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 ***