 22 February 2021

Vinyl Renaissance for ELO Part II Albums

#1,568: Fans and followers of both ELO and ELO Part II have been waiting a long time for one or either of ELO Part II's studio albums "Electric Light Orchestra Part Two" (1991) and "Moment of Truth" (1994) to be reissued hence the news that Renaissance Records are to re-release both albums on vinyl later this year in September and October respectively (Note: originally advised as August)  will be of immense interest and bring satisfying closure to many collectors.

It's now almost 30 years since "Electric Light Orchestra Part Two" was released by Telstar Records and matched the UK chart performance of "Zoom" in peaking at #34 and will return in a new gatefold sleeve. "Moment of Truth" followed three years later via Edel's Ultrapop imprint and heralded a returned to ELO's classic sweeping orchestral arrangements thanx, of course, to Louis Clark with this 2021 reissue also marking its long overdue debut on vinyl as a double album set. Both remastered albums will be released in limited edition 180g vinyl replete with trading cards, photos and lyrics et al. Further details including pre-ordering info will be announced shortly. In the meantime, KJS/elobf recommends that you visit the official Renaissance Records web site via these links thus:

elobeatlesforever (elobf) recommends "Electric Light Orchestra Part Two" and "Moment Of Truth" by ELO Part II via Renaissance Records to those enlightened folks who enjoy the music of Jeff Lynne/ELORoy WoodThe Move'Brum Beat'The Beatles and related artistes. With thanx to my good friend Paul Scott.

*** Until next "Time" in the ELOBF Universe ... 22-Feb-2021 ***

Thursday, 18 February 2021

Recommended: Look Wot They Dun! (Peter Checksfield)

#1,567: Fans of The Move, ELORoy Wood, Wizzard and Glam Rock in general might well enjoy a 2019 book by author and researcher Peter Checksfield that Yours Truly KJS discovered recently whilst I was thoroughly enjoying watching a superb seven song set by David Paton and Pilot (remember "Magic" and "January"?) on the Superpop show (1976) on YouTube.

"Look Wot They Dun!" subtitled "The Ultimate Guide to UK Glam Rock on TV In The '70s" (ISBN 9781795757317) also features a forward by Pan's People founding member Dee Dee Wilde and is a detailed, informative and downright interesting trawl through the archives that lists in detail the UK television appearances by fifty artistes including The MoveELORoy Wood and Wizzard on shows such as "Lift Off With Ayshea" and (of course) "Top Of The Pops" between 1970-1979 and is highly recommended by KJS/elobf.

"Look Wot They Dun!" by Peter Checksfield is available to preview/buy via these links thus:

elobeatlesforever (elobf) recommends "Look Wot They Dun!" by Peter Checksfield 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 ELOBF Universe ... 18-Feb-2021 ***

Sunday, 14 February 2021

Remembering Louis Clark

#1,566: For many fans of classic ELO, Louis Clark was the man who literally pulled the strings when it came to their sweeping orchestral arrangements for their epic studio albums from "Eldorado: A Symphony by the Electric Light Orchestra" in 1974 all the way through to his four track contribution on "Secret Messages" in 1983 not forgetting his guiding hand behind the "Hooked On Classics" series and his pivotal role in the launch of ELO Part II alongside Bev Bevan and his essential contribution to The Orchestra.

