Sunday, 22 October 2017

ELO: The Jet/Polydor Years

Jet Records were launched by Don Arden in October 1974 with the Lynsey De Paul single "No Honestly" (amusingly given the catalogue number JET747) breaching the UK Top 10. Initially distributed by Polydor with a brief stint by Island Records during which Roy Wood enjoyed his final Top 20 non-Christmas themed hit "Oh What A Shame" (JET754), Jet Records went onto to become the flagship label for ELO right up until 1983. Formed after the limited success of ELO and Wizzard on the Warner Bros. Burbank label, the majority of the Jet single releases during this period were of injection moulded manufacture (typical of Polydor at the time) of a deep blue label colour.
Interestingly, Jet released eight singles and three albums featuring a combination of ELO, Roy Wood, Roy Wood's Wizzard and Bev Bevan during this period before Jet switched to United Artists Records in Summer 1976. Yet chart success was again hard to achieve for ELO in the UK. Despite "Evil Woman" (JET764) peaking at #10 in late January 1976, only "Strange Magic" (JET779) also charted (reaching #38 in July of that year) with "Nightrider" (JET769) and - quite amazingly - their acclaimed album "Face The Music" (JETLP11) failing to chart at all.

Even more disappointing was the fact that none of the Jet/Polydor single releases by Roy Wood, Roy Wood's Wizzard and Bev Bevan troubled the UK charts either. Even "Mustard" (JETLP12) drew a blank. This was, of course, in complete contrast to the rising profile of the Electric Light Orchestra in the United States and was likely the reason that the compilation "Ole ELO" (JETLP19) was withdrawn in the UK. Perhaps the difference in the fortunes of ELO on either side of the Atlantic could be explained by the fact that they changed labels three times in the UK for their first five studio albums when in the US they remained with United Artists Records.
Of special interest to Yours Truly KJS and elobeatlesforever (elobf) is the fact that "Heavy Head" (the 'B' side of the "Let There Be Drums" single) cited shared songwriting credits for Bev Bevan, Kelly Groucutt and Richard Tandy alongside Jeff Lynne for the first and only time on the Jet label (see above). Note also that that the transition from Jet/Polydor to Jet/UA was highlighted by the quoting of JET786 and JETLP20 in brackets when "Livin' Thing" (UP36184) and "A New World Record" (UAG30017) were released, following on from the final Jet/Polydor catalogue numbers JET785 and JETLP19 respectively (also shown above).

Undoubtedly, the creation of Jet Records provided the platform for the later successes of Jeff Lynne and ELO whilst it marked a lack of promotion, focus and support for Roy Wood. ELO returned to the UK Top 10 singles chart during these days but there was little else commercially to shout about. Another change in marketing and manufacturing partners ensued, this time with United Artists Records (more on that subject in a forthcoming elobf article) and the rest, they say, is history.

See also: ELO: THE BURBANK YEARS

Until next "Time" in the ELO [and related] Universe ... KJS ... 22-Oct-2017

Friday, 20 October 2017

Recommended: Roy Orbison In Dreams: The Hologram UK Tour

Timed perfectly to compliment the much anticipated forthcoming new orchestrated Roy Orbison album "A Love So Beautiful: Roy Orbison with The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra" (released in the UK on Friday 3rd November), tickets go on sale next week for "Roy Orbison In Dreams: The Hologram UK Tour" which will see a holographic Roy performing his biggest hits across the UK next April at ten venues backed by The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. Fans and followers of The Big O are promised a "transformative live entertainment concert experience".

This is most definitely a "must see" for Yours Truly KJS and elobeatlesforever (elobf)! Pre-sale tickets will be available here on Wednesday 25th October. Tickets go on general sale from 9AM on Friday 27th October via these links thus:

www.ticketline.co.uk/roy-orbison#tour
listings.ticketmaster.co.uk/royorbison

These previous elobf articles might also interest you:
Recommended: A Love So Beautiful (Roy Orbison with The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra)
November Release Rush for ELO & Roy Orbison

elobeatlesforever (elobf) recommends "A Love So Beautiful" by Roy Orbison with The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and "Roy Orbison In Dreams: The Hologram UK Tour" to those enlightened folks who enjoy the music of ELO, Jeff Lynne, The Traveling Wilburys, Roy Wood, The Move, The Idle Race, 'Brum Beat', The Beatles and related artistes. See you there?

Until next "Time" in the ELO [and related] Universe ... KJS ... 20-Oct-2017

Tuesday, 17 October 2017

Turn To Stone Tease: Jeff Lynne's ELO Unveil Wembley Video

Perhaps it shouldn't have come as a surprise to elobeatlesforever (elobf) that Jeff Lynne's ELO chose to release footage of "Turn To Stone"  - taken from the forthcoming album/film "Wembley Or Bust" - yesterday (Monday 16th October) via ELOVEVO and The Independent following on from the audio only video and download track made available on Thursday 5th October. But it sure was a poignant choice to this writer.

