Thursday, 27 July 2017

OUT OF THE BLUE: 40th ANNIVERSARY 2LP PICTURE DISC

Sony's NYC based Legacy Recordings imprint announced earlier today (Thursday 27th July) in an official press release that the long awaited debut of the Electric Light Orchestra classic Jeff Lynne penned double album opus "Out Of The Blue" as a picture disc set - replete with the iconic "Concerto For A Rainy Day" - goes on sale on Friday 29th September in celebration and commemoration of its 40th anniversary, just four days shy of its original release date back on Monday 3rd October 1977. Having peaked at #4 in the Official UK Album Chart in a 108 week chart run, "Out Of The Blue" (Jet/UA #UAR100; Jet/CBS #JETDP400) is perhaps the most recognisable of ELO's studio recordings, having also been issued in CD format on multiple occasions including the 30th anniversary expanded and remastered edition in 2007 (managing a creditable #18) and several vinyl reissues in black, clear and (of course) blue vinyl since.

"Out Of The Blue" featured prominently in the recent Jeff Lynne's ELO UK dates with The ELO Experience also including eleven of its seventeen songs within their current tour. The 2017 2LP picture disc incarnation of OOTB has been remastered from the original master tapes, includes a digital download and is set to be a prized possession for fans and collectors (including Yours Truly KJS) alike. Pre-orders can be placed via these links thus:


 elobeatlesforever (elobf) recommends "Out Of The Blue" by Electric Light Orchestra to those enlightened folks who enjoy the music of ELOJeff LynneRoy WoodThe Traveling WilburysThe MoveThe Idle Race'Brum Beat'The Beatles and related artistes.

Until next "Time" in the ELO [and related] Universe ... KJS ... 27-July-2017

Wednesday, 26 July 2017

RELEASE REMINDER: ELECTRIC DREAMS BLU-RAY SOON

The Blu-Ray debut of the 1984 movie "Electric Dreams" is now just around the corner, some eight years after its release in DVD format back in April 2009. The film soundtrack, of course, featured two (2) solo Jeff Lynne tracks in "Video!" - the lead single (Virgin #VS695/VSY695) from the OST album (Virgin #V2318) reaching #87 in the Official UK Singles Chart during July of that year - and "Let It Run" - thought also at the time to be a strong candidate for a single but for the relatively modest success of the former - a song constructed in part from "Beatles Forever" - the only remaining unreleased track from the originally intended 2LP "Secret Messages" (#JETDP402) and of particular significance to Yours Truly KJS and elobeatlesforever (elobf).

The expanded Blu-Ray edition -  released in the UK on Monday 7th August - comes in 1080p High Definition and includes interviews with Director Steve Barron, writer/co-producer Rusty Lemorande as well as stars Lenny von Dohlen and Virginia Madsen. The first 2,000 copies come in a limited edition premium spot gloss varnish slipcase with pre-orders now being taken by amazon.co.uk via this link thus:

www.amazon.co.uk/Electric-Dreams-Blu-Ray-Blu-ray/dp/B06WLHYBK9

"Electric Dreams" follows the debut of "Xanadu" on Blu-Ray in July 2016 meaning that 1977's "Joyride" movie and its soundtrack featuring the Jeff Lynne penned ELO classics "Rockaria!", "Telephone Line", "Can't Get It Out Of My Head", "Tightrope", "Boy Blue" and "So Fine" as the only outstanding film of its time replete with ELO music to still await Blu-Ray issue.
Until next "Time" in the ELO [and related] Universe ... KJS ... 26-July-2017

Sunday, 16 July 2017

COVER TO COVER: ON THE THIRD DAY

As an eager new (and young) ELO fan back in 1977, once Yours Truly KJS had snapped up "A New World Record" (#UAG30017) and "Out Of The Blue" (#UAR100), it was quite natural to start trying to negotiate their back catalogue, as pocket and odd job money would permit. First up was the 1977 Harvest compilation "The Light Shines On" (#SHSM2015) with its quirks and nuances, Roy Wood and more which was followed by a second hand copy of the first reissue of ELO's "On The Third Day" album (Jet/UA #UAG30091) sporting that somewhat amusing Richard Avedon photograph of the band revealing their belly buttons. Back then, sightings of the original gatefold sleeved pressing for OTTD on Warner Bros. Burbank label (#K56021) were rare and far too expensive for me. But I do remember wondering what the reason was for the repackaging. I eventually came to the conclusion that it was to visually identify ELO as under the sole guidance of Jeff Lynne following their departure from Harvest/EMI. Then came the change from Jet/UA to Jet/CBS with "On The Third Day" now sporting a new catalogue number (#JETLP202) as well as its inclusion in the 3LP boxed set "Three Light Years" (#JETBX1) alongside, of course, "Eldorado" and "Face The Music".

