Tuesday, 27 July 2021

ELOBF Gig Guide #35: August 2021

#1,606: It's been a while but Yours Truly KJS and ELO Beatles Forever (ELOBF) have dusted off the proverbial cobwebs and are now pleased to bring you this new Monthly ELOBF Gig Guide listing selected UK dates during August 2021. Expect another one soon covering the month of September, subject to expected Autumn plandemic restrictions. Please consider getting out there and supporting these artistes and venues!

Friday 6th August
The ELO Experience @ Conkers Ampitheatre, Swadlincote
Tickets: from £28 each

Saturday 7th August
The Roy Orbison Story (Barry Steele) @ The Place, Telford
Tickets: from £25 each

Thursday 12th August
Morganisation @ Kitchen Garden Cafe, Birmingham
Tickets: from £11 each

Friday 13th August
The ELO Experience @ New Alexandra Theatre, Birmingham
Tickets: from £26 each

Saturday 14th August
The Upbeat Beatles @ Garrick Theatre, Lichfield
Tickets: from £25.50 each

Sunday 15th August
The Petty Heartbreakers @ The Diamond, Sutton-in-Ashfield
Tickets: from £6 each

Saturday 21st August
Sight 'n' Sound @ Cannock Social Club, Cannock
Tickets: from £2 each

Saturday 28th August
The Black Country Beatles @ The Robin 2, Bilston
Tickets: from £11 each

The artistes and shows listed above are recommended by ELO Beatles Forever (ELOBF). Please contact KJS/ELOBF should you wish events to be considered for the above listing &/or future gig guides. It'll be nice to perhaps see you at some of the above gigs for a chat!

Until next "Time" in the ELOBF Universe ... KJS ... 27-July-2021

Tuesday, 20 July 2021

ELO Engineer Dick Plant Remembers Louis Clark

#1,605: Early ELO engineer Dick Plant kindly dropped a line to Yours Truly KJS earlier this week with some warm words in tribute to Louis Clark. You'll find Dick credited for his engineering skills whilst at London's iconic De Lane Lea Studios on four consecutive Electric Light Orchestra studio albums, namely "On The Third Day", "Eldorado", "Face The Music" and "A New World Record". His comments in response to the ELOBF article "Remembering Louis Clark" are quoted in full below thus:

"I worked with Lou as recording engineer on a regular basis during the '70s on early ELO stuff and also on his Perspektiv album. He was a newcomer to the London studio scene and his complex arrangements were not taken seriously by the session musicians of the time and he was treated disgracefully by them for a while before the penny dropped. I agree that he should have had more composer credits on certain ELO stuff. On more than one occasion, Jeff used Lou's top string line as a main part of a song melody, but Lou was only ever credited as an orchestral arranger. Not fair. Very sad early loss of a great and mega-talented guy." ~ Dick Plant

*** Until next "Time" in the ELOBF universe ... KJS ... 20-July-2021 ***

Sunday, 18 July 2021

Morganisation: Kitchen Garden Return

#1,604: Former ELO member Dave Scott-Morgan will bring a streamlined Morganisation to the Kitchen Garden Cafe venue in King's Heath, Birmingham at 8PM (doors open at 7PM) on Thursday 12th August  for what promises to be a rather special gig with wife Mandy and guitarist Alex Lowe also sharing the stage. Yours Truly KJS caught up briefly with Dave (who also cites spells with The Uglys, Balls and Magnum in his musical CV) recently and asked him three quickfire questions for ELOBF about the forthcoming show:

KJS: Morganisation are back with a bang! What have you been up to recently?
DSM: Hi Keith! 
It's good to be back! Since the Earthrise gig at Birmingham Conservatoire, I've been doing a lot in the studio.
KJS: Will your date at the Kitchen Garden Cafe feature the full band or should we expect something a little more intimate?
DSM: The show will be the three piece group with Mandy and Alex. I've re-Morganised us into a trio!
KJS: Your set lists often include a mix of your own songs, inventive covers and some ELO. Will we hear some new songs?
DSM: Yes! All I will say is that there'll be a bunch of new songs in the set, some being from our latest albums "Seven" and "Made In Britain".
Dave Scott-Morgan taking "Time" with ELO on tour (l) and with KJS (r)
Press Release: "Refreshed and Re-Morganised post lockdown, Dave Scott-Morgan and his group are with us once more, mixing their unique brand of originals with rock ‘n’ roll classics and quintessent ELO hits. Dave, local hit songwriter and former musician with Birmingham’s own Electric Light Orchestra, with his group Morganisation, will be airing along with your favourites, tracks from their Lockdown album Made in Britain. The byword is elegant harmonic fun plus some nostalgic anecdotes too! Come prepared to tap your toes."