The reason for the above statement is that "Turn To Stone" has very much a part of my fabric since the age of 10 when Yours Truly KJS bought my first record, "Turn To Stone" b/w "Mister Kingdom" (Jet/UA UP36313) in November 1977. "Turn To Stone" was also the first ELO song that I saw performed live when I saw ELO Part II with The Moscow Symphony Orchestra at Birmingham's NEC in late May 1991. Looking at the new video only whets the appetite for a release that will serve not only as a fantastic souvenir of a great night but also as an excellent introduction to the ELO universe for those folks who are not yet acquainted with all things Jeff Lynne. How apt that this song still grabs my attention after all these years ...

"Wembley Or Bust" by Jeff Lynne's ELO is released on Friday 17th November.


elobeatlesforever (elobf) recommends "Wembley Or Bust" by Jeff Lynne's ELO to those enlightened folks who love ELO, Jeff Lynne, Roy Wood, 'Brum Beat', The Idle Race, The Traveling Wilburys, The Move, The Beatles and related artistes.

Until next "Time" in the ELO [and related] Universe ... KJS ... 17-Oct-2017

Monday, 16 October 2017

Another Art Breaks: From Secret Messages to Long Wave

From "Time" to "Time", the album artwork of ELO and Jeff Lynne has been derived from existing canvasses. This is especially the case betwixt two sleeves for two albums released almost three decades apart.

Back in 1983, ELO fans were treated to the visual montage adorning the tragically reduced 1LP issue of "Secret Messages" with the then four acknowledged members of ELO (Jeff Lynne, Bev Bevan, Richard Tandy and Kelly Groucutt) peeking out of two terraced windows at a scene including an angel, a stags head and classical art figures with cooling towers providing the backdrop. A little later we discovered that the album cover for "Secret Messages" - designed by David Costa - was based upon a piece of art entitled "The Future's A Bit Fishy, We've Got A Hand In It" (see above). Based on a street scene in Rochdale, you can obviously see the differences between the former and the latter - including the addition of an upstairs window (see below for more info on that), a streaking meteor and much, much more!

The original untinted photograph is found in the book "How Things Are" by Hag (K. Ostra Productions ISBN 0955311802) which can be purchased via this link thus: hagsphotography.com/contact
Window Dressing: Time tour promo photo provided the Secret Messages quartet (Courtesy: Patrik Guttenbacher)
Fast forward 29 years and the release of Jeff Lynne's "Long Wave". An album of fifties and sixties standards lovingly recreated by the ELO maestro. For this record, a more subtle embellishment was in order. Based on an original 1951 photograph provided by acclaimed Birmingham author and historian Alton Douglas of The Steam Clock pub on the corner of Sherborne Street and Morville Street in Ladywood (see above), the image of Jeff Lynne (and guitar) emerging from a doorway was the only obvious difference aside from the shortening of a lamp post in the foreground to make room for the album title and, of course, the words JEFF LYNNE!

My thanx to Alton Douglas and Brewin Books Ltd. for their permission to use the aforementioned photograph in this article as found in the book "Birmingham: Back To The Fifties" (ISBN 1858582344) which can be purchased via this link thus: www.brewinbooks.com/alton_douglas/birmingham_back_to_the_fifties

elobeatlesforever (elobf) recommends "How Things Are" by Hag and "Birmingham: Back To The Fifties" by Alton Douglas to those enlightened folks who appreciate ELOJeff LynneRoy Wood'Brum Beat'The Idle RaceThe MoveThe Beatles and related artistes.

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

Friday, 13 October 2017

Recommended: A Better Me & 2018 Tour (Gary Barlow)


Gary Barlow - the man partially responsible for the glorious return of Jeff Lynne's ELO both on record and on stage - announced yesterday details of an intimate 2018 tour of the UK and Ireland. The Take That founder and lead songwriter will start with dates in Edinburgh on Monday 16th and Tuesday 17th April and finish with (at the time of writing) a local date in Delamere Forest, Cheshire on Saturday 9th June. More dates are likely to be revealed. Yours Truly KJS would love to see a date in the West Midlands, perhaps at Cannock Chase being as forests are on the menu!
Take That and Jeff Lynne's ELO Musical Director Mike Stevens has confirmed via Twitter that he will at least take part in the tour for the Isle of Man dates in late May so there is a strong possibility that Gary will be backed by the the TT/ELO touring band raising hope that ELO fans might also see some Jeff Lynne's ELO concerts too in 2018 ... hopefully with Richard Tandy back on board.