And that essentially was it until the purchase of Bev Bevan's share of the Electric Light Orchestra name and rights by Jeff Lynne in 1999 for an undisclosed sum. Following in the wake of 2001's "Zoom", a remastered and expanded "On The Third Day" - now including "Showdown" - hit the shelves in September 2006 replete with the original album artwork. And so it has been since. One cannot but wonder if the reason for the reverting of the OTTD sleeve back to the original was symbolic of the desire of the ELO maestro to underline his full ownership of the ELO brand (as opposed to band) in much the same way as it made a statement about the identity and direction of a Jeff Lynne led ELO back in 1973. One thing is for sure, "On The Third Day" remains highly regarded by both Jeff and elobeatlesforever (elobf) here in Yours Truly 2017.

Which "On The Third Day" album cover do you prefer?

Until next "Time" in the ELO [and related] Universe ... KJS ... 16-July-2017

Saturday, 15 July 2017

DO YA: A BRIEF HISTORY FROM THE MOVE TO ELO & BEYOND

Whilst it could be said that the recording sessions for what was The Move's final studio album "Message From The Country" and ELO's first two outings's "The Electric Light Orchestra" and "ELO2" were somewhat interchangeable, there is one Jeff Lynne penned song - recorded by both The Move and ELO - that has led a double - even triple life in more ways than one. Originally released in the UK as part of a twin 'B' side with "Ella James" on the flip side of The Move's final hit single "California Man" (Harvest #HAR5050) and as the sole 'B' side for the same song in the US (United Artists #50928), the trademark guitar riff of "Do Ya" helped The Move breach the Billboard 100 at #93. Back in their home country, "Do Ya" eventually saw a limited release in September 1974 as an 'A' side backed by "No Time" (Harvest #HAR5086). A bizarre issue in many ways as ELO had departed Harvest Records for Warner Bros. Burbank label a year earlier.
Two years later, "Do Ya" was given the ELO treatment by Jeff, Richard Tandy and Louis Clark as part of their iconic worldwide breakthrough album "A New World Record" in 1976. A live fave already, the inclusion of "Do Ya" on ANWR cemented it in ELO folklore. It's popularity also attracted cover versions by Elmer Goodbody Jnr. (who was none other than Mike Sheridan) and Forest in the same year. Whilst it was not a single here in the UK, over in the US, "Do Ya" b/w "Nightrider" (Jet/UA #UAXW-939-Y) managed a creditable #24. "Do Ya" was, of course, again re-recorded by Jeff Lynne in 2012, forming part of "Mr. Blue Sky: The Very Best Of Electric Light Orchestra". It also made a welcome return to the Jeff Lynne's ELO set list during their recent UK dates at Sheffield and Wembley Stadium.
Aside from the aforementioned 1976 covers, "Do Ya" continues to be recorded and performed by not a few artistes down the years including Matthew Sweet, Parthenon Huxley (The Orchestra), Todd Rungdren, Jason Falkner (a major contributor to the forthcoming new Pugwash album) and Ace Frehley. It was also the subject of a clear vinyl EP back in 2002 (see above) via Tallboy Records featuring four versions of the song by Kenny Howes and The Yeah!, Einstein's Sister, Linus Of Hollywood and Parallax Project.

 So whether it be The MoveELO or a solo Jeff Lynne"Do Ya" remains the one song that ensures a common thread for fans all the way from its conception within The Move through to the present day and beyond to the many admiring artistes who still love this great song.