Remaining tickets for the aforementioned Morganisation gig at the Kitchen Garden Cafe will be priced at £12 on the door or can be purchased in advance for £10 (plus £1 booking fee) via this link thus: wegottickets.com/event/514646

Related KJS/ELOBF articles

ELO Beatles Forever (ELOBF) recommends Dave Scott-Morgan and Morganisation 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 ... 18-July-2021 ***

Friday, 16 July 2021

Cassette Corner: Three Light Years & Four Light Years Unboxed

JETTX1: Three Light Years
#1,603: Whilst Electric Light Orchestra (& related artistes) vinyl/CD releases are a regular topic of the many ELOBF posts published down the years, one subject never really covered by Yours Truly KJS is the plethora of cassette (MC) releases that have accompanied most ELO records from their inception (in most cases) up until the mid 1990's. Expect to read future KJS/ELOBF articles on that subject soon!

Two tape releases that kinda slipped under the radar at the time due to my focus on the boxed sets "Three Light Years" (#JETBX1) and "Four Light Years" (#JETBX2) were the commensurate twin cassette versions (#JETTX1 & #JETTX2 respectively). Whilst the 3LP & 4LP vinyl editions transposed the original album trax, the cassettes were somewhat cut and spliced to make the best use of the available tape capacity. "Eldorado" was cut in half for TLY whilst a rearranged "Out Of The Blue" saw "Jungle" moved to follow "Wild West Hero" and "The Whale" relocated after "Steppin' Out" on tape #1 of FLY. The running order of "A New World Record" on tape #2 similarly saw "Shangri-La" inserted after "Mission (A World Record)" with "Telephone Line" moved to the finale whereas "Discovery" was untouched. For those familar with ANWR & OOTB, listening to "Four Light Years" on tape must've been literally out of this world!
JETTX2: Four Light Years
"It's interesting that both cassette sets state the copyright as ©1980 but were not released until April 1981 in the UK only." ~ Patrik Guttenbacher

With thanx to my good friend Patrik Guttenbacher at Face The Music Germany for some images included within this article.
The remnant of the KJS/ELOBF cassette collection ...
Recent KJS/ELOBF articles

*** Until next "Time" in the ELOBF universe ... 16-July-2021 ***

Tuesday, 13 July 2021

ELO: Non-Charting UK Compilations

#1,602: In recent ELO Beatles Forever (ELOBF) articles, Yours Truly KJS has taken a look at not only the release dates of most ELO single and album releases but also their chart performances on either side of the Atlantic, be they original studio recordings or compilations (see links below for further info). The Electric Light Orchestra are renowned for the plethora of compilations issued down the years, particularly due to their many familiar hit singles. A promise was made within my post "Another Chart Breaks: ELO's UK & US Compilations Ranked" to look at ELO's non-charting UK compilations hence this article which is actually a delve into my collection hence apologies if I've missed any out!

Of the fourteen records listed, the first five are vinyl starting with 1974's "Showdown" with the remainder in CD format. What's particularly noteworthy is that 9/14 are EMI releases chronicling ELO's early career on the famous Harvest label betwixt 1971-1973 not forgetting that there are not a few more EMI releases out there that include Roy Wood & Wizzard too! This writer has always found it puzzling that "Ticket To The Moon" (the 2007 follow-up to 2005's bestselling "All Over The World") did not dent the charts at all. It was the same in 1992 with "ELO's Greatest Hits Volume Two" although not so surprising being as it was marketed under Sony's Nice Price banner. Another non-charter was 2011's "Essential Electric Light Orchestra" collection perhaps because it was largely similar to 1997's "Light Years" in content. Also on the list is 2000's 3CD career overview "Flashback" (reissued in 2010) which remains a fan favourite although aimed more at ELO's avid followers and collectors rather than casual fans. Even now, this writer still has a soft spot for Tellydisc's fabtastic 2LP "The Best of ELO" replete with wonderful artwork and originally a 1981 mail order only release which somehow found its way into certain record shop shelves for which I remain eternally grateful to Sundown Records in Wolverhampton for reserving me a copy!
For a comprehensive worldwide discography of all Electric Light Orchestra compilation albums from 1974 to 2016 go to my good friend Matt McGough's excellent ELECTRIC LIGHT ORCHESTRA ELO ALBUMS site at: www.eloalbums.co.uk/world-compilations

Related KJS/ELOBF articles

*** Until next "Time" in the ELOBF universe ... 13-July-2021 ***

Saturday, 10 July 2021

Charting the Rise of ELO in the UK & America: The Singles

#1,601: Previous KJS/ELOBF article: "Charting the Rise of ELO in the UK & America: The Albums" looked at the chart performance of the Electric Light Orchestra (ELO) on both sides of the Atlantic has prompted several requests from ELOBF followers and ELO fans alike for a follow-up overview of the 7" singles released by the band here in the UK and "Across The Border" (so to speak) in the US - so here it is!

