|KJS bumped into Bev Bevan, Louis Clark Jr. and Joy Strachan-Brain in the latter half of 2021|
Friday, 31 December 2021
Yours Truly 2021: A Year In Review
#1,643: Here we are again, this time looking back on the year that was 2021, the first full year of KJS/ELOBF articles (88 in total) since 2018 and a year dominated by the lack of any real celebration of ELO's 50th anniversary by either Jeff Lynne's ELO or Sony Music's Legacy Recordings and, of course, the tragic passing of Louis Clark. It also turned out to be a year of minimal activity for Roy Wood too with his 2021 dates pushed back twelve months leaving a busy Bev Bevan to carry the torch with Quill and a renewed Stand Up & Rock! show now featuring an impressive Andy Bennett (formerly of Ocean Colour Scene) alongside lifelong pal and funnyman extraordinaire Jasper Carrott.
Goodbye My Old Friends
We also said goodbye to Don Everly and Mark Regula (Ivory Tower Project) as well as local record shop Oldies Unlimited whilst belatedly paying tribute to Carl Wayne this year with ELO engineer Dick Plant also paying tribute to the aforementioned Louis Clark. Although not mentioned in print, we were also much saddened by the passing of our good friend Terri Heritage - a familiar, friendly face at many a gig.
A Return to Gigs
September 2021 heralded a welcome return to live dates with seven shows attended and six reviewed including Quill (thrice), ELO Again and Stand Up & Rock! across the West Midlands and beyond. Joy Strachan-Brain, Bev Bevan and Quill just get better and better. Seeing and hearing "So Fine" performed live by Andy Louis & The ELO Experience was another live highlight to savour.
Interviews returned to ELOBF this year too! Author Barry Delve talked us through his excellent new ELO overview "Electric Light Orchestra: Every Album, Every Song" and legendary Slade drummer Don Powell participated in a exclusive question and answer session with Yours Truly KJS talking about Christmas 1973, Roy Wood, Wizzard and much more! Hope that you enjoyed them!
Album of the Year
Just three albums were reviewed this year but there was no drought in quality as opposed to quantity! It was great to recommence overviewing Bubble Gum Orchestra albums again for the first time since 2018's "Zentopia" and we were blessed with two great albums in "Angel Dreams" and "4000 Miles to Eden" from BGO maestro Michael Laine Hildebrandt. Late October saw the release of the much anticipated new Quill studio album "Riding Rainbows" and it did not disappoint with a plethora of superb songs and guest musicians ensuring it being crowned as our Album of the Year 2021! Congratulations to Joy, Bev & Quill!
Not Forgetting ...
An extended series of KJS/ELOBF articles startng in March looked at Jeff Lynne's extra-ELO musical liaisons with Dave Edmunds, The Everly Brothers, Agnetha Fältskog, Helen Reddy, Duane Eddy, Brian Wilson, Miss B Haven, Del Shannon, Randy Newman and Hank Marvin. We also highlighted several attractive ELO Part II CD/LP reissues by Renaissance Records US (including the debut of "Moment of Truth" on vinyl) as well as putting Jo Webb (Jeff Lynne's ELO) in the spotlight and comparing the chart performances down the years of a couple of certain 1973 Christmas classics by Wizzard and Slade. A busy if not varied year indeed!
Another ELOBF Milestone!
Closer to home, ELO Beatles Forever celebrated our 12th birthday in February and received our four millionth view during September having launched the ELOBF Mailing List in June and recommenced our infamous Gig Guides (now on a monthly basis) in August.
Yours Truly KJS would like to take this opportunity to thank each and every visitor, contributor and interviewee to ELO Beatles Forever (ELOBF) during 2021 and to also wish you a better if not ELOtastic New Year! Looking ahead, there's much to look forward to (musically speaking) in 2022 so please consider bookmarking KJS/ELOBF and reading more new articles in the twelve months ahead!
*** Until next "Time" in the ELOBF Universe ... KJS ... 31-Dec-2021 ***