Until next "Time" in the ELO [and related] Universe ... KJS ... 15-July-2017

Thursday, 13 July 2017

JASPER CARROTT: STAND UP & ROCK! Q4 DATES POSTPONED

Having been very much looking forward to another installment of the excellent Stand Up & Rock! in Chesterfield on Friday 29th September in the company of my good friend Mick Anyon, Yours Truly KJS was surprised and concerned to receive this open message from Brummie comedy legend Jasper Carrott earlier this week thus:

"Sadly, I have been told very recently that I need a heart bypass operation. Whilst it’s not desperate it is obviously something which I need to get done as soon as possible. All being well, the operation will take place in August and there will then follow a three month recovery period after which I anticipate being able to return to work as normal. Unfortunately this affects a number of shows which unavoidably must be postponed until at least early Spring next year. My sincere apologies to all the theatre-goers who have bought tickets to my shows but I know you will understand that my health comes before anything and I will do my level best to get back in action as soon as possible. Thank you for your understanding and again my apologies for the disruption and inconvenience to everyone concerned. Kindest regards ... Jasper Carrott"

The postponement applies to all previously announced dates in July and September until the tour recommences in Buxton on Thursday 8th November.

Birmingham Mail report yesterday (click here to view) stated that tickets for the original shows are valid for the rearranged dates with refunds also available. elobeatlesforever (elobf) has compiled this updated Stand Up & Rock! gig roster incorporating the postponed dates thus:

Buxton Opera House (Wednesday 8th November)
Llandudno Theatre Cymru (Thursday 9th November)
Aylesbury Waterside Theatre (Tuesday 14th November)
Guildford G Live Theatre (Friday 17th November)
Northampton Royal & Derngate Theatre (Wednesday 22nd November)
Clacton Princess Theatre (Tuesday 28th November)
Southend Cliffs Pavilion (Wednesday 29th November)
St. Albans Arena (Friday 1st December)
Southampton Mayflower Theatre (Sunday 3rd December)
Stratford Arts House (Wednesday 6th to 8th December)
Chesterfield Winding Wheel (*now Saturday 3rd March 2018*)
Shanklin Theatre (*now Wednesday 7th March 2018*)
Weymouth Pavilion Theatre (*now Thursday 8th March 2018*)
Poole Lighthouse Theatre (*now Friday 9th March 2018*)
King's Lynn Corn Exchange (*now Thursday 15th March 2018*)
Torquay Princess Theatre (*now Wednesday 28th March 2018*)
Great Yarmouth Britannia Pier Theatre (*now Saturday 31st March 2018*)
Basingstoke Anvil Theatre (*now Friday 6th April 2018*)
High Wycombe Swan Theatre (*now Sunday 8th April 2018*)
Lichfield Garrick Theatre (*now Wednesday 11th to Saturday 14th April 2018*)
Chatham Brook & Central Theatre (*now Thursday 19th April 2018*)
Peterborough East of England Arena (*now Saturday 28th April 2018*)

It goes without saying that Yours Truly KJS wishes Jasper Carrott a speedy recovery from his procedure and looks forward seeing him on stage again later in 2017. 

Find out more about the tour, the venues and dates via these links thus:

elobeatlesforever (elobf) recommends Stand Up & Rock! to those enlightened folks who enjoy the music of ELO, Jeff Lynne, The Move, Roy Wood, The Idle Race, 'Brum Beat', The Beatles and related artistes.

*** Please note that elobeatlesforever (elobf) waited until this news was revealed via 'official' news outlets before publishing this article in order to prevent any perceived invasion of privacy. ***

Until next "Time" in the ELO [and related] Universe ... KJS ... 13-July-2017

Wednesday, 12 July 2017

CAUGHT LIVE: TOM PETTY & THE HEARTBREAKERS @ HYDE PARK

The tinder dry turf of London's iconic Hyde Park was the the place to be on Sunday 9th July as Yours Truly KJS completed my trio of Wilbury gigs as "A Face In the Crowd" at the final Barclaycard  British Summer Time date this Summer in complete awe of a quite magnificent Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers performance and a most sublime Stevie Nicks set.
Preceded by music media darlings The Shelters and The Lumineers, the prospect of seeing the Fleetwood Mac songstress again - this time in her own right - as well as the legend who is another of my long time musical heroes Tom Petty in the flesh after so many years of waiting meant that this long, hot day was much looked forward to, especially having also reviewed gigs by both Bob Dylan and Jeff Lynne too for elobeatlesforever (elobf) in the last two months.