 Folks who pre-order Gary's forthcoming autobiography "A Better Me" by close of play on Sunday 15th October via amazon.co.uk will be aeligible to access priority ticket sales on Wednesday 18th October from 10AM. Tickets will go on general sale on Friday 20th October from 10AM. "A Better Me: The Official Autobiography" by Gary Barlow will be published by Blink Publishing (ISBN 978-1911600978) in Hardcover and Kindle editions on Thursday 18th October 2018. Find out more via these links thus:


elobeatlesforever (elobf) recommends "A Better Me: The Official Autobiography" by Gary Barlow to those enlightened folks who love ELOJeff LynneRoy Wood'Brum Beat'The Idle RaceThe MoveThe Beatles and related artistes.

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

Monday, 9 October 2017

November Release Rush for ELO & Roy Orbison

Within my previous elobeatlesforever (elobf) article, Yours Truly KJS noted that as the new Jeff Lynne's ELO album "Wembley Or Bust" is to be released on Friday 17th November, it will likely precede the delayed release of the "Out Of The Blue" 2LP picture disc set on Friday 24th November by a week.

So when you also consider that the new Roy Orbison album "A Love So Beautiful" (with The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra) is also due out on Friday 3rd November, you realize that November 2017 is going to be happily expensive for fans of ELO, Jeff LynneThe Traveling Wilburys and Roy Orbison. You can find out more about the above trio of new November releases (and place pre-orders) via these elobf links thus:

A Love So Beautiful (Roy Orbison with The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra)
Out Of The Blue: 40th Anniversary 2LP Picture Disc (ELO)
Wembley Or Bust (Jeff Lynne's ELO)

elobeatlesforever (elobf) recommends "Out Of The Blue" by Electric Light Orchestra"Wembley Or Bust" by Jeff Lynne's ELO and "A Love So Beautiful" by Roy Orbison with The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra to those enlightened folks who love ELOJeff LynneRoy Wood'Brum Beat'The Idle RaceThe Traveling WilburysThe MoveThe Beatles and related artistes.

Until next "Time" in the ELO [and related] Universe ... KJS ... 09-Oct-2017

Friday, 6 October 2017

Recommended: Wembley Or Bust (Jeff Lynne's ELO)

As hinted at recently by elobeatlesforever (elobf), fans and collectors of all things Electric Light Orchestra (ELO) are to be treated to the audio visual release of the spectacular that was the Jeff Lynne's ELO date at Wembley back on Saturday 24th June. Entitled "Wembley Or Bust", the album is due for release via Big Trilby Records/Sony Music in digital, 2CD and 3LP boxed set formats on Friday 17th November with pre-orders now being taken via the official Jeff Lynne's ELO shop, amazon.co.uk, amazon.com, iTunes and other reputable vendors.

"Wembley Or Bust" comprises 23 tracks for the standard digital, 2CD and 3LP issues. The Deluxe Edition also includes a film of the critically acclaimed concert directed by Paul Dugdale in either DVD or Blu-Ray format. "Turn To Stone (Live at Wembley Stadium)" is now available to buy as a download or listen to via ELOVEVO as is a short trailer (see both below) to whet your appetite in advance of the full release.

Trax: "Standin' In The Rain" ~ "Evil Woman" ~ "All Over The World" ~ "Showdown" ~ "Livin' Thing" ~ "Do Ya" ~ "When I Was A Boy" ~ "Handle With Care" ~ "Last Train To London" ~ "Xanadu" ~ "Rockaria!" ~ "Can't Get It Out Of My Head" ~ "10538 Overture" ~ "Prologue/Twilight" ~ "Ma Ma Ma Belle" ~ "Shine A Little Love" ~ "Wild West Hero" ~ "Sweet Talkin' Woman" ~ "Telephone Line" ~ "Turn To Stone" ~ "Don't Bring Me Down" ~ "Mr. Blue Sky" ~ "Roll Over Beethoven" ~ "Wembley Or Bust" (film)
This is, to say the least, an expansive release timed perfectly for Christmas and ironically a week in an advance of the delayed "Out Of The Blue" 2LP picture disc set on Friday 24th November. Whilst many fans will be counting down the days to both releases, Yours Truly KJS will be looking forward to a new 3LP boxed set that will follow in the footsteps of "Three Light Years" (1978), "Four Light Years" (1980) and "Afterglow" (1990). "Wembley Or Bust" - so named to avoid any "Confusion" with ELO's iconic 1978 concert - will be the third official ELO live album alongside "The Night The Light Went On (In Long Beach)" (1974/1985) and "Live" (2003). It will also be interesting to see how the album performs in the Official UK Album Chart after the Top 5 placing of "Alone In The Universe" in late 2015.
"Wembley Or Bust" by Jeff Lynne's ELO can be pre-ordered via these links thus:


elobeatlesforever (elobf) recommends "Wembley Or Bust" by Jeff Lynne's ELO to those enlightened folks who love ELO, Jeff Lynne, Roy Wood, 'Brum Beat', The Idle Race, The Traveling Wilburys, The Move, The Beatles and related artistes.

Until next "Time" in the ELO [and related] Universe ... KJS ... 06-Oct-2017