If you didn't already know it, ELO are noted as the only band in US chart history with the most (twenty) Billboard Hot 100 Top 40 hits without achieving a number one single - ever. Truly an amazing record. If we also consider their record of twenty seven (27) UK Top 40 singles, we can see a similar pattern as that with their album career in that (a) initial UK success was followed by a lull before an astonishing run of hit singles (driving so many ELO greatest hits compilations hence: "Another Chart Breaks: ELO's UK & US Compilations Ranked") and (b) heavy US touring schedules and successful albums created a popularity (ahead of that in their home country) which delivered an impressive 25 Hot 100 singles despite a notable fading away like The Beatles on Hey Jude in the 80's. Note that there were quite a few 7" releases unique to each territory such as "Do Ya" and "It's Over" in the US or "Rockaria!" and "Wild West Hero" in the UK. It's also interesting that ELO's ever popular signature song "Mr. Blue Sky" peaked at a modest #35 in the States whilst "Calling America" (US:#18; UK:#28) fared better than "Rock 'n' Roll Is King" (US: #19; UK #13). If nothing else, the tabulation below shows just how big the ELO commercial juggernaut was.
nr=not released; dnc=did not chart; *considered AA sided single in US;
**reached #52 as ELO1JB in January 1979; *** issued separately in US

Related KJS/ELOBF articles

Wednesday, 7 July 2021

Charting the Rise of ELO in the UK & America: The Albums

#1,600: For a long time, Yours Truly KJS has wanted to put together a graphic that depicts the album chart career of the Electric Light Orchestra (ELO) both here in the UK and across the pond in the United States in one tabulation for the perusal of ELO fans, both avid and casual, hence this article! You'll find below the peak chart positions of every album that has appeared BOTH in the UK Official Albums Chart Top 100 and the US Billboard 200 with the exception of "On The Third Day", "Eldorado", "Face The Music" and "Olé ELO", four albums that never charted in the UK and discussed in the 2017 ELOBF article: "Chart Tragedy: ELO's UK Album Chart Famine".

If nothing else, the chart below tells the story of ELO in both countries within the same timeline as the band initially enjoyed greater success in the UK before their extensive "Do It With The Light On" US tours yielded increasingly higher chart placings whilst the aforementioned quartet of albums did not chart back home. Note how ELO's commercial breakthrough "Down Home Town" in Britain came with "A New World Record" beginning a run of eight Top 10 albums ending with "Balance Of Power" and recommencing after "Zoom" up until the present day. Note also that over in the States, ELO haven't enjoyed a Top 20 placing since 1981's "Time" showing that their appeal in the UK (in terms of chart position rather than actual sales) has largely remained since their heyday whilst their popularity has receded somewhat in America (thanx to major generational changes in the market) although ELO still retain a sizeable loyal following who ensure chart impact.

A similar story can be extracted by comparing the chart placings of ELO singles in the UK & US. Expect a KJS/ELOBF article on that subject soon too. In the meantime, this writer hopes that you have enjoyed reading this, our 1,600th article ... and some of the previous ones!
Legend: dnc=did not chart; wdn=withdrawn
Related KJS/ELOBF articles

Saturday, 3 July 2021

Another Chart Breaks: ELO's UK & US Compilations Ranked

#1,599: When it coms to compilations, reissues and the repackaging of their impressive back catalogue, the Electric Light Orchestra (ELO) have always been up there with the likes of The Beatles, Elvis Presley and many other music legends. Whether it's the plethora of EMI Harvest Heritage releases of their early years here in their home country or the many career overviews of their worldwide roster of hit singles (replete with the odd album track in some cases), there's an almost innumerable amount of ELO compilations literally "All Over The World" hence Yours Truly KJS thought that it would be good idea to rank the performance and popularity of the Greatest Hits and 'Very Best Of' compilations that have entered the Official Albums Chart UK Top 100 in the UK and/or the Billboard 200 over in the States.
At the time of writing, seven ELO compilations have charted in the UK with four making the Top 10. ELO's debut "Greatest Hits" (JETLX525) in late '79 peaked at a relatively modest #7 in the wake of the success of "Discovery" (JETLX500) partly due to the fact that none of the hit singles from said album were included. Note that each decade since is represented in the above table! It's therefore no surprise that the bestselling "All Over The World" tops the rankings whilst it remains impressive that Dino's VBO set managed a healthy #4 in 1994 thanx to a fruitful TV ad campaign not forgetting that "Mr. Blue Sky" (Jeff Lynne's 2012 re-recordings mostly of ELO's hits for Frontiers) made #8.
It's a slightly different story in the United States with just the four ELO compilations making the Billboard 200 to date with none breaching the upper reaches of the chart. "ELO's Greatest Hits" tops this list after making #30 in 1979 just ahead of "Olé ELO", their first successful hits collection peaking at #32 in 1976 thanx primarily to their success in breaking America before hitting the commercial big time "Down Home Town" and elsewhere. Conversely, "All Over The World" and "Mr. Blue Sky" - their more recent releases since the turn of the century - bring up the proverbial rear outside the Top 100 at #115 & #118 in complete contrast to their chart success over in the UK.

Look out for a forthcoming KJS/ELOBF article which will look at specific UK non-charting ELO compilations!

*** Until next "Time" in the ELOBF universe ... 03-July-2021 ***