Although recently unwell, his passing away on Saturday 13th February at the age of 73 years came as a shock to many fans and followers of the classically trained conductor, arranger and composer affectionately known as Sir Lou. The name Louis Clark on the label or in the credits it ensured that ELO's trademark orchestral rock sound was a key component on seven bestselling albums including the aforementioned "Eldorado", "Face The Music", "A New World Record", "Out Of The Blue" and "Discovery".
When he wasn't involved with ELO, you could find Lou busy either fusing classical and popular music together music with his much loved "Hooked On Classics" albums whilst conducting The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and The English Pops Orchestra or working with a wide range of artists such as Roy Orbison, Roy Wood, Kelly Groucutt, Ozzy Osbourne, America and Asia on their recordings. You might also consider getting hold of a copy of his 1979 solo LP "(per-spek'-tiv)n." (#JETLP218) as it is also well worth investigating.
Personally, I'll always treasure seeing Sir Lou in his all white suit conducting the 80-piece Moscow Symphony Orchestra during ELO Part II's debut tour in 1991 and his constant involvement thereafter with their many live shows and those of The Orchestra. Without a doubt, his "Moment Of Truth (Overture)" remains a testament to his stellar musical CV. This writer had the pleasure of bumping into Louis of a number of occasions down the years at various gigs and it was always a thrill to chat and engage with him.
Yours Truly KJS and elobeatlesforever (elobf) wish to extend their deepest condolences to Gloria, Louis, Jemma, Rachel and the family at this sad time. Earlier today, I asked Lou's longtime ELO cohorts Bev Bevan and Dave Scott-Morgan to recall their fave moment with their former bandmate. You'll find their thoughts as well as those of his wife Gloria and those of my friend Christian Evans (from a fans perspective) below. Truly, Louis Clark will be much missed by many and forever a huge part of the Electric Light Orchestra story.
Bev Bevan: "A great shame. Really, really lovely guy. My fondest memory is our trip together to meet Konstantin Krimets, the conductor of the Moscow Symphony Orchestra in 1990. I've got some great photos from that trip!"

Dave Scott-Morgan"My favourite memory of Lou is me and him sitting side by side scrubbing cellos on The Terry Wogan Show back in '86 giggling the whole time with our posh leather jackets on!"

Gloria Bentley Clark: "Sadly today Louis, Jemma, Rachel and I had to say goodbye to the most loved, loving and kind man we know. He will be missed in a way that words cannot express. He had been ill for many months. He fought hard, but his time had come. He passed very peacefully surrounded by love. This morning he watched Premier League soccer and listened to The Beatles, two things he loved. This afternoon I told him I loved him, he said I love you too, and we kissed. He was gone five minutes later. We love this man forever and always. He was a good man, loved by many and will be greatly missed by all. We want to thank family, friends and fans who have always loved and supported him."

Christian Evans: "Very sad to hear about the passing of Louis Clark this morning, long standing member of the Electric Light Orchestra, ELO Part II and The Orchestra. Louis was integral to the orchestral sound of ELO throughout the mid to late 70’s, particularly on albums such as Eldorado, Face The Music, A New World Record and Out of the Blue. It is with great fondness that I remember meeting Louis backstage at Wolverhampton Civic Hall in 1993 after an ELO Part II gig with my good friend and longstanding gig buddy Keith Sinclair (ELO Beatles Forever). Other standout memories are seeing ELO Part II for the first time on 1991 at Birmingham NEC as it was back then and watching Louis conduct The Moscow Symphony Orchestra, truly amazing. Seeing Louis conduct the Halle Orchestra with ELO Part II at Manchester Apollo in 1999 was also another highlight, this was recorded live for Radio 2. My last memory of Louis was meeting him after The Orchestra gig at The Plug in Sheffield in 2014. Myself and my good friend KJS had the pleasure of meeting and chatting to him in the hotel bar after the gig. A truly lovely man and very gifted musician who will be sadly missed."
Louis Clark: 27th February 1947 to 13th February 2021
Related KJS/ELOBF articles

*** Until next "Time" in the ELOBF Universe ... 14-Feb-2021 ***

Saturday, 13 February 2021

Jet Connections: Roll Over Beethoven & Showdown

#1,565: If nothing else, ELO's stellar chart career in the US benefitted much from their having a stable label as their records were either distributed via UA or CBS from "No Answer" and "10538 Overture" onward incorporating their tenure on Jet Records from 1975.