Before TP came Stevie Nicks and her stellar fifteen song roster covering her career from Buckingham Nick's "Crying In The Night" through "Bella Donna" and "The Wild Heart" solo classics to 2011's "Moonlight (A Vampire Dream)", sprinkled too with Fleetwood Mac gems including "Rhiannon", "Landslide" and "Dreams". I loved hearing the likes of "Edge Of Seventeen" and "Stand Back" live but the surreal "Gypsy" stole the show for me.
And what of Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers? Celebrating their 40th anniversary and dropping into Hyde Park for their only European date, the band surpassed their renowned live reputation  in front of the 65,000 adoring onlookers by delivering what can only be described as a world class nineteen song snapshot of their four decades of success, bookending the concert with "Rockin' Around (With You)" and (of course) "American Girl" from their 1976 self-titled debut long player. In between, we were thrilled to hear a set dominated by the albums "Wildflowers" and the Jeff Lynne aided "Full Moon Fever" yet with subtle dips into eight other releases including an inspired acoustic "Learning To Fly", a splendid trip with "Don't Come Around Here No More" and anthemic rockers "Mary Jane's Last Dance" and "Refugee" also memorable moments. It was the quartet of songs from "Full Moon Fever"  - "I Won't Back Down", "Yer So Bad", "Free Fallin'" and "Runnin' Down A Dream" - that thrilled this writer alongside a surprise, rare duet with the returning Stevie Nicks of "Stop Draggin' My Heart Around". I had to pinch myself again that I was actually there hearing these tunes performed by TP and his Heartbreakers, such was my delight. Having written so many reviews for elobf down the years, this one truly deserves the adjectives fantastic and amazing as well as a place amongst my most fave gigs ever!
Photo courtesy of Sir Neil Keighery ...
Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers performed: "Rockin' Around (With You)" ~ "Mary Jane's Last Dance" ~ "You Don't Know How It Feels" ~ "Forgotten Man" ~ "I Won't Back Down" ~ "Free Fallin'" ~ "Walls" ~ "Don't Come Around Here No More" ~ "Stop Draggin' My Heart Around" (with Stevie Nicks) ~ "It's Good To Be King" ~ "Crawling Back To You" ~ "Wildflowers" ~ "Learning To Fly" ~ "Yer So Bad" ~ "I Should Have Known It" ~ "Refugee" ~ "Runnin' Down A Dream" ~ "You Wreck Me" ~ "American Girl"
Find out more about Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers and Stevie Nicks via these links thus:

www.tompetty.com   www.stevienicksofficial.com

elobeatlesforever (elobf) recommends Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers and Stevie Nicks to those enlightened folks who enjoy the music of ELOJeff LynneRoy Wood, The Traveling WilburysThe MoveThe Idle Race'Brum Beat'The Beatles and related artistes.

Until next "Time" in the ELO [and related] Universe ... KJS ... 12-July-2017

Friday, 7 July 2017

RECOMMENDED: DEAD END STREET (Mark Dodsworth)

Hull based ELO super fan Mark Dodsworth - alias Ted Blight @ YouTube - has just released his twelve track album of ELO/Jeff Lynne covers entitled "Dead End Street" (the originally intended title, of course, for "Sweet Talkin' Woman") in aid of the MacMillan Cancer Support charity.

elobeatlesforever (elobf) are pleased to endorse and support the recording which has an interesting emphasis upon ELO album gems as opposed to the hit singles we all all know and love. Yours Truly KJS contacted Mark last weekend and asked him for an overview of "Dead End Street" thus:

"Hi Keith! First and foremost, I am not much of a musician, I can't read music, I have only been playing keyboard about a year. It's just a part time hobby, but I do enjoy it. Some tracks are better than others but I'm proud of what I have achieved. Jeff has been a massive influence. The first time I mixed my version of 'Shangri-La' and played it back, loud. I was overwhelmed. At that moment in time, I understood why Jeff does it. It was like a drug, to record, produce and mix something you had created from scratch.

I started home recording about 18 months ago, the first proper track was "Secret Messages", hidden with lots of hidden messages, for example down the lane and far away is spoken backwards and the morse code in the song is spells www.youtube.com/tedblight just to name a few. The vocals are by Caz Burton who I met on www.bandhub.com which is a great, free, site for meeting amateur musicians. She did a great job considering she's never heard the song before. "Ordinary Dream" was the first song Andy Elton recorded with me, He's a massive ELO fan from the same town as me, we lost touch for about 20 years, and bumped into each other at Sheffield concert last year, since then we have recorded regularly. He's a great friend and the nicest guy you could wish to meet. This song had a seal of approval from someone close to Jeff, which made our day. "Mercy Mercy" is a simple song to record. The rear sleeve note says all song written by Jeff. This was a deliberate error, I felt the rear cover artwork was getting to over crowded with text. Speaking of which, I tried to keep the text layout etc the same as "Out Of The Blue" to try and give it ... a familiar feel. The bar code is the OOTB CD bar code for example!