It was a different story in their home country as the Electric Light Orchestra proverbially jumped biz from EMI's Harvest label to Warner Bros. Burbank imprint before Jet Records took off albeit subject to multiple distribution deals with Island and Polydor before United Artists and later CBS took the helm. This meant significant licensing issues for any compilation albums where "Showdown" did not appear on any official Jet UK release until "ELO's Greatest Hits" (#JETLX525) in 1979 thanx to the withdrawal of "OlĂ© ELO" (#JETLP19) in 1976.
Which leads KJS/elobf to highlight the relatively unknown reissue of two early ELO hits under the umbrella of the Golden Oldie series of 7" singles in the United States after CBS took over manufacturing and distribution rights from UA during 1978. Believe it or not, when "Roll Over Beethoven" and "Showdown" (Jet/CBS #ZS8 5152) were twinned together, this was the first time that either song had made their way onto the classic yellow Jet Records single label so familiar with fans and collectors down the years - as far as this writer is aware. There you go!

Thursday, 4 February 2021

Unsung ELO: Jo Webb

#1,564: This is the first in a new series of KJS/elobf articles on musicians who are just below the radar in the ELO and related universe! New, older and casual fans of the music of ELO/Jeff Lynne may not be familiar with the name Jo Webb but the multi-instrumentalist and producer is quickly gaining an accomplished reputation not only as a member of the Jeff Lynne's ELO touring band but also in the studio having already enjoyed production credits for two UK Top 20 albums plus, of course, his contributions to the "Wembley Or Bust" live album in 2017.

Yours Truly KJS first came across Jo due to his contribution to some sublime covers including "Love Will Find A Way" (the Yes classic) on The Guerilla Sessions YouTube channel in 2016 (featuring the equally talented Iain Hornal on lead vox), "Jet" (Wings) and "Georgy Porgy" (Toto). Click on the links below to see Jo perform in the aforementioned videos thus:

Thereafter, besides his involvement with Jeff Lynne's ELO tours, Jo has moved behind the production desk and co-produced two excellent albums with/for fellow EJLO member Iain Hornal, the first being 2017's "The Game Begins With The Lights Out" (an elobf Album of the Year) and more recently "Fly Away Home" - another elobf Album of the Year! Add to the mix that you may not be aware that (amongst others) Jo also produced the posthumous Rick Parfitt album "Over And Out" (UK #4 in April 2018) preceded by Marc Almond's "Shadows And Reflections" (UK #14 in October 2017 and also featuring Mike Stevens) and you can see that Jo Webb very much deserves to be the subject of this elobf spotlight whether it be on stage or in the studio! For more info go to:
Second left: Jo Webb performing live with Jeff Lynne's ELO

elobeatlesforever (elobf) recommends Jo Webb 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 ELOBF Universe ... 04-Feb-2021 ***

Tuesday, 2 February 2021

Celebrating 12 Light Years

#1,563: Today is Tuesday 2nd February 2021 (a.k.a. Groundhog Day) and it's now twelve ears since elobeatlesforever (elobf) began back in 2009 when our first article (not unsurprisingly) entitled "Beatles Forever" was published (click here to read). A lot has happened in the elobf universe in the 4,383 days or 144 months since we started out including countless gig reviews, album reviews, interviews, releases, exclusives (thanx to our trustworthy embedded sources in the biz) and even two extended breaks.

KJS/ELOBF is a known source of original, accurate content and enjoys its proven record of introducing readers to local, national and international ELO/Beatles influenced indie artistes. We aim to keep folks informed re: the ongoing endeavours of ELO/ELO Part II former members and related artistes whilst also featuring the many ELO tribute bands out there "All Over The World".

On a personal note, Yours Truly KJS is both grateful for the continuing support and courtesy extended by Roy WoodBev Bevan, a whole host of talented musicians and their management. It's been quite the journey despite the persistent hassle of internet trolls, some of whom call themselves ELO fans. Finally, I'd like to thank each and every visitor to elobf for their continuing loyalty and interest.