"Kuiama" is one of my faves on the CD. It was a epic challenge to record, Andy and myself did record this 20 years ago on VHS so it was nice to revisit it. I knew I had to do is justice as it is a fan favourite. The vocal echos where a challenge but turned out great. I sing the vocals on the second part. Or at least, try to. "Mission (A New World Record)" is the first song that I did by replacing the vocals with guitar. Simply because at the time, I had no one to sing on my song and I can't sing. So playing the guitar was the only option. I think the song really lifts off at the key change and the choir kicks in. Fans seem to like this track and cry out for me to do "Shangri-La" too. "Twilight" was a challenge. I has just got a new keyboard, a Native Instruments S49, and I wanted to do something from "Time". "Prologue" gave me the opportunity to use the vocoder. So I spoke it on this track, the first few versions, I sounded rather camp but eventually, after playing around with the notes, I managed to get a version that seemed to work. Andy sung it and the piano solo which I thought would take forever actually only took one take!

"Ticket To The Moon" was again, a collaboration on www.bandhub.com with Javier. What I really like about this version is how well the astronauts FX fit into the song and the Jeff Lynne sound bite fits in perfectly, I guess I got lucky. "Getting To The Point" has a fantastic vocal performance by Andy. Lots of layers on it but you can't tell. We worked really hard at this and I think it turned out really good. "Baby I Apologise" was difficult to record and I couldn't understand why because the original is only a demo. So why was it so hard for me to get it sounding good - especially since my tech is so futuristic compared to what Jeff had back then? I'm not sure, but anyway, I speak the middle section and Andy sings. He loves this track and he's done a couple of versions over the years.

"Another Heart Breaks" is one of my faves for several reasons. It has a lot of thumbs ups on YouTube so fans seem to like it. I got the keyboards and drums sounding just like the original. The guitar took a lot of practice but I think I did a good job considering that I was playing it by ear. "Shangri-La" is probably my favourite on the CD. It's a perfect storm. Everything just came together, the mix is great, I'm delighted with the guitar solo, the Andy's vocals are amazing and the outro synth is good. Love this song and I feel like we did it justice. Which is a bold statement as the fans are very protective of this song. And rightly so! "One Summer Dream" closes the CD. I love the original and I love Richard's outro piano on "Zoom Tour Live" DVD. I've always wanted to make a version that incorporates both versions. I'm very proud of how it turned out!

"Dead End Street" as you know, is the original version of "Sweet Talkin' Woman", I always wanted to do a ELO covers CD ever since I heard Paul McNulty's OOTB covers album "Into The Red". I thought it was amazing. As you can see, I prefer to do album tracks and avoid the mainstream singles, I think fans appreciate them more. The money raised from the CD will go towards MacMillan Cancer Support. Sadly, like most people, I have lost family and friends to cancer.

The CD is available for a minimum donation of £8.50 each (UK) or £12.50 each (worldwide) and the price includes post and packing. You can buy "Dead End Street" via www.paypal.me/elocovers (remember to included your address) or visit www.elocovers.com for more details. I'm really pleased that day one sales raised £49!"

Trax: [1] "Secret Messages" (4:23) + [2] "Ordinary Dream" (3:19) + [3] "Mercy Mercy (2:54) + [4] "Kuiama" (7:55) + [5] "Mission (A New World Record)" (4:27) + [6] "Twilight" (4:43) + [7] "Ticket To The Moon" (4:15) + [8] "Getting To The Point" (4:49) + [9] "Baby I Apologise" (3:46) + [10] "Another Heart Breaks" (3:58) + [11] "Shangri-La" (5:45) + [12] "One Summer Dream" (5:16) + Running Time: 55:30

Find out more about and/or buy "Dead End Street" in CD format via these links thus:

www.elocovers.com
www.paypal.me/elocovers
www.youtube.com/user/tedblight

elobeatlesforever (elobf) recommends "Dead End Street" by Mark Dodsworth to those enlightened folks who enjoy the music of ELOJeff LynneRoy WoodThe MoveThe Idle Race'Brum Beat'The Beatles and related artistes.

Until next "Time" in the ELO [and related] Universe ... KJS ... 07-July-2017